People will believe anything these days, right? Well, maybe not quite, but the internet does have its fair share of myths, rumours and lies meant to entice the unwitting down wild and unfathomable rabbit holes.
The most popular internet myths tend to be the most believable, like the sad demise of Avril Lavigne, but even the most out-there ones have their believers, too.
Of course there's the obvious conspiracy theories, like the world being controlled by the mysterious Illuminati, Area 51 housing aliens, the moon landing being faked in a film studio and good old fashioned chemtrails poisoning the minds of the populace.
But then there are the gems. These are so ridiculous and specific that they just might be true.
In 2003, Canadian singer and Japanophile Avril Lavigne died and was replaced by an industry-planted clone named 'Melissa Vandella'. Melissa looked a bit like Avril, and sounded a bit like Avril — but she was not Avril. Melissa was bright and peppy. She wore fishnets and neon, and girlfriend-shamed the boy next door. She was not Avril — or was she?
Taylor Swift is a satanist clone
Zeena Schreck, formerly known as Zeena LaVey, is the daughter of the founder of the Church of Satan. No, not Satan himself, but the infamous Anton LaVey.
When Zeena was younger, she bore more than a passing resemblance to famed singer, Taylor Swift. The likeness is considered so uncanny that the only explanation was that Taylor was a clone of Zeena planted in Hollywood to pollute the minds of the young children who look up to her.
Swift's recent associations with snake imagery, as seen in the 'Look What You Made Me Do' music video only helped the theory grow.
When you look at them side by side, you can see what people mean:
2. Taylor Swift is actually an illuminati clone made from Zeena Laveys DNA, a well known satanist from 1985 pic.twitter.com/FKlQuHE59v
— ☆EL DiABLO☆ (@fuckthtx) August 18, 2016
Theorists also claim that Swift's Satanism is what caused her relationship with Tom Hiddleston to end. Yes, even the God of Mischief said, 'get thee away, foule Satan'. Man's got taste.
Mothman is real, and he can predict the end of days
Mothman is a cryptid derived from West Virginia folklore, and has been sighted often since appearing in the 1960s, lurking in fields around the American countryside. Reports typically state that this creature is the size of a tall man, with glowing red eyes and giant bat-like wings. He's been 'spotted' at many catastrophic disaster sights, and is said to be a herald of the end of days.
According to this popular internet theory, not only is Mothman real, he's also been seen as recently as 2009 in Mexico. He gets around, because reports place a 'tall, hairy, winged creature' resembling mothman flying past Chernobyl in the Ukraine days before the 1986 disaster, on the Interstate 35 in Minneapolis before a fatal bridge accident in 2007 and all around the backwaters of Virginia at night.
Mothman's presence is seen as a portent of doom, and sightings are said to proceed many major disasters throughout human history. There's even a very blurry photograph of him haunting the site of 9/11. Spooky stuff.
The U.S. Government's Montauk Project gave people psychic powers
There are an unsurprising amount of internet theories that claim the U.S. government is up to some Weird Stuff™ in secretive military bases around the country. And look, it probably is.
Forget Area 51, though, that's child's play. Because the U.S. government has spent years perfecting the art of time travel and giving psychic powers to its squad of unwilling volunteers.
The theory centres on Camp Hero and the Montauk Air Force Base in Montauk, New York, where it's alleged the Project took place in the 90s.
Among other things, the Montauk Project supposedly explored mind control, making contact with alien life, and ripping holes in space-time. It actually served as a basis for the development of Stranger Things.
The theory is believed to have originated from a man named Preston Nichols, who claimed that he'd recovered repressed memories of an abduction by the U.S. government, where he was experimented on and tortured.
Harold Holt was taken away by Chinese submarines
When Harold Holt disappeared off the coast of Victoria, he sent a whole nation into a furore. How could we have lost a whole Prime Minister? Given his body was never recovered, of course, a whole host of strange and compelling theories popped up in the wake of his disappearance. The prevailing answer is that he was swept up by the tide, but given Holt was a frequent and avid swimmer, this has always been in doubt.
No, Holt wasn't simply swept up by the tide, he was abducted by Chinese submarines , so goes the popular theory.
This was apparently because he was secretly a Chinese spy, the theories allege. The logical conclusion of this theory is that he was abducted and spent the rest of his days living in China, a happy and free man. Godspeed, Harold.
The Large Hadron Collider was built to summon the God of Evil
In 2008, everyone was going nuts over the Large Hadron Collider. Common, actual, real scientific theories about the Large Hadron Collider were that it would cause a black hole that would suck all life on Earth inside, thus ending the universe.
