25 Surprising Facts That Sound Suspicious But Are True

Published 8 months ago

In the vast realm of the internet, Reddit has become a hub for sharing ideas, stories, and, of course, conspiracy theories. However, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, and in a recent Reddit thread, users came together to share fascinating facts that, while grounded in reality, sound like the plot of a conspiracy thriller.

From historical oddities to mind-bending coincidences, here are some captivating tales that will make you question what you thought you knew.

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Image source: Dune1008, Touch Of Light

The pentagon has never been able to account for more than half its budget.


Image source: allbitterandclean, Lloyd Arnold

Ernest Hemingway suffered from ongoing paranoia that the FBI were surveilling him, which was thought to be a key factor in him [taking his own life]. Most chalked it up to mental illness at the time. Decades later, his file was released, proving he was under investigation for his ties to Cuba, his phones were tapped, and he was right all along.


Image source: DigNitty, Pixabay

A cartel run out of Switzerland got all the top light bulb manufacturers to limit bulb life to 1000 hours so that they could sell more. [phoebus cartel]


Image source: SendMeNudesThough, MART PRODUCTION

In the 60s and 70s, thousands of Native American women were sterilized without their consent as part of a practice to sterilize poor and minority women to “help their financial situation and their family’s quality of life” by preventing unwanted pregnancies in poor communities.

Some were not informed at all and had it done to them completely without their knowledge, others were threatened with having their healthcare taken away if they did not agree to have it done to them. Some studies estimate that as many as 25-50% of Native American women were sterilized in the 1970s, representing tens of thousands of victims.

This is essentially a modern day genocide in the United States.


Image source: SendMeNudesThough, Herbert L. Fred, MD, Hendrik A. van Dijk

In the United States between 1932 and 1972, the CDC intentionally neglected to inform hundreds of black Americans that they were infected with syphilis. The goal was to study the effects of syphilis in black people **when left untreated**, meaning it was imperative that the patient be unaware that they were infected. Many of them died to the untreated illness.


Image source: BigMax, Marcel·lí Perelló

Years ago, in the leadup to the Olympics in Mexico, the country was embarrassed by massive protests about conditions for regular people there.

So at one of the large protests, they put snipers from their CIA equivalent in some tall buildings near where there was due to be a protest by a large government building.

That building was guarded by a line of police officers.

When the protesters made it to the line of police officers, they continued to peacefully protest.

The CIA (equivalent) officers opened fire on the police, making it appear that the protestors were shooting at the cops. The cops retaliated, mowing down countless protestors, thinking they were defending themselves.

Protestors were killed, and fled the scene. The government was ready, rushed in, and immediately cleaned up the scene. To this day they have no idea how many people were killed at the scene, and no one knew about the plot to instigate the massacre of the protestors until years later.

It worked though, there were no more protests.


Image source: Solitary-Dolphin, The Glorious Studio

Diamond company De Beers sits on an estimated 50 years worth of yearly carats sold in jewel-quality stones, purely to keep the market price high by creating artificial scarcity. Precious stones are, in fact, not so rare as to merit the high prices they command.


Image source: Mrnoword, Enyavar


As you know, in 1919, the manufacture, sale and transportation of alcohol was prohibited. But instead of plummeting, alcohol sales soared. Speakeasies opened everywhere, and as a result, people in some neighborhoods were drinking even more than before. The mafias got in on the act, stealing large quantities of industrial alcohol.

In 1926, the authorities resorted to the hard way, asking manufacturers to add toxic substances to their alcohol (adding ten times more methanol, for example). In New York alone, 1,200 drinkers were poisoned and 400 died. A wave of deaths would eventually sweep across the country. This “poisoning policy” was not stopped until December 1933.


Image source: AdMaterial9419, UPI-United Press International

JFK’s brain was removed during autopsy and stored in an archive. Its current whereabouts are unknown.


Image source: Skootchy, Pixabay

Probably going to be buried but this one is actually kind of funny.

Sometime after WW2, the U.S. was doing some pretty wild experiments, including trying to see if they could teach dolphins to talk. They believed this was only achievable by full immersion, so they built a house and filled it with water and had a researcher live with the dolphin.

The dolphin was a young male and wouldn’t respond to anything unless the female researcher jacked it off. It became to obsessed with the researcher and I think when the higher ups found out what was going on, they shut it down and never tried again.

Kind of paraphrased, but yeah. The government paid a f**k load of money just to end up having a lady wack off a dolphin.


Image source: FeebysPaperBoat, Clem Onojeghuo

Almost all glasses frames are made by the same three major companies which is why they cost so much for frame that are essentially just molded plastic.


