The Most Popular Conspiracy Theories

Having appeared as early as April 1870, the term conspiracy theory is clearly not a new phenomenon. Nevertheless, it has recently been brought to the attention of the masses, with several new theories arising in the world. In this article, we will be diving deep into what these theories are and why people believe in them.

Image Credits: Pexels / Markus Winkler


WHAT IS A CONSPIRACY THEORY?

There are several types of conspiracy theories out there, from groups of people believing that certain people are still alive and in hiding to being certain that Big Pharma has the cure to cancer. But, what exactly is the root of a conspiracy theory?

Image Credits: Getty Images / RichVintage

One of the main reasons that conspiracy theories start is the deep-rooted belief that groups of (usually) powerful people are out to get the masses through deceiving manners. While we live in an age where information is easily accessible and these theories could be debunked through facts, the prevalence of conspiracies keeps rising. Let’s find out why.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Brian Caissie


WHY DO PEOPLE BELIEVE IN CONSPIRACY THEORIES?

Traumatic events tend to have a big importance in the rise of conspiracy theories. During times of uncertainty, many people turn to conspiracies to feel safe or to have someone to blame for the traumatic events that are happening in their surroundings or in the world at large.

Image Credits: Pexels / Two Dreamers

While conspiracy theories have been documented for centuries, it has only been in recent years that psychologists began understanding what are the common denominators between conspiracy believers. In fact, the main reason why people believe in these conspiracies is their desire for understanding what is happening and wanting to have security. 

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THE MOST POPULAR CONSPIRACY THEORIES ACROSS THE WORLD

There are thousands, if not millions, of conspiracy theories across the world. From Paul McCartney being dead to Meghan Markle being a robot ... Let’s have a look at some of the most popular conspiracy theories that still have followers to this day.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Meghan Markle.


AREA 51: THE CONSPIRACY THAT KEEPS ON GIVING

Probably one of the most well-known theories worldwide is the famous Area 51, which is based in the Nevada desert. The military installation is usually not represented in maps, thus becoming an easy target for conspiracy theorists, which have since used the installation as their topic of choice. 

Image Credits: Getty Images / MyLoupe / UIG | Rachel, NV, On The Extraterrestrial Highway, Highway 375, Home Of Numerous UFO Sightings And Near Area 51.

From believing that Area 51 is used to study aliens, to staging the moon landing, there have been numerous theories arising for the past 30 years. In fact, this theory is so popular that on September 20th, 2019 there was an event titled “Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us” with circa 1,500 people attending.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Mario Tama


FLAT EARTH SOCIETY: THE PEOPLE THAT DON’T BELIEVE IN SCIENCE

If you walk around on Earth, your perception is that the planet is flat, however, if you see pictures taken from satellites, you will be able to understand that it is, in fact, a sphere. Unfortunately, the members of the Flat Earth Society just don’t grasp that concept, and have even named it a trick from the “round Earth conspiracy”.

Image Credits: Unsplash / NASA

Often clashing with the information provided by NASA and other agencies, "Flat Earthers" say that our planet is flat, and will not let any scientist tell them differently. While it might seem bogus, the Society has been increasing its number of members over the years, and have been using social media to gather new believers to their cause. 

Image Credits: Unsplash / Subhash Nusetti


ELVIS PASSED AWAY, OR DID HE?

One of the most popular conspiracies revolved around the music legend Elvis Presley, who passed away on August 16th, 1977. Of course, this is something that the conspiracy has been trying to deny, as its followers believe that Elvis is, in fact, alive and working at Graceland. It all started when the footage of a man was posted on YouTube.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Liaison | Singer Elvis Presley poses for a studio portrait.

According to the poster, the bearded man that is shown in the video is Elvis Presley himself who is signaling his fans with Chaldean Numerology that he is alive, by lifting his fingers in a V sign. While many people have called this conspiracy a lie, it seems that several others still believe that the rock legend is alive.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Keystone | American popular singer and film star Elvis Presley (1935 - 1977), to his fans the undisputed 'King of Rock 'n' Roll'.


FINLAND DOESN’T EXIST

Born on Reddit, the conspiracy theory that the entire country of Finland is a product of imagination is one of the most recent debacles. A Reddit user shared his thoughts on the matter, stating that people who claim to be Finish are actually from regions of Sweden, Russia, or Estonia. But, if Finland isn’t a country, what is it?

