BERLIN (AP) — A German city that’s been the subject of a long-running online light-hearted conspiracy theory claiming it doesn’t really exist is offering big bucks to whoever proves that’s true.
Officials in Bielefeld said Wednesday they’ll give 1 million euros ($1.1 million) to the person who delivers solid proof of its non-existence.
They said there are “no limits to creativity” for entrants, but only incontrovertible evidence will qualify for the prize.
The idea that Bielefeld doesn’t exist was first floated by computer expert Achim Held, who posted the satirical claim on the Internet in 1994 in an effort to poke fun at online conspiracy theories.
Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel once jokingly cast doubt on the existence of Bielefeld, which is allegedly located about 330 kilometers (205 miles) west of Berlin.
A Word to Our Loyal Readers
Support Snopes and make a difference for readers everywhere.
- David Mikkelson
- Doreen Marchionni
- David Emery
- Bond Huberman
- Jordan Liles
- Alex Kasprak
- Dan Evon
- Dan MacGuill
- Bethania Palma
- Liz Donaldson
- Vinny Green
- Ryan Miller
- Chris Reilly
- Chad Ort
- Elyssa Young
Most Snopes assignments begin when readers ask us, “Is this true?” Those tips launch our fact-checkers on sprints across a vast range of political, scientific, legal, historical, and visual information. We investigate as thoroughly and quickly as possible and relay what we learn. Then another question arrives, and the race starts again.
We do this work every day at no cost to you, but it is far from free to produce, and we cannot afford to slow down. To ensure Snopes endures — and grows to serve more readers — we need a different kind of tip: We need your financial support.
Support Snopes so we continue to pursue the facts — for you and anyone searching for answers.