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The image in this answer is now missing. I can't remember when SE switched to using Imgur for all images; my guess is that I gave my answer before the switch to Imgur, and that the image linked straight to the source at that point. It must have from the source before the switch to Imgur.

Is there a way to retrieve the original image URL so I can hunt around the source site and perhaps find the image again?

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Did the question get migrated? Normally, any change to your answer should show up in the revision history. – Dennis May 14 '12 at 15:34
@Dennis: No, it did not get migrated. – Vebjorn Ljosa May 14 '12 at 15:39

As far as I know, there hasn't been an automatic switch to imgur.

What happened at one point, though, was that they replaced imgur URLs in post bodies with the custom domain, which broke all imgur images that weren't uploaded using the editor's upload function.

The original image was already on imgur; the original URL would simply be the current one minus the ".stack".

However, as you can see, the image was inactive for too long — imgur culls images that don't get any views, unless they reside on a pro account.

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If images uploaded to an SE site are culled for inactivity, then that is problem: SE's long tail will rot over time. Note that I would not have uploaded directly to imgur; if the image was there, it must have been uploaded to imgur by SE's code after I supplied an external URL. The question remains: is it possible to find the external URL I supplied? – Vebjorn Ljosa May 14 '12 at 15:44
@VebjornLjosa Images uploaded via the editor aren't culled, though. SE has a pro account. – a cat May 14 '12 at 16:11
@VebjornLjosa 99% certain the answer is no. It's unlikely that SE does anything with the URL besides pass it to imgur, who are unlikely to use it for anything besides copying/recoding it. – Matthew Read May 14 '12 at 16:54

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