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Who is the mysterious Karl the Fog? Often seen hanging out around The Golden Gate Bridge

Who is the Mysterious Karl the Fog? Often Seen Hanging Out Around The Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco is a city known for its captivating beauty, from its iconic Golden Gate Bridge to its charming cable cars. But among the city’s many residents, one has proven to be particularly elusive yet universally recognized: Karl the Fog. Born into the Twittersphere in August 2010, Karl has since amassed 362,000 Twitter followers and 11,000 tweets. Not bad for a cloud of water vapor, right?


Where did the name come from?

In 2010 an anonymous person began a Twitter account for the San Francisco Fog, inspired by the fake BP public relations account that appeared after the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that year, and named “Karl the Fog” after the misunderstood “Karl the Giant” in the 2003 film Big Fish.


“I just ate San Francisco. It tastes like confused tourists buying fleeces at Fisherman’s Wharf.”


Becoming More than a Meteorological Event

Karl is no mere fog bank rolling over the San Francisco Bay; he has taken on a life of his own. With social media accounts, and even a published book, Karl is a full-blown phenomenon. He’s a living, breathing (well, not really) entity that has its own emotions, opinions, and an undeniable sense of humor. If you’re not following @KarlTheFog on Twitter, you’re missing out on some incredibly “cool” content.


“How long have I known I was gray? As far back as I can remember. I felt different from other clouds, but I wouldn’t change a thing. #GrayPride” 



Karl the Fog covers San Francisco in a blanket of white. cc 4.0 David Yu
Karl the Fog covers San Francisco in a blanket of white. cc 4.0 David Yu


The Personality Behind the Fog

Karl is a character full of contradictions. At times, he can obscure the majestic Golden Gate Bridge, lending the city a surreal, ethereal vibe. At other times, he’ll pull back, as if to say, “Hey, check out how gorgeous this city is!” Karl has a knack for drama, enhancing San Francisco’s natural beauty by acting as a natural filter. The fog adds a layer of mystery and charm that not even the finest Instagram filter could mimic.

“I don’t see the world as black or white, just many shades of me.”

– #KarlTheFog

More Than Just Weather: A Symbol of San Francisco

Karl serves as a symbol of San Francisco’s resilience and adaptability. When life gives San Francisco fog, its residents don’t make fog-ade—they make art, music, and moments that matter. Locals have come to expect and even appreciate Karl’s unpredictable personality, often planning their days around his “mood swings.”

“All that is sunny does not glitter, not all those in the fog are lost.”


The Literary Fog

Karl’s influence doesn’t stop at Twitter and Instagram; he has also ventured into the literary world with his own book, aptly named “Karl the Fog: San Francisco’s Most Mysterious Resident.” The book offers readers a deeper insight into his foggy world, featuring beautiful photos and Karl’s own witty commentary.


“Typical outfit for July in San Francisco: t-shirt, jeans, sweatshirt, winter jacket, scarf, mittens, hypothermia”

– #KarltheFog


Karl the Fog over San Francisco
Karl the Fog over San Francisco

Final Thoughts

Karl is a captivating personality that encapsulates what makes San Francisco special: a unique blend of natural beauty and human creativity. Whether you consider him a nuisance or a muse, Karl the Fog is undoubtedly an enduring part of San Francisco’s unique cultural fabric. So next time you find yourself in the City by the Bay, remember the words of Karl himself: “All that is sunny does not glitter, not all those in the fog are lost.”

Don’t forget to follow Karl on Twitter at @KarlTheFog to keep up with his latest escapades and musings. Because let’s face it, any fog that can write a book and manage social media is worth keeping an eye on.


Now Karl is out with a book. Who knew that fog could write much less hold a pencil

Karl the Fog – San Francisco’s Most Mysterious Resident 

Book Description: San Francisco, home of cable cars, the Golden Gate Bridge—and its quintessential cool gray fog.  Fog a bay area resident – naturally uses Twitter and Instagram accounts to document his comings and goings and the beauty of the city he loves (except for when it’s sunny). Amassing roughly half a million followers across social platforms, Karl the Fog’s witty takes on San Francisco paired with beautiful, evocative photography have earned him celebrity status in the Bay Area and beyond. Packaged in a fog-wrapped acetate jacket, Karl’s first book features more than 50 scenic selfies and entertaining observations about the city, along with details of his family’s foggy history, and a foreword by Sutro Tower.

Chronicle Books, 9781452173832, 112pp.  Publication Date: June 11, 2019

READ MORE: Karl the Fog, SF’s mist-erious Twitter celebrity, talks about his new book


Fog drifts over the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco
Fog drifts over the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco


Want to explore San Francisco and our Amazing Fog on a private small group tour? 

San Francisco Jeep Tours is the ideal tour activity in San Francisco onboard their private tours. The customized city tour routes and entertaining tour guides cover lots of information on the “not to miss” attractions including Karl The Fog!

Book a San Francisco Jeep City TourSunset and City Lights San Francisco Jeep Tours, or the Full Day Combo City and Muir Woods tour to travel to many of the bucket list and off-the-beaten-track locations in and around San Francisco.

Check out the San Francisco Jeep Tours website for more information on exploring the city by the bay.

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