It takes a special kind of person to believe a conspiracy theory because oftentimes, there isn't a lot of proof to support the theory. There are some cases where the proof is overwhelming but other times where it's somewhat of a stretch to believe in them. For example, saying that aliens crashed in Roswell, New Mexico, and their bodies are being studied in Area 51 is a stretch because there's almost no evidence to support it. There are a few eyewitness reports, controversial physical evidence, and a whole lot of uncertainty. Nonetheless, it's fun to believe that there are extraterrestrials located somewhere in the United States.
With many of the conspiracy theories on this list, you'll have to suspend your belief for a moment. Take everything at face value. There isn't a lot, or any, evidence to back up most of these theories, but they're still fun to think about. You lose nothing by indulging in them, and they make for good conversation topics at parties. Hell, you could probably make up your own conspiracy theory to share at a party, and maybe, one day, it will end up on another list like this one!
15 Top Gear Hosts Are Secretly MI6 agents
Top Gear is a BBC television show that focuses on showcasing a variety of motor vehicles. The show is a must-watch for anyone who has an interest in cars or anyone who wants to learn anything about motor vehicles. The show was hosted by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May until Clarkson had an altercation with one of the show's producers in 2015. Clarkson didn't get his contract renewed following the incident, which resulted in Richard Hammond and James May leaving the show as well.
While filming the show, sometimes, the hosts film episodes in exotic locations to showcase certain vehicles. But something strange happens whenever the hosts of Top Gear visit another country. Just a few months after filming an episode, the country destabilizes.
Six months before the Syrian Civil War began, the hosts were filming an episode of Top Gear in Syria. A few months before the Ukrainian Civil War began, the hosts were in Ukraine. They visited Iraq during the time that ISIS began to split from Al Qaeda. They were even in Egypt when the country broke out in protests.
Is this a coincidence? Or were the hosts of Top Gear British Intelligence agents sent to foreign countries to sabotage them under the guise of being television show hosts?
14 KONY 2012 Was A Government Test
KONY 2012 was a short documentary released on YouTube created by the organization Invisible Children. The aim of the documentary was to educate the masses about a Ugandan military leader, Joseph Kony, and what his role was in militarizing young children. Through this education, Invisible Children was hoping that people who watched the video would pressure their government to launch a plan to arrest Joseph Kony before the end of 2012. The video was shared by nearly everyone, despite being completely denounced by critics. A poll taken a few days after the video was released showed that more than half of young Americans had heard about the video. This led to TIME magazine calling it the most viral video, ever.
Unfortunately, the overnight success of the video resulted in an unnecessary amount of criticism of Invisible Children. This negative attention led the Invisible Children founder to have a psychiatric breakdown, which landed him in a hospital for several weeks.
Before KONY 2012, there really wasn't an issue that led social media users to rally in the way that they did for KONY 2012. Nothing has and maybe nothing will raise awareness to an otherwise oblivious public as fast as KONY 2012.
Now, like most things that happen to us, the KONY 2012 social media fiasco could have been monitored by the NSA. For all we know, it could have been a case study to see how fast social media users will rally behind an issue and, more importantly, how quickly social media users will forget about an issue they once cared about. What type of negative press will it take for social media users to stop caring about an issue? In the case of KONY 2012, it was a very public, psychiatric breakdown.
13 Witness Protection Doesn't Exist
In high-profile court cases (especially ones involving criminal organizations), witnesses will refuse to testify for safety reasons. Testifying against the godfather of your local mafia is a great way to get yourself whacked. To encourage people to continue to testify against these organizations, witness protection was created. A more common form of witness protection involves keeping a witness at a secure location with police escorts to keep them safe before the trial. However, there's another form of witness protection where witnesses are completely relocated and given new identities so they can't be found by anyone looking for them. Due to the secretive nature of being assigned a new identity, you never know which of your neighbors, if any, were once part of a witness protection program.
Relocating witnesses and their families is costly. In any given year, witness protection programs can cost the Justice Department as much as $1 million. Though this is just a drop in the bucket in the government budget, people are always looking for ways to cut government spending. What if instead of relocating witnesses, the Justice Department was secretly executing them? Nobody would know. People would just assume that the witness protection program is working perfectly!
