"Gmail has been down or acting wonky today," one Twitter user wrote. "That is one of the the seven signs of the apocalypse, isn't it?"
"Life temporarily on hold," another added.
The outage, which seemed to affect a range of Google properties, from the Google+ social network to the Gmail blog (see photographic evidence above), commenced around 2:30 p.m. Eastern time.
By 3 p.m., many users were reporting that they could again access their accounts, although there was plenty of residual lag. (And more than a little regret: "Feeling kind of let down now that Gmail is back," Rolling Stone senior editor Simon Vozick-Levinson tweeted. "Life was so exciting and full of new possibilities for those precious minutes!")
Google has not commented on the blackout, or detailed how many users were affected. But on the regularly-updated App Status dashboard, Gmail and a range of Google utilities, including Calendar and the Drive cloud service, are marked with an orange dot, indicating a service disruption.
All of which has made one of Google's biggest competitors positively gleeful. "Gmail is temporarily unavailable," read a message on the official Yahoo Twitter feed. A few minutes later, Yahoo rubbed it in a little more: "Gmail was temporarily unavailable but now appears to be working again."
Still experiencing trouble with your Gmail? It may be worth checking out Lifehacker's list of work-arounds. Among them: Access Gmail via IMAP.