Image source: kms2547, Vie Studio

The quinoa craze in America had devastating effects on Bolivia. Bolivian farmers switched to growing quinoa to export to the US because it was much more profitable than other staple foods. As a result (along with various other factors), Bolivia has really poor food security for its own people.


Image source: Ccaves0127, Arina Krasnikova

The idea of a “Carbon footprint” was propaganda created by BP in order to deflect their responsibility in the climate crisis, for which they hired the same ad companies that had convinced people that tobacco didn’t cause cancer decades earlier


Image source: LateralThinkerer, Suzy Hazelwood

The sugar industry paid nutrition researchers to blame fats for health problems that were often correlated to sugar consumption. From this we have all the nonsense about “good fats”/”bad fats” etc.


Image source: ThePresidentPlate

Operation Northwoods. The US government proposed having the CIA commit terrorist attacks in major US cities so we could blame them on Cuba and go to war.

The proposals called for CIA operatives to both stage and commit acts of terrorism against American military and civilian targets, blaming them on the Cuban government, and using it to justify a war against Cuba. The possibilities detailed in the document included the remote control of civilian aircraft which would be secretly repainted as US Air Force plane, a fabricated ‘shoot down’ of a US Air Force fighter aircraft off the coast of Cuba, the possible assassination of Cuban immigrants, sinking boats of Cuban refugees on the high seas, blowing up a U.S. ship, and orchestrating terrorism in U.S. cities. The proposals were rejected by President John F. Kennedy


Image source: prosa123, Arnold Newman

In the spring of 1968 President Lyndon Johnson shocked the nation when he announced that he would not seek election to a second full term that November. He gave no explanation, and pretty much everyone assumed that it was because of the situation in Vietnam and his resulting unpopularity.

While Vietnam undoubtedly was a factor it was far from the full story. Concerned that males in his family tended to die young, and having barely survived a heart attack in the 1950’s, sometime in 1967 Johnson had commissioned a top-secret actuarial study to determine his likely lifespan.

After carefully going through his family history and medical records, the actuaries concluded that Johnson was unlikely to survive to age 65. Johnson quickly did the math and realized that would give him a very short retirement if he ran and won in 1968, as he’d be 64 at the end of the term. This led him to decide against running.

The actuaries were right, as Johnson never made it to 65, dying at age 64. And indeed it would have been a very short retirement: had he served a second full term he would have died less than 24 hours after the end of the term.


Image source: Euphoric-Beat-7206, cottonbro studio

Government Surveillance: Whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed in 2013 that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) was conducting mass surveillance on citizens, collecting data from internet communications, phone calls, and other sources.


Image source: ZaagKicks, Johanser Martinez

How big tobacco companies denied the health risks of smoking, despite internal knowledge of the dangers.


Image source: TripleThreatTua, PictorialEvidence

The Church of Scientology had members secretly infiltrate US Government agencies in order to destroy unfavorable documents and investigations into them


Image source: ktappe, Mikhail Nilov

Tax service companies such as Intuit spend millions of dollars a year lobbying to make sure the IRS does not make it easier to file your taxes.


Image source: Manatee369, Mike Mozart

The McDonalds PR machine tried to ruin Stella Liebeck’s life. That coffee was so hot it melted her clothing to her genitals. People still believe she was at fault. I turn it around and ask how they’d feel if a parent accidentally spilled coffee on their child that was so hot it melted the child’s clothes to her/his body. Somehow it usually wakes people up.


Image source: Starlightrendition, Henrietta Lacks

A poor black woman’s, Henrietta Lacks, cells were harvested from her dead body without her consent in 1951 by a doctor who worked for Johns Hopkins. The cells were proven to be incredible and a scientific marvel, and have been used ever since to further medical science. Her family and descendants were never asked for consent to do this, weren’t informed of the breakthroughs, have continued to live in cripplingly poverty since, despite how often the HeLa cells are used and the mass amount of money Johns Hopkins makes, and still to this day are fighting Johns Hopkins to admit their mistakes and make them financially whole for their desecration of a Henrietta Lacks body.


Image source: ginger_minge, Pixabay

The same company that single-handedly caused the opioid crisis is… still making money off of their drug but now also making money off of its antidote.


Image source: Boogaloogaloogalooo, Mikhail Nilov

In 2/3 of all US states, EMS is NOT considered an essential service. As such it recieves next to 0 gov funding or support


Image source: ZorroMeansFox, Alex Green

There’s a psychological reaction called “The Backfire Effect” which essentially means that people, after they’re given proof that what they think they know is absolutely wrong, will believe their misconception/misinformation even more deeply.

Saumya Ratan

Saumya is an explorer of all things beautiful, quirky, and heartwarming. With her knack for art, design, photography, fun trivia, and internet humor, she takes you on a journey through the lighter side of pop culture.

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