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Is the Illuminati real and is Earth flat? The top 10 conspiracy theories people search for

enthusiasts around the globe could be in the millions, according to Google search research by SEMrush. In the UK alone, more than 500,000 people searched online for the Illuminati between 2018 and 2019, with nearly as many looking up Flat Earth conspiracies. Search result trends in the US, which boasts a population of more than 325million people, were similar but at a much higher number. SEMrush analysed the online search trends in the UK and US for 50 conspiracy theory-related subjects between February 2018 and January 2019.

The company found an incredible array of bizarre searches ranging from faking the 1969 Moon landing to chemtrail conspiracies.

There is a lot of overlap between the UK and US in search terms but some oddities stick out here in the UK.

For instance, within the given time period, 33,400 people looked up the wild theory claiming Canadian singer Avril Lavigne, 34, has died and was replaced by an impostor called Melissa.

In the US, on the other hand, the same position in the results is taken by 241,700 people looking up the Denver Airport conspiracy – a collection of various theories related to the supposed New World Order.  

People in the UK also looked up the New World Order and conspiracies claiming the singers Tupac and Michael Jackson are alive. 

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Conspiracy theories: Illuminati and Flat Earth

Illuminati and Flat Earth conspiracies are the most looked up online conspiracy searches (Image: GETTY)

Conspiracy theories: The Illuminati theory

Illuminati is the most looked up conspiracy search term in the US and UK (Image: GETTY)

Olga Andrienko, head of global marketing at SEMrush, told Express.co.uk: “Conspiracy theories themselves are nothing new.

More and more people are worried about the rapid spread of conspiracy theories online

Olga Andrienko, SEMrush

“However, more and more people are worried about the rapid spread of conspiracy theories online.

“For example, an internet user might stumble across content shared via conspiracy theorist groups on social media, which then prompts them to seek out more content.

“By analysing the search volumes for different conspiracy theories, we can see which theories people seem to be most curious about and relevant behavioural trends forming.”

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“The more people searching for these theories online, the more people risk being directed to organisations and websites run by conspiracy theorist groups.

“The data presented in these top 10 lists also appears to show that theories relating to the US – like the Pizzagate hoax – can travel far afield, also generating significant interest amongst British internet users.”

In America, conspiracies involving the US Government focused around the debunked Pizzagate conspiracy, which claimed high ranking US politicians were involved in human trafficking.

Other US-based conspiracy theory searches looked up the QAnon theory, a bizarre “deep state” theory related to Pizzagate, which originated on the website 4Chan.

More than 280,000 people in the US also looked up conspiracies about Tupac Shakur, the rapper who was killed on September 13, 1996.  

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Conspiracy theories: Avril Lavigne dead

Avril Lavigne conspiracy: Some people believe the singer was replaced by an impostor (Image: GETTY)

Conspiracy theories: Chemtrails in the sky

Chemtrails are the fourth most popular conspiracy in the UK and US (Image: GETTY)

The top conspiracy theory searches in the UK:

1, Illuminati – 550,000

2. Flat Earth – 499,600

3. Chemtrails – 172,500

4. Pizzagate – 99,900

5. Moon landing fake – 67,800

6. New World Order – 66,000

7. Tupac alive – 61,600

8. Is Michelle Obama a man? – 34,700

9. Avril Lavigne dead – 33,400

10. Michael Jackson alive – 31,400

The top conspiracy theory searches in the US:

1, Illuminati – 3,014,000

2. Flat Earth – 1,959,000

3. Pizzagate – 777,000

4. Chemtrails – 763,000

5. Michelle Obama a man? – 403,300

6. New World Order – 340,800

7. Tupac alive – 286,800

8. Moon landing fake – 246,900

9. Denver Airport conspiracy – 241,700

10. What is QAnon? – 199,400

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