Is Katy Perry really JonBenét Ramsey? Is Solange really Beyoncé's daughter? Here, a look back at the craziest conspiracies of all time.
Beyoncé Faked Her Pregnancy
Speculation about Beyoncé's 2011 pregnancy began the second she announced she was with child at the VMAs that year. There were rumors that the Carters were using a surrogate, but things peaked when Bey appeared in an interview on Australian TV. You know the interview (opens in new tab): the one that seemingly showed Bey's stomach "folding" as she was sitting down. Her reps later told ABC that the fake baby bump rumors were "stupid, ridiculous, and false." In 2013, Beyoncé addressed the media scrutiny in her documentary Life Is But a Dream, along with confirmation that she had a miscarriage prior to becoming pregnant with Blue Ivy. "It's hard to go through public experiences when you're in the public eye because it's hard to have closure."
Solange Is Actually Beyoncé's Daughter
How old is Beyoncé, really? According to one wild conspiracy theory, she's in her early 40s and on top of that, she's Solange's mother—not sister. This is based on several things that come with no solid proof whatsoever: (1) a birth certificate from the Department of Health in Texas (opens in new tab) that supposedly shows Beyoncé's birth year as 1974; (2) people hanging on to every word from a Gabrielle Union interview in which she claims she's been friends with Bey since they were teens (Gabrielle was born in 1972); (3) a rando Columbia Records employee (opens in new tab) who claims to have seen Bey's driver's license ("don't ask how"), which apparently lists Bey's birth year as 1974. There's a related theory that mama Tina is actually Beyoncé's sister, but let's not even go there.
Lorde Is Old
Shortly after the release of "Royals" in 2013, a group of Lorde age truthers emerged and claimed that the singer was older than her stated age of 17. The conspiracy theory even inspired a South Park episode. In early 2014, The Hairpin (opens in new tab) put an end to this nonsense and requested a copy of Lorde's birth certificate from her native New Zealand to show that Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor was indeed born on Nov. 7, 1996 and not one day or year earlier.
Michael Jackson and His Sister Latoya Are the Same Person
Seemingly coming from nowhere decades ago, there has been a long-standing theory that Michael and Latoya are one and the same. In this regard, photos of the siblings, who were born two years apart, mean nothing to conspiracy theorists.
Courtney Love Killed Kurt Cobain
More than 20 years after Kurt Cobain's death was officially ruled a suicide, a small group of naysayers still believe Kurt was murdered. Over the years, suspects have included everyone from his widow Courtney Love to fellow members of Nirvana. Private investigator Tom Grant, who was hired by Courtney to investigate the death, later made stunning claims that Courtney hand-wrote part of the singer's suicide letter. In 1998, the documentary Kurt & Courtney found no evidence that Courtney was behind Kurt's death. Leading the pack of these so-called theorists has been Seattle-based writer Richard Lee, who made headlines in 2015 after the Seattle Police Department released five never-before-scene photos of the shotgun found in Kurt's home. Lee, who attempted to push for the release of even more photos of the crime scene — photos Kurt and Courtney's daughter Frances Bean says would "encourage disturbed stalkers and fanatical threats"—has kept a growing list of murder suspects over the years, with Courtney on top.
Khloé Kardashian Is O.J. Simpson's Daughter
Khloé's paternity has been one of the great mysteries among Kardashian fans for years. The Simpsons and Kardashians were friends who traveled together with their families, long before Robert joined O.J.'s "Dream Team" when the latter was on trial. In 2009, Khloé asked Kris on an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians if she was adopted, noting that she had a darker complexion than her siblings and her hair looked different. The family revisited the subject again on the show in 2012 (opens in new tab) when Kris tried to get her family to do a DNA test to prove Khloé was in fact Robert's daughter. Khloé refused the test (opens in new tab) and slammed Kris on the episode: "Seriously, my dad is Robert Kardashian. My other dad is Bruce Jenner. If you fucked other people during the same time and you do not know, go on Maury." In July 2017, trolls spammed Khloé's social media accounts with messages of congratulations following news that O.J. had been granted parole. Khloé responded in one tweet, "People are assholes but I don't care lol I focus on the good."
