The Large Hadron Collider at CERN is responsible for some of the most groundbreaking scientific discoveries ever made, from the Higg's Boson to quasars.
This week, after three years of lying dormant, the world's largest particle accelerator has been fired up once again as scientists continue their quest to uncover the fundamental building blocks of the universe.
But a bizarre conspiracy theory argues that the course of history has already been fundamentally changed—after a weasel got stuck in the Hadron Collider in 2016.
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In April 2016, the £4bn Hadron Collider was forced to shut down for a number of days after a weasel got inside a high-voltage transformer and was 'fried to death'.
Although a spokesperson for CERN says that the weasel did not get inside the LHC's tunnels, and despite the fact scientists were able to get things up and running again within a few days, the weasel's death sparked wild speculation about the fate of the universe.
Conspiracy theorists on the Internet believe that the weasel's intrusion set off a chain of events which have doomed civilisation as we know it, starting with the death of Harambe gorilla less than two weeks later and culminating in the election of President Donald Trump.
Comedian and writer Rob Sheridan has repeatedly taken to Twitter to share his theories about 'the Weaselverse', claiming that the weasel "shifted us into the wrong timeline" and saying "it explains EVERYTHING".
Others have gone much deeper with the baseless 'theory'. One Reddit user wrote in a thread that the weasel's entry into the Hadron Collider "could've sent us into another dimension without anyone being aware of it directly."
They said: "Things like the Mandela Effect can be attributed to people from these two different dimensions remembering events very differently as they would've happened differently between timelines."
The conspiracy theorist added: "The fact that the team who was using the collider at the time was literally attempting to open dimensional gateways is really bizarre. Who knows what they did to the fabric of our reality? How could any of us know?! We wouldn't but world events have definitely gone off the rails since then."
One commenter simply said: "That little weasel screwed us."
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It is important to note that there is absolutely no peer-reviewed evidence or scientific proof to suggest CERN has been attempting to open 'dimensional gateways' using the Hadron Collider, or that a weasel is in any way responsible for the fate of humanity. In fact, it is almost certain that we are responsible for our problems.
Buried deep underground near Geneva, Switzerland, the Large Hadron Collider is designed to study cosmic particles which make up the fabric of the universe, including dark matter.
It works by firing high-energy particle beams at each other at nearly the speed of light to reproduce the conditions that existed at the start of the Big Bang.
So far, it has been used to discover the so-called 'God particle', the Higgs boson. The Higgs boson is part of the Higgs mechanism, which gives mass to basic particles at the smallest structure of reality.
The Large Hadron Collider has long been a source of doomsday conspiracies. When it was first switched on, a fringe theory suggested it would open black holes and start the apocalypse. This fortunately didn't happen.
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