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There are things you kind of assume people can't make it into adulthood without understanding - but you'd be amazed how much those assumptions don't exactly match up with reality.

Reddit user The_Sh0w asked:

What's something you can't believe you had to explain to another adult?

So listen, some of the answers were things that if we squinted really hard we could kind of understand ... kind of. Nobody really expects you to be an expert in everything. Also, the privilege of in depth and accurate education isn't something we all have.

Even here in the United States it is perfectly legal to teach inaccurate information in schools (we're looking at you anatomy and sexuality classes) and so it's sort of understandable why so many people still think women urinate from their vaginas. Sorry if you're just now finding out. We'll give you a minute to process.

Check out some of these other "you totally should have known this" things that people have had to patiently (or not-so-patiently) explain to other adults.

A Female Human and A Male Human

How men and women evolved together. He said evolution can't be real "because what are the chances a female human and male human evolved to match each other?" as though they evolved separately then just met up one day.

I also had to explain we're still evolving.

- TopScruffy

Scaring Chlamydia Away


That if you want to get rid of an infection (in this case, Chlamydia), it's not enough to just own the antibiotics prescribed to treat it. You have to actually ingest them. You have to put the pills (500mg Azithromycin, 2 tablets, one time dose,) into your mouth and swallow them. You can't, like, threaten the Chlamydia with the pills and frighten it away.

I'm an OB GYN nurse in a clinic- this person was a patient. Plus she was pregnant, which is why I needed her to not have Chlamydia. When I asked "How do you think this works?" I got a blank stare.

- Jezzzebeezlebub

Not Enough Electricity

Had a coworker once that told us she had to use special calculators, keyboards, etc. because she didn't have enough electricity in her hands. Her response when I told her that wasn't how electricity works was that she had seen an electrician about it.

I just left.

- IndianaGnomes

Was she talking about touch screens? She may have got the electrical facts wrong, while correctly noticing that screens don't react to her fingers: https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2015/06/zombie-finger-and-touchscreens/index.htm

Give her a travel-sized bottle of skin moisturizer, and tell her it was recommended by a top electrician.

- FunhouseFrankenstein

No, she was talking about an actual physical calculator. She was legitimately an idiot who said dumb things all the time. We only had her because her original department refused to take her back.

- IndianaGnomes

AC Power Settings

Thermostats- "You got it! The number is the temperature you want it to be, not power level"

- Dawnalla

Someone Is In There

Toilet doors. That's right, if it says occupied there is someone in there. If it won't open it's locked...because someone is in there. You have to wait outside because yes someone is in there. This was many times throughout the day.

I had the misfortune of having my office across the hall from the customer bathrooms. I would be informed when supplies ran out or there was a problem even though there was a sign to let customer service know. I had one man tell me I have to look in the toilet to know what is wrong with it. No. No I do not.

- MessedUpFessedUp

Contraception Concepts

Client - "I keep getting pregnant and it's not fair, I've already got 3 kids! You [social services, in general] need to help me."

Me - "Well, what contraception are you using?"

Client - "OMFG WTF (etc., etc.) I'm only sleeping with one fella, why the eff do I need contraception? I'm not a dirty slag!"

I had to gently explain that you have to use contraception if you don't want to get pregnant, even if you have just one sexual partner at the time.

- LTLxx

Family Fun With Furniture

Had to explain to my 50 year old father that queen sized beds were not made exclusively for women after he jokingly called me a sissy whilst we were talking about furniture.

My brother-in-law asked me why I wouldn't weld a metal lamp base onto his wooden shelf. After I explained it for him, he proceeded to cite a Minecraft modpack. He is 25 and this was 2 months ago.

- [Reddit]

Fried Or Fertilized


Fertilization of the egg is how pregnancy occurs.

Wife and I were having trouble conceiving for a while. Had some tests done, all was well, it was just a matter of time before it was going to happen (it did). When the mother-in-law asked why my wife isn't pregnant yet, we mentioned eggs and fertilization, and it's just a matter of time.

