The Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) is the deity of the Pastafarian “religion” … depicted as a creature made from spaghetti and meatballs … with two large, googly eyes on stalks and noodle-like appendages.
The central Pastafarian tenet is that an invisible and undetectable Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe after drinking heavily. Pirates are revered as the original Pastafarians, their heaven includes a beer volcano and a stripper factory, and every Friday is celebrated as a holy day. Got that?
In January 2005 Bobby Henderson, a 24 year old Oregon State University physics graduate, sent an open letter introducing the Flying Spaghetti Monster to the Kansas State Board of Education. In that letter, Henderson satirised “creationism” (the belief that the creation story from the biblical Book of Genesis is the literal truth about how the world came into being) by professing his belief that the creator was in fact the abovementioned Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Henderson argued that his beliefs were just as valid as “intelligent design” (a pseudoscientific argument for the existence of God) and called for equal time in science classrooms alongside intelligent design and evolution. Gotcha!
Henderson went on to explain: “I don't have a problem with religion. What I have a problem with is religion posing as science. If there is a God and he's intelligent, then I would guess he has a sense of humor."
In May 2005, having received no reply from the Kansas State Board of Education, Henderson posted the letter on his website, generating significant public interest. Shortly thereafter, Pastafarianism became an Internet phenomenon. As public awareness grew, the mainstream media picked up on it, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster became a powerful (and funny) symbol for the case against intelligent design in public education … and fundamentalism generally.
These days you’d be hard-pressed to find a geek who was not aware of the Flying Spaghetti Monster in all of His Noodly Glory, and the spaghettimonster.org website maintained by Bobby is alive with stories (and hate mail) from both the followers of Pastafarianism and those who oppose it.
There are too many FSM fun facts to include here, but we’ll leave you with a handful of our favourites:
- In July 2011, Austrian Pastafarian Niko Alm won the legal right to be shown in his driving license photo wearing the sacred pasta colander on his head. He got the idea after reading that Austrian regulations allow headgear in official photos only when it is worn for religious reasons.
- I, Pastafari is a 2019 documentary that examines the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and its fight for legal recognition. Colanders and court rooms. Trailer HERE.
- Also check out The Man and the Monster, a short 2023 documentary about Rüdiger Weida aka “Bruder Spaghettus”, and the Pastafarian church deep in the German countryside where he ministers and where the Templin city signage announces the time of Friday's weekly “Nudelmesse” (pasta mass), alongside signage for various Catholic and Protestant Sunday services.
- Finally, here in Australia Pastafarianism is yet to be recognised as a legitimate religion (read this ABC News report from 2019), but in New Zealand officials have given Wellington-based Pastafarian Dr Karen Martyn the legal right to conduct marriages after a 2016 ruling that the church was based on genuine philosophical convictions. Toby Ricketts and Marianna Young became the first couple in the world to "tie the noodly knot" in a legally recognised ceremony.
What fun. The message here is that parody has a purpose and satire makes people think.
Story Idea: Adam Dennis
Browse our full range of FSM at REMO merchandise HERE. Sanctioned by the Prophet himself. Thanks Bobby.
1. Touched by His Noodly Appendage, a parody of Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam by Niklas Jansson, Android Arts
2. Flying Spaghetti Monster symbol (mono)
3. Flying Spaghetti Monster. Image: Memo Angeles/Shutterstock.com
4. The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster by Bobby Henderson. Published by Villard Books in 2006
5. Official Certificate of Ordination from the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Image: flyingspaghetti.com
6. Pastafarian Niko Alm and his Austrian driver’s licence
7. Pastafarian protester shows the Sacred Icon of the Flying Spaghetti Monster at the anti-clerical meeting at Piazza XXIV Maggio square in Milan, Italy, on 2 June 2 2012. Photo: Gioivanni Dall'Orto
8. I, Pastifari: A Flying Spaghetti Monster Story, 2019. Directed by Michael Arthur. Trailer HERE.
9. Rüdiger Weida aka "Bruder Spaghettus", and his Pastafarian church in the German town of Templin. Image: flyingspaghetti.com. Short doco video HERE.
10. Wellington-based Pastafarian marriage celebrant Dr Karen Martyn. Photo: Kim Griggs. Source: abc.net.au
11. Justin Griffith's Atheist/FSM army dog tag
12. Flying Spaghetti Monster symbol (colour)
13. Flying Spaghetti Monster by Adam C. LaMonica