People on the Internet are just crazy aren't they? When it comes to rumors or conspiracies, all it takes is one little tweet or a short message in a forum to start with. And if people think the post is funny, or ridiculous or even true, it has the potential to go viral and then we're all reading about how Solange Knowles might actually be Beyonce's daughter.
Whether you believe the conspiracy theories or not, you have to admit that they're entertaining. Our logical minds tell us that they're nonsense but there's always a fleeting thought there, that says, what if? What if Nicolas Cage really is a vampire from the nineteenth century? And that's what makes pop culture conspiracy theories fun - letting your imagination run free for a minute.
There are pop culture conspiracy theories that have been going on for decades, too. It's not just the social media culture that fuels them. There are some mega urban legends that have come out of Hollywood. Then there are the modern day crazy conspiracies where people try to extract dark secrets from behind the glamorous facade (or make the secrets up).
Take a look:
13 Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston's relationship was fake
Taylor Swift has dated numerous male celebrities and there's always gossip surrounding her relationships. But when she dated actor Tom Hiddleston fans went so far as creating a whole conspiracy theory about the pair. Lots of people thought that the relationship between the pair, whom they named Hiddleswift, was completely fake and just some sort of publicity stunt. T-Swift had only broken up with her long-term bf Calvin Harris two weeks before and Hiddleswift looked kind of awks together. At the time, Tom Hiddlestone was also looking to be the next James Bond in the movie franchise so may have believed that dating Taylor would give him an edge over other options. Some people even went as far as claiming their relationship was a piece of performance art for one of Taylor's future music videos. Well, that video hasn't turned up yet but you never know...
12 Beyonce kidnapped Sia
Perhaps the most hilarious pop culture conspiracy theory to come out in recent years was that Beyonce kidnapped Sia, trapped her in a dungeon and forced her to write songs. In 2015, Sia talked about working with Beyonce saying it was "like a writing camp" and that "she's very Frankenstein when she comes to the songs," because she takes bits and pieces from different artists to create a song. For some reason Brazil went crazy and decided that Bey had kidnapped her and fans went on to read into all of Sia's tweets, deciphering secret messages from them. For instance, when Sia tweeted "Hope Everyone Likes Pancakes" they thought it was a cry for "H-E-L-P". Now isn't that the most stupid thing you've ever heard? Here's hoping it was all a big joke and no one actually took the claim seriously.
11 Tom Cruise gave Katie Holmes a marriage contract
According to one of Hollywood's most interesting urban legends, Tom Cruise got together with his former wife Katie Holmes by offering her a contract. Four years after he broke up with Nicole Kidman, rumor has it that Tom approached various stars with his marriage contract including Scarlett Johansson, Sofia Vergara and Katie. The contract set out that they would be married for five years and the woman would get cash and a boost to her career. Tom did this to lessen his kooky image, and quash gay rumors. According to Tony Ortega of the Village Voice, these rumors may have started because the Church of Scientology vetted women to see if they could be Tom's next wife. The women also had to sign non-disclosure agreements with the church. Seems like the truth could be just as strange as the rumor then.
10 Solange is Beyonce's daughter
One of the silliest pop culture conspiracy theories to ever emerge was the idea that Solange is actually Beyonce's daughter. Somebody posted the claim on a random message board several years ago and it caught on. The person claimed that Beyonce's cousin told them in confidence that Solange is really Bey's daughter when they were talking about teenage pregnancies. The allegation seems ludicrous as Bey would have had Solange when she was just five years old if it was true. BUT the conspiracy theory continues as some believe that Beyonce was not born in 1981 as she claims, but rather 1974. Somebody who says they work for the Department of Health in Texas claims to have found Beyonce's real birth certificate. But it all seems a bit too far-fetched and there's not enough evidence to support this conspiracy theory.
9 Lorde is older than she claims
In 2013 singer Lorde quickly rose to fame with her song "Royals". Not long after, the conspiracy theorists came out of the woodwork to claim that she was older than she was pretending to be, saying she wasn't 17, she was at least 40. Lorde just thinks the whole thing is funny though, joking in an interview that she's actually 45. The theory was thought to be debunked when a journalist from Jezebel gained access to Lorde's birth certificate which states that she was born on Nov 7, 1996. But the conspiracy theorists are still going strong! They believe that the acquired document wasn't really a birth certificate and could have easily been doctored. One theorist put pictures of Lorde into the novelty site How-old.net and determined from the results that the singer must be over 40. It's not exactly scientific proof though, is it?
8 J.K. Rowling didn't write the Harry Potter series
Fans of the Harry Potter series were surely not best pleased when they heard this conspiracy theory. In 2005, Norwegian movie director Nina Grünfeld put forth her claim that J.K. Rowling is not the author of the beloved Harry Potter books but rather a hired actor. The series, according to Grünfeld, was written by an enterprise of ghost writers because it's not possible for one person (Rowling) to write and publish six majorly successful books in less than ten years. It's true that a series of children's books has been written by a team of ghost writers in the past. For instance, Carolyn Keene was the name used by different authors who wrote books for the "Nancy Drew" series over the years. So, although this conspiracy theory is possible, it just seems rather unlikely.
