If you’ve been on Twitter at all today, you may have noticed Area 51 is trending. Why is that? Yesterday’s siege of the Capitol building in Washington by pro-Trump supporters has apparently re-ignited defunct “storm Area 51” memes. This, together with the resurfacing of an old Facebook event, created the perfect meme storm.

On Wednesday 6 January, pro-Trump supporters sieged the Capitol building in Washington where Congress was due to announce President-elect, Joe Biden’s election win.

Why is Area 51 trending today?

In some Twitter communities, the raid of the Capitol building seems to have revived an old “storm Area 51” meme that captured the internet’s imagination in 2019.

Reacting to the events in Washington, one user mused that “maybe it really was possible to storm area 51”, after all.

Another user wrote: “Now that we know how easy it is to storm the capitol. We should really revisit the whole “storming area 51 thing”‘. And so, a meme was revived.

The origin of the “storm Area 51” meme

“Storm Area 51” began as a Facebook joke that went viral. The bogus event called for people to “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All Of Us.”

Created by 21 year old Matty Roberts, from Bakersfield, California, the event quickly garnered attention and more than two million people RSVP’d to raid the military base in search of aliens.

The Area 51 raid initiative quickly fell apart, however, and in its place an alien-themed festival was announced. At one point, The Lincoln County Sheriff’s department estimated that up to 30,000 people had plans of traveling to Area 51 and the small town of Rachel throughout the festival weekend.

In the end, about 6,000 people made it out to Rachel and “Storm Area 51” never came to fruition and no aliens were found.

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