Image Credits: Pexels / Baptiste Valthier

According to this theory, Finland was actually created as a fictional country by Russia and Japan in 1918, so that the latter could fish in that area without being accused of overfishing. The theory explains that the rest of the world is in on this lie, as “no real country could so consistently place first” on social matters.

Image Credits: Pexels / Mihis Alex


DENVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Another long-lasting conspiracy theory revolves around the Denver International Airport. From suggestions of an underground secret structure to it functioning as the headquarters for the Illuminati, there is no shortage of theories revolving around the Airport itself. Some theorists also believe that it was built due to the way the runways were constructed. 

Image Credits: Unsplash / Andrew Coop

However, the building itself is not the only source for the theories, as the surrounding art keeps on being used as fuel for the people who believe in this conspiracy. From the sculpture of a horse to the devil jumping out of a suitcase, there are many intricacies that keep aiding the development of this theory.

Image Credits: Unsplash / Suganth


MOUNT RUSHMORE’S SECRET CHAMBER

Being one of the most popular landmarks in the United States of America, Mount Rushmore is also the home of one of the world’s most famous conspiracy theories. Behind the head of Abraham Lincoln, there is a chamber that was intended to house the country’s most prized possessions. This chamber was supposed to be called the Hall of Records.

Image Credits: Unsplash / Terence Burke

The chamber does, in fact, host important documents, such as the US Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Nevertheless, when it was closed to the public it opened its doors to conspiracy theorists, who are stating that secrets are being hidden behind its doors, such as mysterious treasures, and even aliens.

Image Credits: Unsplash / Drew Darby


SUBLIMINAL ADVERTISING IS EVERYWHERE

Being initially proposed by Wilson Bryan Key and Vance Packard, the conspiracy theory about subliminal advertising states that subconscious messages are being sent to people around the world in different forms of media: from advertising to music, passing through movies and books.

Image Credits: Unsplash / Scheier .hr

While this theory has since been discredited, many people still believe that the media outlets are out to get them, and are sending the viewers messages to impulse buy or even to commit other actions that might be negative. Nevertheless, the scientific community has issued several statements saying that it is very unlikely that this would be even possible.

Image Credits: Unsplash / Eleni Afiontzi


THE CHEMICAL EXPERIMENT IN IDAHO

Many people in Idaho have stated that they believe the government is performing scientific experiments on the State’s population, via the use of airplanes which are dropping chemicals throughout the years. The basis of this theory is that the “white markings” airplanes leave on the sky when flying are actually “chemtrails”.

Image Credits: Unsplash / Andrew Palmer

These chemical trails are actually caused by water condensation from the exhaust of the airplane’s motors or due to the change in air pressure. Unfortunately, like with most conspiracy theories, the believers of “chemtrails” will not budge to science, and still remain convinced that they are being victims of chemical experiments.

Image Credits: Unsplash / Bertrand Soulier


5G CAUSES CORONAVIRUS

The most recent conspiracy theory to have taken the world is that 5G technology is the cause of the coronavirus. While it has since been debunked by scientists, governments, and news outlets, many people around the world still believe that this pandemic is the result of 5G towers that lower the immune system.

Image Credits: Unsplash / Shiwa ID

While there have been numerous scientific articles that deny the relation between this technology and the immune system, the believers are not budging and continue to spread fake information on social media platforms. There were also many arson attacks on 5G towers across the world, in an attempt to stop the spread of the health issues caused by this technology.

Image Credits: Unsplash / Jack Sloop


THE DANGERS OF CONSPIRACY THEORIES

Moved by fear, conspiracy theorists have taken the internet to share misinformation, fake news, as well as potentially causing more harm than good (take the anti-vax movement, for instance). While some theories start as a joke and end-up not being taken seriously, as the one stating Finland is not a country, many others have a deep impact on the world.

Image Credits: Unsplash / Markus Winkler

From social-related theories to health-problems inducing theories, it is important that when reading information online the reader focus on reputable sources and not just on a Facebook post with an important-looking picture in the background. It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that we keep the spread of bad information to a minimum.

Image Credits: Unsplash / United Nations COVID-19 Response

With centuries of conspiracy theorists, most have been debunked, however, still have followers across the world. Which is the more far-fetched conspiracy theory you have read? Let us know in the comments below and make sure to share this story with your friends.

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