"I need to go to sleep but I can’t put my phone away because of this thread," someone commented in the now-viral Reddit thread. In it, hundreds of people are sharing their replies to "What is the scariest/creepiest theory you know about?" Ranging from theories about space travel to death, the answers are all sorts of intriguing.

"I came into this thread unafraid of death, I’m leaving petrified - thanks!" someone commented and we can't help but agree! More than 65k people liked the thread, prompting it to go viral on the social media platform. Therefore, as always, we encourage you to vote for the theories you found the most interesting! In addition to this, if you have a scary or creepy theory you know about, share in the comment section down below!

More info: Reddit

#1

May or not be a “theory”, but the first thing I thought of was that feeling you get when you’re on top of a building and think “what if I jumped?” Or when you’re driving and think “what if I just swerve into traffic.”

Well it’s actually got a name: L’appel du vide. French for “The call of the void.” I always thought the idea of some ethereal presence calling you towards darkness... creepy.

MurderousRooster Report

Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
1 year ago

I have those kind of thoughts “what if I walked in front of a train” and stuff like that when I have suicidal thoughts. I have no intent on doing it, I just think about what if?

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#2

We’ve all pretty much heard of Uncanny Valley (the creeped out anxious feeling when you look at something that’s humanoid but there’s something clearly wrong with it. Like the wax figures at Madame Tussaud’s or that AI robot Sophia)

But my favorite theory to come out of it is that we get that strange feeling because somewhere along human evolution we’ve learned to be wary of things that look human... but aren’t.

General-LeeAnxious Report

Shelp
Community Member
1 year ago

That's very clever !... and it gives me goosebumps.

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#3

More of a story than a theory, but it correlates to some of these and makes me think some could be real. When I was younger I had this little stuffed animal dog I named rocky. One night, my younger sisters and I (who all slept in the same room so we could hangout together) were messing around, and I two handed over head tossed rocky into the wall directly in front of my bed. He hit the wall, slid down behind whatever was in front of my bed, and was NEVER seen again. I immediately went to go get him and he just wasn’t anywhere. We tore the whole entire small room apart. We all saw the event occur. Over time the room has been completely emptied out, everything in it rearranged, walls painted, everything- and no rocky. He just completely phased out of existence. Makes me think he glitched out of the system or something.

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Shelp
Community Member
1 year ago

I once had a passport that disappeared that way. The room I last saw it in was totally emptied several times, but I never found it back. Had to have a new one made.

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#4

If you're scuba diving above a coral reef, and you know that there SHOULD be fish all around you, but you don't see any, it's most likely that they have learned that for some reason it's important not to be seen.

And since you're a newcomer to this environment, chances are it's not you they're hiding from.

EDIT: the number of scuba divers saying they've experienced this and then noticed a shark nearby is alarming.

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Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
1 year ago

Pretty much anytime your in the ocean there are sharks swimming nearby. We are no their food source so generally don’t bother coming near enough to do any harm. They are no out to get us, it’s just that sharks explore using their jaws which unfortunately has a lot of razor sharp teeth that will do a lot of damage. Very very rarely has a person been eaten by a shark, most of the time the person is let go once the shark realises we are not tasty and the person dies from drowning, shock or blood loss.

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#5

Our “world” is out perception of our surroundings in our 3 dimensional life. It’s possible that we are living amongst beings, things and events that we cannot experience because we are 3 dimensions and they are not.

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JessG
Community Member
1 year ago

A famous Victorian school teacher wrote “Flatland: a Romance of Many Dimensions” (which Carla Sagan has cited in his docs) It illustrates how a one dimensional being would see the world, just lines. And when a 3D sphere visits, he can only see a line. I think about this often actually. I find it fascinating to think of all the other dimensions we cannot perceive. I think about insects, and how they perceive our world, like a fly with a thousand eyes. Their view of this many faceted world is not wrong, it is their 3D world. So who’s to say that our view of the world is The “correct” view, and not the way an insect sees it? I dunno, just food for thought

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#6

If the human body senses trauma it is unable to combat, it will switch off metabolism, pump endorphins, and slip into a pain free dissociative state.

