Like most of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, Black Panther was set on Earth, but the majority of its action took place in a location unlike anywhere we’ve ever seen before: Wakanda. Thanks to its supply of vibranium and never being conquered by outside forces, the African nation is more technologically advanced than any other country. Unfortunately, Wakanda is also fictional, but evidently a lot of people who’ve seen Black Panther over the last month didn’t understand that, as they’ve tried to book hotels located in that territory.
According to Daily Mail, two hotel booking websites have revealed that the amount of people searching for the world “Wakanda” has increased tremendously. Hotelscan.com specifically noted that there’s been a 620% increase in people visiting the Wisconsin Wakanda Water Park web page, while Hotels.com has not only seen a 55% year on year increase of people landing on the web page for the neighboring Wakanda Park, but search spikes for other places called Wakanda around the world. Granted, some of these hits might just be people fully aware that the nation of Wakanda doesn’t exist and want to see what comes up, but you can bet that there’s a good number of folks who are coming to a rude awakening when they visit either of these two websites and discover that they can’t vacation within King T’Challa‘s borders.
Black Panther has cemented itself as one of Marvel’s greatest critical and commercial successes, but it’s also has a profound effect on general pop culture, and these website searches are the latest example of that. The movie has also led to the town of Wacounda, Illinois being bombarded by prank phone calls, and incidentally, searches for Wacounda (pronounced the same way as Wakanda) on Hotels.com have increased by more than 25%. With Black Panther still dominating at the box office and a sequel surely on the way, it’s highly unlikely the public interest in Wakanda will die down anytime soon.
Warning: SPOILERS for Black Panther are ahead!
While we’ll never be able to visit the vibranium-filled Wakanda, the citizens of the MCU’s Earth are just now learning about the country’s true nature. At the end of Black Panther, T’Challa established an outreach center in Oakland, California, and in the mid-credits scene, he appeared before the United Nations to reveal what Wakanda is capable of. Wakanda spent centuries being largely isolated from the rest of the world, and with its borders now open, this marks a bold new era for the nation. So perhaps in the MCU, people browsing through Hotelscan.com or Hotels.com will soon be able to plan a trip to Wakanda.
Black Panther is still playing in theaters, and for those of you interested in another look at Wakanda, you’ll get that opportunity when Avengers: Infinity War opens on May 4.