CERN's Large Hadron Collider
A technician works in the tunnel of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiment during a media visit at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Meyrin near Geneva, Switzerland, February 16, 2016. Reuters/Pierre Albouy

After the European Organisation for Nuclear Research’s (CERN) Large Hadron Collider (LHC) possibly discovered a new particle in December 2015, the agency is now firing up to smash particles and unlock the secrets of the universe. However, the run that is scheduled for next week is giving rise to new conspiracy theories about the real aim of CERN in smashing particles.

A number of commentors on the Internet think the particle smashing could open another dimension and unleash forces of darkness, reports The Wall Street Journal. Among the indicators that a netizen points out links CERN with apocalyptic demons is a statue of the Hindu goddess of destruction, Shiva, on CERN’s campus in Geneva.

Another conspiracy revolves around the logo of CERN, which some commenters says appear like the 666 sign of the antichrist. Joe asked through a tweet: “remember when everyone thought the large hadron collider was going to create a black hole and destroy us? can we still make that happen?”

Jonny Orbit adds, “The large hadron collider destroyed Earth when it was first switched on. We are all in the next life. And tweeting.”

Express writes that CERN is firing up the LHC to detect, or create, miniature black holes. If the agency succeeds, it could reveal a completely new universe and rewrite not only physics books but also philosophy books.

Amidst the growing noise on the Internet about an approaching doomsday because of the LHC, CERN had to intervene on social media, recalls Kate Kahle, the CERN staff who assigned to that task. She posted a Surreal FAQ about CERN and LHC to allay fears of an apocalypse, clarifying that Shiva, a gift from the Indian government, is also a deity of life force. Plus, CERN has a lot of other statues.

She also points out that CERN’s logo represents particle accelerators, not Satan.

European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) Director General Fabiola Gianotti reacts during a news conference in Meyrin, near Geneva, Switzerland, February 16, 2016. Reuters/Pierre Albouy

Michael Barkun, professor emeritus of political science at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, says having forces that are high energy and invisible, such as those found in the LHC, attract a conspiracy subculture. Kahle also acknowledged the LHC restart would trigger another round of fear mongering.

LHC is slated to smash particles by the end of April. CERN researchers hope to make another major discovery like they did with the Higgs boson, or the God particle, in 2012.