In essence, shutting down. Its been seen in air crashes and lots of places really.

Basically your body can switch itself off.

I_a_n0t_am_r0b0t Report

Ann Abdelzaher
Community Member
1 year ago

my body takes it to a new level. I suffer from Neural Basal reactions. When I have sudden pain (pinch my finger, cut myself etc...) My brain shuts down and I pass out... usually resulting in some secondary injuries that I often do not feel right away or at all. I also tend to stop breathing in these episodes and wake up hyperventilating.

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#7

The Gaian Bottleneck theory. Basically the reason we've never encountered or been contacted by aliens is because they're all dead. Every alien species that evolved to form advanced societies eventually outgrew their planet and destroyed themselves. Like we are.

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Francis
Community Member
1 year ago

even if they found us, they probably see the dinosaurs or nothing when th're looking at us right now. the light needs a looot of time to travel

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#8

Cosmology can be disturbing.

For instance, I recently learned of dead end trips. There are some destinations that you shouldn't try for. It's possible to travel so far away from where you started, that the expansion of the universe will exceed the speed you were travelling at.

You can't return home, because home is receding faster than you can travel.

You can't reach your destination, because it too is receding faster than you can travel.

You can no longer get anywhere, only get further away from everything.

You cannot reach any destination, even if you travel forever.

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Stimpy
Community Member
1 year ago

Woah!

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#9

Humans are scared of things that mimic them too perfectly, the theory is that we developed this because there was a super predator of some sort that would mimic us and kill us. But we never knew what happened to it

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TheHolyFatherOfToast
Community Member
1 year ago

It's ourselves

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#10

"There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened." - Douglas Adams

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Verena Gitterle
Community Member
1 year ago

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

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#11

That there is no secret society controlling everything, and humans by themselves are destroying humanity and themselves. And it's just easier to think that it's someone else behind all the evil .

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Dynein
Community Member
1 year ago

Uh... that is what I actually believe...? It seems to me that current as well as historic events make the most sense if you assume that no one has control over everything. Sure, there's people who try, but even in tight dictatorships you get rebels and unforeseen random events. I definitely think that conspiracy theorists are overwhelmed with the unpredictability of the world and hang onto whichever theory puts their "preferred enemy" into the group of control... it implies a) everything bad that happens is due to the people I already think of as bad, b) I'm definitely and always one of the good people, c) I'm so special for catching on, d) even if I don't control events now, I might in the future if I fight my enemy. I definitely think of it as lazy, both in respect to self-awareness (you don't need to question yourself) and level of intellectual difficulty (it turns highly complex issues of the world into simple black-and-white problems).

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#12

The theory that we're all quantum immortals and when someone dies in our reality for them they just keep on going in a reality where they didn't

Im_The_Wanderer Report

Stimpy
Community Member
1 year ago

That's actually more a nice thought than creepy... I like it

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#13

That we have so little data about the deep dark parts of the ocean and don’t truly know what lurks there

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Phunny Philosopher
Community Member
1 year ago

It might be sunshine and rainbows and Narwhal parties! Jk, we know enough about physics to know that’s not possible. But still- why do the things in the deep ocean have to be bad? Because our imagination. That’s it.

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#14

It's scary that there are thousands of serial killers out there at any 1 given time who often just blend in with the rest of society and live normal lives. Many will never be caught.

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kasa alex
Community Member
1 year ago

well that was a good thought right before I go to bed

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#15

If you die by being beheaded the last thing you might see is your decapitated body.

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Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
1 year ago

Eek, not something I ever wanted to picture.

