On the surface, it looks horrifying: A human sacrifice taking place on the grounds of one of the world’s most famous science labs. But the viral video recorded at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (a.k.a. CERN) was just a prank gone too far.
The footage, which appeared to be filmed by a bystander watching from a nearby window, showed cloaked figures performing a ritual at night in an outdoor space near a large statue of the Hindu god Shiva.
At one point, a woman in the video removed her cloak. She was then “stabbed” by another one of the shadowy figures, causing the person filming the video to cry out and run.
At that point, the footage abruptly ends.
The video was repeatedly dissected by conspiracy theorists, at least some of whom believed it was evidence of dark deeds at the facility.
In response, CERN updated its FAQ, called the video “fiction” and blamed its creation on lab employees.
“Persons that are authorized to access the CERN site sometimes let their sense of humor go too far, and that is what has happened on this occasion,” the FAQ stated. “CERN does not condone this kind of spoof, which breaches CERN’s professional guidelines, and is currently carrying out an internal investigation.”
The lab is home to the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest particle accelerator, a machine used in the quest to detect dark matter, examine the conditions formed right after the Big Bang and study the Higgs boson particle.
However, the lab, which is located near Geneva, Switzerland, has also spawned numerous conspiracy theories. Snopes noted that CERN has been accused of trying to summon the anti-Christ, open a portal to Hell and rip apart the universe, among other things.
What’s a little late-night devil worship next to all that?
(h/t The Guardian)