Rainbow conspiracy

By Phil Plait | August 14, 2008 2:00 pm

Is this woman serious? It can be hard to tell sometimes.

I think she may be right… it could, after all, be dihydrogen monoxide!

Oh, fine. Just in case someone takes this seriously, here. And I think, but I’m not sure, this is the same woman who made this video. Someone should clue her on about Earthshine.

Tip o’ the rain hat to PZ.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Antiscience, Humor

Comments (82)

  1. Greg

    Maybe she should drill to see if she has oil on her property.
    She may get rich!

  2. locksmyth

    I saw this on skepchick it’s very very scary how poorly educated some people are.

  3. Daniel

    Phil Im at a loss for words. Did “No Child Left Behind” do this to us? Good grief.

  4. Yossarian

    Either dihydrogen monoxide or the equally toxic and pernicious hydrogen hydroxide.

  5. The “metallic oxide salts” line marks her out as having listened to contrail scaremongers. So this is just another part of that whole delusion.

  6. kuhnigget

    But she’s right, you know. We do have to ask what the heck is going on in this country.

    In this case, I think her garden hose has been infected with gay pride.

  7. ABR.

    It’s tired light, I tell you…the light is breaking up! There are going to be rainbows everywhere now!

  8. Naked Bunny with a Whip

    It’s all the aluminum from her hat seeping into the soil.

  9. Yossarian

    It’s really difficult to tell whether this is serious. The spelling and punctuation errors in the titles are so unsubtle as to indicate mockery.

  10. PG

    WOT? Geez. We used to make these on purpose as kids… Um.. 30 years ago.

  11. Todd W.

    That’s just…scary. I mean…wow! And sad…

  12. Chopstix

    Where da gold at?

  13. Alex

    I wonder if this woman can be serious. She has been reported saying that the government is shooting gravity waves (!) at her house. Some people suggested that she may suffer from a mental ilness – that’s not a laughing matter.

  14. Steve

    Metallic oxide salts arn’t most ore’s on earth considered metallic oxide salts? And wtf is a contrail?

  15. With apologies to Paul Williams and Kermit the Frog:

    Why are there so many
    conspiracies about rainbows
    and who knows the truth inside?

    Rainbows are visions
    caused by toxic mind-control chemicals inserted into our water supply by the government,
    and rainbows have a whole bunch to hide.

    I read it on-line,
    and I choose to believe it.
    I know I’m right, wait and see.

    Someday we’ll find it,
    the Rainbow Conspiracy.
    The Communists,
    the Darwinists,
    and me.


  16. MattGS

    I don’t think she’s being serious. But of course there are people who believe in even crazier stuff. And no matter if she’s being serious or not – some folks are sure to believe her. That’s the scary thing about it. Even if you’re just joking, someone will always take you seriously.



  18. Mike

    Check out the person’s page at you tube. I don’t think anyone could be that dumb and come up with some of those words. It is like she is the Anti-Phil. Wait…does that mean we have to call her the “Good Astronomer”?

  19. At first I thought she was just ignunt.
    But she has a whole Youtube channel with this conspiracy stuff (look for dbootsthediva).
    I think she needs some medical attention.

  20. kurt_eh

    It’s a good thing she didn’t move around the sprinkler and try to view the rainbow from a different angle. FSM only knows what she’d think when it disappears!

  21. rob

    at the college humor site above this video it says:

    “And another thing, every fall all the leaves on my oak tree fall off. Explain that, government.”

  22. kurt_eh

    Come to think of it, I remeber sprinkler rainbows back in the 80’s when I was a kid. The conspiracy goes back at least 20 years, and CANADA is in on it too!

  23. For your overdose of woo (and I mean, WOOOOOOOOOO) see similar video enquiries by a curious but not well informed person:


    This link here is decidedly bad astronomy.

  24. DrNo

    She should have her own show on FOX or the History channel.
    I like the idea of caller her Auntie Phil (based on above comment).
    Long live Auntie Phil!!!

