Have you heard about Bielefeld? It is a peaceful German city that features amazing architecture and has wonderful church spires. However, the only problem with this city is that it doesn’t exist. Wait; what? Yes, you heard it right. As per a viral conspiracy theory that has been going around ever since the 90s, the city of Bielefeld doesn’t exist.
The city has now announced €1 million-reward for anyone who can prove that it does not exist. This will essentially place the conspiracist in a paradox; how can a person prove to a non-existing city that it does not exist? Bielefeld has a population of 341,730 and has welcomed conspiracy theorists for proving that it doesn’t exist. If you can do that, you will win €1 million.
The steps that you need to follow are quite simple; you will have to prove that the city doesn’t exist. Once you have proven it, you will have to go to the city that you just proved didn’t exist and then present the proof its non-existence to the town hall. It is quite obvious that the campaign is lighthearted and is meant to poke a bit of fun while creating awareness about how the conspiracy theories spread online.
Back in 1994, a student known as Achim Held posted the following message as a joke on the Usenet system – a forum where a lot of conspiracy theories were spread during the early days of the internet, ‘Bielefeld? There’s no such thing.’ Held’s message quickly became a running joke in Germany after it spread virally because of the internet boom. The marketing company behind the campaign to prove that Bielefeld doesn’t exist has said that the entries can be submitted as pictures, videos, or text.
The organizers said, ‘The pearls of your wisdom must be incontrovertible.’ The organizers have also said that they are ‘99.99% certain that we can refute any evidence.’ The reward will be provided by sponsors of Bielefeld Marketing in case that a winner is found.