Elvis Presley Is Still Alive
Despite the official conclusion that Elvis died of a heart attack in Graceland in 1977, legions of fans and believers have sworn they've seen the King walking about over the years. Leading the pack of Facebook groups, books, and movies is the Canadian-based Elvis Sighting Society (opens in new tab), which calls police and coroners' reports "petty." One sighting, by the way, placed Elvis at a Tim Horton's at 2 a.m. There's also a theory that Elvis faked his own death to live his life as one Jon Burrows, or maybe he went by Jimmy Ellis—take your pick. In 1990, fans swore they spotted Elvis in the background during an airport scene in Home Alone, but director Chris Columbus shot that rumor down real fast. Some also believe Elvis has been in Graceland this whole time. Could this guy tending to the yard (opens in new tab) be Elvis? Or is it this guy with a beard standing with fans during the annual birthday tribute (opens in new tab) event in Graceland in January 2017?
Tupac Is Still Alive
Did Tupac really die from his injuries after being shot multiple times in a drive-by in Las Vegas? Not according to the many, many people who have reportedly seen him in the flesh since 1996. Were those really his ashes? Why did the autopsy (opens in new tab) incorrectly list his height and weight? Is he actually living in Cuba? Should you believe anything Suge Knight (opens in new tab) says about Pac? Did Knight order the hit? And what does the CIA (opens in new tab) know?
Marilyn Monroe Was Murdered
While the L.A. County coroner's office officially ruled Marilyn Monroe's death in 1962 a probable suicide based on her history with drugs and personal struggles, several conspiracy theories about why she died have emerged in the years since. Most point to murder by everyone from the CIA (to cover up an alleged affair with JFK and reported knowledge Monroe had about the UFO (opens in new tab)) to RFK (who allegedly ordered for her assignation to protect any leak of their reported affair) to the mob.
Jim Morrison Was Murdered
Some 40 years after the Doors frontman Jim Morrison was found dead in a bathtub in Paris, singer Marianne Faithfull told Mojo (opens in new tab) magazine that it wasn't heart failure that killed the musician, but her ex-boyfriend Jean de Breteuil, who dealt heroine to high-profile clients like Morrison. "He went to see Jim Morrison and killed him. I mean, I'm sure it was an accident. Poor bastard," she told the magazine. No autopsy was ever performed at the time, as French law doesn't require it, spawning countless conspiracy theories about how Morrison died. There's also the theory that he's actually alive and well, surfacing in the Bahamas, Paris, and Oregon. Have you met Richard the "homeless hippy" from New York (opens in new tab)? Apparently, he's also Jim Morrison.
The FBI Killed Biggie and Tupac
Six months after Tupac died, Biggie Smalls was shot to death in a drive-by in Los Angeles. Two decades later, their murders remain unsolved, giving way to conspiracy theories including one that points the finger at the FBI. At the time of their respective murders, Tupac and Biggie were at the center of a heated West Coast vs. East Coast battle, with Puff Daddy and Suge Knight also playing key roles. The theory is that the FBI ordered hit jobs on both rappers in what was, essentially, a war on rap. In 2008, John Potash published a book on the theory, The FBI War on Tupac and Black Leaders (opens in new tab), based on interviews and CIA, FBI, and court documents that suggest Tupac was under surveillance by the FBI before he died.
Prince Harry Isn't Prince Charles' Son
Prince Harry's paternity has long been a subject among royal gossipmongers, who believe James Hewitt is Harry's biological father. In 1986, two years after Harry's birth, his mother, Princess Diana, began a five-year affair with Hewitt, her horse-riding instructor. Following their affair, both parties confirmed their relationship in the mid-90s, but Hewitt has been unable to escape the paternity rumor. On Harry's 18th birthday, Hewitt told the Sunday Mirror (opens in new tab), "There is really no possibility that I am Harry's father. I can absolutely assure you that I am not," despite his own admission that they both have red hair and look alike. In March 2017, Hewitt again shot down the rumor (opens in new tab), noting that it's "worse for [Harry than it is for me], probably, poor chap."