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#16

That humans almost went extinct. 70,000 years ago a volcano in Indonesia erupted. There’s theories that we have a genetic bottleneck around that time. Took our population down to 10,000-3,000 (like the size of one small town). Lots of fresh genetic material died with those who were lost and the resulting inbreeding could have resulted in some genetic diseases that have made their way into humans today. Without this event, we may have advanced faster and be healthier people today.

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kasa alex
Community Member
1 year ago

interesting thing to think about

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#17

Not a theory but reality. Schizophrenia can happen to anyone, at any age, even to perfectly healthy people. Imagine being normal and then waking up one day and seeing and hearing things that aren't actually there. That is really scary and creepy.

LouisTheXVII Report

Lärry
Community Member
1 year ago

My brother (35) has paranoid Schizophrenia. He is awake the whole night and sleeps the whole day. I told him once, it would maybe be better if he's awake when we all are to spend more time together (my kids love him much), and that he maybe should try to change that. His answer was: yes, I know. But I'm too scared to sleep at night.... Broke my heart.

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#18

I had a professor in college who taught physics and he explained why we will likely never come across aliens. The universe is about 14 billion years old. Over the course of that time, it’s likely that intelligent life, besides life on earth, has existed. However, 14 billion years is an INSANELY long time. Other life forms have probably risen and fallen thousands of times over. Extreme dynasties with technology we can only dream of having have probably existed. Life forms could have lasted hundreds of thousands of years and still not even be close to our timeline. The chances of other intelligent life forms existing at the same time as humans, in the 14 billion years the universe has hosted a possibility for life, is really unlikely. Statistically, intelligent life to have formed, prospered, or even existed at the same time as humans is extremely small simply due to the absolute drop in a bucket that we are on terms of time. We may very well be completely alone in the universe.

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Nikki Sevven
Community Member
1 year ago

It's not merely time that is the issue, but also space, which is mindbogglingly huge.

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#19

Ok this one is rough so please bare with me,

So the common time travel question is would you go back and kill baby hitler?

Well imagine if that was you, to us in the current timeline you would be a hero that killed someone truly evil before they had chance to corrupt or endanger anyone but to the people of that time you are a monster, a baby killer.

They couldn’t exactly explain to people, I was sent from the future to kill this baby to save hundreds of millions of lives. No-one would believe him and would just assume he was some nutcase, or maybe they’re not allowed to tell anyone as per the agreement with the future government?

It makes you wonder all the people through time that have been called monsters for killing babies, what if they were just heroes from the future saving us all? They couldn’t tell anyone either?

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Truth Monster
Community Member
1 year ago

Hitler was just the lightning rod. Chances are, someone else would have become the lightning rod if you murdered baby Hitler. Hitler is still a terrible human, I'm not excusing him at all.

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#20

The dark forest theory. This explains the Fremi paradox, why we haven’t seen any other advanced life forms despite the vastness of the universe. Other advanced life forms don’t send out signals into the rest of the universe because they’re worried that something more advanced and dangerous is going to find them first. There’s another idea that other civilizations know there’s something out there but don’t send any signals because it has no reason to not wipeout the entire planet.

There’s a science fiction book based on this and I think this quote explains it better than I can:

“The universe is a dark forest. Every civilization is an armed hunter stalking through the trees like a ghost, gently pushing aside branches that block the path and trying to tread without sound. Even breathing is done with care. The hunter has to be careful, because everywhere in the forest are stealthy hunters like him. If he finds another life—another hunter, angel, or a demon, a delicate infant to tottering old man, a fairy or demigod—there's only one thing he can do: open fire and eliminate them”

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Just_A_Pansexual_Gal
Community Member
1 year ago

Ooh, this is dark.

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#21

That you might be aware of everything happening to you during surgery, the anesthesia keeps you from moving and causes you to forget.

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Stimpy
Community Member
1 year ago

Nice creepy theory! But just as a comfort for anybody who might be taking this too seriously: we know very well that this is not the case. We can clearly show which brain regions are active when people are in pain, and they are not active when people are anesthized. Don't worry!

