What is the Area 51 meme? Why is it causing so much commotion?

(Original Caption) Rachel, Nevada: Near secret U.S. military installation, Area 51.

The Area 51 meme is one of 2019's most bizarre viral sensations, but there's actually more to it.

Whether you've seen a few videos or left Blink-182 to aid the search, you're all more than likely curious regarding the existence of alien life. Popular culture has long been fascinated with the idea of life beyond our own; it's informed movies, research, and plenty of conspiracy theories. 

Some people take the endless possibilities of extraterrestrial existence very seriously, but in the current age we live in, an increasing amount of people are turning long-standing rumours into imaginative memes

Over the years there have been some really strange examples, but the latest to capture attention is the Area 51 meme. If you've seen pictures of people holding alien technology or edited into spaceships on your news feed recently, you're probably feeling a little in the dark right now. 

So, let's look into this hilarious internet phenomenon. 

DigitalGlobe satellite image Area 51.  The United States Air Force facility commonly known as Area 51 is a remote detachment of Edwards Air Force Base, within the Nevada Test and Training...

What is Area 51?

All of the memes lead back to Area 51, which is a highly classified and restricted US Air Force facility in Lincoln County, Nevada. 

It bears many nicknames - from Paradise Ranch to Dreamland - but no matter what you call it, you're no closer to understanding what's going on over there. The distinct purpose of the facility is unknown to the public, but it's believed to exist as a space to test aircraft and weapons. 

However, it's also just as widely believed to be involved with extraterrestrial research, closely associated with UFOs. Conspiracy theories have circulated for decades which date back to the Roswell UFO incident. According to Wikipedia, a United States Army Air Forces balloon crashed at a ranch near Roswell in 1947. 

Although it was announced to be a weather balloon, many suspected that an alien spacecraft had crashed on Earth and the craft - along with its operator - was recovered by the military and taken to Area 51. Even today, theorists are desperate to learn of the compound's secrets. 

Area 51 meme

The question is: Could a meme really bring us closer to the truth?

Either way, it's been hilarious to follow just how much this has progressed. It started with a Facebook event called "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us", which details that those attending should all rush the facility in order to gain access. 

It sounds like a funny little joke, but it's seriously escalated since the event was made, even breaking into the news. At the moment of writing, there are one million people who have registered as attending with over 869,000 as "interested"; with such a significant volume of interests, it's certain to reach some dumbfounded officials. 

The "storming" is set to take place on Friday, 20th September 2019, but how seriously can something like this actually be taken? 

 

A stormy 2019?

Since the event was made, there have been a lot of memes hilariously depicting the possibilities of what we'll find. As some have pointed out, the facility's security won't exactly drop their firearms while under pressure from a horde of laughing meme enthusiasts. Wouldn't that be a sight for the books... 

On the event's details, it says "We will all meet up at the Area 51 Alien Center tourist attraction and coordinate our entry. If we naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets. Lets see them aliens." So, we clearly have a joke, but one that could only achieve such scale in the year 2019 as memes continue to create more newsworthy stories. 

There have been a lot of random events popping up over the last year or so, and actually, a lot of them have followed through. With over 280,000 people - and counting - set to attend, there's sure to be a fair few to turn up, even if the majority have clicked "going" for a joke. Come September 20th though, all eyes will be on that event page!

In other news, has Jamestown been renewed on Sky?

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