J.K. Rowling Isn't Real
J.K. Rowling's origin story is well known. She was a financially struggling single mother who came up with the idea for Harry Potter on a train then wrote the first book in cafés; she's now one of the richest authors in the world. According to this theory (opens in new tab), none of that is true. Harry Potter was actually masterminded by a team of advertisers and writers who lab-created a franchise that would appeal to the entire world, and the woman you think is "J.K. Rowling" is just an actress hired to play the part of the author at events. Why that "actress" has gone on to write books that aren't part of the Harry Potter franchise is a mystery to be solved another day.
Stephen King Killed John Lennon
Do entertain this for a minute: With orders from Nixon and Reagan, author Stephen King—not Mark David Chapman—pulled the trigger and killed John Lennon on Dec. 8, 1980. In 2009, one Steve Lightfoot made this very claim after interrupting a meeting of the Sarasota City Commission in Florida. Lightfoot claims Nixon and Reagan wanted Lennon and his anti-war message out of the U.S., and that King posed as Chapman to murder Lennon. (Sure, the two look sort of similar, but that's about it.) Lightfoot has an entire website (opens in new tab) dedicated to this theory, along with more information if the price is right.
Lewis Carroll Was Jack the Ripper
There have been many conspiracy theories related to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland author Lewis Carroll, whose real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. The most stunning theory is that he was Jack the Ripper (opens in new tab), despite there being no substantive evidence. In 1996, Richard Wallace published Jack the Ripper, Light-Hearted Friend (opens in new tab), asserting that Carroll had teamed up with Thomas Vere Bayne for the murders. Wallace based his theory on anagrams from Carroll's The Nursery "Alice" and the first volume of Sylvie and Bruno, which Wallace claimed were actually confessions from the author.
Walt Disney's Body Is Cryogenically Frozen
Despite what messages you think all the Disney on Ice shows and the Frozen franchise suggest, Walt Disney's body was never cryogenically frozen so that he could have been reanimated in the future. It's the Waltsicle myth that just won't die, and it's all thanks to Bob Nelson, the president of the Cryonics Society of California, who revealed to the L.A. Times in 1972 (opens in new tab) that Walt Disney Studios had inquired about the freezing process just before Disney died in 1966. In 2012, in a move to shut down all Disney-related rumors, his daughter Diane Disney Miller opened the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco, noting that young kids would ask her own kids (opens in new tab), "My mother said your grandfather was anti-Semetic" or "Your grandfather is frozen, isn't he?"
Nicolas Cage Is a Vampire
In 2011, an antiques dealer named Jack Mord listed (opens in new tab) a photograph for sale on eBay. This photograph was taken around 1870, but according to Mord, the man in this photograph was Nicolas Cage. "Personally, I believe it's him and that he is some sort of walking undead/vampire…who quickens/reinvents himself once every 75 years or so," Mord wrote in the listing. Obviously, this theory caught on like wildfire because it's hilarious and involves Nicolas Cage, but according to Cage, it's not even a little bit true. "You can't take pictures of vampires," he told (opens in new tab) David Letterman in 2012. "I don't drink blood, and the last time I looked in the mirror I had a reflection." Likely story.
Pokémon Go Is a Government Spy Program
Pokémon Go was a huge hit as soon as it landed the app store in the summer of 2016, because apparently everyone—and I mean everyone—wants to walk around in circles catching animated creatures till their phone dies. But the fun wasn't without drawbacks. Initially, Niantic, the developer behind the game, had almost unlimited access (opens in new tab) to Google accounts registered in the app. After that controversy got cleared up, conspiracy theorists still thought the game's use of GPS tracking was questionable (opens in new tab). Did they really need all that information on your whereabouts to give you Squirtles and Charmanders? And more importantly, were they storing it all so they could hand it over to law enforcement for something nefarious and/or quasi-legal? Probably not, but the possibility doesn't seem to have deterred very many people—the game is still popular all over the world.
