This article originally appeared on VICE News.
In the age of the internet, conspiracy theories spread like chemtrails in the wind. The idea that the world is flat, for example, has gained so much popularity online that 500 people gathered for the first ever Flat Earth International Conference at the beginning of November.
The idea’s been around forever, but it picked up steam in 2015 with a rash of online communities, YouTube videos, podcasts, and even songs preaching the gospel. At some point, Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics started talking about it too, which really seemed to blow the lid off the heliocentric model.
So, the time was right for the Flat Earth International Conference, the first of its kind, held outside of Raleigh, North Carolina. Sold out since May, the conference brought together hundreds of people who had only really interacted online before. They networked, shared research, showed off NASA parody T-shirts, and talked shit about Neil deGrasse Tyson.
As one attendee told VICE News, “It gets pretty deep.” We’ll let you be the judge.
This segment originally aired Nov. 21, 2017, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.