This user's gravatar is escaping from its natural habitat!


(it is also not the same image that is showing up on their profile page)

For comparison, this is what it's supposed to look like:

enter image description here

Check out this search, I've repeated the problem in IE9, Firefox 9, and Chrome 16.

I imagine this will end up being very "localized", but I could not resist =)

  • 3
    It shows a cute little purplish design for me. This is probably an issue with Gravatar, considering it's showing their default image instead of the cool abstractions.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 18:29
  • 3
    +1 for the notes lol :D
    – Alenanno
    Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 18:30
  • 11
    +1 for entertaining post, -1 for no-repro, +1 for hand-drawn-red-circles (HDRC). Net: +1
    – cdeszaq
    Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 18:31
  • I'm getting the same results as @animuson. Firefox 10 on Windows 7, no-repro.
    – David
    Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 18:31
  • 3
    I'm sure it just prefers to think of itself as a non-conformist Gravatar, stickin' it to the man. Who are you to say where it should and shouldn't be, anyway. Huh?
    – Rob Hruska
    Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 18:31
  • 6
    How do we know your gravatar is well-behaved? It could be a serial killer. They look just like everyone else. Stop judging gravatars by their displayed area! =P Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 18:38
  • 2
    no-repo ( chrome 16.0.912.77, ubuntu 10.04 ). That said, +1 for "escaping from its natural habitat"... Maybe John Skeet gave it "the nod", in which case +999999999999999999999
    – Lix
    Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 19:08
  • @gnostradamus My gravatar is hurt by your accusation (as you can tell by the...odd...expression on its face). Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 19:47

2 Answers 2


What animuson said makes sense; we'll add the explicit width and height on the image element from the next build on, if the user's avatar is a gravatar. The book of faces returns non-square avatars, so in those (rare) cases, we don't know the image dimensions and thus can't pre-set them. Those are stopped from escaping via CSS, though.

  • 7
    +1 "The book of faces" - Gotta remember to use that one again :P
    – Lix
    Commented Feb 20, 2012 at 15:42
  • 3
    @Lix: Users who liked "the book of faces" also enjoyed "Mugtome," "VisageVolume" and "Prosopagnosiac's Bane."
    – Pops
    Commented Apr 4, 2012 at 17:44
  • @Lix, PopularDemand also forgot to mention that "Facet Folio" scored highly as well.
    – cdeszaq
    Commented Apr 4, 2012 at 17:57

It does appear this was an issue with Gravatar itself. Apparently changing the image dimensions to something else (like 31x31) produces the correct image. They probably had an internal error somewhere that caused that default image to display for an ever-so-short amount of time, which is why not everyone is experiencing this error.


Aside from that, I bring up the issue of missing width and height attributes on the image, which would solve this issue in the future by forcing that rather-large image to become the 32x32 dimensions, even when it's not loaded properly.

<img width="32" height="32" alt="" src="https://www.gravatar.com/avatar/d0ebace42da93179080691cfbaee8219?s=32&amp;d=identicon&amp;r=PG">

The image should return to its normal (expected) state whenever your cache of that image runs out.

  • It wouldn't be the first time a Gravatar glitch has been observed either. Force a clean reload and hope that it's transient… Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 23:39
  • 1
    I'm going to accept your answer, since you found the problem (great detective work, by the way). I suppose, then, that the real bug here is that if Gravatar unexpectedly starts serving anything but 32x32 images, everone's "small" gravatar will run amok. Hopefully they will implement your proposed solution (or something similar). Commented Feb 7, 2012 at 21:40

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