  25. Crux Australis

    I think there’s something wrong with the oxygen supply to her brain.

  26. L Fuller

    Definitely was happening 40+ years ago back when I was a kid… I loved to go to the park when the sprinklers were running to watching the rainbow show.

  27. Ben

    Yay for viral videos!

  28. CV

    I love the camera ‘roll’ for dramatic effect at the end…what a clincher!

  29. IBY

    Dihydrogen is everywhere. Even inside me, in the air, and in food. We are all dead, probably around 2012. :)

  30. And wtf is a contrail?

    A contrail is a condensation trail behind an aircraft (or presumably any fast moving object in the air). In the case of an airplane, the engine exhaust contains water vapour that condenses behind the plane when the exhaust cools, leaving a trail (a condensation trail, hence “contrail”).

    You can also get contrails in the low pressure areas formed by an object moving at high speed through the air. The low pressure allows the water to condense out. If you watch fighter jets at an air show, you can sometimes see these trailing off wingtips and tailtips.

    You can also get sort of contrails when an object breaks the sound barrier. The shockwave in front of the object can cause visible condensation of the water vapour in the air.

    The woowoos mostly get on about the first kind… they think they’re some kind of mind control spraying or some dumbass thing.

  31. Kevin S

    Phil… I’m scared!

    I don’t want the dumbosity to get near me!

    Okay… I think I’ve got it under control now :D.

    I was gunna make some joke or other about DHMO and this person, but there were just too many, I went into overload.

  32. Todd W.

    Just finished watching a few of this woman’s videos. She definitely is not joking. At least, she seriously seems to believe the conspiracy bunk she spews, maintaining her arguments even in the comments. I feel like my IQ dropped a couple points just from exposure to her stuff. She seriously needs to get, at the very least, some education on just how a digital camera works.

  33. Robert Krendik

    She can’t be serious.

  34. I believe it’s a parody of the HAARP conspiracy theory.

    Well, I HOPE it is.

  35. IAmMarauder

    I remember seeing that over at PZ’s blog, and was the one that found her YouTube page. A few others found some more of her writings and it appears she is serious, and it appears that she thinks HAARP is to blame (as well as the government and its chemtrails).

    It scares me sometimes how ignorant some people are, especially with regards to things like this and chemtrails (the Moon being a holigram [sic] was just waaay outta left field, haven’t heard that one before). The “rainbows in the water” is (or was) basic science for me at school, and we were shown how water sprays caused them.

    We have a guy at work who believes these things, and states them as fact. He is quite intelligent, and I just cannot understand where these beliefs stem from. He thinks Alien abduct people, there is a big conspiracy by the government to do us all in and the Star Wars program was designed to shoot down alien spacecraft (to stop them abducting people I guess). I called him on the alien visitation thing, and his beliefs are based purely on the number of abduction stories he has read on the Internet… The thought of debating further sprang to mind but I am not sure it is worth the pain. Thankfully, no one else listens to him when he starts on about these things.

  36. CanadianLeigh

    Cameras should have a test before you can use one. Sort of like those sobriety tests before a car will start.

  37. Guysmiley

    If you watch her other videos, I think she’s legitimately schizophrenic. It’s funny, but also kind of sad.

  38. CanadianLeigh

    At least 50 years ago I seen a rainbow in a waterfall. The river gods are also in on the conspiracy and it goes back further than we suspect.

  39. bjn

    As she takes a big drag on her Camel, I’d bet. Has that husky smoker’s voice adding an edge to her concern about what’s oozin’ out there…

  40. Crux Australis

    On the Earthshine vid…”is it a holigram of our moon?” Oh, the stoopid! It burns!

  41. From watching her other videos, I figure she’s mentally ill. Maybe schizophrenic :(

  42. Charlie Brown

    I used to laugh at this type of thing but now it just makes me sad. The stoopid is very strong and getting stronger.

  43. Mark Hansen

    OH noes!!!11!!! Teh mooon is not reall. It’s a holigram!!!11!!1!

    or as Darth Vader would say: “The stoopid is strong with this one…”

    Seriously now, my comments in another topic about the drugs people use and the respective quantities thereof apply equally well to this woman.

