Reddit user sublimefan123 asked: 'What’s the scariest conspiracy theory you believe is 100% true?'
We've all heard our fair share of conspiracy theories, like Big Brother watching us, or the Earth being flat, or birds not being real (seriously, what is that about?).
We've even seen some theories get confirmed over the years, like our mobile devices "always" listening to us, though some remain unconvinced about the purposes behind that fact.
But there are some conspiracy theories out there that are far more unsettling than others, and some people have some very good reasons for why they believe in them and are deeply terrified by them.
Ready to hear some theories, Redditor sublimefan123 asked:
"What's the scariest conspiracy theory you believe is 100% true?"
But Where's the Lie?
"Octopi are aliens, and you can't convince me otherwise."
"Those motherf**kers came from a meteor or something. Their brain development rate compared to all other species is off the charts."
"Right? Name me ONE other motherf**kier that has eight different brainlets hanging out in their thinky-feely tentacles. That s**t's wild."
"Samuel L. Jackson would LOVE this conversation."
The Mafia Makes the Best Pillows
"The excessive number of mattress stores in cities; often within close proximity to each other. Money laundering fronts for the mafia is a distinct possibility."
"In reality, it's due to a certain type of marketing technique."
"A lot of times, people won't drive to multiple mattress stores. They'll just drive to one. However, if the other mattress store is right next door, they are more likely to check it out and see if they can find something better, comfier, at a better price."
"So you usually see them grouped together. You'll see the same with auto dealerships."
"Says the mafioso!!!! Caught you!"
Educating Future Laborers, Not Individuals
"US education system knowingly underfunded to maintain a large unskilled labor force."
"Originally this made sense as we needed people to work the world's largest breadbasket and mine raw materials. Now those jobs are highly mechanized and automated."
"Combine this with a shift to main US exports being tech- and chem-based, and our intentionally woeful education system is coming back to bite us."
"Students aren't being taught how to be self-sustaining individuals. They're being taught how to memorize, to forget, and to serve."
A Voluntary Trend
"'Throwback Thursday' or '#tbt' just appeared one day out of the blue, with the distinct goal of being a silly internet craze to post pictures from the past and compare it to modern-day photos."
"But I believe it was a project created by three-letter United States federal government organizations to encourage large portions of the population to post weekly photos of their past and present to enhance their aging and genetic algorithms."
"It would be hard to get access to everyone's old photos unless they had physical access to everyone's houses and snuck into each house to make copies of said photos. Why do all that when you could make it a fun new trend and let the people voluntarily give you the photos en masse?"
Distractions in the Media
"Insane wackjob conspiracies purposefully get propagated to detract from actual shady s**t that goes on."
"What's more? It f**king works."
"If you see someone even mention something that might be a conspiracy, that person is automatically determined to be a lunatic. Dangerous when you consider just how corrupt government, military, and corporations are."
Let the Women Have Their Pockets
"Big purses... I think that pocket-book companies have strong-armed, bought, or convinced women's clothing companies to make pockets ineffectual so that purses remain relevant."
"To add onto this, tech companies have bought into big purses and that's why phones have gotten continuously larger, so they can't fit in pockets no matter what."
"Seriously, though, I think the true reason why pockets for women's pants are so ineffectual is that women's clothing is selling a specific body type (slim) that protruding hips would go against."
"This really needs to be talked about more. Not only does it set a standard for women to have to look a certain way, but it also sends the message that women should ignore their own comfort or needs in order to conform enough to be attractive."
Gut Health and Mental Health
"Food quality is intentionally low to increase the "need" for medication & supplements. Adequate health care is unaffordable to keep the workers in the ACA gap from living long enough to benefit from the social security that they have contributed to for their whole working lives."
"The food we have been eating in the United States is a huge part of the mental illness going on today."
"I started eating 'cleaner,' and I am not perfect, but I notice such a tremendous change in my energy and overall being for the positive."
"100%, it is now being accepted and studied that our gut is directly connected to our brain and has a huge impact on mental health."
The Unusual Rich
"I firmly believe rich people (given the few I've interacted with) think way, way differently than normal people. That shouldn't be surprising given the fact that they have enough money and probably power to basically do whatever they want and nobody will stop and say, 'Not enough money in the world that I should let you.'"
"They live with far fewer boundaries than most of us."
No More Dentist Appointments
"Scientists have found a way to protect our teeth from plaque and cavities years ago but because of the lobbying money, they have been stopped from commercializing it."
Pluto Held a Grudge
"We live in a plutocracy."
"That's impossible, Pluto's not even a planet anymore."
"Why do you think they demoted it to begin with?"
Passing the Test
"Remember when we redirected that asteroid last year as a test, called DART? Yeah, I don't think that was a test."
"It doesn't matter, though. I'm glad it worked."
A Troubling Trade
"That Reagan conspired with the Revolutionary Iranian government to not free US hostages until and unless he was elected in 1980."
"The Iranian hostage crisis was very damaging politically for Carter, who was a very likable and decent man. Americans sitting in Iranian jail cells severely eroded Carter's political position going into the 1980 election, and Reagan knew it."
