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This Outback Steakhouse Conspiracy Theory Has the Internet Very Confused

If there is one inalienable truth in the digital age, it's that the internet loves a conspiracy theory, especially when it involves Beyonce and/or super-popular restaurant chains. And yet, people aren't quite sure how to react to a new one bubbling up in the social media-verse, concerning Outback Steakhouse and some creepy, vaguely satanic symbols.

Yes, it's exactly as bizarre as it sounds, but we're here to walk you through it.

It all started last week, when Twitter user @eatmyaesthetics posted a screenshot of a series of Google Map searches for Outback Steakhouses in a handful of cities. Strangely, each search revealed that the chain's locations in each area could be easily connected to form a star shape. That, on its own, isn't anything more than an odd coincidence discovered by someone with too much time on their hands, but c'mon, it's 2017 and Twitter had a field day theorizing what this all could really mean. 

The leading theory implied that the Bloomin' Onion purveyor was up to something nefarious when it plotted its restaurant locations, and that it was somehow related to satanism or the Illuminati. You know, because the shapes are actually pentagrams, and the areas were selected intentionally. Uh, sure?

Of course, others chimed in with screenshots from their own areas, adding more foil to the collective tin hat.

Some "found" images hidden in the map by connecting Outback-denoting dots in their area, revealing everything from soccer-playing stick figures to, yes, dicks. The verdict? If you put your mind to it, you can probably create a crude illustration of just about anything using a series of randomly spaced dots.

To Outback's credit, the company played along by offering its own take on what it all means with a tweet showing a giant Bloomin' Onion superimposed on a map of Florida. A follow tweet said, "If the Bloomin' Onion is evil then we don't want to be nice."

Well played, Outback. Well played.

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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. Follow him @jwmcgauley.