The popularity of conspiracy theories
Start writing a post

Are We Living In A Conspiracy Theory?

Life is like a box of chocolates... or is it?

Are We Living In A Conspiracy Theory?

It is 2019, I think it is safe to say that we have all heard a conspiracy theory at some point. There are countless videos and blogs about how the earth is flat, how 9/11 was planned, how we are being ruled by a group called the Illuminati, etc. Why has there been a recent spike in these conspiracy theories? How long have conspiracy theories been around? What other theories are there? First, we need to define what a conspiracy theory actually is; according to Merriam-Webster a conspiracy theory is defined as a theory that explains an event or set of circumstances as the result of a secret plot by usually powerful conspirators.

Conspiracy theories are not a new concept, but they are gaining popularity rapidly in today's society. It is believed that the first documented case of conspiracy theory was the burning of Rome in 64 A.D. The city of Rome was burnt to the ground but its emperor, Nero, was away and safe from the city during the burning. Conspiracy theorist then quickly jumped to say that Nero had started the fire on purpose so he could rebuild the city of Rome how he wanted. Nero fired back by saying that Christians had conspired to burn down Rome. Time has shown that there have been two major spikes in the popularity of conspiracy theories between 1890 and 2010. The first spike occurred just before the 1900s at the height of the industrial revolution. The second spike occurred during the late 1940s early 1950s at the start of the cold war. Historians believe that most conspiracy theories stem from an apprehension that is triggered by an unusual event. We try to restore our emotional equilibrium and search for patterns in order to explain these unusual events. In looking for patterns, we use mental shortcuts called heuristics. Heuristics include our tendency to ascribe intentionality to inanimate objects or to assume that things that resemble each other share core traits.

Today, we are all connected with each other through technology. We have the luxury of being able to look up answers to a question we have in a matter of seconds, rather than having to go to the library and find a book to answer our burning questions. The problem with this instant gratification is anybody can post a blog, answer a yahoo question, change a Wikipedia page, Photoshop, and edit videos. We have gotten to a point where we do not know if the information we are receiving is genuine, because of this and lack of trust in the government a vast number of Americans believe in conspiracy theories. Around 66 million Americans believe that aliens landed at Roswell New Mexico, 22 million believe that the moon landing was faked by the government, and 160 million believe that President John F. Kennedy's assassination was the result of a conspiracy. We live in an age of conspiracism and there is no changing that. Below are two conspiracy theories that are very popular in today's society.

1. The moon landing was faked by the government.

Conspirators believe that America faked the 1969 moon landing to win the "space race". Conspiracy theorists say that the following reasons are reasons that prove the moon landing was faked. The fluttering flag. Conspirators argue that the American flag planted on the moon's surface should not have been fluttering because space is a vacuum, so there should not have been "wind" that made the flag appear to be fluttering on film. Astronauts should have been killed from radiation. Some believe that astronauts should have died from radiation after they left the Van Allen belt. The Van Allen Belts are created by Earth's magnetic field, and protect the planet from solar radiation. The belts collect the dangerous radiation and trap it in a layer surrounding the Earth. The shadow. Theorists argue that the multi-angle shots of the moon landing show shadows cast by the astronauts. These shadows suggest another source of lighting, like a studio light. Film equipment on the moon would have melted. In the sun's rays, the Moon's temperature is 280 degrees Fahrenheit, so the film equipment would have melted. Water has to be present to leave a footprint. Most of us are familiar with the picture of Neil Armstrong's boot print on the moon, but the soil has to be moist in order to leave a footprint behind.

More information can be found at

The Mandela effect.

The Mandela effect t is named after Nelson Mandela, he died in 2013, news of his death stirred up some surprising and mysterious memories. People around the world reported that they remembered hearing of his death in the 1980s. People even recalled watching his funeral on television. This then leads to many other people remembering things from their childhood that do not match up with history or documentation. Some believe this is because we are crossing into alternate/neighboring realities and that is why the slightest things are recorded differently than people remember. The most popular Mandela effects are as follows.

Berenstein Bears vs. Berenstain Bears

Many people recall the spelling "Berenstein Bears" but history shows it as being spelled "Berenstain Bears"

"Luke, I am your father" vs. "No, I am your father"

Star Wars fan, or not, most agree that Darth Vader's famous line reads "Luke, I am your father". However, it is actually "No, I am your father".

"Life is like a box of chocolates" vs. "Life was like a box of chocolates"

Many remember the famous lines from Forrest Gump as "Life is like a box of chocolates" but whenever you re-watch the movie now it says "life was like a box of chocolates".

Kit-Kat vs. KitKat

Many remember the famous chocolate bar logo as Kit-Kat but it is actually KitKat.

What do you believe? Did we actually land on the moon in 1969, or did we just fake it to win the space race? Do you remember something vividly from your childhood, but it turns out that your memory is wrong? Conspiracy theories are fun to research and think about but just remember how easy it is to manipulate information and media in today's society.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

23 Pandemic-Approved Date Ideas That'll Send Sparks Flying From Six Feet Apart

There's a safe way to date right now and yes, it includes masks.


