The 'Matrix' Code Creator Unlocks Its Meaning but the Answer's a Bit Fishy

The creator of the mysterious neon green code used in the “Matrix” films says his wife’s cookbooks sparked its creation. Kacper Pempel/REUTERS

The mystery to The Matrix code has been solved. The creator of the neon green digital rain, Simon Whiteley, told CNet the code was inspired by nothing more than his wife's Japanese sushi recipe.

Meet the man behind the Matrix code, and a bunch of your favorite movies

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"I like to tell everybody that The Matrix's code is made out of Japanese sushi recipes," said Whiteley, who told CNet that he scanned characters in his wife's Japanese cookbooks. "Without that code, there is no Matrix."

Whiteley worked as a production designer for the franchise, which went on to become a cultural phenomenon. The Matrix debuted in 1999 and has since been followed by two sequels, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions.

Whiteley made the revelation while promoting his latest work, The Lego Ninjago Movie, the third movie in the Lego franchise.

Whiteley's code has become as synonymous as Keanu Reeves with the science-fiction movies. Over the years, fans have dedicated pages to the code, and other films and TV shows have even featured code similar to Whiteley's.

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has even questioned our reality, saying that the possibility of humanity living in a Matrix-like computer simulation is at 50-50 odds.

"I think the likelihood may be very high," he said at the Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate in 2016.

Theoretical physicists have dismissed the idea, arguing that it would be impossible for a computer to replicate the complexity of reality. Oxford researchers in October said to even "store the information about a few hundred electrons on a computer one would require a memory built from more atoms than there are in the universe."

Some have even questioned how the rate of technological progress will blur the lines of reality.

"Forty years ago we had Pong—two rectangles and a dot," Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said at a 2016 conference. "Now 40 years later, we have photorealistic, 3-D simulations with millions of people playing simultaneously, and it's getting better every year.... If you assume any rate of improvement at all, then the games will become indistinguishable from reality, just indistinguishable."