12 The Fappening Was A Warning To Prominent Celebrities
On August 31, 2014, a number of celebrities had their private photos leaked to the public through an event known as The Fappening. Around 500 (mostly nude) photographs of high-profile celebrities were leaked onto 4Chan and later shared on websites like Imgur and Reddit. These photos were stolen from the celebrities' iCloud accounts, along with address books, text messages, and any other information that would have been stored on their iCloud. Some of the celebrities that had their photos leaked include Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Kirsten Dunst, and Kaley Cuoco.
Jennifer Lawrence has been publicly fighting feminist issues since she became a household name. Most high-profile celebrities use their fame to promote causes that they care about. In a similar vein to Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Watson has become an outspoken feminist in her career, but she's been pushing a feminist agenda over the past year. Recently, alleged nude photographs, as well as a number of private photos of her trying on a number of different outfits, of Emma Watson have been leaked. But the question remains: who is leaking these photos? Are they trying to send a message to celebrities? Any celebrity who has taken private photos should be worried. It seems that any A-lister who goes against the grain has their private photos leaked.
Or, you know, it's just a bunch of hackers on an internet forum trading nude photographs like Pokemon cards on a playground.
11 Cosmopolitan Intentionally Giving Awful Dating Advice
The primary demographic of the fashion magazine Cosmopolitan has always been women. Though it started as a family magazine, it has now transitioned into a women's lifestyle magazine often referred to simply as Cosmo.
Cosmo offers readers a number of articles ranging from fashion advice, fashion trends, career advice, celebrity news, women's issues, sex, and relationships. The magazine has become famous for its dating quizzes where you can see how your man matches up to the partners of other women as well as for its relationship/sex advice that can only be referred to as absurd.
These tips are sometimes accurate, but other times, it leaves guys shaking their heads wondering what man wants a woman to do that to him. For example, "Hold his p*nis in one hand and lightly slap it with the other... you can tap it back and forth like you're volleying a tennis ball, and lightly pinch the skin on his shaft and balls. Many women make the mistake of being too gentle." This would not feel good. Gentle is good.
So what does Cosmo gain from giving their readers bad advice? If the single ladies that read the magazine use these tips, they'll probably stay single. This, in turn, will get them to continue turning to Cosmo for relationship and sex tips!
10 Slow Internet Is The NSA Censoring Some Information On Your Computer
Have you ever been flipping through web pages seamlessly when, out of nowhere, your internet seemed to come to a near stop? Gamers experience this delay regularly when playing a multiplayer game online and refer to this event as lag. Sure, you could believe that lag happens when there's a spur of the moment connection problem between your computer and the server on which your game or website is based. Or, perhaps, this lag is coming from something interrupting your connection.
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed to Americans and the world that the National Security Agency (NSA) was spying on them. He released documents that outlined exactly how the government was spying on its citizens. These documents stated that the government was listening to phone calls, listening to private conversations through microphones on electronic devices (even if the microphones weren't turned on), and monitoring internet activity. Is it really such a stretch to believe that people at the NSA are interacting with internet content you're trying to view before it gets to you?
American, Russian, and Israeli governments have already been caught using military personnel to comment on internet forums/social media websites to influence public opinion. Is it too crazy to say that when you experience lag, the government is censoring information on the web page you're trying to view? Why else would this lag come from out of nowhere and vanish just as easily?
9 Throwback Thursday To Improve Facial Recognition Software
If you try researching the origins of Throwback Thursday (often referred to as TBT), you won't have any luck finding out where the commonly used hashtag came from. Sports Illustrated attributes the term to a sneaker blog, Nice Kicks, which became known for posting retro basketball sneakers every Thursday, starting in 2006. That said, looking through Google Trends, you'll find that #TBT became popular back in 2012, increasing in popularity ever since. Why is it that people suddenly started sharing old photographs of themselves on social media? Wake up, people! The answer is obvious.
The United States Government launched a Throwback Thursday initiative to encourage people to share old photographs of themselves. This, in turn, helped improve facial recognition software. Think of how many photos exist with #TBT attached to it. The government is able to look at these old photographs and compare them to modern-day photographs of an individual. Using a fancy computer software that someone made in his parents' basement, the government can improve their own facial recognition software because they have a better understanding of how people age.