Justin Bieber Is a Lizard Person
In early 2017, an Australian site posted (opens in new tab) (then deleted) a report that bystanders claimed to have seen Justin transform into a lizard in public, in broad daylight. The deletion would suggest to most people that the story was bullshit, but the speculation didn't stop. Another site (opens in new tab) claimed that Justin was a member of the "dominant reptilian-Illuminati bloodline," which then resurfaced a video from 2014 showing Justin "blinking like a lizard (opens in new tab)" that time he got arrested. The real question here is what are the other kinds of Illuminati bloodlines? Vulpine? Amphibian? Lupine? The world needs to know.
There's Not Just One Andrew W.K.
Andrew W.K. is a rock star who was born in 1979 and whose real name is Andrew Wilkes-Krier. Or is he? According to this longstanding theory (opens in new tab) that just won't die, "Andrew W.K." is not one man but a piece of performance art created by a group of people who have at various times played the Andrew W.K. "character." This is largely based on photos (opens in new tab) of Andrew that show him with different hair lengths and varying degrees of beard, so the simplest explanation is probably, "Sometimes men get haircuts."
One Direction's Management Hid "Larry Stylinson" From the World
"X Celebrity Is Gay" theories are a dime a dozen, but very few of them are as involved as this one (opens in new tab). According to believers, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson—AKA, Larry Stylinson—have been in a romantic relationship for many years, kept secret by One Direction's management so as to not upset the fantasy that the guys of 1D are all heterosexual men any woman could date in real life. Proponents analyze every photo, interview, lyric, tattoo, and music video for evidence that Harry and Louis are looking at each other longingly or exchanging subtle flirtations; they also claim that the guys' relationships with women like Eleanor Calder and Taylor Swift were staged to hide Larry's true love. Louis has publicly denied (opens in new tab) that any of this is true, and also said that it interfered with his real friendship with Harry because they were both so busy trying not to give theorists more ammunition.
Stanley Kubrick Faked the Moon Landing
"Moon landing conspiracy theories" could be its own 50-part slideshow, but for the purposes of overlap with "pop culture conspiracy theories," we'll just focus on one. First, assume that the moon landing as you know it did not really happen—no one went to space, no one walked on the moon, and certainly no one planted an American flag on the surface of Earth's little buddy. Second, remember that Stanley Kubrick directed 2001: A Space Odyssey, which came out in 1968, the year before the U.S. supposedly landed on the moon. The theory goes that NASA, having assumed Kubrick would be good at making a Hollywood set look like the moon, hired him to film and "direct" the moon landing, which would be broadcast on television. Believers think Kubrick dropped hints about his involvement in The Shining (which itself is so allegedly full of symbolism that there's an entire documentary (opens in new tab) about it). In 2016, Kubrick's daughter called the theory (opens in new tab) a "grotesque lie," but tinfoil hats are going to wear tinfoil hats.
Every Celebrity Is in the Illuminati
The Illuminati was a real secret society founded in 18th century Bavaria that opposed tyranny and supported separation of church and state, but it died off in the late 1700s when the guy in charge of Bavaria outlawed secret societies. Or did it? Conspiracy theorists think the group just reformed and expanded, and has been manipulating world events for centuries. Also, every single celebrity you've ever heard of—Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, JAY-Z, Madonna (opens in new tab), etc.—is in the group, and they indoctrinate regular people through symbols hidden in the lyrics and music videos.
Paul McCartney Is Dead
An oldie but goodie, this theory postulates that Paul McCartney died in a car accident in 1966 and the Beatles hid it for the rest of their career and/or hired a lookalike to replace him. Sleuths found clues in photos and lyrics, most famously on the cover of Abbey Road (opens in new tab), which is supposedly a "funeral procession" for Paul. Paul is one of only two Beatles still alive and has enjoyed a long and lucrative post-Beatles career, so if he really was replaced by a lookalike, said lookalike is doing awfully well for himself.
Avril Lavigne Was Replaced By a Lookalike in 2003
This is the rare conspiracy theory that started because someone was trying to prove how easy it is to spread conspiracy theories. It began with a Brazilian blog post (opens in new tab) alleging that Avril committed suicide in 2003 and was replaced by another woman named Melissa Vandella so that Avril's record label could continue profiting off the Lavigne name. This blog post made it clear that the whole theory was just an illustration of a conspiracy theory, but after the blog post got picked up by BuzzFeed (opens in new tab), the theory picked up steam again and believers combed through photos and lyrics for evidence that "Avril" is really Melissa. It is still not true.
