Where is the “Disaster Girl” now? Zoe Roth sells her internet meme as NFT for $500,000

Zoe Roth watching a house burn down, which later came to be known as Disaster Girl meme (Image via Dave Roth)
Zoe Roth watching a house burn down, which later came to be known as Disaster Girl meme (Image via Dave Roth)
R A Karthik Prasad

A sensational internet meme known as “Disaster Girl” shocked the world after being sold for a valuation of almost $500,000.

Zoe Roth, the now 21-year-old whose face inspired the iconic meme, has found a way to make a big buck off her fame, and the world of NFT crypto was the answer.

Zoe “Disaster Girl” Roth sold the original photo of the 16-year-old meme as a non-fungible token (NFT).

The digital imagery sold for 180 Ethereum can still go on to rake in more money in future sales thanks to Roth and her dad retaining the image’s copyright.

According to reports, Zoe Roth plans to use the money from the Disaster Girl meme to pay off her student loans and donate the rest to charity.

The meme is now an online artwork assigned with a unique digital signature and one of the first few memes to make money on blockchain, the cryptocurrency explorer service.

Some have still been left wondering what caused Roth to rise to internet fame and be one of the few to capitalize on it. Here’s an explanation.

Who is Zoe “Disaster Girl” Roth?

A 21-year-old Zoe Roth, whose face inspired Disaster Girl (Image via Zoe Roth)
A 21-year-old Zoe Roth, whose face inspired Disaster Girl (Image via Zoe Roth)

Zoe Roth, now an adult, became known as the famous “Disaster Girl” in 2005 after a photo captured by her father showed her smirking at the camera. But the catch — while a house burned down behind her.

The image in question hilariously suggested that the not-so-innocent-looking four-year-old Roth was the possible suspect behind the fire. The Disaster Girl meme slowly grew in popularity after being repurposed into millions of parodies for the internet’s amusement.

Roth lived with her family near a firehouse in Mebane, North Carolina, when the child’s iconic image was captured.

In 2008, the photo even won her dad, Dave Roth, JPG magazine’s “Emotion Capture” contest.

Where is Zoe Roth now?

Roth is a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, currently studying peace, war, and defense. But after graduation, she plans to take a year’s gap and then pursue her graduate degree in international relations.

Over the years, Roth has lived a life without being recognized as the “Disaster Girl” but has let her friends and family in on this secret. She also hopes that her name will outgrow her popularity in the search results over her meme.

She said:

“I’m a part of history.”

It’s fair to say that Roth isn’t shying away from embracing her fame from a 16-year-old meme. Moreover, it wouldn’t be the first time a meme has soared high in market valuation. Other funny imageries such as Nyan Cat, Grumpy Cat, and Overly Attached Girl were sold for similar six-digit numbers.

As usual, the internet cannot contain its excitement over the rise of NFTs and memes making their way into art and cryptocurrency. It’s not every day that readers find out that an internet meme has sold for a whopping $500,000.

Some were confused about how the imagery could make the big bucks since the meme could be replicated by anyone.

It seems NFTs are here to stay, and memes such as “Disaster Girl” are finally giving a chance to Zoe Roth and others to take control of the images based on their appearance. And even make a sizeable return from them.

Edited by Ravi Iyer
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