Conspiracy theories have been around for as long as human beings have. But it sure seems like these paranoid falsehoods have become more prolific since the advent of social media, and especially in the last couple of years.
Whether it's illegitimate claims of voter fraud, the belief that a Jewish space laser caused the deadly forest fires in California in 2018, or the claims school mass shootings are staged events to further an anti-gun legislative agenda, it seems whenever a crisis or tragedy strikes, a misguided attempt to connect the dots is never far behind.
And we can now add last week's tragic winter storm in Texas to the list of true events corrupted by a subsequent wake of false conspiracies.
Since the storm, which left millions without power and killed nearly 50, people across the internet have posted videos claiming the snow in Texas was fake, created by Joe Biden, according to some, or Bill Gates, according to others.
The false conspiracy theories conjectured Biden or Gates dumped all the fake snow on Texas to push an agenda to reverse climate change, a pressing issue they've both vowed to combat.
The videos, many of which were posted to TikTok before eventually making their way over to Facebook, were all flagged by Facebook as completely false.
In a couple videos, some people even attempted to demonstrate the snow was fake by heating a snowball over an open flame to show it "didn't melt," or even putting it in the oven like one guy did.
Of course, the massive storm was indeed very real and composed of real precipitation. The weather event, commonly known as a polar vortex, brought Arctic air from the North Pole down through Canada and into the US.
The storm actually first hit the US way up in the Pacific Northwest before it worked its way through the Southwest and into Texas.
As for why tragedy struck, that was caused by the careful balance of nature's fury and man's under-preparedness, particularly the state of Texas' power grid infrastructure, which was outdated and didn't stand a chance against a storm so big.
But in case the science-based history of the storm doesn't hammer home what is real and what is fake, meteorologists have debunked this "no melting" snow claim in the past, as Indy 100 reported. In reality, when a solid so cold is heated so rapidly, the solid becomes a gas immediately as opposed to moving from solid to liquid to gas, which we're most used to.
The process, known as sublimation, is very well known by scientists and has nothing to do with the political whims of President Joe Biden or Bill Gates.
Reality-believing people across the internet were left with only one thing to do when they encountered the latest conspiracy theory—shake their heads.
So wait, the new conspiracy theory is that the snow is fake snow created by Bill Gates? I can’t drink enough to k… https://t.co/EKgoAF5m5E— Matthew Sajban (@Matthew Sajban) 1613933089.0
Internet conspiracy people talking about the snow in Texas is fake because it don’t melt under a flame. I’m tired🤦🏻♂️— Taylor Mie'Sean🦄 (@Taylor Mie'Sean🦄) 1613945794.0
i understand most texans are unfamiliar with the way snow behaves but this fake snow conspiracy has really gotten t… https://t.co/kLMGK9RVW6— lovefool by the cardigans (@lovefool by the cardigans) 1614086708.0
There's a conspiracy theory going around that the snow that Texas recieved is fake and was planted there by the gov… https://t.co/IVMJpkBx5j— Cooper™️ (@Cooper™️) 1614074347.0
The fake snow conspiracy just makes me sad. When I found out this was about Bill Gates' invisible weather machine… https://t.co/oSkF4MvdqA— Nick 'MONKE' Cage (@Nick 'MONKE' Cage) 1614075271.0
As the impacts of climate change worsen and extreme weather events like the one in Texas become more frequent, it's going to be very important people accept the reality of snow.