If you've ever seen a plane flying overhead, you're probably familiar with the cloud-like path they leave in their wake.
They're condensation trails (or "contrails" for short) made up mostly of ice crystals -- but to conspiracy theorists, they're something far more sinister. They call them "chemtrails" and they're supposedly filled with harmful chemicals...
According to most major conspiracy theory news sources, chemtrails are a real and persistent threat to human existence. However, beyond that overarching theme, the specific allegations of what's in them are diverse, and frankly quite bizarre.
The general idea is that these chemtrails are being used by the government to dump harmful biological agents on the unsuspecting population. Why exactly they're doing that depends on which school of "chemtrail thought" you fall under.
But before we get into the nitty-gritty, let's talk science.
The theory that the government is using commercial airlines to dump chemicals on Americans has no scientific basis whatsoever. Those clouds you see in the sky are normal water-based contrails that are left behind aircraft under certain environmental conditions. According to those who have taken the time to study contrails, they form at such high levels in the atmosphere that even if they were full of chemicals, the pollutants would be substantially diluted before they reached the ground.
Now IF -- and that's a big if -- chemtrails are somehow real, despite all the evidence to the contrary, what might they actually contain?
Some theories state that the chemtrails contain chemicals like barium, aluminum salts, polymer fibers, thorium, or silicon carbide. The purpose of these chemicals, they say, is to suppress the more fantastic elements of our human DNA. The reason for this is because the shadowy world government is operating under orders from the Reptilians (an alien race with nefarious purposes).
But why would the Reptilians care about our DNA? And what's this claim about "fantastic elements" of our DNA?
Well you see, according to these same theorists, when humans were first created we had more than a few extrasensory abilities like telepathy and telekinesis. But the Reptilians didn't like that...they wanted humans weak and subservient, which is why they developed chemtrails as a way to suppress those other traits.
Another theory is that chemtrails are used as a way to shield our view of the planet Nibiru, which is apparently on a direct collision course with Earth.
In this theory, the chemtrails are being used to seed the atmosphere with particles to obscure our view of the rapidly approaching mystery planet of Nibiru. Supposedly, it will devastate Earth when it collides with us. Also, Nibiru is said to be the home world of the Reptilians...go figure.
There have long been theories of a mystery Planet X in our solar system, but so far, there is no evidence or proof that Nibiru exists.
So if none of their claims can be backed up scientifically, what do these "chem heads" offer as proof of their theories?
Well, photos like the one above, for example. Several pictures like this have been making their way around the Internet for years. However, they're also not proof of chemtrails. These are just ballast barrels placed on a test plane to collect data on proper weight distribution.
So are chemtrails real? Once and for all, no, they are not real. Even though they make for some pretty good stories, there is absolutely no proof that these conspiracy theories have any basis in reality.