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You Could Win $1.1 Million By Proving This European City (That Definitely Exists) Doesn’t Exist

You Could Win $1.1 Million By Proving This European City (That Definitely Exists) Doesn’t Exist

Bielefeld Is Offering $1.1 Million To Anyone Who Can Prove It Doesn't Exist

Normally, we’re out here sharing sneaky tips that uncover secret holiday destinations, but this time we’re getting out our tin-foil hats, old maps, and red string to prove that the city of Bielefeld in Germany doesn’t exist.

Bielefeld, a city which definitely does exist, is offering €1 million ($1.6 million) to anybody who can prove, without a doubt, that it does not, in fact, exist.


The Bielefeld Conspiracy is a satirical conspiracy theory that claims the city is just an illusion propagated by a secret organisation in cahoots with the government. It started in the early ’90s as a joke on an online forum but, like most things on the internet, was quickly and totally blown out of proportion.

The conspiracy theory poses three questions:

#1. Do you know anybody from Bielefeld?

#2. Have you ever been to Bielefeld?

#3. Do you know anybody who has ever been to Bielefeld?

Bielefeld (if you believe the rumours) is an average city — it’s not too big, but not too small. It’s home to a few landmarks, but nothing as famous as the Brandenburg Gate. Its main industry is linen.

Basically, not many people can answer “yes” to the above questions. And if you’re one of the few who can, you’re obviously in on the conspiracy as well.

The city has spun the conspiracy theory into positive PR in the past, and is now doing it again, offering $1 million to anyone who can prove conclusively that it doesn’t actually exist. Believers of the conspiracy theory can submit their best evidence here for a shot at the prize money.

“We are excited about the creative submissions and are 99.99 percent sure that we will be able to refute any claims,” said the head of Bielefeld Marketing Martin Knabenreich.

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If the conspiracy falls through and the town’s existence is confirmed, we have it on good authority that Bielefeld is worth a visit. You can visit a 13th-century castle, wander museums and botanical gardens, and explore a free park zoo.

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(Lead image: Bielefeld Marketing GmbH)

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