We have too many conspiracy theories about our favorite cartoon now that we can easily dismiss them as an attempt to ruin our childhood. But this one’s worth diving into!
The fictional city of Bikini Bottom, the main setting in the Spongebob Squarepants series, is claimed to be based on a nonfictional place called Bikini Atoll, a group of islands in the Pacific where a series of morbid events happened in the past.
Spongebob and friends are under Bikini Atoll
After the second World War, the United Nations made the United States take over a large area of the Northern Pacific, which includes Marshall Islands. Bikini Atoll is part of this group of islands.
In 1946, the US relocated the Bikini natives to the islands of Rongerink– east of Bikini Atoll— and used their homeland to test out developments on their nuclear weapons. Between that year and 1958, the US had tried a total of 67 nuclear weapons in the area, making the affected islands inhabitable up to this day due to the subsequent radioactivity that could last for thousands of years.
In the 1970’s, however, the US tried to resettle the natives to Bikini Atoll. But then, 8 years later, the residents had to be taken away from the area again as they were found to have been carrying abnormally high amounts of radioactive cesium.
A fan theory suggests that the Bikini Bottom is a based on Bikini Atoll, and that Spongebob Squarepants and the diverse collection of characters in the fictional underwater town are mutated sea creatures that resulted from radiation exposure.
Spongebob Squarepants premiered on Nickelodeon in 1999 and continues to air up to the present, making it one of the longest-running cartoon series. A brainchild of Stephen Hillenburg who passed away in 2018, the series has become a cultural icon for its clever writing, exceptional humor, and loveable characters.
References to the Bikini Atoll history can actually be seen in various cameos in the series.
If you’re also a Spongebob fan, you’re most probably aware of how the show sometimes adds clips of nuke explosions for comedic effect. One example is in a season 2 episode called ‘Dying For Pie‘ where Squidward gives Spongebob a pie only to find out that it can actually kill him. In the end, Spongebob decides to share the pie with Squid, trips over a rock, and causes a massive explosion. That explosion scene is said to be real footage of nuclear testing in Bikini Atoll.
Also, according to Encyclopedia SpongeBobia, that memorable little island with three palm trees that you see in the Spongebob intro actually represents the Atoll. It marks where the Bikini Bottom is located.
Whether this theory will ruin or make your childhood even more awesome, we cannot deny that these parallels between the show and our history are interesting and surprisingly believable. But what do you think about it?
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