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#22

During the Challenger accident from 1986, whenever the shuttle exploded, the ground crews had the astronauts EKG’s and vital scans....after the explosion, the astronauts were still alive. Theory has it that they were cognizant the entire time until they crashed in the ocean.

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The Dave
Community Member
1 year ago

It is a known fact that the astronauts were not killed by the explosion itself. The theory is that they died after cabin depressurization and oxygen depletion.

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#23

The theory that scented candles starting getting poor reviews at the same time COVID hit the US. Makes you wonder how many people have mild COVID before we even knew about it, pairing the lack of taste and/or smell as one of the main symptoms associated with mild COVID cases.

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Kirsten Kerkhof
Community Member
1 year ago

The other option is that, because people were at home much more, the scent was less noticable (you grow used to familiar scents) so people thought the candles smelled less. Though I think the OP has the more likely idea ...

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#24

Some people have had some strange NDEs (Near Death Experiences). Going through websites cataloging them can be a trip. I'm willing to attribute some of them to brain damage and some as "legit" though I'll never be able to tell which is which.

Death bed visions give me a warmer sense of security. I can't imagine how peaceful it must be to die and see your deceased loved ones there to ensure you make it safely to the other side.

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Too_gay_to_function_
Community Member
1 year ago

This one's quite nice actually

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#25

The universe could be dying, and we'd have no way to know until we just suddenly vanish from existence.

There could be a sort of quantum energy wave, can't remember what it's called because it's been so long since I read about it. Zero point collapse, maybe? Vacuum bubble burst? But whatever it is, it's an energy wave that starts at some point, and spreads outward at the speed of light, annihilating any matter, energy, and even spacetime in its path.

Because the wave travels at the speed of light, it is invisible. We would have no way of seeing it coming, because any light emitted by it would hit us at the exact same time that the wave itself hits us.

So, all of a sudden, the sun might just vanish from existence. We wouldn't notice because the sun's light from eight minutes ago would still be reaching us. Eight minutes later, the earth just vanishes from existence. No warning. No trace.

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Shelp
Community Member
1 year ago

Well, this is unsettling. But how can space and time be wiped out?

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#26

The theory that the last moments of consciousness before death can feel like a literal eternity, and where your mind can create entire realities from blissful to horrifying. So in a way the threat of enduring a hellscape of eternal suffering is very real no matter what you believe.

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Stimpy
Community Member
1 year ago

So long as you believe in this theory, that is...

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#27

Spontaneous combustion. I watched a strange but true episode about this as a child and was convinced I'd randomly burst into flames one day. I'm over it now but that was my top fear for a long time.

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Stimpy
Community Member
1 year ago

I was afraid of that too. About at the age where I also thought that quicksand was a much more common problem than it actually is. Maybe that was just also one of the common story tropes in the 80s, and we picked it up as real?

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#28

The theory that there is an infinite number of parallel universes branching out at each moment with all possible outcomes for each situation.

Let's say this is true and you play Russian roulette. Five out of six of possible "you" would live and one would die but no matter how many times you play there would always be versions of you that would survive. This would give those versions of "you" the illusion of immorality. This would mean that no matter the risks you would take, there would always be some version of you that would survive.

If this is true, it would mean that you could live your life completely free of the fear of death and take on any risk. But the only way to know if this is true is to expose yourself to high odds of deaths, repeatedly.

Also this would mean that as time passed there would always be a more decrepit and invalid version of you surviving, maybe forever...

Anyways that or lizard people.

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Too_gay_to_function_
Community Member
1 year ago

My new motto: That Or Lizard People

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#29

The first man in space (some Russian cosmonaut whose name I can't remember) was not the true first. The actual first was a cosmonaut whose mission was unsuccessful and he either died in orbit or on reentry. Once it became apparent that he was doomed the Russian authorities cut off communications, leaving him to die in isolation, and covered up the existence of the mission.

apatheticnihilist Report

Shelp
Community Member
1 year ago

Yuri Gagarin! How can you forget about Yuri Gagarin?

