Where Has All the Glitter Gone?

I love a good conspiracy.

Not the highly problematic ones, but the ones that are harmless and tame – yet still makes you question the truth of the world we live in.

Enter the great ‘Glitter Shortage’ conspiracy.

I just learned about this one today from a TikTok from user @maxedoutmommy, but it turns out the story begins back in 2018 when the New York Times reported on the complexity and surprisingly… secretive (?) nature of the glitter industry.

Basically, there are two companies in the entire world that manufacture glitter: some unnamed company that was the first to create glitter, and Glitterex – both of which happen to be located in New Jersey.

For this specific New York Times report, the journalist spoke to a representative from Glitterex – and the mystery started out hot.

Apparently the representative said the process from which they make glitter is incredibly secretive, and that not even clients are able to know how it’s made.

Sure. I mean I guess every industry has its trade secrets.

But when pressed on which industry provided Glitterex’s biggest market for glitter sales, the representative stated that she was not allowed to divulge that information – going as far to say “you would never guess it”.

But why the secrecy?

“Because they don’t want anyone to know that it’s glitter.”

… what does that mean?

So apparently, there is someone out there using massive amounts of glitter (enough to create a shortage) and whatever this glitter is being used for, you would not know it’s glitter just by looking at it.

Weird.

Following this report, obviously Reddit users went ablaze with their theories – and this TikTok user presented some arguments as well.

Sparkly boat paint, which doesn’t seem like it would need to be some massive secret.

Sparkly beaches, which just doesn’t seem likely.

Sparkly Crest toothpaste, which I have to admit is pretty plausible given the fact that dentist’s for years have been saying Crest toothpaste embeds plastic in your gums – and glitter is of course, tiny bits of plastic.

I don’t think it’s any of these, though – and I think the answer is pretty obvious.

It’s gotta be the US Military (please don’t kill me).

The TikTok user who layed out her theory with a detailed PowerPoint just kind of brushed right over the thought that it could be for Military-use, saying something like: “I don’t know why that would have to be such a big secret:.

Excuse me?

You don’t think the US Military is secretive about the products they’re testing and using for their military operations?

Given the facts that we know, it just seems like this is the only answer.

  • They’re large enough and could demand a high enough quantity to create a shortage
  • They obviously wouldn’t want their use of glitter to be public knowledge
  • Most people probably wouldn’t guess them as the largest buyer of glitter

So what could they be using glitter for?

A couple thoughts:

Glitter-camo / Glarmour: No, not sparkly fun outfits that you would see at parades and such – but literally finding ways to use glitter to aid in the bending of light to enhance their camouflage. Like this is what real-world invisibility is based on.

Glitter-paint for Aircraft: This kind of goes hand-in-hand with the last one. Again, the military could be trying to somehow use glitter to help camouflage their aircrafts by bending the light in the sky.

Glitter-bombs: May be half joking on this one. But let’s say, they want to track our enemies without the possibility of murdering innocent civilians (yeah right). Boom. Hit them with a glitter bomb, and just follow the sparkly trail. For real, have you ever tried to get glitter off of you?

Or maybe they’re just planning a really big party?

Who knows… but I have to think they’re probably not too happy that someone named @maxedoutmommy has brought this back to light for us all to investigate.

I guess like most conspiracies, we will never really know the truth – but I am glad to know that not even the glitter industry has their dark, dirty secrets.

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