What to believe? Life is so much like a cartoon or an Onion article these days, who knows where the truth lies? As long as I can remember I've read about conspiracy theories and dark underground tales. Area 51, the Illuminati, a second government pulling the strings, two Melania's... the list is endless. We basically live in an "X-Files" episode.
But if we're honest, there are a few of these "ideas" that even the sanest of us will follow.
Redditoru/illuminatedbabewanted to compare notes on what truths we're all certain of, by asking:
What's a 'conspiracy' you truly believe?
I'm not sure about aliens, but I do believe in ghosts, I think. Does that count? Is there such a thing a paranormal conspiracy? Hmmm...
Little Piggyhomer simpson wow GIFGiphy
"The bacon hype that came about around the time Epic Meal Time started on YouTube was a marketing campaign by the pork industry."
"Big oil and plastics created the recycling campaign so people could still feel good about buying disposable plastic products. In reality, the majority of plastic cannot be recycled. Further, recycling isn't cost effective in the slightest. China was burying our recycling for years."
"This is sorta true if you look at the entire funding for the personal responsibility campaign it was by BP oil to shift blame into the consumer."
"That the "printer alignment" page your printer makes you print when you install a new ink cartridge or plug in your printer or any other basic printer action is complete made up nonsense that makes you think your printer is doing important printer maintenance while needlessly wasting ink."
"I think the trend where you show a picture of yourself now versus 10 years ago was promoted if not invented by Facebook owned social media companies in order to train artificial intelligence to be able to recognize and analyze how faces age."
"This is true for pretty much anything on social media. All those quizzes, post if you believe, whatever random meme just lets them collect data for A.I. modeling or more nefarious purposes. Never do the "your pornstar name is your mother's maiden name plus the last six of your social security number" posts. I seriously underestimated the number of penises and 69s my inbox was gonna receive."
"commoners"Burning Tom Hanks GIF by 20th Century Fox Home EntertainmentGiphy
"That most conspiracy theories are allowed to circulate by the powers that be and they let certain false info "leak" to add fuel to the fire so they can use these conspiracy theories as a distraction from their real agenda, part of keeping the "commoners" in a naive bubble. Conspiracy theories are the cover for the actual conspiracies."
Anytime I hear big oil, I know it's true. Cheery I know. But they know how to manipulate the world. It's all about the money...
Out ThereJurnee Smollett Hbo GIFGiphy
"Aliens are among us just not how we think they're supposed to look like. I mean we have an immortal jellyfish in our ocean that looks right out of a HP Lovecraft book."
The Strangest Superstitions People Actually Observe | George Takei’s Oh MyyyThe world can be a superstitious place. If you've ever knocked on wood or thrown salt over your shoulder then you've run into one or two throughout your life...
"That my navigation cares more about traffic flow than the best route for me personally."
"I mean, to be fair, this can very often be "same picture" territory. If everyone's navigation tried to optimize for what's best for the driver, you'd easily get a situation that's worse for everyone... including you."
On the Floor
"Truly incompetent workers who get hired claiming 15+ years of experience but know nothing about their field are actually just people poorly placed by eyewitness protection. My nemesis who was our new industrial engineer who zip tied all the computer speakers to the floor made me think of this one XD Makes you wonder."
"Edit: lots of people concerned about the floor. Yes the floor had holes, it was a clean room. Iirc it was actually the cords truly zip toed to the floor, the speakers were zip tied to the tables' kick plates like 3 in above the floor."
Molten Salt Reactors...
"That nuclear technology and power was choked out by big oil and gas, and that fear of radiation was intentionally trumped up to incite public opposition to anything nuclear. A lot of folks seemed not to know that used nuclear fuel, often called waste, is recyclable"
"It can also be used directly as fuel for certain types of reactors that haven't seen a lot of research for political reasons, but for which several mature designs and several proofs of concept have been built (Molten Salt Reactors, if you want to research it)."
Big BrotherExplosion Reaction GIFGiphy
"The government puts out really crazy conspiracies so the people that post about legitimate conspiracies come across as crazy and unbelievable."
Against the poor...