The Titanic Didn't Sink
This theory, popularized by Robin Gardiner's 1998 book, Titanic: The Ship That Never Sank? (opens in new tab), posits that it was the Titanic's sister ship, the Olympic, that fell to the bottom of the Atlantic on April 15, 1912—not the Titanic—as part of an insurance scam. Go with it: trouble began when the Olympic, which was virtually identical to the Titanic, crashed into the Royal Navy Warship HMS Hawke in 1911 and White Star Line, owner of the twin ships, was found to be at fault for the collision. You don't need J.P. Morgan's credentials to know what that means: money loss. The theory goes that to make up for the financial hit, White Star Line (owned by Morgan) patched up its damaged goods, sent the vessel out disguised as the Titanic, and orchestrated its sinking for an insurance payout that would more than make up for its previous money drain—especially since the real Titanic, a shiny new ship, would be up and running in the aftermath. You can sort through the fishy details (opens in new tab) at your leisure, but consider this in the meantime: Morgan was supposed to board the Titanic for its maiden voyage, but conveniently canceled those plans.
Princess Diana Was Murdered
According to this theory, Prince Philip ordered the British Secret Service, MI6, to murder Princess Diana and her lover Dodi Fayed, and stage it to look like a crash. The alleged motive? Diana was pregnant with Fayed's child and planning to announce their engagement—a union that would not sit well with the British Royal Family because Fayed was an Egyptian Muslim, not a Christian. This theory is especially disturbing because it has been in part supported by Fayed's father (opens in new tab), Mohamed Al-Fayed. After a British inquest in 2008, a jury ruled Diana and Dodi's death an "unlawful killing" by driver Henri Paul, who was under the influence and also died in the wreck, and the aggressive paparazzi.
Britney Spears Was an Instrument of the Bush Administration
What if Britney Spears's public meltdown—which peaked in 2007, when she shaved her head—wasn't the result of her own personal issues? What if she was being paid by the Bush administration to grab headlines away from a corrupt and incompetent White House? Low approval ratings? "Somebody call Britney and tell her to drive with her infant on her lap!" Republicans tanking in the midterm elections? "Somebody get Britney on the horn! We need her to divorce Kevin Federline." It's a funny enough theory until you get to the part where sleuths claim (opens in new tab) Britney was seen canoodling with Bush White House adviser Karl Rove back in 2002, which would explain her ties to the administration. There is no photo evidence of that union, however—and hopefully there never will be.
Louis Tomlinson's Baby Is Fake
If you thought One Direction conspiracy theories died when the band went on hiatus, then you don't understand anything about One Direction conspiracy theories. Back in January 2016, Louis had a baby (opens in new tab) with a woman named Briana Jungwirth; news that she was expecting had come as a bit of a shock (opens in new tab) to fans in 2015. Tinfoil hats got to work as soon as reports of her pregnancy came out and started speculating (opens in new tab) that Briana's relationship was Louis was fake and the "baby" was created by 1D management to quell Larry Stylinson rumors (see number 22) once and for all. After Freddie's birth, baby truthers suggested that the baby was either a doll or an infant belonging to a publicist for 1D's label, that paparazzi photos of Louis and Briana carrying the baby's car seat were staged, and that most Instagrams of Freddie had been Photoshopped in some way. Both Louis and Briana (opens in new tab) have publicly expressed their disdain for this "investigation."
Miley Cyrus Was an Instrument of the Obama Administration
It all started when Korn frontman Jonathan Davis released a video for "Spike My Veins (opens in new tab)," featuring clips from Miley Cyrus's infamous VMAs performance as well as scenes from her "Wrecking Ball" video. He later gave an interview (opens in new tab) to Alex Jones, telling the racist, far-right radio host that Miley's Bangerz-era antics were part of the Obama administration's ploy to distract Americans as their "liberties [were] being taken away one by one." This is proof that sometimes the '90s should just stay in the '90s.
