The new oldest .io domain

We previously posted about the oldest .io domains, where according to our research, levi.io was the oldest, first registered on 1998-05-14. Well, today we found an even older .io domain: badwolf.io. According to the .io registry WHOIS info, it was first registered on 1963-11-23!

badwolf.io WHOIS

That is an old domain! Registered 20 years or so before the internet even existed. Quite impressive and forward thinking of this registrant.

If this information is correct, then badwolf.io is the oldest domain and the first domain ever registered on the internet. Up to today everyone thought it was Symbolics.com, which was registered on March 15, 1985.

What could have caused this bug in WHOIS? What is the significance of 1963-11-23?

It was one day after John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

But the month and day seem correct, based on the expiration date - it expires on 2016-11-23. My guess is that it was really registered on 2014-11-23 or some year before this on Nov 23. If it were registered on 2013-11-23, then the reported registration date would be exactly 50 years off. But why 50?

I sent an email to nic.io, so maybe they can explain this mystery.

UPDATE A commenter on lobste.rs pointed out that “bad wolf” is a Dr. Who character:

“In the first series of the rebooted Doctor Who, an entity called the Bad Wolf used it’s timey-wimey abilities to scatter references to itself throughout history so the Doctor would follow the clues leading up to that moment in time, thus ensuring that it would happen (an ontological paradox).”

Also, Paul, in the comments below notes that the very first episode of Dr. Who aired on 23 November 1963.

I contacted the .io registry about this and they responded that “Domain registration date was modified manually after domain has been registered. I don’t know why.” When I suggested it is possible the domain owner somehow modified the registration date themselves, they responded with “No, it was modification made by us.” I then asked if they were Dr. Who fans, and they responded with:

“Yes, this is THE explanation :)”