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Top 10 Recently Conceived Conspiracy Theories

by Oliver Taylor
fact checked by Jamie Frater

We’ve heard lots of conspiracy theories over the years. Most of the time, governments, public figures, and even private citizens end up getting accused of being up to one prank or another. What you may not realize is that newer conspiracy theories have popped up over the years, and they sound as hilarious and impossible as the older ones.

However, as time has proven, there could be come truth to them. At the same time, they could just be what they are: theories. Here are ten recently created conspiracy theories.

10 Mark Zuckerberg Is A Lizard

Photo credit: Time

The theory that Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, is a shape-shifting reptilian first made rounds in 2010, when he was chosen as Time ‘s Person of the Year. The picture Time used showed Zuckerberg with green eyes and pupils that (according to some) seemed to run from top to bottom. Zuckerberg tried bringing the lizard conspiracy theory to an end when he denied being a reptilian during a live Facebook video stream. However, this was all some people needed to confirm that he was indeed a reptile, since only a lizard person would deny being one.[1]

The Mark Zuckerberg lizard conspiracy is part of a larger theory that claims that some humans are reptilians in disguise. One of the pro-reptile conspiracy theorists is David Icke, who believes humans were created by a race of aliens called the Anunnaki. The Anunnaki created normal humans alongside reptilians, who would rule over the normal humans. These lizard people can be found in the Illuminati, the British royal family, and the United Nations. They also include former US presidents like George Washington and George W. Bush.

Zuckerberg is just one of several people who have been openly accused of being lizards. Former US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld has also been accused, along with New Zealand’s former prime minister, John Key. Rumsfeld refused to confirm or deny whether he was a lizard, while Key denied being a reptilian and claimed that his doctor and vet had also agreed that he wasn’t one.

9 Robert De Niro Shot Malala Yousafzai

Photo credit: Southbank Centre

Pakistani schoolgirl and girl education advocate Malala Yousafzai made headlines in 2012, when she was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman while returning home from school. Malala survived and went on to become an international hero. This culminated in her winning a Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, at the age of 17, making her its youngest recipient to date.

Malala might be an international hero, but she isn’t in her native Pakistan, where some believe the shooting was staged. A parliamentarian from her hometown even claimed that the shooting was jointly planned by Malala and the Pakistani government. Some also believe the shooter was none other than Italian-American actor and director Robert De Niro. This claim was taken from a satirical article published by Dawn, an English-language Pakistani newspaper, which claimed that the shooting was a CIA operation and that De Niro was the shooter.[2] The newspaper made it clear that the article was satire, but some Pakistanis took it seriously.

Many Pakistanis have negative views about Malala, since other children have faced worse than she did. Besides, most believe Malala hasn’t helped Pakistan with her fame and instead prefers frolicking with the West, which most Pakistanis have reservations about. When Malala won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, the All Pakistan Private Schools’ Federation, which has a membership of 150,000 schools, organized an “I am not Malala” day in protest of her book I Am Malala, which they wanted banned.

8 Finland Does Not Exist

In 2015, Reddit user Raregans retold a story of how his parents tried convincing him that Finland does not exist. He did not believe the story, but it was enough to start a conspiracy theory that Finland isn’t real. Conspiracy theorists believe Japan and the Soviet Union colluded to create the nonexistent Finland so that they could fish in its supposed waters without interference. This, they say, is the reason why the name of Finland starts with “fin,” since fish have fins.

To add credence to the theory, conspiracy theorists insist that the Trans-Siberian Railway was built to transport the fish from the Baltic Sea to Japan under the guise of transporting Nokia products. This explains why Japan is the world’s largest importer of Nokia products, even though Nokia has a small market in the country. Conspiracy theorists further claim that pilots who fly over the supposedly nonexistent country are bribed to claim it exists, while people who live in Finland actually live in small, remote towns in Sweden, Estonia, and Russia. Aerial images showing Finland are also passed off as fake.[3]

7 Israel-Trained Sharks Are Attacking Tourists In Egypt

In 2010, the beaches of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, became the scene of a series of shark attacks that killed and injured several tourists. Shark experts believe the attacks were either caused by illegal fishing or humans feeding the sharks, but some Egyptians think otherwise. Some believe that Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, trained and planted the sharks in Egypt’s waters. Others think the sharks were remotely controlled by Mossad or could even have been a Mossad agent dressed in a shark costume.[4]

This is not some random claim. It was reported on television, and General Abdel-Fadeel Shosha, the governor of South Sinai at the time, stated that Israel’s involvement in the shark attacks could not be ruled out, even though the incident was still under investigation. Dr. Mahmoud Hanafy, an Egyptian marine biologist, later dismissed the claims. The Sharm el-Sheikh shark attacks aren’t the first time Israel has been accused of using animals against Egypt or other Arab nations. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey have also accused Israel of using birds to spy on them.

6 Eminem Is Dead And Has Been Replaced By An Android

Photo credit: Kevin Mazur

It sounds weird, but there are people who believe that rapper Eminem is dead and has been replaced by a lookalike android, clone, or doppelganger. Conspiracy theorists who believe this theory claim Eminem died of a drug overdose in 2006, and they have proof. One is Eminem’s mode of dressing, which reportedly changed after 2005. Facial features of the pre-2005 and post-2005 Eminem have also been compared and claimed to be those of two different people, with the post-2005 Eminem reportedly looking younger.

Further analysis showed that Eminem’s style of music changed after 1999. Before then, he rapped about his strained relationship with his mother and the love he had for his daughter, but then he rapped about murder. This has made some believe that Eminem died around 1999 and not 2006.