7 Stanley Kubrick faked the moon landing
This is one of the oldest conspiracy theories in pop culture history. The story goes that director Stanley Kubrick was hired by NASA to fake the 1969 moon landings. People thought it might be the case as the director had just finished making 2001: A Space Odyssey which was set largely on the moon and featured special effects that were advanced for the time. Supporters of the theory believe that Kubrick dropped several hints of his involvement with the moon landings in his 1980 film The Shining - for instance, the kid in the film, Danny, wears an Apollo 11 sweater. A whole documentary was made about the supposed clues called Room 237. What's more, in 2015 a video was released in which Kubrick admits to faking the moon landings, but the video itself turned out to be a fake. So, it doesn't seem like there's solid evidence that Kubrick helped fake the moon landings but conspiracy theorists certainly put forward an interesting case.
6 Stevie Wonder isn't blind
So there are some Stevie Wonder "truthers" out there who reckon the musician isn't blind and never has been. You're probably scratching your head on this one. But wait, they have evidence. They point to the fact that Stevie Wonder likes to go to basketball games and sit court side. Their logic is, why would he need to sit courtside if he can't see? Well, because he's a legend and legends sit court side. There's also a video which the truthers point to, in which Stevie Wonder catches a falling mic stand - how could he know where the stand was to catch it? Hmm... It is odd. But, maybe we can put that down to Mr Wonder having a heightened sense of spatial awareness. So, there isn't really much to the case for Stevie Wonder not in fact being blind. But you can make your own judgement.
5 Paul McCartney died in 1966
Here we have another popular conspiracy theory that has been talked about for decades. Conspiracy theorists claim that Paul McCartney of The Beatles died in 1966 and was replaced by a look-alike. The rumors began in 1969 when some college students published articles claiming that there are hints in Beatles lyrics and artwork for Beatles songs that allude to Paul's death. The rumors spread and people started looking for hints all over the place. The most famous clue that proponents of this theory put forward is the image of the band walking over a crossing at Abbey Road. They think it symbolizes a funeral procession, and the fact that Paul is the only one who is barefoot and out of step with the others is a sign that the real Paul is dead. Whether true or not, the whole idea of a famous person secretly being replaced by a doppelganger is pretty creepy.
4 Elvis is alive
There are so many dead celebrities and icons who people think are secretly still alive. It's not just wack jobs who think so either, a lot of regular people have their suspicions. Elvis died in 1977 and there was no official cause of death cited, but it is thought that he overdosed on prescription drugs. Ever since then people have believed that the icon faked his own death because he wanted to escape his stardom. Evidence for this is that a black helicopter landed in Graceland just hours before his body was found. So it is thought that the helicopter whisked him away to Bermuda so he could live a life of anonymity. Over the years there have been numerous sightings of Elvis, but the people who thought they saw Elvis probably just saw a good impersonator.
3 Courtney Love murdered Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain's death in 1994, at the height of his fame, was ruled a suicide. But not everybody believes that Kurt took his own life, they think that he died under more suspicious circumstances. Some fans think that Courtney Love orchestrated his death and just made it look like a suicide. Evidence is presented in the 2016 movie, Soaked in Bleach, by a private investigator hired by Courtney to find Kurt. One of the main pieces of evidence against Courtney is that they found a "handwriting practice sheet" in her handbag and some of the writing matched what was written at the end of Kurt's suicide note. It is also alleged that Kurt was planning to divorce her and alter his will at the time, so she had motive. There is certainly some good evidence in support of this conspiracy theory!
2 Avril Lavigne was replaced in 2003
Like Paul McCartney, fans of Avril Lavigne believe that she was replaced by a look-alike in 2003. Somebody started the rumor on Twitter and it spread across the Internet like wildfire. The person who started the Twitter thread sent out 50 tweets explaining what had happened to Avril. Apparently she had died and been replaced by somebody called Melissa Vandella. For this reason, her look and sound changed so much between her 2004 and 2007 albums. Avril doesn't quite have the same legendary status as Sir Paul McCartney so the people of Twitter thought the whole thing was a good laugh. A new meme was started naming random celebrities who had died and been replaced. Avril's image changed but that doesn't mean she's a whole new person. So it's not surprising people poked some fun at this one.
1 Nicolas Cage is a vampire
For some reason, folks on the Internet find Nicolas Cage hilarious. And he is hilarious but there's no particular reason why. Anyway, this conspiracy theory started when some dude tried to sell an old picture on eBay that he claimed proved Nicolas Cage was a vampire. Of course people on the Internet spread this news because they find Cage so funny. The picture does look remarkably like Cage. The eBay seller wrote on the listing,
"Original c.1870 carte de visite [a type of small photograph] showing a man who looks exactly like Nick 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.
150 years from now, he might be a politician, the leader of a cult, or a talk show host."