Smeraldo debunked? BTS sends fans on wild-goose chase

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : Aug 10, 2017 - 17:32
Updated : Aug 10, 2017 - 17:32

Fan theories are supposed to be a little crazy, but rarely do they go as wild as the “smeraldo” conspiracy surrounding BTS’s September comeback.

Jin, the eldest member of BTS, posted a picture of himself holding a bouquet of flowers on Wednesday with a simple message “Smeraldo.” The post sent fans into a frenzy over the meaning, with the most popular theory being that it is linked to the concept of BTS’s upcoming album.

A flower called “smeraldo” does not actually exist, but there is a blog that supposedly handles the non-existent flowers. On the blog was a photo containing words “BTS_Smeraldo.”

(BTS's Twitter account)

In addition, a flower shop that supposedly is the only place selling “smeraldo” featured what looked -- to the fans -- suspiciously like Jin’s handwriting, and was scheduled to open in September.

The opening day of the “Smeraldo Academy” happened to be Rap monster’s birthday -- Sept.12.

The blog for the “academy” also tells a story of seven legends, one of which is about a fictional figure of William Ashbless. While such a figure does not exist, there is a Wikimedia post about him written by “qkdxksthsuseks.”

When you type “qkdxksthsuseks” into a Korean keyboard, it spells out “bangtansonyeondan,” Korean name for BTS.

The series of clues has led some fans to believe that the “smeraldo controversy” is actually a big wink by Big Hit Entertainment to the fans eagerly anticipating BTS’s comeback.

Fans have even gone on to speculate that the new album’s concept is “Love yourself,” as a person calling oneself “Te Stesso” wrote in the blog. Fans have said that “Te Stesso” means “Love yourself” in Italian.

Of course, the thing may be just a big coincidence, or even a huge misunderstanding from lack of Googling.

Smeraldo is actually Italian for emerald, and “William Ashbless” is a fictional poet invented by fantasy writers James Blaylock and Tim Powers. A Wikipedia page on the character shows that it has existed since 2001.

“Te Stesso” does not mean “love yourself” -- it simply means “yourself” in Italian.

Maybe the confusion was intentional, maybe the fans overreacted, maybe it was a prank based on insufficient information, but one thing looks certain; BTS fans had one heck of a crazy day on a wild goose chase set off by a seemingly-innocent posting.

“I don’t’ know anymore! Lol My eyes are gonna pop out now!” exclaimed one theorist and avid fan of BTS.



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The Korea Herald by Herald Corporation