At nearly the stroke of midnight, Mrs. Carter snuck her fifth album onto iTunes. It features 14 new songs and 17 new videos.
The shocking self-titled release jump-started a ripple of news that grew to a monsoon of Beyoncé mania as fans around the Internet quickly discovered the so-called Christmas miracle.
It all began when the album slipped onto iTunes – with no fanfare or announcement. At least one user, VivaColdplay, happened to take notice, thus becoming the (probable) first person to react to Beyoncé's big surprise.
Just after midnight, Beyoncé started her subtle promotional campaign, by posting to Facebook.
Instagram was the next stop on the love train, where followers learned of Beyoncé's new album via this heart palpitation-inducing clip:
Meanwhile, Instagrammers were almost #dying in reaction to the news.
Of course, it wasn't long before Reddit found out the best news of 2013 and started an official thread. Pretty much all the praise – and it was only praise – went like this:
More cheer came in the form of reaction videos and countless comments posted moments later.
In sum, with this one startling album drop, Mrs. Carter melted the Internet. Now, much like the maybe-first reaction meme uploaded by Imgur user phy54, all we mere mortals can do is enjoy this magical, musical moment and reflect on the worldwide wonder that is Beyoncé.
Image via Imgur/phy54