"The odds are very strategically stacked against poor people and even the middle class (America) so that we can never get ahead. We are kept in our place to do bullcrap jobs and buy bullcrap products to keep the ultra wealthy chugging along. Education is expensive so we don't think too hard, and the food is cheap and crappy to keep us fat, tired, and low ambition."
"Propaganda and identity politics keeps us in our own little stupid camps so we never come together to realize this. Our purpose is to purchase. And it will never change because for every 1 person who tries to buy local, learn, and take care of themselves, there are 100 morons who want everything fast and cheap." ~ Good_Piccolo4046
"That the government, more specifically FBI, was involved in the assassination of Martin Luther King." ~ Feisty-Inspection286
"I think it's assumed because we have the FBI letter to King that told him to commit suicide. We also have his file and how paranoid Hoover was about any of the black activists at the time. Sadly we don't have any links to the assassination but if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck." ~ UCMCoyote
I Hate Ads...
"That YouTube gets mad at me for skipping all their quick survey questions for ads, and punishes me by giving me ads for feminine products." ~ Fancyliving228
"My YouTube ads are weird. Enough to make me think I'm part of some undisclosed, unethical social experiment, because google definitely knows enough about my internet habits to target their ads better. This last week they started advertising monster porn to me, which I didn't even realise was a thing."
"Before that I was getting ads for super woke online courses such as "pay $500 for this six week course that will explain why you're a racist cultural appropriater for doing yoga!" I mean, who the hell actually would sign up for something like that? YouTube ads are whack." ~ Reetniap
"That the CIA/ Reagan Administration helped sell crack cocaine to African American communities in the 1980's and the reporter who broke the story, Gary Webb, was killed by the government and didn't commit suicide by shooting himself in the head twice." ~ unculturedswine420
Give me a Bud
"Not a very big conspiracy but someone told me they heard Corona (beer company) started paying off news companies to stop calling it corona and call it covid instead and I fully believe it. Everyone started calling it covid right after it came out that Corona lost a lot in stocks because of it." ~ Tyriad_
Sleep Liesmess reverse GIF by Jordan FisherGiphy
"Mattress firm is affiliated with money laundering. They have so many stores very close to each other in Chicago (miles apart)." ~ Nightcrawler999-
"That if we were actually contacted by aliens our governments would 100% lie to us. Look at how people act toward COVID, if they thought aliens might invade we'd have idiots shooting at the sky and stabbing people to see if they're shape shifters while other idiots make up random crap like taking horse de-wormer and fishtank cleaner protects you from their mind control." ~ Im_No_Robutt
I'm not sure how much of this is actual information, but none is out of the realm of possibility. I don't know if that is an intriguing thought or terrifying. We'll find out.
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I've seen people consume foods that make no sense.
Not that food needs to make sense.
But somethings are not meant to mix.
Like... who eats BBQ sauce on chocolate cake?
Don't ask. It's real.
I guess to each their own and God bless your stomach.
Redditor K3na wanted to hear about the times we've witnessed people consuming food that left us SHOOK!
So they asked:
"Besides eating cereal with water what is the most outrageous 'eating sin' you have ever witnessed?"
I like mint chocolate chip ice cream. People hate it.
Apparently I'm a freak.
PSYCHO!!black and white milk GIFGiphy
"The wife dips Oreos in water like a psychopath."
"When I visited my aunt’s family as a kid she served a 'purple cow' - milk mixed with grape juice - for breakfast. If you haven’t tasted that, take my word for it - it’s not a great concoction."
"In elementary school, we used to mix the milk and juice the school gave us for breakfast to puke and get sent home early... apple juice and milk usually worked the best, I think grape juice and milk was a close second."Megandapanda
Without a Refill
"I work at a pub/restaurant waiting tables. This couple walks in who I've never seen but are apparently regulars. The bartender sees them, shoots me a glance, and goes to grab something from the kitchen. Before even taking their order, he's filled the crushed red pepper shaker and told me to take it over to them."