'The Simpsons' Predicted 9/11
In the show's season-nine premiere, "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson," Lisa holds up an ad for a $9 trip to Manhattan that shows the "9" next to an image of the Twin Towers (pictured here). How that translates into a 9/11 prediction as opposed to simply a coincidence is unclear, but you have to admit it's unsettling. The episode, which was pulled from syndication after the 9/11 attacks but has since returned to rotation, follows the Simpson family into Manhattan, where Barney Gumble has taken the family car. The vehicle was abandoned near the World Trade Center.
Hiddleswift Was Fake
After paparazzi "caught" Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston kissing on some rocks (opens in new tab) near her Rhode Island property, eyebrows immediately raised. Were the photos, which ran on the cover of The Sun, staged? And, if so, why? The assumption was that Taylor wanted to take attention off her recent split from Calvin Harris and get back at him in the process. (In hindsight, we know she saw a feud with the Wests brewing, too—could she have been hoping to divert attention from that as well?) As for Hiddleston, he was reportedly in the running to play the next James Bond, so perhaps he though a relationship with Taylor Swift would raise his profile. It did. But he didn't get the part.
Someone Else Is Singing on Britney Spears Songs
Britney Spears has long been accused of lip-syncing, but after "Passenger," a single off her 2013 album Britney Jean, was leaked online, Twitter sleuths (i.e., meanies) questioned whether that was her was singing at all. A rumor spread that the voice belonged to Britney's backup singer, Myah Marie—but Myah denied the claims in an email to RadarOnline (opens in new tab). "While I am so grateful for the opportunity to provide background vocals for Britney Spears on a small number of her most recent works," she said, "I most certainly cannot take credit for her tremendous talent as a singer." Still, the "Passenger" incident wasn't the first time Britney was accused of vocal trickery. Musician Henry Rollins claimed in an interview with Sun Media (opens in new tab) that sound engineers mix Britney's voice with those of stronger vocalists.
Beyoncé Kidnapped Sia
The hashtag #SaveSia built steam among Brazilian fans in 2016, after they became convinced Beyoncé was holding Sia captive for songwriting purposes. According to Buzzfeed (opens in new tab), one person hilariously interpreted Sia's Tweet "Hope Everyone Like Pancakes" as a cry for "H-E- L-P." The outlet offered one possible explanation for the conspiracy—a Billboard article (opens in new tab) in which Sia described working with Beyoncé as "like a writing camp." But that seems like a bit of a stretch. Like so many great conspiracy theories, this one may have come out of thin air.
Gucci Mane Was Replaced By a Government Clone
After Gucci Mane emerged from prison noticeably thinner, the ice cream tattoo on his face barely visible, fans became suspicious. Who was this new Gucci Mane and what happened to the old Gucci Mane? The logical answer: Gucci Mane was a clone. From there, a quote casting doubt on Gucci's identity was attributed to rapper Lil Boosie, now known as Boosie Badazz; the comment—"that ain't the real Gucci"—turned out to be fake, but the fire was stoked nonetheless. A CIA spokesperson told BuzzFeed news (opens in new tab) that "internet rumors are not news" and they wouldn't "waste time" on related inquiries. Gucci Mane addressed the rumor on Snapchat, saying, "I wouldn't support nor deny those accusations." Yup. Definitely a clone.
Nicki Minaj Rapping Is Actually Jay-Z Sped Up
You can't really read about this conspiracy, you just have to listen: here's Jay-Z sped up to sound like Nicki Minaj (opens in new tab); here's Nicki slowed down to sound like Jay (opens in new tab). You be the judge.
Lady Gaga Murdered Another Pop Star and Stole Her Identity
An aspiring pop singer named Lina Morgana died by suicide in 2008, at 19 years old, and shortly after, Lady Gaga—with whom Morgana had been collaborating at Sony, under producer Rob Fusari—began her fast rise to fame with a look, sound, and attitude that was strikingly similar to Morgana's. The theory (opens in new tab) goes that Gaga killed Morgana to steal her persona. More complicated versions involve Gaga's supposed ties to the Illuminati and a ritual killing. The Outline has a fascinating explainer (opens in new tab), but be warned: this is dark, even for the Internet.
