First Recorded Instance of "O RLY?"
O RLY? is an Internet phenomenon, typically presented as an image macro featuring a Snowy Owl.
The phrase "O RLY?" ("Oh, really?") is typically used in a sarcastic or sardonic manner, often in response to a statement that the speaker feels is obvious, or blatantly false and/or self-contradictory. Some internet forum trolls may also reply "O RLY?" in response to a lengthy or overly detailed post. This term is also used in a friendly conversation, the response to "O RLY" being "YA RLY" ("Yeah, really") and so forth, repeating this.
The phrase "O RLY?" was used on the Something Awful Forums at least as early as August 2003. The original "O RLY?" Snowy Owl image macro is based on a photo taken by nature photographer John White, which he posted to the newsgroup alt.binaries.pictures.animals in 2001.