Atari was almost named for a celestial phenomenon

Atari was a video game pioneer, but the company didn’t always have the same name.

According to Zap: The Rise And Fall of Atari, it was originally called Syzygy.

Syzygy comes from the Greek for yoked together. It occurs during solar and lunar eclipses. Atari found the name was already taken by a roofing company, so they took their name from the game Go’s¬†word for check.

Syzygy can produce more powerful tides and can even cause moonquakes (the lunar parallel to earthquakes). It’s also appeared in pop culture everywhere from bands to episodes of The X-Files.

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