Kim Kardashian Faked the Paris Robbery
After Kim Kardashian was bound, gagged, and robbed at gunpoint at a hotel in Paris, Twitter users instantly questioned whether she did it for publicity, insurance money, or to boost ratings for Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Those trolls were rightly dismissed by Kim, who rejected the "inside job" accusations (opens in new tab) on KUWTK.
David Bowie Predicted Kanye West
At the heart of this conspiracy is the cover of David Bowie's 1972 album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars (pictured here), which features Bowie standing under a sign that says "K.West." Sure, you can write that off as coincidence — "It's just the name of a store," etc. But now consider that the album opens with a song called "Five Years," in which Ziggy learns that the world will end in that amount of time unless a "Starman" comes to the rescue. When was Kanye born? Five years, two days after the album was released. Mind blow.
Kanye's Car Accident Never Happened
Before Kanye West became the artist he is today, he was a behind-the-scenes producer making beats for the likes of Jay-Z. It wasn't until his single "Through the Wire" that he really debuted as a rapper in his own right. That track was inspired by a near-fatal 2002 car crash that left Kanye's jaw wired shut (hence the song title). In 2016, the veracity of Kanye's accident was inexplicably called into question on Twitter, after a Chicago-based user said, "And what's crazy is Kanye still got the world thinking he was in a bad car accident October 2002. all Im'a say is come to Chicagoland and ask." Others piled on to say Kanye got jumped over stolen music or was pistol-whipped in a fight. Was Kanye's origin story all a lie? Spin shut that question down (opens in new tab) by pointing out that the accident didn't happen in Chicago, it happened in Los Angeles; besides the other person involved in the crash sued Kanye. Receipts don't lie.
Kanye West Is a Clone
Kanye West was the subject of another clone conspiracy theory (opens in new tab) after he lashed out (opens in new tab) at Jay-Z and Beyoncé on stage, threw his support (opens in new tab) behind Donald Trump, and canceled (opens in new tab) his Saint Pablo tour. What could explain his behavior? Perhaps his personal demons were getting the best of him—or maybe, you know, he's a clone.
Kris Jenner Sold Kim's Sex Tape
Kim Kardashian's sex tape with Ray J thrust her family into the spotlight in 2007, and despite Kim's professed humiliation over the leak in the first season of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, some people don't think the tape was leaked at all. As the story goes, Kris Jenner orchestrated the sale of the video herself. In 2012, a source told Star magazine (opens in new tab), "The video already existed, and Kris was there every step of the way as a middleman brought in to market it to an adult entertainment company." Kris has called the rumors "nonsense." Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, she said (opens in new tab), "You know, haters are gonna hate. People are gonna come up with the most ridiculous things."
Rihanna Can't Wink
The only evidence for this one is a 2016 Twitter thread (opens in new tab) by BuzzFeed writer Ben Henry, but the evidence is very compelling. In a series of GIFs pulled from various Rihanna appearances, Ben speculated that Rihanna is incapable of winking with just one eye. Even when she gets close, you can still her failing to keep the other eye from closing halfway (and sometimes all the way). Whether she really can't wink or just keeps failing to do so on camera remains to be seen, but either way, she's still a queen.
Katy Perry's Feud With Taylor Swift Is a Hoax
The bad blood between Katy and Taylor (opens in new tab) has been well-documented in both women's songs and interviews, but you might be less familiar with the idea that the entire, multi-year affair is a hoax, designed to drum up publicity for both of them. A BuzzFeed writer provides a detailed summary of the possible hoax here (opens in new tab), but the gist is that they agreed to "feud" with each other so the media would stop focusing on Taylor's love life. It's certainly not the craziest theory on this list, but if it's true, it definitely backfired—feud news nearly overshadowed Katy's last album release.
Keanu Reeves Is Immortal
According to the website keanuisimmortal.com (opens in new tab), Keanu Reeves is not really in his early 50s, but is 150 years old at least. The site claims that Keanu is actually Charlemagne, who supposedly died in 814, and Paul Mounet, a French actor who supposedly died in 1922. Also, he just straight up doesn't age. Keanu didn't outright deny the idea when Jimmy Fallon asked him about it (opens in new tab) in 2017, which can only mean that he's hiding something.
