A Coconut is Messing Up This Country’s Elections

In America, out voting scandals involve ID laws, hanging chads, and outright disenfranchisement.

In the Maldives, their big voting scandal this year involves a coconut.

A cursed coconut.

A cursed 4-inch coconut inscribed with a Koranic verse written in Arabic.

Still more intelligent than most members of Congress

To quote Paul Fidalgo:

A magic coconut has disrupted Maldivian elections and now there is an investigation into the magic coconut and OH GOD I WISH I WAS KIDDING

So how is this coconut disrupting an election?

Though the population of the Maldives is Sunni Muslim, continuing belief in magic is widespread in rural areas. Coconuts are often used in rituals and inscribed with spells.

[News website] Minivan said its source had suggested the coconut “was a lesson for islanders not to practise black magic in an attempt to influence voting, and that the polling area would be closely monitored to prevent such activities from occurring”.

A magician summoned by police established that the coconut was innocent, local officials have said. No arrests have been made.

Well, innocent this time.

As one commenter at The Guardian noted, the coconut will now become a “political prisoner… surely a case for Amnutsy International.”

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • John Perkins

    *twitch* the stupid, it burns!

  • Tainda

    Coo-coo for coconuts

  • islandbrewer

    I can only hope that Republicans are taking note of this for the next election cycle.

    • 3lemenope

      We could not possibly be so lucky as to have people start lugging around coconuts as magic rocks against [atheists/liberals/gays/Obama/BENGHAZI!]. Stupider fads have happened, but they aren’t usually so useful or conveniently timed.

      • Tainda

        The funny thing is, Christians will mock this as ridiculous superstition right after they kiss the cross around their neck while praying to their god.

      • islandbrewer

        BENGHAZI! I remember watching Run for Your Life when I was a kid!

  • JWH

    They need to ensure each coconut presents identification (driver’s license, military ID card, or concealed-carry permit) before it is allowed to vote.

    • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

      47% of coconuts just want the government to take care of them.

  • Brian Westley

    Attempted voter manipulation in the Maldives — “and we would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn’t been for you meddling coconuts!”

    • JWH

      Hanging coconuts.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    I really wanted to make a monty python joke, but can’t find a way to. Damn it and those indigenous coconuts.

    • Alex

      Are you suggesting that coconuts MIGRATE?!?! Only if carried by a magical, and cursed swallow. Oops, now the coconut is magically cursed, too. And fucking up elections.

  • ShoeUnited

    I am ashamed at all of you. Something like this I take very seriously. Not one single “I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts” reference? FOR SHAME.


    • Tainda


    • Nikita

      I was honestly scanning the comments to be sure it wasn’t already here before I posted. Glad I’m not the only coconut.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty


    • Hat Stealer

      Big ones, small ones, some enchanted with black magic.

  • closetatheist

    Some days I come to this website and I think there’s hope for the world to be a sensible place within my lifetime. Other days, like today…not so much.

  • baal

    Well if an inscribed coconut is the Maldivians’ equivalent of a mafia style decapitated horse head in the bed, then it might invoke enough reasonable fear to keep one from voting.

    • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

      “I have a coconut you can’t refuse!”

      “Leave the gun. Take the coconut.”

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    So, if a suspicious coconut is left unattended at the Hanimaadhoo International Airport or some other crowded public place, or a government official receives a coconut in a plain-wrapped package, the police have a special Cursed Coconut Response Squad complete with magicians who are expert at identifying cursed coconuts? And if it turns out to be a cursed coconut instead of a dud, they can de-curse the area and anyone who may have been affected by the curse? Can coconuts be detected in airport security gates with electronic coconut dectectors or coconut-sniffing dogs? “I HAVE A CURSED COCONUT, AND I’M NOT AFRAID TO USE IT! I’M HIJACKING THIS PLANE TO FIGI!” (panicked screams from the passengers)

    Well, I’m glad that the Maldives authorities have the situation well in hand. All we have to worry about here are homemade pressure cooker bombs and anthrax-laced letters.

  • Tobias2772

    if you’re stupid enough to worry about a coconut, then you are too stupid to vote.

  • Mick

    Sometimes, just for fun, journalists will start a rumor and then sit back to see which of their colleagues is dumb enough to publish the story under their own name.

  • phantomreader42

    No, no, no, no. You’re supposed to put the LIME in the coconut!

  • L.Long

    Never underestimate the power human stupidity and its ability to spread.
    Stories like this remind me that the one universal thing through out human society that will never go away is stupidity. A person’s inability to think-reason-evaluate is awesome in its wide spread occurrence.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    It… but… they… A COCONUT?! A fucking COCONUT?!

    *shaking head*

    I. Can’t. Even.

    • Whirlwitch

      No, no, no. Not a FUCKING coconut. Just a normal one. They reproduce via pollination, shoot production, and seed dissemination. They don’t even fuck for recreation. *pats shoulder* Feel better now.?

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty


      • Tainda

        If I could find a fucking coconut…

  • kaydenpat

    It’s nice to laugh hard sometimes.

  • allein

    Sometimes you feel like a nut…

  • Keulan

    Clearly they need to learn how to defend themselves from fruit. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piWCBOsJr-w

  • viaten

    I’d like to take the cursed coconuts, make cursed coconut macaroons and hand them out.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty


  • Drakk

    American Christians will point and laugh at this story…and then in 2016 will be praying for their preferred presidential candidate with no sense of irony.

    From another perspective though, I have to hand it to these people. At least they’re acting in accordance with what they believe is true. One would imagine if Christians really believed prayer could influence the outcome of elections, there ought to be precautions to prevent them from doing so around election time.