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The Glitter Conspiracy: This TikTok Might Have Found The Answer To The Internet’s Biggest Mystery

Glitter conspiracists, pay attention: We have a new theory for what could be secretly filled with glitter thanks to this TikTok. Up until recently, the biggest theory getting the most traction was the boat industry. Theorists insisted it was the glitter in boat paint that was the biggest secret industry for everyone’s least favorite craft supply. But that’s too obvious. There’s a new theory in town and it actually sounds pretty plausible.

What’s the glitter conspiracy?

If you haven’t been keeping up with the glitter conspiracy, here’s a brief rundown of the mystery that’s kept the internet on the edge of its seat since 2018. An article for The New York Times did an interview with an executive of GlitterEx, a world leader in glitter distribution (yes, that’s really a thing). They gave some interesting tidbits about the industry, mainly that they can’t divulge who’s their biggest client, but that it would be shocking to find out:

When I asked Ms. Dyer if she could tell me which industry served as Glitterex’s biggest market, her answer was instant: ‘No, I absolutely know that I can’t. […] And you would never guess it. Let’s just leave it at that.’ I asked if she could tell me why she couldn’t tell me. ‘Because they don’t want anyone to know that it’s glitter.’

Caity Weaver, The New York Times

And that’s the part that’s been sticking with people this whole time. How could it be glitter without anyone realizing it? And why is it such a big secret? Since that article, nearly five years ago, internet investigators have been trying to puzzle out what the mystery glitter industry might be. In a previous article, we discussed some of those theories. Get ready for them to be debunked in favor of a new and highly plausible answer.

Who is buying up all the glitter? Why is it a secret? And what are they using it for that people can’t tell it’s glitter?

Let’s rule out a few guesses.


Everyone has their theories. In this new very comprehensive TikTok, @maxedoutmommy first rules out many of the most popular guesses on who’s buying up the world’s glitter.

It’s not boat paint. You can see the glitter, which means it’s not as hidden as that NYT interview would lead you to believe. And the boat industry freely admits they use it.

It’s not in soda or candy. It would be too difficult to get the density right for soda and it would cost way too much to have in candy.

It isn’t in road paint. They actually use glass beads to make it shine.

It isn’t makeup. We all know glitter is in there. It isn’t a mystery.

It isn’t NASA. While they are working on telescopes that use glitter they aren’t using enough to account for the hundreds of thousands of gallons every year required to make them the largest industry that buys glitter.

And here’s my own theory to rule out that the TikTok didn’t cover:

It’s not in beach sand. Anyone who’s every touched glitter knows it sticks to skin and never comes off. If it was in beach sand, we’d know. We’d be covered in it after every trip to the ocean.

So what is it, exactly? This TikToker thinks she has the answer.

The new theory for the glitter conspiracy.


TikToker @maxedoutmommy thinks she has the answer. According to her research, the biggest industry using glittery–one that they don’t want us to know about–is the quartz countertop industry. Weird, right? Well, it actually sounds legit.

It turns out that when companies make quartz countertops, they aren’t just cutting a big boulder of quartz into slabs and plonking them down onto kitchen cabinets. Instead, they grind down quartz crystals into powder and then press them into slabs. But it’s only 90% quartz. They add other ingredients: polyester resin and “other additives.” It’s the secrecy around “other additives” and the fact that quartz countertops sparkle that makes her think that this could be the answer. And just to prove herself, she does the math:

  • Boat paint would use about 112,000 gallons of glitter per year.
  • U.S. currency (my favorite of the glitter conspiracy theories) would use about 122,000 gallons per year to shine up the numbers on paper money.
  • Quartz countertops would use over 400,000 gallons per year.

If her math is correct, that’s a huge difference in glitter use, making it totally plausible that quartz countertops could be the biggest purchaser of glitter. And of course they’d want to keep it a secret. Quartz countertops are expensive and their wealthy clients probably wouldn’t be thrilled to learn that it’s glitter.

Watch the TikTok with all the answers.

What do you think? If you want your mind blown, check out @maxedoutmommy’s well-reasoned theories below.