One day, I was doing some searches on Stack Overflow and found that one of the posts in the search result does not actually exist (perhaps it is a deleted post?). I added more search terms and was able to reduce the search result to only one entry.

Here's the query:

which contains only one result, which is an answer:
Preview Image while file uploading using "UPLOADIFY"

but when I click on it, there is no such answer.

Additional findings:

  • No such answer in the timeline of the question either.
  • No such answer in the user's profile either.
  • On the right hand side of the question, it says "active 1 month ago", but all the posts/comments were over a year ago.
  • Same behaviour no matter if I am logged in to stackoverflow.com or not while doing the search.
  • No results found when search by Google.
  • Cannot find the post in the StackExchange Data Explorer (SELECT * FROM Posts WHERE Id = 14525412).
    However, I can find the question (SELECT * FROM Posts WHERE Id = 7565637)
    and the other answer (SELECT * FROM Posts WHERE Id = 7869010).
  • Bug discovered 4 days ago (2013-03-17). I kept retrying in the following few days until today (2013-03-21), and it happened everyday, so this bug is not temporary.
  • Oh, I just found out that it happens even if I omit the "is:answer" search option.
  • 2
    Deleted answer?
    – Himanshu
    Mar 21, 2013 at 3:28
  • 2
    A note for non-10k's: that answer was posted on January 25 and deleted by a moderator (probably due to flagging) the same day.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Mar 21, 2013 at 3:28
  • The StackExchange Data Explorer checks my privilege and therefore does not show me the deleted answer?
    – Pang
    Mar 21, 2013 at 3:33
  • 3
    Probably some hiccup updating the search results cache. Editing the parent question caused it to be removed.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Mar 21, 2013 at 3:34
  • I'm getting zero results following those search links. Weird random hiccup?
    – blahdiblah
    Mar 21, 2013 at 4:10
  • @blahdiblah - Looks like status-completed.
    – Himanshu
    Mar 21, 2013 at 4:11


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