Csilla Kaszas
Community Member
1 year ago

and if you do, how can you not do a simple google search to find his name before posting this?

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Alexandru Bucur
Community Member
1 year ago

That is literally impossible, because everyone was keeping a very close eye on rocket launches from the other side and anything sent to low earth orbit is visible to all. Also, all astronaut communications on both sides were in the clear which is why Korabl-Sputnik 4, the "dress rehearsal" of Gagarin's flight, had a recording of a choir to test the spacecraft's radios, because they knew the world was listening and they didn't want anyone to accuse them of trickery. This is where the whole "lost cosmonaut" conspiracy theory comes from, because this launch coincided with the death of cosmonaut Valentin Bondarenko, who died in a fire inside a full oxygen atmosphere chamber during ground testing, something the USSR only made public years later, too late to save the Crew of Apollo 1, who died in a similar manner. Also, KS4 carried a cosmonaut dummy which had a sign placed over the face reading "dummy" so no one would mistake it for a dead body if it landed outside the USSR.

ADHORTATOR
Community Member
1 year ago

The "some russian cosmonaute" was Yuri Gagarin...

Vikram Bedi
Community Member
1 year ago

Even I know yuri Gagarin, Neil Armstrong and Rakesh sharma( first Indian in space).

Quit yo jibba jabba
Community Member
1 year ago

Don't forget Laila, the first dog in space.

Sam Chen
Community Member
1 year ago

Laika

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Sasha Kuleshov
Community Member
1 year ago

How can you forget the name of Yuri Gagarin? He's basically in every single textbook ever :O

Too_gay_to_function_
Community Member
1 year ago

Hmmm - I'll believe that if there’s proof :)

Shelp
Community Member
1 year ago

Yeah, same here. The space race was such a big thing in the USSR that I simply can't imagine how they possibly could have covered up such a failure.

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Grumble O'Pug
Community Member
1 year ago

Yuri Gagarin you nitwit.

I'm a makeup addict
Community Member
1 year ago

wow, that's really sad...

Shaurya Joshi
Community Member
1 year ago

This actually has more to it. Yuri Gagarin is the first person in space to return ALIVE. Vladimir Ilyushin was actually the first person in space, his rocket was all sketchy and his backup was actually yuri. But he didn’t want yuri to go becuase yuri was his bestfriend so he went. Upon re-entry his space capsule(?) didnt deploy the parachute so he “plummeted” to his death. But when they saw his body it was beyond recognizable, he actually burned to death. There is actually a famous photo associated with it, search up “ Vladimir Ilyushin photo “. RIP Vladimir Ilyushin

Robert Bois le Duc
Community Member
1 year ago

I saw photos of his totally burned body after his craft crashed on Earth. Very sad.

Stephanie Chapman
Community Member
1 year ago

I wish they had given him a cyanide capsule or something just in case he couldn't make it back.

Donnie Mc0
Community Member
1 year ago

it may be this guy? https://www.npr.org/sections/krulwich/2011/05/02/134597833/cosmonaut-crashed-into-earth-crying-in-rage?t=1607605056838

Joe Reaves
Community Member
1 year ago

He was after Gagarin's flight, so not part of the Lost Cosmonaut theory. The article says Yuri Gagarin tried to muscle in on the flight on the day. While I am sure he was as willing to die to save his friend as Komarov was to save him, I think he was hoping that if he was the cosmonaut sitting in the capsule the dozens of people involved in the launch, all of whom knew it was unsafe would back out because worse than cancelling the flight would be killing the big famous hero. I think he was hoping his fame would keep them both alive. He failed to replace his friend however and no one was scared of killing a relatively unknown cosmonaut when the alternative was angering Stalin.

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Xan Maranya
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

That's the Russian government for you... and still using up people and lying about it now.

