INTERCAL's main advantage over other programming languages is its strict simplicity. It has few capabilities, and thus there are few restrictions to be kept in mind.

--Woods and Lyon, The Intercal Reference Manual

The Turing Tarpit

last updated 19 December 2002

It occured to me one day in late April of 1997 that there is no page on the net that exists for the explicit purpose of showing off cyberlinguistic horrors such as Intercal and Kvikkalkul as a collection. What you see here is my attempt to remedy that situation. The original Turing Tarpit (officially known as the Bad Languages Page until a very poorly advertised name change) was posted at my website at Boston College, and as of this writing is still there thanks to the benign neglect of its sysadmin Stefan. In August of 1999, I began to bring it over to a Geocities site, where you can find it now.

Sadly, I do have the credentials to do this; though I never bothered to learn the languages covered on this page, I'm the one responsible for the PowerMac port of Kvikkalkul, which you can find at the InfoMac archive or its mirrors. And now: the chamber of horrors...


If you are under the age of 12, suffer from nightmares, or are offended by adult programming language, Turn Back Now. The following links contain gratuitous material and may not be suitable for the sane.

For the record, the esolang community has its favorites; Chris Pressey in particular keeps on cranking out his oddities, but Brainf***, Befunge, and lately Unlambda seem to get the most attention.

This site is not a member (web rings make me sneeze), but you might wish to check out The Esoteric Programming Languates ring if you want to see even more esolanging.

Also, the home site of the esolang mailing lists,, run by Panu Kalliokoski, is on the web, though content is somewhat limited (no home page). Information on joining the mailing list is at Cat's Eye Technologies, where the list used to be before a very amusing Viking funeral involving lots of song lyrics and a Discordian fairy named Jenny.

If you have anything you'd like to see added to this page, contact me.
Click here to go back to my home page.