YouTube is investigating a sudden surge in traffic that has seen a fan-made video clip featuring a quirky Brazilian pop band rocket to the top of its most viewed video chart.
The clip, Music is My Hot Hot Sex by the Brazilian electro band Cansei De Ser Sexy, has collected over 40 million additional views in just three weeks to push its cumulative tally to an impressive 89 million.
In that period, it jumped from tenth place on YouTube's all-time leaderboard to first, overtaking American motivational speaker Judson Laipply's Evolution of Dance which has held the top spot unchallenged for over 18 months.
Cansei De Ser Sexy, or CSS for short, means "I got tired of being sexy". The name refers to a comment attributed to singer Beyonce Knowles around the time the band formed in 2003.
The video's come-from-nowhere success however has left many YouTube fans asking questions about the unprecedented traffic spike, with many suggesting that the books may have been cooked.
An in-depth analysis of the YouTube statistics by blogger Andy Baio also suggests inconsistencies in the traffic surge.
Biao points out that an examination of hits compared with user ratings shows that the Brazilian video has what he described as "a very unusual 21,487-to-1 ratio" of views-to-ratings.
He calculated the average ratio for every other video in the top 10 to be 590:1, which is consistent with a ratio of 545:1 for the top 500 YouTube videos.
In other words, far fewer viewers are leaving a recommendation after watching Music is My Hot Hot Sex than is the case across the board.
This may indicate the use of an automated, non-human method to inflate the clicks.
A YouTube spokesman told smh.com.au the company was investigating the traffic spike. YouTube is owned by Google, the world's leading search engine.
"We don't condone efforts to affect the integrity of our video rankings or view counts," he said. "We are looking into this matter and will take appropriate action when we resolve the investigation."
There are two other plausible explanations for the surge: Apple and Barack Obama.
The Hot Hot Sex video was actually made by an Italian music blogger and photographer called Clarus Bartel.
Last year, CSS had invited Italian fans to use raw footage of the band to create their own videos, using another of their song titled Alcohol .
Bartel, however, chose to remix the video with Music is My Hot Hot Sex and he uploaded his mashup on to YouTube last April.
In September, a British student a the University of Leeds, 18-year-old Nick Haley, discovered Bartel's YouTube clip and turned it into a homemade advertisement for Apple's new iPod touch media player - which he then also uploaded to YouTube.
Haley, who had his first Apple computer when he was just three, told The New York Times he was inspired to create the advertisement after he heard the lyric in the song "My music is where I'd like you to touch".
An Apple employee stumbled across Haley's video and referred it to the company's ad agency, TBWA/Chiat/Day, suggesting they contact the creator with a view to turning it into a real advertisement.
Haley was invited to help work on a broadcast-quality version of the advertisement and the finished product was premiered on primetime television in the US last October.
Among the keywords Bartel has tagged his video with are "iPod", "touch", "hot", "sex", "apple", "Barack" and "Obama" - all very hot search terms in an age where discovery and success can be predicated on how highly you rate on a Google search.