While some people would rather opt out of dating altogether during the pandemic so they don't have to wear a mask on a first date, others are choosing to listen to both guidelines and their heart in order to find love during the time of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Should you be one of the individuals welcoming romance right now, there are pandemic-approved dates you can go on that still adhere to guidelines (and yes, you'll have to wear a mask).

Keep Reading... Show less

I didn't believe the notification when it came through to my phone: Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died from complications due to cancer.

Keep Reading... Show less

In our patriarchal society, men hide from their feelings, but toxic masculinity is literally killing men. They swallow the pain and move on so that they can look, feel, and act "tough."

But, strength is derived from asking for help and voicing your struggle and, trust me, working on your mental health is one hell of a struggle. The real way to "man up" is to acknowledge the downfalls in unjust societal norms. Mental health problems do not mean that a man is weak, they are neurologically-based disorders that require professional treatment.

Keep Reading... Show less

11 Things Your Boyfriend Should Do Before He Drops $499 On A PS5

Let's start with spending less time gaming and more time with you.


Scrolling through Twitter this week had me rolling on the floor laughing as I read some of the hilarious tweets from ladies who, whether in a relationship or not, shared reactions to the news that PlayStation 5 is on its way

As this "buy your boyfriend a PS5" joke takes off across the internet, let's just say, there are a few things your BF should be doing before dropping $499 on the new gaming system — or, if the tweets are real for some, before you buy it for him as a gift.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Sorry, But 'I Don’t Care About Politics' Is Not A Valid Excuse For NOT Voting

The younger generation of voters is so crucial to the upcoming election because our vote is going to shape the world that we are about to enter as adults.


When I ask my friends if they are voting this term most of them respond with "no" followed by an explanation of "I don't care enough," "It doesn't affect me," or "I don't keep up with politics," etc. I get it, as a college student I know that there are many other things to be concerned about like school, relationships, work, and friends. I also understand that keeping up with politics can seem like trying to keep up with an over-exaggerated reality show that has way too many seasons. Not to mention most news stations and websites are biased so it's hard to decipher if what you hear is true or fake.

However, despite all of this annoyance, as the next generation of Americans, we have to remember that we owe it to ourselves, our families, and to our futures to care.

Keep Reading... Show less
Tasia Sli

Tasia Sli and Anna Yang met in quintessential New York fashion at a chic rooftop event, inquisitive Yale grad Anna gravitating towards model/entrepreneur Tasia.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Anna Hernández-Buces

"Do you have big parties on Cinco de Mayo?"

Keep Reading... Show less

Two of my favorite things in life are reading and books. Obviously, they go hand-in-hand. In my life, I've realized that there is nothing better than learning about the current world or getting fully immersed in another world. Reading can inspire, teach, and entertain you.

For me, the feeling of opening a book and smelling that fresh book smell can't compete with anything else.

Keep Reading... Show less

Expecting mother and wife to singer/songwriter John Legend may have accidentally slipped up and revealed the gender of her and Legend's third baby today on her Instagram story.

Keep Reading... Show less

20 Books About Latin And Hispanic Heritage Absolutely Everyone Should Have On Their Bookshelf

Any ally of the community needs to be reading these incredible reads.


I go through phases when it comes to what I like to read. I am typically reading two books at any given time: one serious nonfiction and one escapist fiction novel to have on hand and open up depending on my mood.

What remains consistent, however, amongst most of my fellow bibliophiles is a desire to try new and different authors and genres. I, as an Indian woman, have been partial to reading books written by fellow Indian and Desi writers since I first got a library card.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Asked 46 Women What They Thought About The Term 'Plus-Size', And Here's What They Had To Say

It's 2020, where change is inevitable and norms are not only questioned, but challenged.


We live in a world where it's become customary to push boundaries, break rules, and question standards upheld by society. Though try as we might, some of these standards are harder to conquer than others — body image is one of the top contenders.

For years, the body positivity movement has pushed for the acceptance of all marginalized body types not represented or celebrated in the media. Recently, we've gotten better at appreciating and accepting all body types, but one thing that's still lingering is the stigma of body image in the fashion industry — more specifically, the term "plus-size."

Keep Reading... Show less

Many popular TV shows are holding off premiers until spring, so most people are relying on their television subscriptions to get them through a socially distant fall semester.

Thankfully, Netflix was busy filming this past year because there is a ton of new original content coming in the near future. From mysteries to romances, here are some of the best new shows you have to check out this year:

Keep Reading... Show less

Taylor Swift Sang 'betty' At The ACMs And It Was The Perfect First Live 'folklore' Performance

I guarantee that Inez is spreading rumors about how fire this performance was.


The Academy of Country Music Awards were last night and the performances were wonderful, but Taylor Swift's live version of "betty" from her newest album "folklore" really took the cake for me.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

9 Reasons I Unfollowed All The Fitness Influencers On My Instagram Feed

I don't need to feel bad about myself because of who I follow on social media.


Throughout quarantine, something that a lot of us picked up on was working out. With all the free time, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to work on that "dream bod" you've been wanting for years, or to just feel good about yourself.

A common way to stay motivated and keep yourself on-task is to follow fitness influencers on various platforms. For some people, yes, this can be a healthy and helpful way to keep your drive. In other cases, however, this can do more harm than good.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments