Old wives tales, urban legends, conspiracy theories, and that whole thing about your school being built on a graveyard or there being a pool on the roof - those are all myths. Our personal favorite thing about myths is that they can be absolutely bonkers and some people will still just roll with it.
It kind of shows the power of even a mediocre story in the hands of a great storyteller.
One reddit user asked:
Fam ... the stuff some people believe. Whales control the weather???
OK listen, if we focused on how people actually believe this and what it says about hope for humanity, we would be really really bummed. Like really. Really.
But, we're not going to do that. Instead, we are choosing to call this a celebration of the power of storytelling. Yup. That's what we're doing. Celebrating storytelling. Excellent, excellent storytelling.
That's Not How It Works
My mother in law got mad at me for reaching up high to grab something while pregnant because, "That'll wrap the umbilical cord around the baby's neck!"
I told her that no part of my anatomy directly connects my arms to the inside of my placenta. She didn't believe me so I googled to show her it's an old wives tale. She got upset and cried. :/
Sweet lady but damn. Use some common sense.
When I had cancer a few years back and was doing chemotherapy I had people who constantly questioned that I actually "had cancer" due to the fact that my hair didn't fall out until I was actually in remission (Had been off chemo for about 2-3 weeks when my hair started gradually thinning and falling out).
It's a complete myth that every single person's hair will have the same reaction to chemo. Some people lose hair right away, some don't. Everybody is different.
Journey Through The Center Of The EarthGiphy
Had a cab driver insisting that the reactor meltdown at Fukushima was a failed Chinese attack on the US. The plan was to superheat the rods so they'd burn into the ground, through the center of the Earth, and come out in America and irradiate it.
The antipode (exact opposite side of the planet) of Fukushima is nowhere near the US... it's several hundred miles east off the coast of Uruguay/Argentina.
I think for that one you would have to have no idea that China and Japan are two different countries ... and that they are not allies.
That this pandemic comes from 5G.
It's so dumb, that 5G conspiracy isn't even new, just repackaged. Of course, they avoid the fact that there are confirmed cases in areas without 5G towers.
My neighbor doesn't believe the virus comes from 5G. Oh no he's smarter then that. He believes the virus is just a cover up for the deadly rays of 5G itself. He was like "birds kept dying in countries with 5G coverage!"
Fan Blades Of Doom
Definitely the Korean urban myth that sleeping with a fan on will kill you. I've heard it explained as the blades chopping up the air creating gaps so that you suffocate in your sleep.
I think it's a prevalent thing in all of Asia. I remember visiting Vietnam as a kid and having my aunts fan me to sleep, afraid of killing me if they used an electric fan lol. Read somewhere that it's actually a myth used to explain away SIDS and suicides.
A kid I knew in high school actually believed and tried to convince others that the mentally handicapped were actually professional actors, and they were there to "keep the human race from feeling perfect."
Does he also scream crisis actors?
Speaking Of Paid Actors...
Australia isn't real.
It was made up by the British to kill a ton of people and all the people who are from there are paid actors.
If I'm a paid actor I would like to find out when I'm getting my money.
Full On Wakanda
It's dumb, and I know it's not true, but my favorite conspiracy theory is that North Korea is actually a paradise and everything we hear about it is propaganda. All the claims from NK are genuine, and everything else is trying to discredit them so people everywhere else in the world don't get upset knowing that such a level of perfection as NK is attainable.
Full on Wakanda, with advanced hologram technology shrouding the country and fake decrepit cities set up for tourists.
Coal For Your Health
My stepmother told me once that her grandfather was convinced for some reason that charcoal was really healthy for kids and whenever he made toast for them he'd keep pushing it back down into the toaster until it was solid black and force them to eat it because he thought it was good for them.
Ironically, burnt food is carcinogenic. So, actually kinda bad for you.
Activated charcoal is a filtering agent, and can bond to impurities such as bacteria or heavy metal. If you ingest something toxic, in some cases it can be beneficial to immediately follow up with some activated charcoal so that body doesn't absorb the full brunt of whatever you swallowed; in any case you should ALWAYS contact poison control FIRST in the event of a suspected poisoning, because activated charcoal won't always be helpful and in numerous circumstances there are other crucial steps to avoid something terrible.
LASTLY, while incredibly useful under specific conditions, a person should not be taking activated charcoal regularly like some kind of vitamin; remember how I said the carbon bonds to impurities? That can include essential micronutrients and good gut bacteria. So avoid taking it unless you have a reason, or on the recommendation of a physician.
Whales ... Just WhalesGiphy
Whales control the weather and are currently causing global warming.
Because apparently their movements affect ocean currents or air currents(?) or I don't even know what. I wish I were making this up.
This is nuts. Everyone knows that whales only help us communicate with alien satellites. C'mon people.
Oh makes sense because blow holes blow water into the sky and that's how rain gets up there.
A guy tried to convince me that Earth's oceans are only salty because male whales ejaculate so much sperm that doesn't end up in a female whales vagina and that has "salted" the oceans over time. I tried to explain to him that a) That is ridiculous and you cannot imagine the amount of ejaculations that would have to occur in order to make that happen and b) Where do whales manage to get all of that salt? He was adamant that I was wrong and he was right. This guy is at least 25 years old.
No, the probe is controlling the weather because it can't talk to the whales.
You believe in whales?
Einstein Didn't Fail
The whole "even Einstein failed math" myth.
The confusion likely comes from the grading system, but this myth has been around for a long time and used as some sort of motivation idea by many.
When he was shown a clipping from Ripley's Believe It or Not, where that myth gained popularity, he responded, "I never failed in mathematics. Before I was 15 I had mastered differential and integral calculus"
I recently encountered a woman who tried to convince me that black people are somehow immune to this pandemic. I've been told that this was a relatively commonly held misconception just around a month ago, but I hadn't heard it before, so I was baffled.
