Move out of the way flat-earthers. Pipe down anti-vaxxers. Be quiet, moon-landing deniers. You had your moment in the spotlight. It is time we take a look at the weirdest conspiracy theories out there – those that don’t get celebrity endorsement and are not all that popular.
Fasten your seatbelt kids, we are going to the weirdest, most unnecessary theory in stellar astronomy: the electric universe. The idea, which would be an awesome indie rock band name, claims that the Sun and all the stars are not powered by nuclear fusion. Instead, they shine because there is a huge voltage in space. For example, they claim that since the Sun is more positively charged than the rest of the universe, it attracts negative particles. Yes, they claim that the Sun works like a huge light bulb.
Every object in space is surrounded by electric charges. If the Sun, the Earth, or other stars were suddenly charged positively, negative charges would rain on them until they achieve neutrality again. Electric forces are way stronger than gravity. For electrons, charge repulsion is 1042 times stronger than gravitational attraction.
So why does it seem like gravity is so much stronger? Because gravity is only attractive, so each bit of mass adds up to a big net force. But electrical charges can either repel or attract, and when you consider them altogether, their net contribution is usually zero. The electric universe doesn’t explain how stars go supernova, how new elements form in those stars, or how extreme objects like neutron stars and black holes come to be.
But my favorite part of their theory is the huge voltage that's apparently present in space. If that were true, the current would be strong enough to wipe out Earth’s atmosphere and sterilize the planet completely. This is a theory for people that couldn't be bothered to learn about nuclear fusion and said " I know electricity, that will do. I don't need to learn anything new!"
Phantom Time Hypothesis
Do you like round numbers? Well, not as much as Holy Roman Emperor Otto III, Pope Sylvester II, and possibly the Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII. They liked round number so much that they fabricated 297 years of history so they could reign in the year 1,000 CE – at least according to Heribert Illig that is. Illig claims that the years from 614 to 911 were invented and are instead phantom time. Historical evidence was forged, the figure of Charlemagne was constructed, and the calendar altered.
A lot of “evidence” is presented and it would make a compelling case if you forget that there were people living outside of Europe at the time. This so-called phantom time encompasses most of the Tang Dynasty in China and their detailed astronomical observations confirm the existence of those three centuries. The foundation of Islam and Islamic expansion across the world also happened then. The University of Al Quaraouiyine, the oldest existing and continually operating educational institute in the world, was founded by Fatima al-Fihri in 859. It has been visited by many European scholars since them. So no, the pope and the emperors didn’t make up three centuries.
Project Blue Beam
According to late Canadian journalist Serge Monast, NASA was (or maybe still is) working with the anti-Christ to fake the second coming. The American space agency was said to be using advanced technologies to begin a new-age religion that would mark the start of a new world order. This is Project Blue Beam.
Monast claimed that NASA would first create earthquakes in specific locations, where they would then uncover (fabricated) evidence that all religions are false. Next, a planet-wide laser show with holograms would introduce the one true God, but that’s the anti-Christ in disguise. Thanks to telepathic electronic communication, people would speak with “God” directly. Finally, you have alien invasions, a fake rupture, and demons invading fiber optics. This is the most 90s end-of-the-world scenario I have ever heard of. The Space Jam of conspiracy theories. I don’t think we should even bother trying to debunk it.
CERN and Shiva
CERN is at the center of many conspiracy theories, but the most peculiar one is that the presence of a statue of Shiva (a gift from the Indian government) is actually a clear sign of the laboratory's more nefarious aim – to use it as a portal for Shiva to enter the world and destroy Earth.
First of all, CERN employs some of the smartest people on the planet and I would like to think that if they were trying to summon a deity, they wouldn’t put their effigy on the front lawn. What kind of B-movie villain behavior is that? Second of all, people supporting this theory have at best skimmed through the Wikipedia entry for Shiva, who in Hinduist mythology is not the “smash smash” villain they suggest it to be.
Finland does not exist
There is an entire sub-reddit dedicated to the fact that Finland doesn't exist. An entire country has been “created” by Russia and Japan. Seriously. I’m sure the European Union must be in on it too. And the US. And NASA doctoring photos. And airplane companies. And anyone who has ever been to Finland. Myself included.
Ok, enough Internet for today.