Common, actual, real non-scientific theories were that the LHC would have the power to summon Shiva to the Earth (the source of all evil, according to the Hindu religion), who would then reign death and destruction on the universe. Another, alternate theory was that the LHC would summon Osiris, the Ancient Egyptian God of Death.
To be fair, we probably deserved it.
You can enter hell through Denver Airport
Airports are pretty innocuous places, right? You turn up, you catch a flight, you summon Satan, you leave. Wait, what?
Denver Airport opened in 1995 after multiple construction delays and importantly, going $US2 billion over budget. What was that money spent on? Most likely it was all the apocalyptic murals, Notre Dame-style gargoyles, secret underground bunkers* (*yet to be found or proven) — and also, the very real, giant, demonic horse known as 'Blucifer' that guards the tarmac.
The airport is rumoured to be controlled by the Freemasons and the New World Order, which are both basically just secret, world-controlling frat houses. This theory originated from a dedication plaque from the Freemasons found at the airport and said to be covered in alien languages. Actually, the markings are derived from the Najavo language.
That said, some of the things found around Denver airport are just plain strange, and that horse is absolutely some kind of cursed, ancient entity trapped in stone.
The Wizard of Oz movie set was absolutely cursed by demons
Follow the yellow brick road to HELL.
The set of 1939's The Wizard of Oz was reportedly an absolute horror to work on, for more reasons than one, and a lot of these theories are based in fact. The movie sets of the 1930s were never exactly the safest to begin with, but according to multiple sources, actors were molested, burned, poisoned, covered in asbestos, covered in real dead animals, straight up tortured, turned green and smeared with jello, among other things. Many of these reports are unverified, so they hang in the realm of the unknown.
There's also the persistent (but subsequently disproved) theory that one of the Munchkin actors hung themselves on the set, an act which can supposedly be seen on film. There's no doubt that the production was extremely cursed and hurt nearly everyone involved, but The Wizard of Oz itself, or one particular prop, may be the source of the curse.
When Land of Oz, a tribute theme park was opened in the 1970s, it was almost immediately subject to mysterious fires, decay and death. One night, thieves stole Judy Garland's gingham dress from the original film, which was on display.
Soon after, park attendance began to fall. Not having enough money to keep up with repairs, the park soon fell into disrepair and was abandoned soon after. Maybe the dress really was the source of the curse.
The Beatles never existed at all
No, this isn't the plot of Danny Boyle's Yesterday, this is real life. Allegedly.
Forget 'Paul is dead' this is the real shit right here. Get this: the Beatles never actually existed, and the whole band were just body doubles and/or clones. Who just kind of happened to play music and dance and stuff. Which I guess... kind of makes them a real band after all?
I don't think this weird theory's been thought all the way through. Clones have rights too.
All of history is wrong, reckons some Russian guy
This is just... the weirdest hill to die on. A Russian mathematician named Anatoly Fomenko is flat out convinced that our current timeline for world events in Europe and the Middle East is wrong.
Wikipedia has a very detailed analysis of what the 'New Chronology' theory entails, but what it boils down to is this: events historically proven to have taken place in Ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt actually occurred during the Middle Ages. Also, all of history is wrong.
It completely denies written and scientific evidence, yet many weird corners of the internet, and one rogue scholar, have committed to this seven-volume theory about the fallacies of recorded time. In fact, a recent study indicated that maybe 30 per cent of the Russian population subscribed to this weird and ultra-specific theory.
Keanu Reeves is immortal. Also he will 'die' soon
The 'Keanu Reeves is immortal' theory has bounced around the internet for as long as I can remember, and as far as theories of immortality go, it's pretty standard. Keanu bears a very slight resemblance to the king of the Franks, Charlemagne, in that he has a long nose and face. He also looks like French actor Paul Mounet, if you squint.
According to this theory, Keanu has had many incarnations over the years, making him some sort of vampire or immortal being. There is the minor caveat that at any one time on Earth, we apparently have a one in 135 chance of running into our very own doppelgänger, and that someone having the same face as you is more likely than you'd think.
Subscribers to this theory logically believe that soon, Keanu Reeves will have to 'die' to protect his identity before people become suspicious of his lack of ageing. Time will tell.
There's always weird stuff to be found in the strange, dark corners of the internet, but some of these theories are so mind-boggling that it's amazing to discover people may actually believe them. As always, the internet is truly the gift that keeps on giving.