"The hostages were released on the very day that Reagan took office, 20 Jan. 1981, literally, just MINUTES after he was sworn in. To this day, Iran has offered no formal explanation."
"I wouldn't say 'believe' as it's more highly suspect that it's true:"
"The American political system has one party with two sides. One side placates the populace while making as little change as possible. When people get fed up with that side they vote in the other, who rushes in pro-one percent policy and other things that further consolidate power away from the populace."
"That way we are always taking one step forward but three steps back."
The Uno Reverse Card
""Questions like this get posted online by Feds so they can aggregate popular or new conspiracies. (This is a sarcastic comment but also... not.)"
"I think about this sometimes. Create bulls**t online just to see which groups are the most susceptible, or post stuff like this to get new ideas of what to push."
They're All We Have...
"No one is secretly in charge from the shadows. The politicians we have are actually the leaders of the world and are genuinely what people voted for."
"There are few things scarier than that."
Whether or not we choose to believe in these theories, it's clear why they would be terrifying to those who choose to believe in them.
But also, some of these arguments are pretty compelling, and it's equally understandable how a person could come to believe some of these theories.
Conspiracy theories don't all have to be about bird props and witch hunts, after all.
Most people can be very guarded because of their vulnerabilities, even if you think you know them really well.
These disconcerting memories or character traits are better left undisclosed, for they can be painful for individuals to revisit or acknowledge.
On the other hand, opening up about these disturbing facts can also be therapeutic as long as they are revealed anonymously.
And the opportunity for strangers online to unburden themselves arose when Redditor _Lord_Infamous asked:
"What is a scary, unsettling fact about you?"
Certain facts about these Redditors are perplexing.
"I do not actually remember a decent chunk of my life, whenever I talk about most of my childhood I use words that leave room for mistakes and am generally using memories and ideas I've compiled from hearing other people say things about me."
"There is actually a large chunks of facts about myself that I only think I know, and don't have personal confirmation of."
Dead Or Alive
"I’m convinced with no evidence that my father is still alive and that my whole family is lying to me. I logically know he is not. But every knock on the door I open half expecting my father. Could be something to work through … but it’s not really affecting me day to day. My grandfather died and I thought I would feel the same way. Nope. He is dead and I miss him but he is dead."
Warning: Self-Harm Trigger
"Growing up I had a recurring nightmare set in my grandparents backyard looking at the back of their house. There was just something 'off' about the house. Something mildly sinister. I dreamt this over and over, many times over the years."
"In 2018, my dad (who now owned the house) went into the backyard to that spot and killed himself."
"I haven’t had the backyard dream since."
Nightmares Come True
"I had a recurring super vivid intense dream at like 4.... my uncle was chasing us around a labyrinth with a large knife... trying to kill me and my grandmother. 25 or so years later the same uncle (complete paranoid delusional schizophrenic) murders my grandmother at her condo... with the very nice chef knife I bought her for Christmas the year before..."
"Less scary and more shocking, but when I was 9 years old I survived a home invasion where I was shot 6 times. I played dead on the floor until the man left and called 911 and in my adrenaline rush I thought they couldn't find my house so I crawled with my left are swinging the wrong way and my right leg limp from nerve damage, all the way to the front door when he broke in from the back of the house."
"I lived with only my mother who unfortunately didn't survive. I vividly remember picking out the guy in a photo line up while recovering in the ICU."
"I am very lucky to have kept my left arm, I have 32 pins and screws to make up for my shattered elbow. My left leg has permanent nerve damage and I now have 'drop foot'. Despite my physical injuries and PTSD, I am doing very well."
We are not all born the same.
"I'm one of the lucky few with the CCR5-delta-32 mutation. Why is that relevant? It makes me immune to HIV and a handful of other pathogens, most notably the Bubonic Plague."
"I have 2 lenses in my right eye, so it focuses like binoculars. My doctor wrote a paper about it. Mostly blinded as a baby in my left eye. Dr suspected my right lense split then healed as 2 distinct lenses. Better than 20/20 in my right eye."
"When I was born, I was so premature that my dad, who had quite dainty piano fingers, could slide his wedding ring up my arm to my shoulder. (I weighed 2 lbs, born at 27 weeks)."
"I had 6 toes on each foot at birth and got them cut off you can see the place they cut them at."
People live with the unfortunate risk that their lives can be cut short at any given moment.
Ticking Time Bomb
"I have an enlarged aortic root. It's very unlikely, but it could spontaneously rupture leading to the medical term adjusts glasses... 'instantaneous death'. I would pass out, bleed to death, and then fall over. Dead before hitting the ground. And it could happen at any time. My wife is very uncomfortable thinking about it lol."
For The Sake Of Survival
"my immune system backfired and tried to murder me and almost succeeded. I now have to take multiple injections every single day all day or i'll die a painful death within a week."
"Just trying to write diabetes in the most bad-a** way."
A friend of mine once told me that the name I've known him by was not his real name.
He had gone by an alias, which everyone at work assumed was his actual name, to protect himself and his identity after he had been violently hunted down, stalked and threatened for his life for witnessing a murder.
The suspects involved were eventually caught and locked away for good.
I don't remember all the other details about the traumatizing incident because I was completely stupefied.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/