Most countries and major cities have a few landmarks that wind up on all the postcards, like the Colosseum in Rome, Red Square in Moscow, and your mom in the San Fernando Valley. For every single one of these, there's also a fair number of people claiming the famed place is secretly used for whatever New World Order bullshit they last read about online. To these folks, the Denver Airport is an apocalyptic conspiracy hot spot instead of just having a truly shitty interior designer, and the Great Wall of China was probably designed to keep giant aliens out or whatever.
Let us once again take a long, unnecessarily sticky stroll through this paranoia-addled world where the answer to every question is either a wacky, far-fetched hypothesis or a good, old-fashioned wharglebargle it was all the Illuminati aaaaargh!
#5. The Statue Of Liberty Was Constructed To Honor The Devil
The Statue Of Liberty is a famous, torch-bearing landmark of New York City that I'm not going to describe any further, because come the hell on, if you don't know what the Statue Of Goddamned Liberty is you're most likely a gaggle of shellfish reading this on a waterproof tablet someone dropped from the pier. I'm not going to provide you any unnecessary insight into our culture. I know all about the upcoming Clamocalypse, don't think that I don't.
As for our patently human readers: Say, have you ever wondered just why the French would give America a huge-ass, prominently displayed statue that was pretty much destined to be the ultimate symbol of what was already well on its way to becoming arguably the greatest city in the world? Why, for the glory of Satan, of course! Sacre bleu, those dastardly Frenchies fooled us yet again with their promises of friendship and giant copper ladies!
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"So, about those tired, poor, huddled masses ..."
Apparently, the whole "Let's give our American friends a big-ass statue to symbolize their freedom" thing was a Freemason plot all along. They riddled Lady Liberty with all sorts of Luciferian symbols hidden in plain sight, and aspiring conspiracy theorists are coming up with new ones all the time. Some of the biggest supposed Satanic tells are the crown ("Those are totally horns, dude!") and the torch; after all, the Devil is known as Lucifer, which means Light-Bearer. How much more evidence do you need, sheeple?
Still, before we all start pooping in our shoes over the inevitable Kaiju-style deathmatch between Lady Li- Lucifer and Rio de Janeiro's own Christ The Redeemer, it's good to remember that even the conspiracy theorists throwing Illuminati/Freemason crap at every wall aren't actually claiming that the Statue Of Liberty is a literal depiction of the horns-and-hooves, ruler-of-Hell flavor of Devil. Instead, it's apparently a "holder of secret knowledge"-type figure that is occasionally associated with Masons.
As for the rest of us, we can probably just keep on thinking that the statue is one of the many historical depictions of the Roman deity Libertas, along with Columbia and that flag-waving lady in French revolutionary art. That way, we're free to ponder the really important questions, such as whether Lady Liberty is actually hiding one of those creepy GTA IV Easter egg hearts.
#4. The Eiffel Tower Is A Secret Space Cannon
For much of its early existence, the now-iconic Eiffel Tower was a polarizing structure. Parisians used to hate it with the heat of a thousand exploding volcanoes, and the only reason it wasn't torn down just a couple of decades after completion was its handiness as a radio tower. Of course, its significant place in the ultra-secret French space agency mission doesn't exactly hurt its continued survival.
What, you don't know about the Eiffel Tower's secret space-launch program? Man, it's almost like you don't even believe in the things the purple men living in your nostrils whisper at night anymore. Next, you'll claim the lizard people aren't stealing all those socks from my dryer. Fine, I'll drop you a hint: Ever heard of the Eiffel Cannon?
Basically this, but pointed straight up and with a 1,000-foot tower in the middle of a residential area.
I have a soft spot for this particular theory, not because it's well-known -- on the contrary, there's barely any info about it online -- but because I've actually known about it for a while. A few years ago, I attended a paranormal convention for what I like to pretend was research purposes instead of plain ol' shits and giggles. One of the many pamphlets forced on me during the event mentioned a conspiracy about the Eiffel Tower being secretly converted into a Jules Verne-style space cannon. The hilarity of Paris drunkenly firing astronauts into the sky from a giant cannon-landmark in the middle of its historical center made the theory stick in my head, which is why I was overjoyed to find a brief online version. There are some differences, granted: Instead of turning the existing tower into a straight-up cannon, the contraption is supposed to be built around it, with the existing structure acting as a skeleton of whatever giant dong the secret scientists are plotting to stick in the face of Paris. Also, the thing is going to use wormhole technology, because of fucking course it will.
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"See, honey, I told you they have a Space Mountain."
Look, it's no secret Gustave Eiffel used his tower for all sorts of science purposes. If you manage to build what is essentially a giant supervillain lair in the middle of a major city, it's practically against the law to not spend your days conducting strange experiments and dropping random shit from the top for, uh, science. However, there are all sorts of scientific experiments, and I'd wager that the ones where a famous historical structure built in the middle of a large city is converted into a bullshit wormhole factory would be enough to get even the most devoted member of the New World Order League Of Mad Scientists fired.
#3. The Taj Mahal Is A Stolen Ancient Temple
Most people know the Taj Mahal, a Wonder Of The World and the single most famous building in India, as the stunning, white mausoleum a heartbroken Mughal ruler called Shah Jahan built for his dead wife in the 17th century. However, a man called P.N. Oak disagreed with this commonly accepted historical fact: According to his research (man, I feel like I should put that in quotation marks), Jahan had jack shit to do with the Taj Mahal -- he just stole another, far older building, super-glued some decorations to it, and threw the wife in.
Oak's claim was that the mausoleum is actually at least 300 years older than the "official" history says, and the sealed chambers of the Taj Mahal that are not open to the public are actually full of headless statues of Shiva, proof of ancient worship and, presumably, a really bored Mola Ram.
Full disclosure: This is the entire extent of my knowledge re: Indian temples.
And that might be true, I suppose. I mean, who am I to lecture anyone on the intricacies of Indian history? It's just that, when everyone else thinks your theories are laughably wrong, and you repeat the exact same claim about places like, oh, Vatican City, Kaaba, and Westminster Abbey, I feel an eyebrow slightly raising.
Also, once you start delving deeper into Oak's work, you find that his preferred title appears to have been president of the Institute For Rewriting World History. That could probably be taken as a hint, I guess. Or maybe I'm just a suspicious bastard by nature.