Tin foil hats are pieces of headgear that are tightly associated with conspiracy theory enthusiasts on the internet.
Some conspiracy theorists are thought to believe that wrapping tin foil around their nob can help stop harmful outer forces entering their minds, such as telepathy or radio frequencies.
Tin foil hats initially appeared during the 1920s, where various science-fiction movies and novels featured them as a protective, hat-like object.
The first appearance was in the 1927 short story titled The Tissue-Culture King, in which the foil is used by the main characters to block telepathic breaches into their minds.
Pop-culture featured the tin foil hat phenomenon many times over the years.
In 2005, a group of Massachusetts scientist debunked the theories surrounding the hats. In the following years, the study appeared on various platforms of the internet.
- Vice – A Brief Cultural History of the Tin Foil Hat
- Business Insider – Origin of the Term ‘Tin Foil Hat’
- Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department, MIT via archive.org – On the Effectiveness of Aluminium Foil Helmets: An Empirical Study