This German City Will Give $1.1 Million to Anybody Who Can Prove It Doesn’t Exist
The town of Bielefeld, which is “rumored” to lay about 205 miles west of Berlin, said it will give $1.1 million (one million euro) to anybody who can prove that it doesn’t exist, according to German site DW.
The “Bielefeld conspiracy” dates back to 1993 when a computer scientist named Achim Held joked that he didn’t believe Bielefeld was real. Simple, but from there a satire was born.
Of course, as with most conspiracy theory-related jokes, things quickly got blown out of proportion and the “Bielefeld conspiracy” was developed. The three-part theory asks:
1. Do you know anybody from Bielefeld?
2. Have you ever been to Bielefeld?
3. Do you know anybody who has ever been to Bielefeld?
Most people will answer “no” to all three questions and can therefore, not prove that it actually exists. As of 2016, the town (reportedly) has a population of more than 330,000 people. These people, the conspiracy theory states, are “in on it” and likely conspiring with authorities to help fake the town’s existence.
To this day, the city council gets emails and phone calls from conspiracy theorists, asking if the town really exists or if it’s just a giant hoax.
It has become a point of pride by now. The town said there are “no limits to creativity” for anyone who wishes to prove that it doesn’t actually exist. However, there cannot be any loopholes in the theory. The logic must be sound and irrefutable. Anyone who can prove the town doesn’t exist — which is going to be quite difficult seeing as it exists — will be able to collect the prize money. (Or maybe that’s just what they want you to think.)
Even German Prime Minister Angela Merkel is in on the joke. After attending a town hall meeting in Bielefeld, she said "... if it exists at all," and that she "had the impression that I was there.”
If the conspiracy falls through, the town’s rumored to have a pretty fantastic castle you can go visit…