One fascinating extraordinary belief that I have just recently come to know is the idea
that the country of Australia doesn’t exist. The theory holds that Australia is just an elaborate
cover up by the British government for a mass murder. People believe that when Australia was
founded as a penal colony that the prisoners were killed instead of sent to the nonexistent island,
but England couldn’t admit that outright. Now these people would argue that it has simply been
too long, so the British government maintains the conspiracy so as not to be viewed as lying and
monstrous. The main people that believe this are people who believe in the flat Earth theory,
thinking that to execute these prisoners they sailed them over the edge of the world. This belief
has found a recent resurgence in notability though its height of popularity was back somewhere
around 2006. This belief is important and extraordinary because it shows the depths to which
people may believe the most insane things, and how one extraordinary belief may stem from, or
feed off, another extraordinary belief.
Obviously, there are many things that one would think proves the existence of Australia,
but believers have ways to refute each. There isn’t much of any proof that Australia is fake, but if
they can show that the things that are used for the counterargument may be wrong, then the only
explanation for that is that there is some interest in keeping Australia, despite the lack of
evidence. One arguing that Australia does exist might point to its inclusion on maps as evidence.
One believing that it doesn’t exist would say that the British government has forced
cartographers to include it as part of the cover up. One might point to it’s being in satellite
imaging such as GPS, but again, that is just because of the meddling of the British government.
Surely meeting a person of seeing an animal native to Australia would prove its existence, but
maybe the people are just actors and the animals are from somewhere else in the world.
Ultimately, one can visit this place, which might indubitably
believers would respond that it is just a cover up, that if one attempts to travel there, they are just
taken to parts of South America or islands near the area of Australia. In this way, if one buys the
possibility of the cover up, then at least this would call into question the existence of Australia. It
is easier for people to believe in this to try to disprove the other side instead of proving their
For this belief, people who believe it are severely misinformed, not only about
geography, but also about how arguments work. They leave it to people that would disagree with
them to prove them wrong. If they have a belief then the burden of proof for whether the belief is
true or not, lies with them, not with the other side. They seem to believe that simple doubt about
something’s existence is equivalent to that thing not existing, but if you look at that logic it
doesn’t really track well. They do not present anything that would work to force the conclusion
that Australia doesn’t exist. At very least most other conspiracies of this sort have proof, however
flimsy, that it really did happen that way. This one, however, just tries to ignore history,
geography, and a whole other culture. It would be quite an elaborate lie for the British
government to invent the Australian culture we know today, as well as the Aborigines that were
there before. Ultimately it seems like the believers in this theory are belligerently ignorant of
many facets of the world.
This belief is one that would theoretically fall out of favor quickly and completely, but
because there is a tight knit group of people that will believe any conspiracy, they can find solace
and support. It almost seems like there might exist some upping the ante in that conspiracy nuts
feed off one another, so even if they don’t believe in the same conspiracy they feel like they have
fellow “truth” seekers with which they can feel safe and can take their ideas to whatever end they
may desire. They see already established, outlandish theories, and so they feel like they can put
their whole heart into their own belief in their own way, trying to examine the most well hid
“truths” of society. It also helps to maintain this belief that there exist other such beliefs with
people positing that there are places that don’t exist such as Finland. Especially now, with the
prevalence of the internet it is so easy to connect with the small amount of people out there that
hold their extraordinary belief and so feel no embarrassment of saying anything they think when
most people would say they are crazy, or some other synonym.
In terms of psychology there are many logical fallacies and biases at work here. First,
there is circular reasoning evident in their argument. The logic seems to go that Australia doesn’t
exist, therefore the proof of those who say it does is just some conspiracy, therefore Australia
doesn’t exist. These people already hold an extraordinary belief in the flat earth theory, and then
they go even more extreme to claim that a large land mass doesn’t exist. These people seem to try
to set themselves apart, believing they are smarter than everyone else in knowing the earth is flat,
but that isn’t enough. They also want to set themselves apart from the other believers by
assuming another extraordinary belief. These are people who likely are very distrusting of
government; people who would question every piece of information pertaining to government
action. This almost seems like a belief that may have started as a joke or something of the sort
that wasn’t to be taken seriously, but then somehow gained traction in an already misinformed
demographic. These people in a way also take confirmation bias to the extreme so that they view
any proof as vague enough to interpret in their own way, finding ways to discount plain facts.