Her reply was 'If you need eggs just go to the grocery store and get some.'

She legitimately thought that the doctor recommended we both need to eat more eggs to conceive a child. This woman is in her late 50's with some college education. She absolutely should know this.

- MeanElevator

Not A Charger

My friends and I were on vacation and decided to go into a sex shop. Mind you, we were all early to mid thirties. I was looking at range of toys when one of my friend asked which one of them charges Apple iPhone 8? 🤔 Had to explain what they were used for and she pretty soon walked out of the shop.

- CookTheMonster

Five Plus Five Plus Ten Makes Twenty

That the pretty little "5" and "10" on the green bill she had meant 5 dollars and 10 dollars.

She said she had "3 dollars" after counting 2 fives and 1 ten dollar bill.

She was 22 .She had her diploma.

And I don't want to come off as though I'm making fun of her or talking bad about her because she's very sweet. She's kinda like a puppy. She's sweet and easy to love, but don't expect her to do your finances.

- MrR08070

Happy Halloween

To my ex boyfriend earlier this year (he is 26 and I am 25) I had to explain that Halloween is the same date every year. He asked me which day Halloween was this year, I said: "It's on a Thursday"

to which he replied "No what is the date date of it?"

I thought he was kidding until I realized he wasn't.

- RhondaSwanson


Had to explain to an acquaintance in college that cursing, i.e. vocalizing words that societal groups regard as obscenities, was not the same as cursive, i.e. handwriting stuff where all the letters are getting freaky and loopy and all up in each others' business.

It took me about 5 minutes to fail to explain the difference to him, after which point I felt like cursive him out.

- Times_Hunger


The definition of "animal".
To explain, this is how they thought things were arranged:

Humans - Humans
Animals - Anything with fur that is not human
Lizards - Uh?
Bugs and Birds - Catch-all for none of the above

They argued with me saying bugs are not animals, they are bugs. They also argued that plants are not living.

- pakidara

Even When You're Not In California

Ok when the bottle of brake cleaner says " known in California to cause cancer " you are not exempt because your not in California.

- Stone057

The Neighbors Fruit

I have to explain to my cousin that you can't take your neighbor's fruit that they planted in front of their house without their consent. I don't know if she is just being greedy or what but what a thing you have to say to 30 yo woman. No wonder she is still single until this day.

- Letsrain

Stars And Stripes

I was in a car with my Father In Law and we drove past an American flag and he said he wondered how many stars were actually on the flag and if they meant something or it was just the way it was designed. Yes, we're both Americans and this was in America.

- rlw0312

Swimming While Pregnant

My best friend was pregnant around 18. I couldn't convince her that it was okay to go swimming because she was concerned the baby would drown. In the end, I told her to just call the doctor so we could go swimming.

- efhunter31

Fridge And Freezer

That a fridge and a freezer were two different things with two different purposes. Worked with a guy in a kitchen who honestly thought that both functioned in the same way, kept finding ice cream and such in the fridge and veg etc. in the freezer.

- antipop2097

Driving To Hawaii


My mother wouldn't believe that you could not drive to Hawaii. She told me I didn't know, since I had never been to Hawaii. She's a stubborn old broad who won't take criticism and evidently has never seen a map.

- SpicyHumor

Pierced Ears

They informed us about STDs in school and they said that we shouldn't use used needles, so a girl asked: "Am I getting AIDS if I pierce both of my ears with the same needle?"

- TheWorstGirlEverXD

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Raúl Nájera/Unsplash

Sixth sense, hunch, spidey senses tingling, or gut feeling: no matter what you call it, we all have had that feeling at one point or another. Not everyone is as in tune with that feeling as some, but when we have that feeling it's important to listen to it. It could be life or death.

Science tells us that there's actual physical feelings associated with the gut feeling due to our gut-brain connection. Signals from our brain can actually cause intestinal signals to bubble up. It can come in a moments notice. Sometimes feeling a little like anxiety or even "hearing" a voice in your head telling you something might be off.