Other musicians have also supposedly given hints of the rapper being a clone. In Eminem’s song “Fall Back,” his friend Proof rapped, “The Devil’s in the next room. Guess who sparks life out test tubes? Special delivery clone vessels.” The Devil in question is believed to refer to Eminem’s cloning. Canibus, in his song “Dead by Design,” also rapped, “You scream for hardcore. I felt it, but what you gon’ do when they kill me on some Eminem?”—another supposedly valid proof that Eminem is dead.[5]

5 Taylor Swift Is A Clone Of Zeena Schreck

Photo credit: Paper

Eminem isn’t the only musician accused of being a clone. Singer Taylor Swift is also in the same boat. She is said to have been cloned from DNA extracted from Zeena Schreck, a former high priestess of the Church of Satan and daughter of the church’s founder. The theory has been around since 2013 and has stuck, no thanks to the fact that Swift does resemble Schreck’s appearance in years past.

Schreck, born Zeena LaVey, was the high priestess of the Church of Satan between 1985 and 1990, while Swift was born in 1989. Swift’s album, 1989, which she named after her birth year, is said to be a deliberate attempt to fool people into thinking she is not a clone. Swift, in fact, is believed to be one of Zeena’s many clones. Another clone is Tumblr personality Becky, who reportedly died after snorting marijuana.[6]

4 Foreign Intelligence Agencies Communicate With Ripped Jeans

In Turkey, there is a conspiracy theory that foreign intelligence agents operating inside the country communicate with ripped jeans. The agents are said to wear the ripped garments, which have the same serial numbers and are torn in the same places, to identify and secretly communicate among themselves. This conspiracy theory was started by Yeni Akit, a pro-government newspaper.

The newspaper revealed that Turkish intelligence had detected the plot and would track the secret agents. They’ll probably have to track a lot of people, since around 23 million pairs of jeans are sold in Turkey every year, though the number of ripped jeans sold is unknown.[7]

3 Foreign Powers Are Causing Earthquakes In Turkey

The ripped jeans conspiracy theory isn’t the only one to come out of Turkey. Another is that foreign nations are deliberately causing earthquakes in Turkey. One of the supporters of this theory is Melih Gokcek, the mayor of Turkey’s capital, Ankara, who believes the United States and several European nations possess “earthquake machines,” which they were using to cause tremors in Turkey. Gokcek first mentioned his man-made earthquake theory in 2014, when he claimed the Gulen movement, a religious movement in Turkey, owned and operated earthquake-making equipment.[8]

When an earthquake hit Canakkale in February 2017, he claimed it was caused by a foreign nation trying to destabilize Turkey. Gokcek stated there was a suspicious seismic ship around Turkish waters and demanded to know which nation owned the ship and why it was around. At the same time, he called for closer monitoring of ships and submarines in Turkey’s waters. When a 6.7-magnitude earthquake shook Bodrum on July 20, 2017, Gokcek took to Twitter, where he claimed the tremor was caused by a foreign nation. The US Geological Survey claimed the quake was caused by a fault, just like every other earthquake in the region.

2 Everything About HAARP

Photo credit: US Air Force

The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) is a US military project to research the ionosphere, the upper part of the atmosphere, in order to improve radio communications. The program started in 1993 and has its primary research facility in Alaska. However, it has been at the receiving end of several conspiracy theories and has been blamed for the 2003 explosion of the Columbia space shuttle, the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the 2011 Japanese earthquake, and the 2014 disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370), among others.

Some believe the US government used the Columbia space shuttle as target practice for whatever HAARP was developing. It is also believed that MH370 went off course and crashed after HAARP interfered with its radar. Some also believe that HAARP caused the 2011 Japanese earthquake by heating the ionosphere above the earthquake’s epicenter. This theory was fueled by NASA’s revelation that the ionosphere above that area had rapidly heated days before the earthquake.

This wasn’t the only time HAARP has been blamed for trying to modify the weather. When the US East Coast suffered extremely low temperatures due to a polar vortex, some accused HAARP of trying to modify the weather.[9] The US Air Force shut HAARP down in 2015 and handed the facility over to the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Even though the project is no longer under the control of the military, we have definitely not heard the last of it.

1 FEMA Is Building Concentration Camps And Stacking Coffins Across The US

Photo credit: Popular Mechanics

There is an ongoing conspiracy theory that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is building concentration camps across the United States and buying hundreds of thousands of coffins in preparation for some mass annihilation. One of these concentration camps is believed to have been built in Wyoming. Aerial photographs of the supposed camp have been circulating on the Internet and were purported to have been erroneously uploaded on the Department of Homeland Security’s website before being taken down.

It was later revealed that the photograph in question is actually of a North Korean prison camp and was originally released by the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea. Another supposed concentration camp turned out to be Camp Grayling National Guard training center in Michigan, and a third turned out to be the Beech Grove Amtrak facility, where trains are repaired. A video of the insides of one of the supposed camps showed it to have airtight buildings that would be used to gas Americans to death. The video was later revealed to have been taken from a documentary filmed in the late 1990s.

The last of the conspiracy theories is that FEMA has about 500,000 airtight coffins in Atlanta, Georgia, which means the US government might be preparing for a large-scale death, given that the CDC is in Atlanta. This theory has also been debunked. The coffins (burial vaults, actually) are owned by Vantage and are made and stored for preorder customers. There are also around 50,000, not 500,000.[10]


For a mere sampler of other conspiracy theories out there, check out 10 Peculiar Conspiracy Theories Surrounding Famous Leaders and 10 Conspiracy Theories Surrounding Brexit.

fact checked by Jamie Frater