  44. Todd W.

    I wouldn’t necessarily say that she’s schizophrenic, but definitely delusional. At any rate, she needs help.

  45. Justin

    Home schooling at work?

  46. Jose

    I once heard a “Take Back the Rainbow” sermon. You see, the rainbow was god’s gift to all mankind, not just the sinful gays.

    This sermon also inspired my crusade to steal back yellow from cowards, but I think I’m going to refocus my efforts on destroying Blue Man Group. With them around, I fear my superior alternative group (Green Dudes Tribe) stands little chance of success.

  47. Lars

    OK, it´s early in the morning, so it took me a while. Yeah you are right dihydrogen monoxide is pretty nasty stuff – you can get wett and all.

    I haven´t watched her other videos but judging from this one – she can´t be serious, nobody is that stupit. right?


  48. madge

    The Farce is strong in this one! I love when she says it can’t be natural and it didn’t happen 20 years ago. Methinks she is “somewhere over the rainbow. WAY up HIGH”
    AND she can’t tell a waxing crescent moon from a first quarter moon. Part of me wants to go and check out her other videos but most of me is just too scared :)

  49. Uh, it’s viral marketing, people. Get used to it.

  50. TSFrost

    I’m a little surprised the dihydrogen monoxide website never mentions the homeopathic uses of the “toxin.”

  51. Nemo

    Either dihydrogen monoxide or the equally toxic and pernicious hydrogen hydroxide.

    Even worse — it’s hydroxic acid!

  52. Simon

    Never happened twenty years ago? Check out the lyrics of Marillion’s 80’s hit ‘Lavender’;
    I was walking in the park
    Dreaming of a spark
    When I heard the sprinklers whisper
    Shimmer in the haze of summer lawns.
    Then I heard the children singing
    They were running through the rainbows.
    They were singing a song for you
    Well it seemed to be a song for you
    The one I wanted to write for you

  53. Karl

    Where are Mulder and Scully when you need them?

  54. Paul

    I can only offer anecdotal evidence, but I distinctly remember seeing rainbows in sprinklers when I was a kid, more than 20 years ago.

  55. grmcdorman

    This was discussed at the JREF forums: http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=120557&referrerid=6535 (there’s also a thread in the conspiracy subforum, but it got derailed almost immediately).

  56. Sarcastro

    Phil Im at a loss for words. Did “No Child Left Behind” do this to us? Good grief.

    An excellent educational system and government support for higher education after WWII gave us a bunch of dirty hippies who didn’t want to listen to the old men running the world so, since the early 70s, our education system has been systematically dismantled so as to never have such a large, well-educated populace again.

  57. Tim G

    They’re everywhere!

    Conspiracy freaks, that is.

  58. Tim G

    Wow, she has 48 videos on YouTube.

    I found Phil’s antiparticle (the one who claimed that the Large Hadron Collider was built to punch a whole in the Van Allen Belts so that extraterrestrials could do battle with God) to be more entertaining. After all, merely by visiting a monument in Malta, he was able to figure out that extraterrestrials assassinated John F. Kennedy.

  59. Karl said:

    “Where are Mulder and Scully when you need them?”

    Apparently starring in a lousy X-Files Movie. I so wanted to believe it was not crap :(

  60. Dick Dawkens

    Sounds just like anyone other person I have met from LA.

    Look for her this fall on a reality TV show.

    …and making more money than you.

  61. Davidlpf

    If there was ever a reason to stay of drugs, this is it.

  62. I seem to remember rainbows in sprinklers too. I don’t see why it should have been different back then. If anything, adding chemicals would either have no effect, or make make rainbows less likely.

    Internet Woo: It never goes away. It only changes narratives.

  63. Rift

    I must be part of the conspiracy cause I played with hose nozzles and sprinklers 35 years ago to see rainbows… I love that she says “We all know this didn’t happen 20 years ago”. Ummm, no, and I remember my father explaining it to me when I asked, so he saw it when he was a kid back in the 40s! galdurn gubment!