"The woman orders a small cup of French onion soup and proceeds to unscrew the cap of this shaker and dump the entirety of it onto her soup, an inch high off the top of her bowl. She's eating this spicy red pepper like cereal and didn't even ask for a drink refill."
"I had a friend who went through a period where cake decorating was her hobby, and she made some amazing looking cakes that all tasted horrible because of the bizarre flavor combinations. It was always a bit funny because people would compliment the look of them and then have to figure out how to throw their pieces away without being rude about it."
"The worst one was a Christmas cake with an immaculate looking fondant Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer that was an orange spice cake covered in mint icing. It was like brushing your teeth and rinsing with orange juice in cake form."
WTF?!?!Angry Bbc Two GIF by BBCGiphy
"Friend's mom used to eat soy sauce with ice cream."
Just eat ice cream as it was meant to be.
On Everythingseason 4 the lost mattress GIF by SpongeBob SquarePantsGiphy
"I used to be obsessed with A1. I would put it on everything possible because I loved it so much. One day I put it on jello. I no longer enjoy A1."
"When I was in grade school I went over to this kid's house to play, then ended up staying for dinner. We had spaghetti, some vegetable, maybe salad and something else. His entire family would mix everything together before eating it. His dad seemed to be the ringleader/mastermind behind this scheme."
"I remember someone cheerfully saying, 'Well, it all goes to the same place!' And then the rest of them agreeing with this truism as if it were some serious folk wisdom. That's some serial killer sh*t right there."
"My sister would make ritz cracker sandwiches, except the thing that went between the two ritz cracker “buns” was another ritz cracker, except chewed up and spit out. it was disgusting."
"I wasn't going to tell this story but here I am. As a kid I would eat a whole bag of Doritos without swallowing, and then I'd spit out the pulverized chip dust and saliva mixture and roll it into a ball with my hands and then let it harden a bit in my desk at school between first and second break and then eat it again during lunch when the outside was a bit crunchy again but the inside was still moist and the consistency of a chocolate truffle."
"When I was a server, I had a customer dip her bread in a glass of Coke. She finished her whole bread basket and Coke and asked for another basket and another refill of Coke, and went to town again for round two. She didn't give a crap how she looked and ate that crap like it was the best thing on Earth."
What in the name of Jesus?gross dumb and dumber GIFGiphy
"My mom puts peanut butter on cold pizza. It is the closest flavor to vomit that is not vomit."
Good Lord. How do people eat these things?!
Do you have any bizarre culinary items to add? Let us know in the comments below.
Without sleep, we lose our minds.
Eventually, the mind will give out.
The mind plays tricks with no rest.
Seeing things and believing things that aren't there can be quite disturbing.
All you can think sometimes is...
"Is it real?"
Redditor vicke1230 wanted to talk to the sleepless.
So they asked:
"Have you ever not slept for so long that you started hallucinating? What was your experience?"
I love sleep. I can't go without it.
Do sleep...Tired Good Night GIF by DisneyGiphy
"I was a passenger in a car and looking out the window the shadows from trees would morph and grow and move. It was kinda scary but I enjoyed it. It was like drugs before I did drugs. Don't do drugs. Do sleep."
70 hours or so....
"Yeah, after 70 hours or so. It's pretty disorienting and rational thinking starts to get very slow. The hallucinations are not realistic but are more like gaps in your vision that are shaped like things. Might see a silhouette at a distance or briefly around a corner."
"Very difficult to function in this state. Would not recommend."
"A buddy of mine landed a painting job working inside of a big commercial building and he basically stayed in the place for 6 days straight smoking and painting to meet his deadline and avoid hiring a crew to help him."
"On the 6th day the building caught fire and he ran into the lobby and was pulling people out into the streets and yelling to call 9-1-1. The firemen showed up and couldn’t locate a fire because there was none. He was hallucinating."
At the Library
"During exam week I pulled 3 all-nighters in the library between tests. The library was open 24hr so I'd just stay up all night making note cards then go take an exam during the day. I lived off campus and didn't want to spend the gas money. I'd go to the most isolated area but the library would pretty much be cleared out by midnight."
