A Hermantown native is a viral sensation this week after he gave a presentation on the power struggle in Wakanda, a country he convinced his college professor into thinking was real.
Tyler Zastrow, 19, has seen his video picked up across the world, racking up more than a million views, after giving the presentation to his international marketing class in Ireland, where he's just spent a semester studying abroad.
He got the idea for the prank a day earlier, when during a separate presentation he casually slipped in mention of the country Wakanda – which is the fictional home of Marvel's "Black Panther" – and his professor mentioned she'd never heard of it.
"I asked if I could do another presentation on the history and power struggle in the nation and she agreed," Zastrow told Bring Me The News on Saturday. "The rest is history."
The video shows Zastrow earnestly informing his class and professor about the nation of Wakanda, the power struggle between the new Black Panther and his rival Killmonger.
He even going into details about Wakanda's currency and spiritual beliefs, and touches on plot-lines from "Captain America: Civil War" and "Avengers: Infinity War."
He fields questions throughout the presentation from his professor, who is apparently one of the few people in the western world to not be aware of the blockbuster smash.
"It was pretty tough to keep it together during some moments, most notably when I'd notice some of my classmates laughing or making comments," he said. "But I've had a lot of practice at stuff like this so it's gotten easier."
"My classmates absolutely loved it, my professor was a little flustered but she's grown to appreciate the joke."
Since the video has gone viral, Zastrow said his life has been "insane."
"Every time I leave my phone alone for an extended period of time now I'll come back and have so many notifications from literally every platform," he said.
The 10-minute presentation only took him a couple of hours of work – it helps that he's a big fan of the Marvel Movies, and the main challenge was finding enough "Black Panther" gifs to use for each slide.
Zastrow has form for this kind of thing. He said while a student at Hermantown High School he would make presentations similar to his Wakanda effort.
"I'd just get bored researching so I'd find random gifs and dumb information to include in the slides, and it always ended up working for me," he said.
"My world history teacher was probably the biggest victim of this, I kind of tortured him with all of my presentations."
Though born and raised in Hermantown, Zastrow is currently a student at a university in Florida, where he's studying sports marketing and business analytics.