From the flat earth theory to the FEMA camp under the Denver airport, conspiracy theories suggest some wild things. However, they might not all be theories. If you spend enough time watching conspiracy theorists on YouTube, you may start to believe some of these rumors. The arguments can be unsettlingly realistic. Below are 24 that have many people genuinely questioning what they thought they knew.
1. The CIA Sells Drugs
Some people believe in the conspiracy theory that the CIA is basically a drug cartel. They sell and distribute drugs to generate revenue to continue operating. There are plenty of conspiracies that involve the CIA doing shady stuff, and their operations are confidential, so it’s possible they are doing illegal activities.
2. Phone Updates Are Evil
There have been rumors or suggestions that every phone update you get actually weakens your phone, making it work slower and glitch. The phone companies do this to force you to buy a new phone every few years. Otherwise, people could use their phone for a decade and never buy a new one.
3. The Meat Industry Funds PETA
An interesting conspiracy theory that many buy into is that the meat industry not only encourages PETA but they fund its activities. They use PETA’s extreme behavior to dismiss any criticism of the meat industry, even legitimate criticisms.
4. There Was Never an Ugly Sonic the Hedgehog
This one is much more low stakes, but some believe they never intended to use the weird-looking Sonic the Hedgehog. They only created this freaky Sonic to generate interest in the movie and make sure people were talking about Sonic. This conspiracy is probably true.
5. The Government Murdered JFK
On a more serious note, some people wholeheartedly believe that the US government is responsible for the death of JFK. The circumstances surrounding his death have always been foggy, but many people who have studied the video of his final moments believe Oswald was not the perpetrator or he didn’t act alone.
6. The Government Murdered MLK
Along with JFK, people also think the American government took out MLK for political reasons. A man named James Earl Ray was convicted of the murder, but there is little evidence that proves this, and he was mainly sentenced based on a confession, which could’ve been coerced out of him.
7. Big Purse Is Why Women Never Have Pockets
How many times have you heard a woman complain about the small size or lack of pockets in her pants? If so many people complain about this, why wouldn’t clothing manufacturers make a change? It’s because the massive and lucrative purse industry stops them from adding pockets to keep women dependent on handbags.
8. Cancer Is Population Control
Cancer is a rampant medical issue that we still have no cure for. Or do we? Some think that cancer is a manufactured disease weaponized to keep the human population down. Many also believe that the government has a cure for cancer, but they don’t want to share it with the public.
9. Big Pharma Experiments on Homeless People
The homeless problem in America is notable, and drug abuse plays a large role in it. However, some theorize that Big Pharma forces homeless people to take experimental drugs so they can study the effects without having to follow testing restrictions. This conspiracy is heartbreaking if true and explains a lot about the homeless population in the US.
10. Big Pharma Is Against Preventative Medication
Big Pharma’s entire existence is supposed to create drugs and treatments that can help people, right? Well, it’s been suggested that they actively work to stifle the creation and distribution of preventative medications because they make more money off treating problems, not preventing them.
11. Lyme Disease Is a Bioweapon
This one sounds crazy, but it might not be. Supposedly, Lyme disease is a bioweapon that was released during the Cold War and has not been contained since. There have even been official calls for the Pentagon to investigate these claims. Lyme disease has only been around, as far as we know, since the ’70s, so this could be plausible.
12. The Government Promotes Conspiracies
I have no doubt in my mind that this is true. The US government will perpetuate false conspiracies involving UFOs and foreign governments to throw the public off the trail that leads to the truth. If everyone is looking at faux UFOs in the sky, they won’t notice all the shady stuff the government is actually doing.
13. Gambling Sites Run the NFL
People think that the NFL is basically rigged by gambling sites and other corporations, so they control the outcome of every game. This conspiracy takes a lot of the fun out of watching the Super Bowl, but the power gambling sites and corporations have in the US makes this theory believable.
14. Stevie Wonder Can See
I’ll give you a lighthearted one to break up the gloom and doom that is this list. I don’t know why some people believe this one so strongly, but according to a few online conspiracy theorists, Stevie Wonder is faking being blind. I’m going to go out on a limb and say this is probably not true.
15. China Uses Fentanyl to Destabilize the US
Supposedly, China supplies cartels in North America with fentanyl in an effort to destabilize the US and increase drug addictions in the country. This is pure evil but also entirely possible. It could be considered an act of warfare by some, so this conspiracy is a dark one.
16. COVID-19 Was Created in a Lab
The general story is that COVID-19 came from animals, specifically raccoon dogs. However, others believe it was created in a lab as a research experiment and then accidentally released into the world. This theory implies it was accidental but completely manmade.
17. FDR Let Pearl Harbor Happen
Conspiracy theorists aren’t saying that FDR enacted the attacks on Pearl Harbor, but they do say that he had prior knowledge about the incoming bombs and did nothing to stop them. If true, this would be a heartbreaking and awful addition to American history.
18. Bush Let 9/11 Happen
Similarly, many theorists have also proposed that Bush knew 9/11 was going to happen and also did nothing to prevent it. Others say he orchestrated the attacks, but more people think he had intel about the planes and let the crashes happen anyway.
19. OJ Didn’t Do It
A very interesting conspiracy is that OJ Simpson did not murder his wife. Some people think that it was his son who took her life, but OJ was a witness to the murder. This conspiracy also implies that Robert Kardashian, his lawyer, was instrumental in the cover-up.
20. Queen Elizabeth Had Princess Diana Murdered
While Diana and the Queen certainly had their problems, this one is farfetched. The main reason she died in the crash is she was not wearing a seatbelt and otherwise would have survived. Nevertheless, many think the Queen paid someone to crash into her car.
21. Rich People Rule the World
This compelling conspiracy is very much rooted in reality. People suspect that the affluent people of the world have even more power than we think they do. This conspiracy involves a shadow government, secret societies, blackmail, and more crazy things that, if true, are terrifying.
22. Celebs Don’t Give Their Children Stupid Names
Us average joes love to laugh at the ridiculous names that celebrities give their children, like Elon and Grimes naming their kid X Æ A-XII. However, it’s been suggested that these are fake names that celebs give the public while they keep their child’s true identities private.
23. Aliens Are Among Us
While UFO sightings and theories about aliens can be interesting conspiracies, some people think we are far past that. Many believe that aliens are already here on Earth with us, living as our neighbors or hiding out in the nooks and crannies of the world. If they are here, why don’t they come out and play?
24. We Are in a Simulation
People like to make jokes about how our simulation is glitching as if we’re in the Matrix or something. But many people genuinely believe that we’re living in a generated world that is vastly different from our physical reality. If true, maybe it’s okay to call out of work on Monday.
Veronica is a food, fashion, and entertainment writer from Boston, MA, with a passion for all things lifestyle and culture. She graduated from Boston University in 2019 with a bachelor's in English literature. From Anna Wintour to Angelina Jolie to Alton Brown, she has her finger on the pulse of all things Hollywood and celebrity.
If she's not in the kitchen crafting new recipes, then she's binging the latest HBO series and catching up on the hottest trends in Vogue.
She has written for and been syndicated by publications like The Weather Channel, The Daily Meal, The Borgen Project, The Good Men Project, The Express, MSN, Wealth of Geeks, and Not Deer Magazine. Her writing experience ranges from global news articles to celebrity gossip pieces to movie reviews to homemade recipes and more.