From gigantic piles of wood-chip, to Barry Island....
The latest huge meme to take the internet by storm is a relatable one: it’s the Facebook event equivalent of a modest barbeque accidentally turning into an enormous, out of control party.
You’ve probably read about one of these parties in any local newspaper before: it’s a familiar drill. The parents are out of town, and so the first hints of a plan start to brew. It all seems very harmless – a few tinnies in the garden. Fast-forward to 3am, and the whole place is trashed. The police are at your house telling the thousands of people in your yard to “leave immediately!” Your mum is coming back early from her holidays, and she’s bloody fuming.
When an internet user named SmyleeKun created a new event on Facebook – titled ‘Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us’ – it’s unlikely that they actually intended to go through with their plan to break into the US Air Force’s highly classified base in Nevada, using sheer power in numbers.
“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,” read the event description. As the event gathered stream, it quickly went viral. Soon enough, 1.3 million people had clicked attending.
The response even prompted a spokesperson from the Air Force to give a statement – what a buzzkill. “Area 51 is an open training range for the U.S. Air Force, and we would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces,” said Laura McAndrews. “The U.S. Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets.”
Despite this joyless warning – chill out guys, it’s a meme – the spirit of Storm Area 51 lives on. Lil Nas X even went to the trouble of releasing yet another ‘Old Town Road’ remix, featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, Young Thug, & the yodelling viral sensation Mason Ramsey.
And beyond that, people have been inspired by the sheer momentum that the event drummed up. Here are a few other places you can still attempt to storm; without meeting the might of the US Air Force head on, at least.
Storm the wood-chip pile
Over in Tasmania, Australia, police forced a man to remove an event from Facebook after over 500 people pledged to storm into a huge mountain of wood-chip at the island’s Port Burnie. “The woodchip pile is nothing special, it is just a woodchip pile,” the now-deleted event read, according to The Advocate. “It’s worth risking an actual mega bulk fine of $5000 or three years in prison just to get close to it. Hope I see you there.” After several attendees replied, offering to bring along spades and spare kayaks for accessing the wood-chip, the whole thing was shut down.
“While the ‘Storm the Woodchip Pile’ Facebook event may have been created and intended as a joke, the content had serious ramifications as it was encouraging others to break the law,” said Inspector Adrian Shadbolt. Boo hiss.
Storm the Bermuda triangle, it can’t swallow all of us
Is this how physics works? Do mysterious black holes suddenly cease to function when “stormed” by hundreds of rebel trespassers. Is it actually possible to overwhelm a conspiracy theory out of existence? Let’s go with yes.
An active Facebook event – which currently has well over eight thousand members – is hosting more detailed logistical planning than everyone’s Glastonbury group chat. Everything from provisions to methodology is covered; if anybody can successfully storm the Bermuda Triangle and live to tell the tale, this lot can.
Oh, storm Barry Island and line dance, they can’t stop all of them
Now, this one’s a bit of a curveball. There isn’t really any kind of law against having a line-dance at everyone’s favourite Welsh fun emporium, and so this particular mission doesn’t really involve any huge element of danger or trespass. Still, a quick glimpse into the event description reveals a more treacherous quest – going after the area’s biggest arch-nemesis, Jean. For the uninitiated, Jean is the unseen villain of Gavin & Stacey – loathed by all of Barry. Even Doris can’t stick the woman.
Storm Berghain, they can’t stop all of us
Any attempt to storm into Berlin’s most infamous nightclub probably isn’t going to gather much steam: most regulars know how to get past the notoriously picky door-staff without breaking into a sweat.
Storm…. anywhere you like, they can’t stop all of us
As the Area 51 meme continues to roll on, a fair few people have been questioning what could be achieved – for real – if those same enormous numbers were directed elsewhere. Imagine 1.3million people protesting at the inhumane detention centres at the US borders, marching to UK Parliament to hold politicians to account, cleaning up the oceans, or writing to our MPs and representatives to demand change en masse – these are all things that could happen by grouping together. And that, everyone, is the wholesome moral to the storming story.