Maya
Community Member
1 year ago

WHY ARE THEY SO EVIL OMGGGG

TikiKitty
Community Member
1 year ago

Watch the movie Moon.

Jon Scott
Community Member
1 year ago

His name was Yuri Gagarin.

Cybele Spanjaard
Community Member
1 year ago

Yuri Gagarin..he came back alive. They must all know their chances are variable .

Hannah Marshall
Community Member
1 year ago

Russians sent a dog into space before man

Rae Black
Community Member
1 year ago

Poor Yuri :(

Karolina Hofman
Community Member
1 year ago

It's actually more plausible than one might think. Soviet Union was pretty known for creating... ahem... alternative facts. I recommend googling Vladimir Komarov, might give you some insight about how Russians were desperate to win the race.

Alfonso Leighton
Community Member
1 year ago

I´ve heard another theory that says that Gagarin wasn´t even the first man to return alive. The first to return alive arrived in such a "damaged" condition, brain and physical, that he could not be presented to the world.

Courtney Christelle
Community Member
1 year ago

I find this to be the loneliest death of any human.

Will Vega
Community Member
1 year ago

The story simply says if the russians sent some one up and he died or had an accident and they couldnt get him down .would they just cover it up and have someone else go up and try again.

Mirella Besemer
Community Member
1 year ago

On April 12, 1961, on board the Vostok 3KA-3 capsule of Vostok 1, Gagarin became the first human in space and the first to orbit the Earth. The flight consisted of a single orbit and took 108 minutes from launch to landing. As planned, Gagarin landed on a parachute apart from his capsule, after leaving his capsule at 7 km altitude.

CARRIEMAE MCKELVEY
Community Member
1 year ago

Poor man

Aragorn II Elessar
Community Member
1 year ago

Sure, in “space”, like in a SR-71 type aircraft?

Iapetos
Community Member
1 year ago

Bastards.

Daria Z
Community Member
1 year ago

Russel's teapot.

Bacony Cakes
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

Russell's Leggie.

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Anna Hargraves
Community Member
1 year ago

the first man in space. why so many spaces?

Francis
Community Member
1 year ago

@too_gay_to_fuction_ (and others) yuri gagarin was officially the first person in space. but vladimir illyushin might have been in space 2 days prior to that but was seriously hurt or even dead while landing and the russians covered up the failure of the mission. but we will never know xactly i gues..

Alexandru Bucur
Community Member
1 year ago

Vladimir Illyushin? You mean the test pilot that was never a cosmonaut and died in 2010 aged 82? I mean, this thing comes form the fact, then, as now, media is pretty bad at weeding out "fake news", so, until the USSR published the name of the first man in space, there was a lot of speculation about who had been up, since the West was well aware of the flight while it happened. Besides, there's no way the Soviets could have launched twice two days apart in 1961 - each Vostok was hand built, and they took a lot of man hours to get right, which is why Vostok 1 with Gagarin launched in April and Gherman Titov's Vostok 2 in August...

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RJ
Community Member
1 year ago

I too believe the same. Search for Torre Bert recordings

SpaceGhost
Community Member
1 year ago

That beats the fact that NASA intentionally caused a fire in the Apollo 1 spacecraft, burning three astronauts alive because they were set to give an interview and blow the whistle on the huge fakery that is the moon landing space program the next day. Gus Grissom was one of them. Murder has no statute of limitations.

Mosheh Wolf
Community Member
1 year ago

Did you invent that story, or did you find it on the internet, and decide that it was true so as to feed your daily conspiracy requirement?

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#30

I saw a theory that we truly live through our entire again in the moments before death, but that it's a loop. When you reach your moment of death during your moment of death, you relive it again. And again. And again. Trapped in a loop with no difference, no awareness, forever.

SandwitchZebra Report

Luna
Community Member
1 year ago

The thing about this, is you don’t know if you are living through that right now

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Note: this post originally had 55 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.