Space — it's the final frontier and the great unknown, which naturally leads to a lot of speculation about what exactly is out there in the void. And while some of that is scientific theorizing, some of it involves space-related conspiracy theories that will definitely have you scratching your head. Because the idea that the moon landing was faked is just the beginning.
Conspiracy theories are nothing new, and at some point you just have to accept that there are people out there who believe strange and seemingly ridiculous things. It's a function of living in a country with over 300 million people. There are conspiracy theories about national tragedies, about high-profile crimes, even about celebrity couples. This year, conspiracy theories have even played a surprisingly prominent role in the presidential election.
Some conspiracy theories are much less earthbound, though, than speculation about political leaders or celebrities. Just like the rest of us, conspiracy theorists have also looked up at the endless expanse of outer space. But what they see out in the void is a little different than what the rest of us observe. And while we've all heard theories about the moon landing being faked, or the idea that the government covered up an alien spaceship crash in Roswell, New Mexico, there are some lesser known conspiracy theories that are even more perplexing.
The Lucifer Project
Believe it or not, there are people (like presumably whoever made the video above) who think that NASA is trying to turn Jupiter into a second sun within our solar system. "Lucifer" is supposed to both refer to the fact that the devil's name also means "morning star" and to be an acronym for "Large Binocular Telescope Near-infrared Utility with Camera and Integral Field Unit for Extragalactic Research" — which is a mouthful.
Why is NASA trying to turn Jupiter into a second sun? I mean, I'm not an astrophysicist, but I'd imagine that having our planet suddenly sandwiched between two suns and their strong gravitational fields would probably be pretty bad. And yet the conspiracy exists.
Moon Landing Was Real — But The Footage Is Fake
Moon landing conspiracy theories are so common they even have their own Wikipedia page, but one I find particularly confusing is the idea that the moon landing really happened — but all the footage of the event is fake. This, despite the fact that many experts say the footage was actually impossible to fake with 1969 technology, but perhaps the conspiracy theorists assume that government technology was secretly more advanced?
Either way, it's a little unclear why NASA would go to the trouble of landing on the moon but then faking footage when they could have easily obtained the real thing.
Comet — Or Alien Spacecraft?
In 2014, the European Space Agency landed a probe on comet 67P, but some people believe it wasn't a comet at all, but an alien spacecraft. The theories actually started before the probe even landed, with people claiming the comet was actually an alien warcraft, and that NASA and the ESA were trying to cover up its existence. OK, then.
Global Warming Is Caused By The Sun Heating Up
Despite the fact that the scientific consensus is that climate change is both real and manmade, you have probably heard all sorts of explanations for global warming. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has even claimed it's a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese, though he later denied ever saying this. But some people think that, although global warming is real, its causes are a further away — 90 million miles further. Yes, some people believe that the Earth is heating up because the sun is heating up.
This idea isn't actually as wild as it sounds — scientists do think that other planets in the solar system are warming up as well, which makes it a plausible theory. Just not one that's borne out by the evidence. Not that this has stopped people from sticking to it.
Obama Has Been To Mars
If you thought it was ridiculous that some people think President Obama wasn't born in the United States, just wait until you hear about the people who think the CIA teleported him to Mars in the 1980s. According to some conspiracy theorists, Obama was part of a secret CIA program in the 1980s that sent "chrononauts," including a young Obama, to explore the solar system via teleportation.
I don't think there's really anything else that needs to be said here.
When you say, "Planet X," you could be referring to one of two different things: the real planet researchers think they've discovered in our solar system, orbiting our sun at a great distance, or the planet conspiracy theorists think houses a hostile alien race and/or is going to destroy the Earth. The latter is also called Nibiru by believers, and stories about it go back to 1995, when a woman in Wisconsin began publicly saying she received messages from the aliens who inhabit the planet via an implanted device.
Classified by conspiracy theorists as a "rogue planet," people believe that Planet X/Nibiru is going to spell humanity's destruction.
The Earth Is Flat
Perhaps the most bizarre space-related conspiracy theory is the one that seems to imply outer space doesn't exist at all — or at least is radically different than we believe. People who believe the Earth is flat have a whole host of strange opinions on how things like the sun and moon are really situated, but at least some believe they are equidistant from Earth. Others believe the Earth is a disc covered by a dome instead of a planet orbiting through outer space. Many seem to believe that NASA and world governments are covering up the true shape of the Earth.
Images: Giphy (3)