Additionally, all of the selfies that people are uploading online are probably being inputted into a government database that allows them to identify people in public. Because of #TBT, the government is able to find everyone's social media profiles through their facial recognition software.
It sounds crazy, right? But not so crazy that it's unbelievable.
8 The Military is Pushing Game Developers To Make War Games To Make Kids Enlist When They're Of Age
For the past two generations of consoles, the video game market has been completely dominated by violence. More so in the generation of PS3 and Xbox 360, it seemed that every other game was a shooter of some sort. Whether third person or first person, games with guns pretty much always sell.
For a while, there appeared to be some sort of pressure on companies to churn out video games that had a modern-day setting. From Call of Duty: Modern Warfare to Arma III, the games vary in realism. Some video games are so realistic that they're used by the military as a combat simulator for soldiers in training as highlighted in Corey Mead's book, War Play.
Drone operators have stated that aiming a drone strike is just like playing a video game. The only difference is that when the drone strike hits, you're responsible for the deaths of dozens of people. The Royal Air Force has been urged in the past to hire drone operators "straight out of Playstation bedroom." And what video game lover wouldn't jump at the opportunity to reenact a real-life version of Call of Duty? Gamers play war-based video games for the realism and immersion, and there's nothing more immersive than joining the actual military. Could the military be pushing game developers to make more violent video games to help encourage people to enlist when they're of age? Are video games the latest form of propaganda?
7 Starbucks Spells Your Name Wrong On Purpose
Starbucks is known for two things: overpriced coffee and spelling people's names wrong on cups. Oftentimes, these misspellings of names end up being seen by thousands of people on social media sites and shared on entertainment websites, such as BuzzFeed, for the masses to see. Some of these include spelling Paul as Pawl, Chris as Khris, and Carrie as Carry.
Now, it would be fair to say that Starbucks employees accidentally misspell common names for one of several reasons: they're busy rushing around making drinks, adequate spelling isn't a job requirement, and it's a simple way to make an otherwise repetitive job a little entertaining. Or, if you want to put on your tinfoil hat for a moment, Starbucks employees could be encouraged to spell your name wrong on purpose.
Think about it. If you're given a cup of coffee with your name spelled completely wrong, you're going to want to tell people about it. The fastest way to do that is to post it on Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram and watch your followers react to it. In doing so, you (and millions of other people) are unknowingly flooding social media with images of Starbucks coffee. In turn, this makes people more familiar with the brand and possibly inspires them to head to Starbucks themselves to see if the barista spells their names wrong, too!
6 The Red Cross Is Run By Vampires
Before you completely dismiss this theory, hear me out. Vampires have been said to exist in nearly every region of the world (minus Antarctica -- but hey, you never know) and have been nothing more than folklore for a few thousand years. Many historical figures, such as Vlad the Impaler, are believed to be, by some people, vampires. But, as history progressed, fewer and fewer people began believing in Vampires and deemed them nothing more than mythical creatures. Today, vampires are often associated with Twilight, which is unfortunate because Edward Cullen is probably the least vampire-like vampire ever. So why did people stop believing in vampires? The answer is simple: they went into hiding.
As countries began to form and communication between cities improved, vampires realized that traveling the world biting the necks of townsfolk wasn't sustainable. They needed a new way to quench their first for blood without being attacked by modern weaponry.
The Red Cross was formed in 1863, in Geneva Switzerland. Switzerland is near the center of Europe, a continent known for its vampires. The Red Cross has become associated with collecting blood and donating it to those in need. That said, how much blood does the Red Cross really need? We all know blood donors, but do you know anyone that needs more than two or three pints of blood?
Nobody suspected vampires to be the masterminds behind the Red Cross. Crosses are, after all, a weakness to vampires. They've been hiding in plain sight this whole time.
5 Women's Pockets Are Small So They Buy Purses
A key feature of women's fashion is that while the clothes have pockets, they're typically unusable. The pockets found on women's pants are so shallow that they can't hold anything safely or so tight that nothing will fit in them, or both. To say the pockets on majority of women's clothes are useless is an understatement. Instead of using their pockets, many women carry a handbag or a purse to keep their belongings.
