Reptiles, aliens and pizza: The crazy culture of conspiracies



Spence Herrington (11) proudly shows off his ‘birds aren’t real’ sticker. The satire conspiracy claims that the government replaced all avian species with drones used to spy on American citizens.

The Earth is flat. Chuck E. Cheese reuses their pizza. Justin Bieber is actually a lizard. Or, that’s what some people think. Conspiracy theories ranging from secret reptilian races to planet Earth being two dimensional have run rampant on social media for years. But what do Spartans believe?

“This planet can’t be the only one that has [aliens] on it … and I think there’s probably a secret alien society somewhere,” Xander Sinclair (11) said. “Personally, I would like to take a look at that.”  

Sinclair is mainly interested in theories concerning the unknown possibilities of other species coexisting with humans, including mysterious beings that may even exist on Earth.

“[So much] of the ocean is unexplored, right?” Sinclair said. “Nobody knows what [is] down there.” 

Aliens and UFOs are some of the hottest topics among recent and ancient conspiracy theorists. From works by Da Vinci to crude cave drawings, depictions of alien figures have existed for thousands of years. More recently, theories surrounding alleged UFO sightings, messages left by aliens on Earth and even reports of aliens being hidden in the military base Area 51 have run rampant on social media.

Other popular theories often revolve around the government and political figures, with many questioning the true motives of those in charge. Rumors of the government killing people such as Marilyn Monroe to protect sensitive information have been whispered for decades. Some theorists claim the government is hiding discoveries and innovations, such as water-powered cars to protect the economy — and the pockets of the rich. 

“[There are] conspiracy theories about the super rich…like a group of people who are so rich and powerful that they can just do what they want, because of their wealth.” said Spence Herrington (11).

More lighthearted or simply odd theories include ideas such as the moon landing being staged, or Chuck E. Cheese reusing their pizza slices among customers. Controversial Youtuber Shane Dawson released a video in 2019 claiming Chuck E. Cheese reuses uneaten pizza between customers. The video went viral, and the theory has become one of the most iconic and bizarre theories on social media.

“The Chuck E. Cheese pizza … you know where I heard it from?” Herrington said. “We all heard it from the same place.” 

With more and more people being connected through the internet, the wilder and more widespread theories get, with many theories now being labeled as crazy, disturbing or even dangerous.

“Stuff that is very obviously rooted in Anti-Semitism or any kind of prejudice deserves to be written off,” Luke Parker (12) said. 

The popular theory of celebrities being lizards, or a reptilian race, including figures such as Justin Bieber and Mark Zuckerberg, has roots in Anti-Semitism. Other well known conspiracy movements, such as the infamous QAnon, have been the center of attention in the media due to the extreme ideas and often prejudiced stances. QAnon gained the attention of national news after the Jan. 6 riots, with many supporters participating in the insurrection. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter even censored QAnon related content after the incident for safety reasons.

“[But] I think conspiracies are definitely worth looking into, and if you see something that doesn’t make sense, it’s important to do your own research,” Parker said.

Whether or not they are true, conspiracy theories are everywhere, ranging from CIA corruption and government manipulation to matrix universes to aliens lurking among humans on Earth. Though they may seem far out, perhaps there is a grain of truth in the seemingly crazy theories. And who knows — maybe there are aliens keenly watching Earth right now, waiting to make themselves known.

“If any of them are listening to me right now, which I know they are … don’t be shy,” Herrington said.