Stevie Wonder Isn't Really Blind
Stevie Wonder truthers point to a few things over and over again to "prove" their theory: he once caught a mic stand mid-fall (opens in new tab); he likes to sit court-side at basketball games; and he had a reputation for being prankster as a kid, despite having supposedly gone blind at a very young age. Interesting observations—only they completely disregard the fact that Stevie has four other senses to work with. Also, you don't need sight to know that sitting court-side, far away from the beer-drunk plebes, is the way to go if you can afford it.
Marisa Tomei's Oscar Win Was a Mistake
Long before Warren Beatty accidentally gave Moonlight's Best Picture Oscar to La La Land, paranoid Oscars obsessives speculated (opens in new tab) that Marisa's 1993 Best Supporting Actress win for My Cousin Vinny was an accident caused by presenter Jack Palance (who was supposedly so drunk he couldn't figure out which name to read). Theorists argued that Marisa's dark-horse win made no sense in a category stacked with veterans like Joan Plowright and Vanessa Redgrave, but a quick video review (opens in new tab) of the ceremony shows that Palance had no trouble reading anything. And as the 2017 Best Picture flub proved, the Academy's accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers would not have let a mistake like that fly. Marisa has since been nominated for two additional Oscars.
Taylor Swift Is a Clone of a Satanic Priestess
In 2016, the internet noticed (opens in new tab) that Taylor Swift looks a lot like Zeena LaVey, the daughter of Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey. She served as a high priestess in the church in the late '80s, but has since renounced LaVeyan Satanism. But none of that is as interesting as this theory, which posits that Taylor is either (1) a clone of Zeena, perhaps created by the Illuminati or (2) the reincarnation of Zeena, which doesn't make a ton of sense Zeena is not dead. The resemblance really is uncanny, though!
Taylor Swift Doesn't Have a Belly Button
For much of the 1989 promo cycle, Taylor Swift wore crop-top-and-skirt combos (opens in new tab) that showed off her midsection but very pointedly left her belly button covered. The constantly hidden belly button became noticeable enough that she then addressed it in an interview with Lucky (opens in new tab), where she said, "I don't like showing my belly button. When you start showing your belly button then you're really committing to the midriff thing. I only partially commit to the midriff thing—you're only seeing lower rib cage." Fans found a handful of past photos (opens in new tab) where the belly button was visible, but others stared to wonder: Did she really even have a belly button? By the time 2015 rolled around, though, Taylor gave up and started revealing the belly button, first in a bikini Instagram with Haim (opens in new tab) and then with a fan backstage (opens in new tab). If that's not her actual belly button, then she's really putting in a lot of effort to keep the myth of her belly button alive.
Demi Lovato Has a Twin Sister Named Poot
This one is more of a meme than a theory, but there's probably someone out there who believes it's true. In 2015, a Tumblr user shared (opens in new tab) a photo of someone who looks like sort of like Demi, only mostly bald. This photo has since been proven (opens in new tab) to be a weirdly lit photo of Demi taken from a strange angle, but that didn't stop the internet from running with it. According to theorists/jokers, this was Poot Lovato, Demi's long-lost twin who had been kept locked in Demi's basement since birth. Demi was not into it (opens in new tab), but in 2017, she tweeted (opens in new tab) a GIF of Poot, which was either confirmation that Poot lives or proof that Demi has since decided she thinks this whole thing is funny.
The Matrix Is Real and We're Living in It
The idea that we're living in a computer simulation run by some sort of robotic or alien overlords is not new, but it gained new traction in 2017 after the Oscars mix-up where La La Land was mistakenly announced as the Best Picture winner. In a simulation scenario, events like the Oscars drama (or the election of Donald Trump) are glitches—you think they're too crazy to happen because they are too crazy to happen. They're signs that the simulation we're living in is malfunctioning (opens in new tab), or someone with a sick sense of humor is now controlling it. Unfortunately for all of us, The Matrix is probably just a movie, and reality is probably just this shitty.
I’m the senior entertainment editor at Cosmopolitan.com, which means my DVR is always 98 percent full. I love romance novels, bourbon, and canceling plans so I can watch Lost for the 50th time.
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