"Drinking water every 5 minutes will help prevent Covid-19 because it will wash the virus in to your stomach and be destroyed by stomach acid."
I don't even know where to start about how wrong this is.
It's true that humidity does make it harder for viruses to be transmitted. We bought a humidifier at work to increase humidity from ~20% at its lowest when it was really cold outside to just over 60%. The ecologist with the HVAC company we consulted with had a study that showed viruses die seven times faster with that change in humidity. We also bought a nice water cooler on his recommendation. The water is so cold and tastes so good. We started working from home the day after it was installed. :(
The dumbest myth I've ever heard was Covid-19 was faked so that the Trump administration could covertly arrest a bunch of elite pedos. Covertly because we the common folk couldn't handle it. Absolutely ridiculous.
A moron I worked with, swore that the diet Pepsi I was drinking was flavored with aborted fetuses from planned parenthood... He was serious. "Google it..."
According to this genius, regular Pepsi was ok.. it was only diet Pepsi that was bad evidently aborted fetuses are a sugar substitute
This dude had tattoos on his eyelids too, so not real bright to begin with.
I was behind a lady in line at a gas station and she said this! The cashier mentioned that Pepsi products were 2/$3 or something and the lady was like, "Oh, I don't drink Pepsi. They use aborted fetuses in it!" She was totally serious. The cashier was like :| and I was like :| and we shared a mental facepalm.
I like this one. Just the idea that Planned Parenthood is selling aborted fetuses to PepsiCo in general, rather than... putting them in vaccines!
:O (or the stuff they ACTUALLY do with them?)
That's bad enough, but that they put them specifically in diet Pepsi and not in anything else? Like regular Pepsi? Golden.
Milk and Fish
As a Pakistani there's quite a few superstitions old folks say. One that I remember is if you drink milk and eat fish together, you get white patches in your skin (Vitiligo)
I never believed this, but I had Vitiligo as a kid and relatives used me as an example 🙄
A Speech Impediment
Oooooo I've got one.
When I had my kid, one my mother-in-law's friends said not to nibble on his feet because that's how people get a speech impedement, by far funniest shit ive ever heard.
God had to sacrifice himself to himself to serve as a loophole for a rule he created himself to stop himself from torturing us, his beloved children, for all eternity.
Oranges and Eurobeats
My top 5:
1- Flat Earth
2- "vaccines cause autism"
3- "Donald Trump is human"
4- "eating oranges at night can kill you"
5- "Eurobeat does not make your car go faster"
It is a lie! Eurobeat makes everything faster!
I've never heard the orange one.. any more info on this?
It's a myth from my country, Portugal. Old people used to say that before the internet existed. Our country has an old proverb, which I'll roughly translate:
"In the morning it's golden, in the afternoon it's silver and in the night kills."
It rhymes in Portuguese....
In other words, someone made up that proverb a long time ago and the following generations believed (not a strict belief) that oranges at night could harm you, make you ill or have a negative impact on your sleep.
Santawill ferrell santa GIF Giphy
That fat mfer Santa is gonna come with toys and fit down my chimney.
Even then i was a kid I was like "Get the f outta here guys c'mon"
"Bill Gates is behind the CoronaVirus, which is actually caused by 5G cellphone towers. He wants to use the vaccine to inject everyone with microchips."
That Bill Gates is trying to make a vaccine to poison everyone.
I was talking with a Young-Earth Creationist one time who was attempting to explain away the radiological dating that proves the Earth is billions of years old. His claim was as follows:
When the Great Flood (the one with Noah) began, great springs of water from within the Earth erupted onto the surface. The great seismic force of this event shocked quartz* deposits so much that they super-heated, to the point where they were essentially nuclear breeder reactors, which is where all the world's radioactive elements came from.
Bonus crazy claim: those radioactive elements in the Earth's crust are why modern humans only live to a maximum of 125 or so, while pre-flood figures like Noah, Adam, and Seth lived to be 800+.
*It is true that when struck with great force, quartz can emit teeny-tiny electrical charges, but this is beyond ludicrous.
Christian High School Sex Ed
A girl I used to go out with thought that if she had anal sex without a rubber it would absorb through and make her pregnant. She also thought that if she swallowed after a blowie it would make her pregnant.
Good thing for that Christian high school sex ed!
Beers And Bad Advice
You will get cramps and drown if you swim immediately after eating. We have a swimming pool in our backyard and have parties during the summer. My neighbor told their child to wait 30 minutes after eating or they could drown. I corrected my neighbor in front of their kid by saying "as a parent, you should not say stupid things to your kid or they will grow up stupid and say stupid things to their children."
I might have had a few beers before that discussion.
Alien's visit Earth. It's so difficult to travel from solar system to solar system. The Voyager 1 was launched on September 5, 1977 and its only 13.2 billion miles from the sun. Proxima Centauri the closest star to ours, is 24,808,000,000,000 miles away.
Luck And Racism
A black cat is an omen of bad luck and if one crosses your way you have I don't know how many years of bad luck. Like, excuse me? Can that cat ration put a fucking spell on you??
In most places I know of, certainly Britain, black cats are traditionally good luck. It's unclear where the American bad luck version comes from, possibly the general prejudice about black.
Luck traditions are widespread. I'm not sure I would call them silly, in a dangerous premodern world full of inexplicable disasters they probably gave some psychological sense of empowerment. Look at how we tend to grasp at anything that suggests something we can do to protect ourselves against coronavirus whether or not we understand if it makes sense.
Do you have something to confess to George? Text "Secrets" or "" to +1 (310) 299-9390 to talk to him about it.