Old wives' tales start as stories we get told when we're young. Soon, these stories travel far and wide, becoming fact in the process. Rarely do people do research to discover whether these bits of information are true or not.

That's why the internet is our friend.

Reddit user, u/ZanyDelaney, wanted to hear about the false facts that needed to be cleared up when they asked:

Which misconception would you like to debunk?

Waste Not A Second

You can file a missing persons report as soon as the person goes missing. No need to wait 24 hrs or whatever


It's actually a law (or is proposed, I can't remember) in my state that parents must report their child missing within 24 hours or they are charged with a felony.


Why Would You Try This To Begin With?

The boiling frog experiment that's quoted everywhere didn't work.

For those not familiar, it is said that you can boil a frog to death by raising the temperature of the water it's in extremely slowly so that it doesn't notice.

Well, it only works when parts of the frog's brain are removed. A frog with an intact brain will jump out, no matter how slowly the water is heated.


Go Ahead. Pick It Up.

Touching a baby bird is not going to cause it's mother to abandon it.

An old wives tale designed to stopped kids messing with young chicks has now caused a generation of people to pass on this old belief without ever being corrected.

Yes, if you see a baby bird on the ground chances are it's mother kicked it out to teach it to fly or something, but if you need to cut the grass/ mow the lawn you can lift it and put it back in it's nest, it's mother isn't going to abandon it just because you touched it. That's like thinking a human mother would abandon a baby because a cat rubbed it's butt on it.


That's Exactly What Someone Would Say Who Wants It

I work as a ride operator at Disneyland, and please just let me say this.



One Is Not The Other

Eating fat doesn't make you fat, what really does it is eating more calories than what you use.


The American war on fat started in the 80s. It was a huge mistake.


It Gets To Come Out

When you have an IV cannula inserted, a needle is used to insert the cannula but then the NEEDLE IS REMOVED and you're left with a tiny thin plastic (?) tube in the vein.

I think 50% of my patients don't realise there's not a needle in their arm for hours/days on end.


It's A Place, Not A Thing

There is no specific Plymouth Rock, but there is an enshrined rock that someone basically picked out and people pilgrimage to.


Probably A Real Bad Name, Then

Flushable wipes aren't flushable. Toilet paper breaks down easy in water, but you ever seen a baby wipe rip up? Those things just end up clogging pipes and ruining the sewers.

Hell, New York (Sorry, LONDON. My bad.) found a huge mass of those things (along with a bunch of other junk) the size of a bus in the sewers thanks to those wipes.


IIRC, makers of those wipes are allowed to call them "flushable" if they can get around the u-bend and out of the pipes of your home. Once they're in the sewer, what happens to them isn't considered a problem as far as the labelling is concerned. Which leads to a lot of people thinking they're fine to flush- or at least those that care about those sorts of things in the first place.


Einstein Was, Spoiler, Very Smart

Albert Einstein actually did very well in school as a boy and excelled in Math.


Despite what people think Albert Einstein never failed math. The confusion likely comes from the grading system, but has been used for a long time to give people hope.

When he was shown a clipping from Ripley's Believe It or Not where that myth originated, he responded, "I never failed in mathematics. Before I was 15 I had mastered differential and integral calculus"


It'll Be Smaller Than You Think

"Curing cancer" isn't going to be a single eureka moment and BAM! cancer is gone forever. There are tons of different types of cancers, with different genetics and epigenetics playing into how they develop.

There seem to be people out there who think Big Pharma™️ is sitting on some magical cure that they're holding out on because they want to sell treatments. To even suggest that there's one catch-all cure is soooo reductive of what "cancer" is—it's not really one disease, it's tons of different ailments with different symptoms that happen to share some commonalities in the way the cells divide and spread.


F-cking thank you... The amount of people I've just wanted to slap in the back of the head for saying "I know they have a cure!" gives me nightmares


What's a misconception you cannot bear let people believe anymore? Tell us about it!

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