Justin Bieber – you know him, you have heard of him.
You probably love him or you probably hate him. His music is good and his music is bad. He tops the charts across the globe. He is the 21st century's poster child for what social media and the internet can create with a young, burgeoning talent and a couple of million dollars.
Oh, he's also maybe (but probably not) a reptile.
Bieber is touring Australia as part of his Purpose world tour. He's played in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth, and it's the Perth visit that has conspiracy folks frantically typing and shaking at the idea that maybe, just maybe, Justin Bieber let himself slip up in front of hundreds of fans, revealing himself to actually be a "giant reptile".
Much of the conspiracy hinges on an article ALLEGEDLY published (and then quickly taken down) on Perth Now, with a headline reading "Hundreds Of Fans Claim They Saw Justin Bieber Turn Into Giant Reptile".
The alleged story went on to claim police had been called by distressed fans who saw "gross, coloured scales" all over Bieber's body.
This site seemed to kick off the conspiracies, with the added bonus of more quotes about Lizard Bieber from the very reliable source of "local skater."
"He was hanging around with this big guy, his bodyguard I guess, and we were just staring because he kept turning into a huge reptile,” said a local skater. “His bodyguard was pointing at us, shouting that he’d kick our teeth in if we didn’t put our phones away.”
Yep. That totally happened.
Then there's this site, which claims Bieber is "a member of the dominant reptilian-Illuminati bloodline," (uh-duhhh) and that historians, who are not cited, say sightings of reptilians around the world have been reported at regular intervals throughout history.
There are also a few videos about the whole thing (but none of them have actual footage of Bieber transforming). This video has almost 250,000 views and features a robotic Siri-esque voice narrating the theory.
The whole "Justin Bieber is a lizard" thing has been around for a while.
In 2014 The Daily Dot published a story about Bieber's arrest that year, featuring a video of Bieber in court. It supposedly showed the pop superstar blinking like a lizard. That clip of Bieber now has over three million views.
On Twitter, there are a bajillion tweets all discussing the possibility of reptilian Bieber, too.
BuzzFeed News contacted the editors of Perth Now and asked if they published the story that potentially outed Bieber as a reptilian. Ben Martin, head of digital content, denied publishing it (but of course HE WOULD) and said that after a search of their CMS there was no mention of Bieber's "cold-blooded antics".
"I’m sad to say that we did not publish that piece," he said.
Martin said Perth Now doesn't use upper case on the first letter of every word in its headlines ("that's for Ridiculous Conspiracy Theory Websites"); there was no full URL published "although our Illuminati Google Overlords could probably do a CTRL-X on that"; and the weather forecast for the day was wrong.
So, the major player in this whole conspiracy is denying any involvement.
But it's important to remember that IF Perth Now was a reptilian Illuminati stronghold, of course they'd deny the article ever existed. Of course.
If you have any information about Justin Bieber's possible reptilian form, please email me.
Brad Esposito is a news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Contact Brad Esposito at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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