"I started to see glimpses of people and I thought it was a bunch of students f**king with me but there was no one on that floor. I thought the lights went off at some point and maybe it was a sensor so I started jumping around to reactivate it but obviously, it was lit the whole time."
I hear things...Fran Healy Reaction GIF by TravisGiphy
"I went roughly 4 days on 5 hours sleep total. I could function fine but I would just constantly hear things like people mumbling right next to me."
I could never function!
From Abovevintage spider GIFGiphy
"Spent a few weeks only getting about 4 hours of sleep a night. My brain started seeing, from the corners of my eyes, black things dropping from the ceiling that looked like giant spiders... I started making sure I got enough sleep."
McChicken meal, please.
"Ex-addict. Was driving home after a 3 day bender. Needed food so drove into a Mcdonald's drive thru. When asked for my order I replied 'McChicken meal, please.' Then they asked me against and I said 'McChicken meal, please.' Then they asked me AGAIN and I was like 'Can't you f**ken hear me? McChicken meal!' and that's when I realized I wasn't actually saying anything, I was just replying in my head."
"Yes I saw shadow creatures and I thought they were out to get me."
"Me too. I had been sleep deprived for weeks (<3 hours a night most nights) and hadn’t slept the night before. I was out a walk with friends and we stopped for a bit and then I started seeing the shadows move. Then they looked like a pile of bodies and then I was convinced that they’d come drag me into the pit."
"OP, get some sleep this experiment isn’t worth it."
"I'm better now"
"I had really bad sleep problems for years.. At one point I went to a party having been awake for 36 hours when arriving. I didn't really hallucinate also because I couldn't sleep, but when I finally did, I got the sleep I needed needed. The problem was mostly falling asleep."
"For me stress and lack of sleep triggers some form of sleep-paralysis and these weird dreams where I'm lying down somewhere and I can't see properly and I can't get up because everything is just so blurry and spinning around. It made me wake up in cold sweats and I remember once waking up and falling back asleep so many times because I was too exhausted to keep my eyes open, that I called my mom crying because I did not know whether I was awake or not.
"I'm better now."
Talk to MeWorry Reaction GIF by MOODMANGiphy
"No sleep for 4 days straight, it really messes with your head. All sounds heightened to the max and was sure I could hear all my neighbors talking crap about me."
Sleep is so imperative.
Do you have any hallucination stories to share? Let us know in the comments below.
Though we learn about criminals when they're caught, it doesn't mean they're not brilliant.
It takes a lot of planning and patience to pull off the bigger ideas.
That's why there is such a hefty penalty for pre-meditation.
Maybe that's why we're obsessed with the true crime stories that roll out over time and aren't a quick news blip.
We're fascinated by the genius and the almost near cover-ups.
Redditor ItzTacoTimee wanted cops to tell us about the masterminds they've taken into custody.
So they asked:
"Police officers of Reddit, who’s the smartest criminal you’ve ever encountered?"
Most of these murderers on these Dateline shows are smart.
Which is what is most scary.
Depositshappy work GIF by Soul TrainGiphy
"My favorite was the guy who stole a post office mailbox off the street, repainted it, and then put it next to the night deposit box at a bank. And hung an out-of-order sign on the deposit box. All the businesses came along and dropped off their deposits in the mailbox."
"release to police"
"I worked with this one guy who had a lengthy record. He had a system for getting released if he got caught. After committing a crime, if the police were in pursuit and he knew he was about to be cornered, he would act insane. His girl would play along with it telling the police that he was off his medication."
"The police would arrest him but then send him to a mental ward with papers instructing the ward to release to police once he was cleared. Once he was in the mental ward, he would cause a distraction that would make the person attending the desk with the file cabinet to leave said cabinet. He would then crawl to the file cabinet, look for his 'release to police' papers, and then would literally eat the papers."
"When the psych evaluators decided that he was stable enough to be released, there would be no instructions to send him to the police, and he would be released to the general public. He did this about 10 times until police officers noticed him back on the streets. This stunt forced the state to change their procedure for detaining mentally unstable suspects."
When in Walmart...
