Is this Lorde's secret onion ring Instagram account?
It appears Lorde has been running a secret onion ring review Instagram account, which has been abruptly shut down following questions Newshub sent to her management.
The account could be best described as clandestine. There are no names or faces posted to the account at all and management hasn't confirmed it is an official Lorde project.
But while there's no official word, there is a digital trail of evidence that builds a compelling case.
1. The followers
Before it was taken down, the @onionringsworldwide account amassed a grand total of 24 followers. One of them is Lorde. In fact, @onionringsworldwide is Lorde's most recent follow. This is our most immediate clue, and the tip-off that alerted a 17-year-old "big Lorde fan" to this account.
Other followers include Lorde's friends and associates Justin Warren, Jimmy Mac and Maddy Budd.
The account was open and follows no other accounts. So there were no clues to analyse in the follow list, but an astute snooper will see the fact the account followed no one as a clue in itself. This was an account run by someone who was not seeking attention.
Perhaps by someone who has an overwhelmingly popular personal page, just putting it out there.
2. The locations
The second onion ring consumed was eaten on board a plane from Tennessee to New York, and posted online on Tuesday morning (New Zealand time).
Guess who could well have flown by plane and just played at Bonaroo Music Festival in Tennessee?
That's right - Lorde.
The other onion rings were tasted in Sydney, New York and Hatfield, which is two hours south of New York.
UPDATE: There are two Hatfields; the other being north of London. A twitter user has pointed out that Lorde played at Radio1's Big Weekend on Saturday 27 May in Hull, Yorkshire. The review was posted May 28.
Lorde lives in New York, probably passed through Hatfield for a show or interview and travelled to Sydney in early May. The plot thickens further when you see the onion ring consumed in Sydney was from QT Hotel - a 10-minute drive from Hordern Pavilion, where Lorde played two shows.
3. The language
Okay, so at this point, you're probably thinking, slow down, Lorde is a big-deal star with a large entourage. It could be any of them. That's true, I'll give you that, but hold the cynicism and read the captions.
Let’s start with the bio.
"Every onion ring I encounter, rated," the bio reads.
That’s vaguely Lorde-ish, but it’s not much to go on.
Now dive in - the account writer describes an onion ring as being "eaten ceremoniously on a plane from Tennessee to New York". Who, other than the greatest pop star to ever leave New Zealand shores, would use those words? They are possibly the single-most Lorde words ever written.
This onion-ring-account operator could be based anywhere in the world, but two of the four posts are US-based. Despite that, the word "flavour" is spelled with a "u" - the preferred spelling outside the United States, including in New Zealand, Lorde's birthplace.
4. The fingers
Newshub's contact - a "big fan" and Lorde detective - said it's kinda creepy, "but [Lorde's] fingernails look the same" as those seen in the Instagram shots.
This is the single-most compelling piece of evidence that we are looking at an Instagram account run by Lorde.
Our 17-year-old contact says Lorde is "well-known for having super short fingernails," and the person reviewing the onion rings certainly does have clean, short fingernails.
When you compare images of the fingers side-by-side, the size, shape and colouring is undeniably similar to Lorde's.
See below for pictorial evidence:
Are these not the same fingers?!
So, if this is Lorde's account, what does it tell us about her?
To be honest, not much. The most interesting information it provides is that the reviewer didn't know Burger King sells onion rings. "Good thing I didn't because they are not good," the caption reads.
One could argue it does provide a service to the culinary world. The account - we're not saying it's Lorde's, but it's probably Lorde's - rates tempura batter, thinks the onion rings at Burger King are far below par and reckons Bareburger in New York does a good thick ring.
Newshub contacted Lorde's management to ask whether Lorde likes onion rings, whether she prefers a light batter on her onion rings, and whether she runs the account.
Management had not responded at the time of writing, but shortly after questions were sent through, we're sad to report the onionringsworldwide account was removed from Instagram.