  64. gerry

    wow – i almost can see the face of Mary in the rainbow!!! (;-)

  65. Hannu Siivonen

    That’s gotta be the moon lady.

    I mean that woman who called the cops because she saw Moon.

  66. You know, I wanted to argue and say that maybe she didn’t have many educational opportunities (perhaps she grew up in kansas?), or some other benign reason, but the truth of the matter is, this lady is a moron. What is more frustrating is that she wouldn’t respond to an intelligent answer to any of her questions. Like big footists, ufologists, uri geller, and even some scientists at this point, she refuses any other viewpoint than her own and when approached with a different viewpoint responds with a comment of “you obviously don’t know what you are talking about”.

  67. Buzz Parsec

    And 50 years ago, when I was a little kid, playing in rainbows in the sprinkler was one of my favorite things to do on a hot summer day. And just this week, my six year old neighbor was showing me the same thing.

    What would she do if someone pointed out the moon to her in the day time? Argh!!!! It burns!!!

    When I saw her Moon “holigrim” video, I was sure it was a hoax. Then I saw here one about her house shaking due to HAARP radiation, and no human could stack books that way. It had to be real.

    P.S. Just did a google search on “moon holigrim” and it asked if I really meant “moon hologram?”
    Clicked it and got 473,000 hits. Wha????

  68. Hannu Siivonen

    “What would she do if someone pointed out the moon to her in the day time?”

    Call the cops?

  69. folcrom

    One of the things I enjoyed as a child way running the sprinkler to create a rainbow. My dad explained the phenomenum quite well.

  70. Don Snow

    Yeah, it was 55 years ago, when we kids played in the spriklers, chasing rainbows. (Pot of gold at the end is a myth. A leprechaun told me not to believe in the pot of gold.)

    I saw a rainbow below ground level, really. If my fair city has the Water Gardens working again, you can too. Most of the ponds and pools are below street level. Yep, below ground level rainbows.
    What would she do with that.

    My laptop plays this video so slow, I have started the video; read all the posts; typed this, and the show’s not over, yet. Anybody wanna slow race?

  71. Frankie Ginnifer P.

    wow… this woman must not see the big yellow star that lights up our sky… or know what it does…

  72. JAFPCU

    I love the sirens wailing in the background… as if the men in white coats are coming for her!

  73. Steve

    Has everyone forgotten that Al Gore invented the rainbow.

  74. GQ

    “It’s all the aluminum from her hat seeping into the soil.”

    Utterly brilliant.

  75. Dihydrogen monoxide

    i am glad i cam some waves i never said i knew for sure but their is enough proof to suggest a possibility google is nice if you know how to use it


    their some reel proof if you are looking


    It’s all the aluminum from her hat seeping into the soil.”

    more likely coming from your outdated cook ware not likely in the soil on that scale

  76. Kate

    Let’s all laugh at the mentally ill. They’re so funny! Hardy har har. >:(

  77. grammarNazi

    I’m not quite sure if she’s got a “thrist” for knowledge, but one thing I do know: she needs to return to some sort of institution – medical or educational. Either one would be of benefit.

  78. Einar Skovly

    A bit funny, but really nothing crazy or sad about this. First of all, nobody’s “normal” (it’s just an illusion), and although this woman is very far from the concept of normal, she’s not *that* crazy either. I mean, there are plenty of people who believe in “crazier” things than this (*ahem* religion?).

    “Mentally ill”, “freak” and “crazy” are strong words. Wanting to believe in an answer to something that’s troubling you is very much human. And considering the popularity of religion in this world, it’s very common. People who feel that some things in this world aren’t right are often attracted to conspiracy theories, and they very strongly *want* to believe in them. I say let them believe it as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone. But calling someone “mentally ill”, “crazy” or “freak” is not very emphatic, and not very accurate either.

  79. daboink

    What does it mean? *cries* it’s too much.. I don’t know what it means.


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