"A guy I went to high school had been stealing from Walmart in a pretty clever way. He would grab video games, mp3 players, beer etc. and throw them away in a trashcan in the garden section. The workers never checked the trash contents and he would just wait, sometimes 5 hours until they emptied the trash in the back dumpster and hop in to get his items."
"Once he took a cardboard box from a display inside, filled it with video games, a PS3, and extra controllers. He grabbed some tape and pens and drew all over the box and taped it up to make it look used and tossed it. An hour later he had a whole new PS3 and stack of games."
"I walked in with this"
"I heard about one person that pulled a shoplifting scam on a large, popular and well known U.S. retail store. They walked in with some cheap nylon product to get one of those 'I walked in with this' stickers they used to put on returning merchandise. The sticker easily peeled off the product undamaged. They walked to the electronics department, grabbed an expensive box off the shelf and went to Customer Service."
"They placed the sticker on the big box and asked if they could return the item without a receipt. 'Unfortunately, no. Not without the original receipt.' Dang it, and they walk out. Customer service even gave the door man the thumbs up having just interacted with the customer. This took place before widespread inventory controls and cameras absolutely everywhere."
The FollowerLocation Gps GIF by AboutMedia Internetmarketing GmbHGiphy
"I'm not a cop but I worked crime scene. This guy had attached GPS to the bottom of peoples cars who owned houses, he wanted to rob. He did it to ensure they wouldn't be showing up while he was ransacking the place."
Enjoy the meal...Food Eating GIF by SpongeBob SquarePantsGiphy
"There's a golf course/country club in my town that has a PGA tournament scheduled in the next couple years. They have a guy repeatedly breaking in overnight and just lounging around and eating food, all on camera. The club refuses to report it so they don't hurt their chances of the tournament coming."
Drugs & Keggers
"This was in the late 90s-early 00s."
"A guy in my dorm came to school solely to deal drugs. He took out student loans, registered for a bunch of 300-person freshman survey courses where he would never be missed, then literally never went to class. All he did was go to raves and concerts and keggers and sell party drugs."
"After the first semester, he was suspended. He wrote the usual ‘I was young and dumb and in over my head’ sob story, and got put on probation for a semester. So he had a repeat of the fall. At the end of the year, he was kicked out, and didn’t care."
"He made something on the order of $150k, in return for about $8k in student loans to cover a year of housing and tuition."
"So far as I know, he was never caught. It may have been a short-sighted maneuver in the long run, but in the short run it seemed fairly genius to effectively use federal loans to start your drug business."
Into the car...
"Working in a home improvement store when younger. This guy came in, went to the snow blowers, took one and went to the return desk. Said he wanted to return it but had no receipt. They told him you need a receipt so he says ok I’ll be back and wheels it off to car through the front door. He did this a few times apparently. Couple places even helped him load it 'back' into his car."
"A french thief who spent 10 years in prison became a comedian when he got out. One of his stories... Finds a building, goes in, chooses a floor and TRANSFORMS the exit door into an extra apartment. Puts the apartment number, fake lock, welcome rug, etc..."
"Puts an iPhone for sale. The person comes to buy it, he opens the door in a shower robe and says give me one second, im just gonna count the money... and poof!"
"He's gone from the exit stairs."
So Hungryblock out no GIF by Heute-ShowGiphy
"Definitely this guy who ate the bank robbery note right off the hood of the police car when they were emptying his pockets. Although I'm fairly sure he was still convicted."
Even with smarts, crime still doesn't sound like it pays.
Who would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.
Being in a relationship can be a beautiful and empowering thing. But not all relationships make our lives better.
Truth be told, some relationships damage our well-being and impair our mental health. Some relationships can be toxic or even violent—it's important to keep an eye out for red flags.
But what are red flags? Simply put, they are warning signs that a person cannot have a healthy relationship. They can indicate unhealthy and even manipulative behavior. Excessive jealousy is something to look out for. Frequent lying is another. It's important to remember that red flags can be insidious... and that they can grow bigger over time.
The question is: What do you look out for?
Couples therapists told us what to look out for after Redditor Gnerdy asked the online community:
"Couples therapists, without breaking confidentiality, what are some relationships that instantly set off red flags, and do you try and get them to work out?"
