The stock photo depicts Mike Baldwin, and it was first uploaded to iStockphoto by his wife, Ann Baldwin on October 6th, 2009.
The first case of the photo being turned into a photoshopped meme can be traced to a Fark forum thread, where a sloth’s head was edited to the model’s face, paired with captions about the everyday dangers in a sloth’s life.
The image would occasionally see use as a meme in 2013, as it would emerge on sites like Funnyjunk, Meme Generator.
It first gained a larger traction on Tumblr in 2015, as it would be regularly posted with various texts.
The phrase “Guess I’ll die” started to be captioned on the stock photo in early 2016, as it would appear on Facebook.
By 2017, its popularity grew significantly, as it emerged on numerous Reddit threads, while remaining a frequently posted meme on Tumblr.
In 2018, the meme’s popularity reached its peak, with “Guess I’ll die” image macros appearing on Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, Instagram, 9GAG and Imgur.
- Gizmodo.com – How Medical Woes Turned a Retired Professor Into the Face of Fatalism Online
- Runt-of-the-web.com – 27 Guess I’ll Die Memes That Are Worth Living For