An Egyptian TV programme provoked mostly sarcastic commentary on social media this week after it hosted a discussion on a set of conspiracy theories, from a secret supreme council ruling the world to the waging of war through manipulating asteroids and earthquakes.
Last Saturday, renowned TV host Tamer Amin hosted conspiracy theorists Hossam Swellam and Amgad Ismail on Rotana Masriya, where they discussed an alleged global conspiracy involving a "world supreme council" which is attempting to destroy Egypt using "fifth generation warfare".
Swellam, a former high-ranking military officer and a strategic analyst, claimed that this new form of warfare involves controlling the climate to create tsunamis, floods and activate volcanoes, as well as directing asteroids towards enemy countries.
Swellam presented photos and slides of what he claimed to be evidence of this plot to destroy Egypt, which included posts from a foreign conspiracy blog, a photo of an album cover by American hip hop band Army of the Pharaohs, and graffiti paintings in downtown Cairo by Egyptian visual artist Keizer.
The other guest, Ismail, spoke about a global plot to use "antimatter, red mercury and electromagnetic waves to destroy Egypt". Ismail claimed that these technologies were used by the ancient Egyptians and that their know-how was preserved in the Great Pyramids of Giza.
Following the airing of the episode, the Twitter hashtags #TamerAmin , #WorldSupremeCoucil and #Worldadmincouncil were top trending in Egypt, where thousands of tweets mocked the claims made by Amin's guests.
World-renowned Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef did not pass up the chance to comment on the "world supreme council", saying "I apologise for not replying to tweets, I am quite busy with the world supreme council. How many Richters do you want your earthquake ?"
Youssef has previously been accused by some conspiracy theorists of being an "American tool" who is attempting to destabilise Egyptian society and the Egyptian state.
In 2012, the satirist dedicated an entire episode of his internationally acclaimed show "Al-Bernameg" to criticise the idea of programmes hosting self-proclaimed conspiracy theorists in which he addressed Swellam himself.
A "supreme council of the world" Facebook page was set up to mock Amin's episode, showing Egyptian comic actors portrayed as members of the supreme council of the world.
Amin went on the defensive in recent episodes of his TV show, saying that he did not have a problem with sarcasm, but people should know that the ideas discussed in the controversial episode were not his but rather his guests'.
The veteran host did, however, insist that Egypt was indeed at the centre of a huge conspiracy, adding that he believed the claims of his guests were true to a great extent, and that only a small part of them was exaggerated.
"Egypt is already being targeted by the Muslim Brotherhood , Islamic State, Israel and America," Amin said on Wednesday.
An old TV theme in Egypt
Discussing global conspiracy theories against Egypt is not a recent phenomenon in mainstream Egyptian media.
Since the 25 January revolution in 2011, Egyptian TV channels, newspapers and Facebook pages espoused an endless number of conspiracy theories regarding the revolutionary movement and its icons.
Most of the theories revolved around the claim that the revolution's pro-democracy activists were foreign agents working on destroying the Egyptian state and its institutions, such as the army and the police, for foreign agendas.