(CNN) -- More hated than daft football referees, the trumpeting vuvuzelas of the World Cup have become a stand-alone phenomenon.
The throaty buzz from the South African audience sounds like a cross between an angry swarm of bees and a dental drill. Historically, the classic vuvuzela was made out of kudu horn, but the ones you see on TV are simplified, plastic and, presumably, cheap.
Originally used to call people together for meetings outdoors, the instrument is now an aggressive statement during sporting events, kind of like a basketball air horn for footballers.
But the truest measurement of vuvuzela obsession may be in web parodies.
The absurd Lord of the Rings satire, Gandalf Goes to the World Cup, has been viewed more than 3 million times, likely by people who watch it over and over just to see the vuvuzela-tooting interlopers get theirs in the end.
As trend followers know, however, the ultimate tribute is a parody dubbed over the climatic scene in the Hitler biopic "Downfall." "Downfall's" distributor officially removed all parody clips of the cult movie from YouTube, but they obviously keep coming -- and this vuvuzela rant with brilliant lines like "I just spent five grand on a TV and a surround sound system ... it sounds like a swarm of bees in my house!"
Sensing our desire for even more buzzing, YouTube added a vuvuzela button to a handful of its videos. The button is a little soccer ball icon. Tap it and the vuvuzela sound will start -- and not stop until you press it again.
The icon shows up on quite a few soccer videos, but, interestingly enough, it's not limited to World Cup clips. The selection seems random at first, but then you start to realize it is YouTube's own judgment.
As annoying as it sounds -- literally -- now is the time to try the vuvuzela for the first and, perhaps, last time. According to Agence France Presse, the YouTube vuvuzela button goes away for good this Sunday when the Netherlands faces Spain in the World Cup finals.
And, after the World Cup, it may be time to blend those vuvuzelas. The sound of the cheap plastic being pulverized in the blender may be music to your ears.