Now, it's sort of a chicken-or-the-egg scenario. Did women start buying handbags because they needed more room for their stuff because their pockets were too small, or did the pockets on women's pants become so small after women started buying bags? Are fashion designers evil business people trying to force women to buy their accessories, or are they just adapting to handbag fashion?
4 The Westboro Baptist Church Is Actually A Progressive Civil Rights Organization
Before founding the Westboro Baptist Church, Fred Phelps was a well-known Civil Rights attorney. This may come as a shock to you because the Westboro Baptist Church is known as one of the most conservative religions in the United States. They're often found protesting the funerals of soldiers, standing on street corners with homophobic signs, and standing outside of Planned Parenthood centers with signs protesting abortion. In a sense, Fred Phelps started protesting the types of civil rights movements that he might have defended if he were an attorney instead of a religious leader.
Many people believe that Fred Phelps realized that his work as an attorney was doing nothing for the civil rights movement. Instead of trying to defend them, he decided to take it upon himself to attack minority groups, such as the gay community. It was with these extreme attacks that Fred Phelps and his church became the most hated religion in America. However, Americans have united against the Westboro Baptist Church, and there are more civil rights activists than ever before.
What if this was Fred Phelps's plan all along? He sacrificed his own reputation for the greater good. He could never have revealed his plan while he was alive; otherwise, the whole movement would have been for nothing!
3 New Coke vs Coke Classic
In order for the Coca-Cola Company to change the original "classic" formula so that they could use high-fructose corn syrup instead of cane sugar in Coca-Cola without anyone noticing the change in taste, they needed a month-long distraction: New Coke.
Coca-Cola is the most popular soft drink in the world. We've all seen thousands of Coke commercials in our lifetime whether we drink it or not. Everyone in the western world has had a taste of Coca Cola.
Before the release of New Coke, the Coca Cola company was losing control of the market to Pepsi, a slightly sweeter soft drink. With the hopes of reclaiming the market, New Coke was released in 1985 as a replacement for the original formula that was introduced in 1886. New Coke was a colossal failure. Within three months, Coke's original formula was called Coca-Cola Classic, but it tasted slightly different than the previous formula.
Around the time that New Coke was introduced, Coca-Cola began switching from using sugar to sweeten their product to using high fructose corn syrup, which is used today. Many people are suggesting that Coca-Cola was planning on New Coke failing so that they could introduce Coke Classic as the real replacement!
2 North Korea Is A Utopia
If you take the time to watch any of the propaganda that comes out of North Korea, you'll see that North Koreans are told they're the greatest country in the world. The North Korean government will release clips of natural disasters/terrorist attacks that take place in the United States and tell their citizens that this is an everyday occurrence for Americans. The aim of this propaganda is to make North Koreans think that they're living the best life possible and that everyone outside of North Korea is suffering. If you think America is a cesspool of crime and murder, you'll never want to leave your country to escape to the United States. Moreso, you won't express your dissatisfaction with your government because you believe there are countries that have it worse than you.
Similarly, people in the Western world are told that the people in North Korea are starving and are completely suppressed under Kim Jong Un. We're told he's a chubby dictator; North Koreans are told he's a god among men. But for all we know, Western propaganda is portraying North Korea just as inaccurately as North Korea is portraying the West. For all we know, North Korea could be a utopia.
1 The Conspiracy Theory About Conspiracy Theories
There are some theories that are so outlandish that they've tarnished the term "conspiracy theory." The term has a negative connotation, and anyone who says they're a conspiracy theorist is often scolded. After all, conspiracy theories are just things made up by crazy people, right?
There are people who genuinely believe conspiracy theorists are all crazy. And some of them are (looking at all of you Pizzagate believers). However, there have been a number of conspiracy theories that have been proven to exist. For example, people have often spouted that the government has worked on mind-control techniques. That has been found to be true, under the project MKULTRA. For years, conspiracy theorists said that the government was tapping phones. And, thanks to Edward Snowden, we know that to be true. These are just two examples of conspiracy theories that have turned out to be true, but people still refuse to associate conspiracy theorists with crazy people -- and it's because of the Pizza Gate believers.
Now, this is the conspiracy theory to end all conspiracy theories: what if the government was purposefully spreading ridiculous conspiracy theories to discredit all other conspiracy theories? If they are, it's working.
Sources: Reddit, Wikipedia, The Guardian, The Atlantic