I thought the flat earth theory was the dumbest thing I would hear in 2021. Or maybe something about Qanon. Or did you know that Zoomers have a conspiracy theory that Hellen Keller wasn’t real?
Unfortunately, I actually came across something even more insane. There’s a real conspiracy theory that the literal continent of Australia doesn’t exist. The sixth largest country on the planet. All maps are wrong. People who fly planes and astronauts who see Australia from space are all in on it. The land mass, the people, everything is non-existent.
Why would people make up the existence of the 6th largest land mass on the planet? To cover up a genocide, of course. The inventor of this conspiracy theory believes Australia was invented to cover up Great Britain supposedly killing off 162,000 of their convicted criminals. Buzzfeed reported that this theory gained popularity when a Swedish woman named Shelley Floryd went viral on Facebook in a post explaining exactly how Australia was “made up”:
“Australia does not exist… All things you call ‘proof’ are actually well fabricated lies and documents made by the leading governments of the world. Your Australian friends? They’re all actors and computer generated personas, part of the plot to trick the world.”
Floryd writes that Australia was actually invented by Britain so it could kill tens of thousands of convicts rather than send them to a country on the other side of the world.
Floryd, who lives in Stockholm, also writes that nearly every person at every level is in on the massive scheme, including airline pilots, who have actually only been flying tourists to islands or “in some cases, parts of South America.”
“It was just going to be a short post but I went wild with it and looked up some facts and well, that’s how it ended up.”
Facebook has since deleted the post.
Most people accept that in the 1770 Great Britain “claimed” Australia and began using it as a colony for convicted criminals despite the fact that Australia had already been occupied by indigenous people for 65,0000 years.
Shelley Floryd seems to be spreading the conspiracy for her own entertainment (and probably to gain customers for her sex work business), not as a genuine believer. However, people reading her posts take them seriously. Just like a lot of other misinformation on the internet, for some reason there is a group of people who will defend something they read on a Facebook status until their dying breath. A spin-off conspiracy developed when someone else claimed they “discovered” that Finland also does not exist! Hitto vieköön!
That Buzzfeed report goes on to confirm that Australia is, in fact, real: “Australia is, of course, real. I know this because I’m in Australia right now, in an office with 30 or so other people who are also in Australia. I could take a picture of the Sydney Harbour Bridge for you, but I don’t want to leave the office.”