Today marks the 50th anniversary of the first paces taken by man on the lunar surface. The moon landing was a giant leap for mankind—so large, in fact, that a few don’t believe it actually happened. In Brazil, a lot more than just a few think it never happened: a survey by Datafolha out this week shows a full quarter of the population to be moon landing skeptics. But disbelief in Brazil is hardly confined to feats of space exploration.
Moon landing conspiracy theories are almost as old as the event itself. The Apollo 11 program was controversial throughout the 1960s, criticized in the U.S. by both left and right, though the landing itself awed the world. An estimated 1 billion people worldwide (one-quarter of the world’s population at the time), watched as Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon’s surface at 11:56:20 pm (Brasília time) on 20 July, 1969. Brazil was no exception, however lame the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper’s headline might have been (“Moon in Our Pocket”).