Healthline says:

"Research links these flashes of intuition to certain brain processes, such as evaluating and decoding emotional and other nonverbal cues."

We might need to listen to our gut specifically to protect ourselves. It's that intuitive knowledge that keeps humanity alive for centuries.

Antonia Hock, global head of The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center said:

"Instinct is a powerful data point that can be a treasure trove of untapped generational knowledge in decision making."

Redditors shared their life-saving moments when they listened to their gut and trusted it.

Redditor TheGaySussyBaka asked:

"What's a gut feeling that saved yours or someone else's life?"

Intuition could save a life. Let's read some true stories about gut feelings that made all the difference.

It was worth being late to the party.

"Years ago, my wife and I were driving on the expressway that was under major construction. Traffic had slowed quite a bit and I saw a plume of smoke ahead. As we drew closer, I could see it was the beginning of a Carbeque, but the driver was still in the vehicle."

"I did a death defying move to cross multiple lanes of traffic to pull over, despite my wife's protests about being late to the event we were headed to."

"I approached the car, which was just starting to produce visible fire from the wheel wells and opened the door to the car. The guy was conscious, but in obvious shock and was unresponsive. I had to reach in to unbuckle him and pull him out of the car. Within seconds of me getting him out, the driver's compartment was completely engulfed in flames."

- TheSpatulaOfLove

"In that moment, that's what your wife was thinking about?"

- Nooseents

"I don't think she had malicious intent. She's just nuts about being everywhere 5 minutes early. She assumed the guy would get out of the car and all would be fine. I didn't get that feeling."

- TheSpatulaOfLove

"Tipsy" driving is still drunk driving.

"Do not get into a car with someone who says 'they are just a little tipsy.'"

"The guy who was trying to convince us that he 'was totally fine to drive' didn't die that night but he did have to spend a two years learning to walk again."

- fruit_cats

"My story isn't as bad as that but I'm pretty sure I saved a friend from getting arrested for drunk driving. She'd been hanging out at my fraternity and had at least a couple drinks. She said she was going to drive to the bar, but I told her I wasn't going to let her and would find someone to drive her. But everybody else had been drinking. I hadn't, but I also didn't have a driver's license at the time (not for nefarious reasons, I just didn't get one until I graduated college)."

"Refusing to let her drive, I told her I would. She got in next to me and even though I hadn't driven in awhile, I drove slowly to the bar. After I pulled in to the spot, I finally noticed that there had been a cop right behind us. Luckily he drove off. But the cops in our college town were notorious jerks and even if she had been below the legal limit, she probably would have been arrested. But she was fine and I drove her back to her apartment after we were done."

"Also later found out that the car I was driving wasn't even hers - it belonged to her sorority sister. So there's a good chance I prevented her a) from getting arrested, b) getting into a bad accident, c) damaging her sorority sister's car or d) all of the above."

- PAKMan1988

"You're really burying the good part."

"You prevented her from possible troubles by driving a stolen car without a license right in front of a cop."

- yourmomlurks

Listen to your parental gut feeling.

"My son has leukemia and is on chemotherapy. He was just...off. Looked paler than usual and something just felt odd. Turns out chemo had obliterated his blood so much it might as well have been water and he would have died within days. Two blood transfusions, five days hospital and two weeks off chemotherapy and he was on the mend."

"I went into traumatic shock and the one thing that pulled me out was a debrief with my doctor, who told me I had just saved my child's life with my maternal instinct and never doubt it. Fast forward a few months and he got an infection and that same odd feeling woke me up. He spent a week in hospital that time."

"Parental instinct is there for a reason. Don't doubt it. When you feel it, it's not like feeling a concern or worry that something might be wrong... it's a deep primal knowing."