"These are typically young women..."
"When one person is entirely dependent on the other, especially at a relatively young age. I mean financially and emotionally."
"These are typically young women (sometimes young men as well) who do not work, do not have children, stay home all day and have no friends or hobbies outside of hanging out with their spouse. Very unhealthy, and a huge red flag. Always ends in a painful and messy breakup."
"Generally, we try to get them to find a friend, join a community, get a job or volunteer - something to provide them with self worth and personal fulfillment outside of their spouse."
The idea of joining a relationship without anything of your own to fall back on is legitimately terrifying.
"One person says..."
"One partner says they’re seeking your services to help them determine if they want to stay together; the other partner says they’re seeking your services to make it so they stay together."
"Then it’s about highlighting the points and allowing the person who is on the fence decide what they want, since the other person knows."
That's so depressing, just waiting for someone to decide if they want you. Sadly, it's common.
"This comes in many forms, from gaslighting to just simple denial of another's opinion. Most of the time one or both parties are simply trying to be heard on an emotional level with an event or topic that was brought up, but the other party takes this as a personal attack on their ideals."
Do not tell someone how they feel or what they think. It won't end well.
"I saw a couple..."
"I saw a couple that was doing "retaliatory" cheating (and telling each other about it). When they got through their anger, they decided to call a truce and made peace. With their level of emotional maturity, I doubt it lasted. I don't know if I helped them or prolonged their suffering. It was their decision to come to counseling, so I think it was the help they wanted."
"Other clients realize what they really want is "divorce counselling". What's the best way to behave civilly and minimize damage to the kids while we go our separate ways?"
I think it would be great if divorce counseling were normalized. It would save a lot of people a lot of pain.
"People who approach therapy..."
"People who approach therapy with the idea that they must convince the therapist that they’re right and their partner is wrong. Almost like they’re complaining to a parent or boss to have them sort out the problems."
Pointing out all the things your partner did wrong and demanding that the therapist tell you how to fix it isn't a winning strategy for any relationship.
"Contempt. When I experience true contempt from one in the relationship I know it is usually over. Look towards a peaceful ending at that point if possible."
Ah, contempt! One of the four horsement predictors of divorce!
"When people come in..."
"One of the biggest red flags I see when working with a new couple is when they've totally forgotten the good. Part of relationship therapy is reconnecting a couple with what they like about each other, what initially attracted them to each other, and what the positives are between them."
"When people come in and they've been so unhappy for so long that they actually can't remember what it was like to be in love, or to even like each other, they're just about hopeless."
"You don't have to be happy for therapy to work--but if you can't even reminisce about the good times, then the good times are probably over."
This makes sense. Why did you get together? What did you like about each other? What do you love about each other?
It's important to keep that in mind.
"It erodes trust..."
"Couples in a tit for tat arrangement. For example: I cheated so you can have one night to cheat with whomever. Or I violated your trust and did drugs, you can go out and do whatever for one night. It erodes trust and compounds the hurt."
Yeah... nothing about that behavior is even remotely healthy. People should just leave at that point.
"I most commonly see..."
"Control to an excessive amount. I most commonly see partners having to send pictures holding up a certain number of fingers or proving that it's a live picture. This is abuse."
This is utterly heartbreaking. Hopefully these patients recognized the signs and bailed.
"Overbearing parents and in laws. I understand there's a ton of cultural nuance here, and I work with couples who have arranged marriages, as well as the south Asian community. However, when a spouse is more allied with their parents and calls them on speakerphone for fights, or often speaks ill of their partner to their parents, I usually see these couples stay very unhappily married for years."
Overbearing parents can absolutely threaten a relationship. It's important to remember that your relationship is separate from your parents — and that your partner deserves your love and allegiance.
Knowing how to identify red flags in a relationship is extremely important. In order to address them, you must learn what they look like and why they are so dangerous.
While this list isn't exhaustive, it's definitely a start. It is possible to identify red flags and put an end to toxic relationships before the damage is done.
Have some thoughts of your own? Tell us more in the comments below.