Tristan GreeneEditor, Neural by TNW
Tristan is a futurist covering human-centric artificial intelligence advances, quantum computing, STEM, physics, and space stuff. Pronouns: Tristan is a futurist covering human-centric artificial intelligence advances, quantum computing, STEM, physics, and space stuff. Pronouns: He/him
A comment about mattress stores on the Reddit thread “What conspiracy theory do you 100% buy into and why?” recently received over 41k upvotes and sparked hundreds of responses in a matter of hours. And then it was mysteriously deleted.
It’s tinfoil hat time.
The Redditor — whose name we’re omitting just in case they’re currently on the run — theorized that popular retailer Mattress Firm was engaged in a money laundering scheme.
The reasoning? Where the poster lives there are numerous stores within a couple city blocks of one another.
And then came the replies.
One poster stated “Surprise! Mattress firm is owned by Steinhoff, which is currently embroiled in a money laundering saga.” and provided links to news articles concerning company legal woes (which weren’t really about money laundering).
There were dozens of posters with anecdotal evidence in support of the OP as well, such as:
Holy shit thanks for confirming this. My family has been speculating for years because there are literally 5 locations in a one mile stretch of road near us. I’m not even exaggerating. All 5 on the same street, two of them even face each other. Like, the employees can wave at each other from the front window if they want.
Another reply stated: “Family next to mine had a donkey that got hit by a truck when I was a kid. You’re right, I’ve still never seen a dead donkey. They not only live long, they’re hard to kill.” but that was off-topic.
No conspiracy theory is complete without evidence, and in this one it came in the form of maps.
In fact, as a Freakonomics podcast points out:
One good estimate indicates there are at least 9,200 mattress stores in the United States. By comparison, there are some 12,700 Starbucks in the U.S.
Most of us don’t buy two or three mattresses every day, so it certainly has all the trappings of a conspiracy theory. It boggles the mind that over 9,000 mattress stores can stay open — unless you account for markup.
Mattress retailers don’t have to sell a lot of product to keep the lights on. It turns out they’ve got some pretty great profit margins.
Still, Redditors seemed to be having a blast discussing the issue until the conspiracy took another turn.
We’ve reached out to the mattress company, Steinhoff, to see why it has stores piled on top of each other. And we tried to reach out to the OP to see if they’d been abducted by aliens or if the CIA absconded with them, but we haven’t heard anything back.
In the meantime, don’t forget: your mattress should be rotated every three months to ensure there are no tracking devices underneath it.
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