- belltrina

"My wife had the same thing happen with our 3rd kid. 3 days old. Something was off for her. She had a feeling, called the pediatrician and tested his blood sugar with her kit since she was a gestational diabetic. It was in the basement. Like the oh f**k basement. Verge of coma basement. Doc had us call 9-11 and they would have life-flighted him to a bigger hospital had the weather not sucked a**. Spent 9 days in the NICU. Now he's a wild 5-year-old boy. She 100% saved his life."

- Fleadip

"When I worked in peds, this was the mantra among the nursing staff. If mom (or dad) thinks something is wrong, something is wrong! You know your kid better than anyone else in the world."

- vanillabeanlover

"This is so true! When I had appendicitis, my doctor tried to send me home saying it was the flu. If my mom hadn't insisted something was seriously wrong, I might be dead. It was hours from rupturing when they removed it."

- hotairballoons

A near miss.

"Scenario- driving myself and 2 coworkers back from lunch. Didn't immediately go when my light was green as I got this weird knot in my stomach like something was gonna go down. Car next to me went forward and got slammed into a brick building and post by a speeding car that went thru his red. Some debris rained on my car but basically was left unscathed. Shook but unscathed."

- tokoloshe_noms_toes

"My friends make fun of me for this, bc the 'light is green lol' but I've been involved in that type of accident, and am only alive because my dad, who was driving saw it in time to slam the gas and make them only hit the bed of the truck."

- marshal231

The man in the truck.

"This is before cell phones (think beepers). I went out one night and was meeting my bestie half way between my house and hers. I noticed this truck drive by me and he slowed down to a crawl. Another car was coming so he kept going. My spidey senses were triggered though. I saw my best friend and I grabbed her and pulled her into an old shed at an abandoned house. I shut the door quick and told her to be quiet. There was a space so we were able to see this truck coming."

"She is whispering rapidly to me asking what is happening. I told her that I had seen that guy a few minutes before and he made me nervous. He slowly crept down the street, pulled over and got out with a flashlight. That's when we saw the gun. The most terrifying thing, it was only moments, but felt like hours. He finally took off, but I was hesitant to leave yet. We stayed there for about 15-20 minutes and he came back 4 or 5 times."

"Finally we heard our names being called, her older brother and his best friend had come looking because it typically takes 10 minutes to get from my house to hers. I am convinced that she and I would both be dead if it wasn't for that shed and me trusting my spidey senses."

- Right-Mind2723

Caught it just in time.

"Was hanging out with my brother who was visiting from a few hours away. We went to one of his highschool friends house to shoot the sh*t."

"My brother's friend had a kid who was literally bouncing off the walls. After one bounce I heard a little scrape behind me. I looked behind me to see the 8 point deer head mounted to the wall just in time for another bounce."

"I snatched that head out of the air just about 3 inches from giving the kid 4 stab wounds to the skull."

- piratecheese13

"I was at a party my house was hosting back in the day. We had a back area that had a door leading to the backyard, the door swung inwards. Someone was bent over putting their shoe on and I heard someone coming up the stairs to come in. As soon as the handle started turning, I put my hand over the door to stop it coming in. The person putting on their shoe was so shocked because no one else noticed the door opening and their head was right near the handle. Maybe not exactly saving a life, but a solid concussion at least."

- Subject37

"Peacefully riding my motorcycle."

"'I don't think that guy is going to stop for that stop sign. I'll slow down just a little bit so he'd miss me if he didnt.'"

"Guy flys through intersection at 100km/h."

"'God wanted me to live this day, I see.'"

- shrapnullvxvsa

There are a few things you'll need to do to learn how to trust your gut. Part of it is recognizing when your gut is trying to send you signals. Body awareness, emotional awareness and cognitive processing is something that can happen intuitively, but we have to know how to recognize it.

Pay attention to when it is intrinsically emotional or when it might be clouded by bias. Know the difference so you can make choices that make the most sense for the situation.

And practice! Find ways to listen to your body and emotions and put the skills to the test.

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.