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Certain conspiracy theorists seem convinced that an elaborate “massive human sacrifice” will coincide with the total solar eclipse on April 8. A post gaining traction on the r/conspiracy subreddit suggests, without any substantial proof, that the intersection of the paths from the 2017 and 2024 solar eclipses near the New Madrid fault line signals impending disaster.

The post speculates on the potential for a man-made trigger on this fault line, disguised as a natural event, to cause catastrophic loss of life in the U.S., claiming that an earthquake here could be significantly more devastating than one centered in Southern California.

Of course, this theory is entirely baseless. The coincidence of the eclipse paths crossing and their proximity to the New Madrid fault line holds as much relevance as randomly finding an X in your activity tracker data and expecting to uncover buried treasure. The notion that an eclipse, which has no scientific link to seismic activity, could be used as a veil for such an act is particularly far-fetched.

Expanding on this baseless speculation, the same Reddit post draws connections to the Ring of Fire eclipse paths, locating more arbitrary Xs, this time near a Tesla factory. The post then strings together a series of supposed coincidences involving Elon Musk, an Instagram post by Grimes, and various symbolic interpretations, suggesting these are indicators of a looming large-scale sacrifice.

This leap to conclusions is another example of pattern-seeking gone awry, trying to stir up fear and chaos where there is none. The most straightforward way to debunk these claims is to let time pass; much like the unfounded 2017 theory that a fictitious planet, Nibiru, would annihilate Earth, this too shall likely be disproven after the eclipse.

Such grand celestial occurrences often become the focus of conspiracy theories, such as the unfounded claim that the eclipse’s path over cities named Nineveh portends doom, a claim that does not hold up under scrutiny.

In truth, a solar eclipse is a magnificent natural phenomenon. The real concerns it presents are potential risks to eye safety and possibly higher chances of traffic accidents due to increased road use. Rather than succumbing to baseless theories, it’s best to appreciate the eclipse for the awe-inspiring spectacle it is, remembering that its beauty lies in its celestial marvel, not in imagined calamities.