The Absurdly Secret World of Glitter

Making a late push for the title of Most Bonkers Thing I Read In 2018: Relatively Innocuous Division, this deep dive by the New York Times into the world of glitter manufacturing was a nice respite from their never ending Better Know A Racist Voter series:

When I asked Ms. Dyer if she could tell me which industry served as Glitterex’s biggest market, her answer was instant: “No, I absolutely know that I can’t.”

I was taken aback. “But you know what it is?”

“Oh, God, yes,” she said, and laughed. “And you would never guess it. Let’s just leave it at that.” I asked if she could tell me why she couldn’t tell me. “Because they don’t want anyone to know that it’s glitter.”

“If I looked at it, I wouldn’t know it was glitter?”

“No, not really.”

“Would I be able to see the glitter?”

“Oh, you’d be able to see something. But it’s — yeah, I can’t.”

I asked if she would tell me off the record. She would not. I asked if she would tell me off the record after this piece was published. She would not. I told her I couldn’t die without knowing. She guided me to the automotive grade pigments.

The rest of the article is almost equally as wild, even spawning a great companion Reddit thread where users offer their theories on the mystery industry.