They also seem to engage in post hoc explanations by taking any piece of information and giving
a reason for it after the fact to show it false.
Further information can be found through a quick Google search or by checking out some
of these reports:
14 thoughts on “The Greatest Lie Ever Told: How Australia is Fake”
This entire concept is wildly interesting to me, even more fascinating that the same proponents of the flat earth theory are those in favor. I do have one question, when was the origin of the conspiracy-the killing of prisoners- said to occur? You mentioned the belief became popular in 2006, so I’m curious how soon before it was believed the cover-up began.
This is such as fascinating conspiracy, and it reminds me of the people who think the moon is fake (not the moon landing – the moon itself). Did the information you sorted through say anything about the Aborigines (the Australian natives)? Do the proponents of this belief just think they don’t exist?
This is quite an extreme theory for people to believe in. You mentioned that similar beliefs are held regarding other regions, such as Finland. Do you believe the mechanism behind those beliefs are the same as for the one about Australia?
The fact that there are people who believe that whole countries are non existent is kind of baffling to me. Even when the believers are at the place that apparently doesn’t exist they just disregard it with their own biases and theories. I have also read about how there are people who believe that Finland doesn’t exist either. It states that they use the logic that since not many people can say they have been there, than it must not exist. Do you think that the same logic can be applied to not just places but people, figures, and other nonmaterial objects? More specifically, heaven and hell since people could argue both ways with the same logic.
How can people believe in such theories even after so much evidence is out there that proves its untrue. It is shocking that more people believe in things that are highly unlikely to be true. Why cant people believe in the simple things because as we learnt before the simplest theories are usually the ones that are true. Sometimes I feel like people believe in these things just because they want to hold a different opinion then others in the room.
I really enjoyed reading about this theory. I had heard rumors of it before, but I sort of was not able to fully believe that people thought this. Do you know why exactly it was Australia that people chose to believe that it was a british cover up for a mass murder. Did a certain mass murder happen that led people to believe something was happening? I just think that its insane that people believe this. If you were to say that it was true, then you would have to have millions of people in on the deception, which is just not possible!
Believing that Australia is fake is truly the epitome of the idea “seeing is believing” and that one will doubt the existence of nearly anything they have not seen with their own eyes. This same idea can apply to everything ranging from physical locations to religion to the moon landing. Since you said “the theory holds that Australia is just an elaborate
cover up by the British government for a mass murder”, who was killed and what was the motive behind the killings? I am wondering how creating an entire country/continent benefits the cover-up because I feel like keeping up this secret would be significantly more difficult.
I have also heard this conspiracy before that the 160 thousand of the criminal didn’t achieve Australia in the 19th century. At that time, there is no much of the media company at those times, so it’s not hard to fake the news. To save time, the captain threw our the criminal into the water and all of them were killed. But it’s only a conspiracy of the history of Australia and there is no evidence can support it. Australia actually exists as we can see, and it’s also impossible to kill that much of criminal at that time. If the British actually did that, there should be some records of it.
This was a really interesting idea I have never heard of! For someone who has been to Australia and orders clothes from there, I think its wild that people think it may be fake! I think there would have to be serious and extensive covering up to create a “false” country. I wonder what secret part of south america people are being sent to when they think they’re going to Australia? Is that area on the map as well? Or is it hidden? Overall I would like to believe this theory is mostly wrong but very interesting. Great idea and information!!
Personally my reason to not believe that is if that is true, then every single country in the world could be fake. But the ways those believer to deny an existence of an country is fun which somewhat reflect how we recognize an country.
Wow I honestly can’t believe that some people believe this. Just think of the number of people and planning that would have to go in to this. It would be so hard to put a fake Australia on every single physical map, the internet pictures, and gps. It would be impossible. What about all the people that live in Australia too? Are they just brainwashed and confused about where they live?
This is probably one of the craziest conspiracies I have read. Conspiracies about myths and legend might sound less realistic, but the fact that Australia is indeed a country and there is no evidence that proves you otherwise makes it so crazy. That people believing in this or the flat earth theory think that everything ever told is a lie and that they can not trust any historical events.
Australia is a continent that has people living on it. A meme that started the idea that it is an “imaginary land.” Lies and conspiracies suggesting Australians are all actors or AI’s are beyond me.
You can find Australia yourself, by traveling there. It’s exactly where the map says it is. Also there’s literally no evidence to support such nonsense, so according to Hitchens’ Razor I could just say you’re wrong and be done with it.
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