Things Foreigners Should Avoid While Visiting The U.S.
Reddit user AlainasBoyfriend asked: 'What should a foreigner avoid while visiting the United States?'
When I was in college, a cousin of mine who lived in London all her life came to visit me. We went out to my favorite restaurant on her first day and I warned her right of the bat not to order too much. She'd never been to New York, but I had been to London, and I knew there was a difference in portion sizes.
Portion sizes in England are usually just enough to satisfy you while potion sizes in America are usually too much to finish in one sitting. I explained this to her, but she waved me off. It was a point of pride for her that in any given group of people, she was always the one who ate the most, and the one who never slipped into a food coma.
She was surprised to find that the chicken finger appetizer she ordered, which she refused to split when I suggested it, came on top of a mountain of loaded fries. She was struggling to finish it when the entree she ordered came out. She paled when she remembered it came with four sides.
In the end, she had to pack up a lot of the food, which was a totally new concept to her.
Ordering too much thinking you are going to finish it all is just one of the things foreigners should avoid doing when visiting America. There are plenty of other things to avoid or places not to go, and Redditors are eager to share what those things are.
It all started when Redditor AlainasBoyfriend asked:
"What should a foreigner avoid while visiting the United States?"
"Don’t be bullheaded when it comes to the weather. If the locals are worried, you should be worried."
"Friend was gored to death by a mountain goat. Right through the femoral artery."
"If you go to the national parks, don’t attempt to take selfies with the wildlife. A full grown bison will throw you through the air like a crumpled piece of paper."
"In Washington DC, avoid taking pictures in front of DC District court thinking it is the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is 6 blocks away."
"Also, the White House is MUCH smaller than you think it is."
"And eat and eat..."
"Ordering a large at a restaurant, or especially a movie theater. I don't care how hungry you think you are, you will not eat/drink it all in one sitting."
"Especially stupid if there are free refills on drinks lol."
City Folk, Beware
"If you are visiting a more rural area, like Montana where I live, don't underestimate the rural-ness. You might not be able to get a hotel in a small town and there are plenty ty of places where there aren't any hotels or accommodations. You can take highway and run out of gas because there aren't any gas stations for 70 miles."
"Also, if it is a dirt road, and there are a lot of them in the rural U.S., don't ever assume that you will have cell/GPS reception or that the dirt road goes anywhere besides 50 miles into the mountains where you can get stuck or break down. It's hard to conceptualize for people who live in more populated areas."
"Your best bet is to plan ahead and read reviews. It is absolutely worth it to visit areas where there is wilderness. That is why I live here. That being said, it's dangerous in a different way than visiting a city."
"Damn, as an American city dweller, you made me scared of Montana."
"Driving from New York to LA."
"Unless you're planning to spend 2 weeks visiting places in between. The drive will not take just a few days!"
"We had an exchange student from France staying with us (NY). one day, we saw her with a map of the US, said she was going to take a bus to California because she had heard so much about it on television."
"We had to sit down and explain it was going to take a week, each way."
"Yep. I lived in France for a longtime and took the bus everywhere. on a 10 hr ride there you could easily cross three countries..."
Six Feet Apart
"I find a lot of foreigners have about 2 1/2 inches of a personal space bubble, while us Americans value our space. Keep at least a 2-3 feet distance when conversing with strangers. I've had an Italian guy come so close I thought he was going to kiss me. Very uncomfortable for someone who isn't used to a lack of personal space."
Keep Your Mind Wide Open
"Leave all your stereotypes about America home, it's a hugely diverse country and your experience in one part of the US will be very different to your experience in another. Keep an open mind and have fun."
"Well said. I don’t think most first time visitors to the US get just how different one state can be from the next."
"Don't smoke in public buildings, this is illegal."
"Don't smoke in someone's house, apartment, or condo without asking for permission. This isn't illegal, but it's still extremely rude."
"This feels like common courtesy anywhere in general. Even in houses where people smoke, I still go outside to smoke. I'm really uncomfortable smoking in other people's houses."
Don't Forget To Tip You Waiter
"Remember that our service staff do not get paid a living wage. They rely on tips to survive. If you can’t afford to tip, don’t eat out."
"Tipping is compulsory here. It's super fucky, and really shouldn't be. But it is. Especially if you plan on sticking to one area and eating in a place more than once, you'd best tip. Don't toy with the people who handle your food out of eye-shot..."
Where To Eat
"Don't go to the big chain type places. Go to the mom and pop little restaurants and coffee shops and specialty shops. You will usually find new cool things you enjoy."
"Agree but check reviews. Not all small businesses are created equal. Chains are good if you don’t have time to do research. You know what you’re getting (probably)."
American Health Care
"Avoid a hospital visit. Whatever you think it costs, it’s more."
"Whatever a European thinks is a cartoonish amount, and then triple it, and that'll cover the ambulance ride there."
"Right? I remember listening to a Dutch person complain that their Healthcare wasn't actually free despite what Americans said. He went on to explain that he has to pay something like a $20 copay to go to the dentist and some vague circumstance where you might theoretically have to pay close to a hundred dollars at some point. It was cute."
Get Me A Map!
"Avoid looking lost and unorganized in areas of big cities with high crime rates. Dress functionally, always keep the illusion of knowing where you are and where you're going, pay attention to your surroundings. Bad people will target folks who look lost and unorganized more often than people who appear oriented."
"That kind of applies to any big city in the world."
"If I am legitimately lost, I will walk with purpose until I find somewhere to sit. Once seated, the phone comes out and I try to make it look like I am texting someone and not studying a map. Nothing stands out like a group of people, standing in the middle of the sidewalk, all staring at one person's phone."
I'm not even a foreigner and I follow this rule all the time. Extremely important!
A Redditor asked: 'What TV trope was common in the not-so distant past but is completely unacceptable today?'
Content Warning: alcoholism, sexual assault, harassment, and violence against women in entertainment
The entertainment industry is constantly changing and generally reflects what the public finds interesting and believes in.
Fortunately, this means that some problematic tropes, storylines, and messages are being retired from the writers' room, and viewers are embracing the more inclusive characters and stories they're seeing on screen.
Redditor midnightsonofab***h asked:
"What TV trope was common in the not-so-distant past but is completely unacceptable today?"
Connected At All Times
"Misunderstandings that can now be cleared up by a text or cell phone call. Entire episodes used to be built around people not being able to find or communicate with each other and just having to figure stuff out."
"I read a story from a horror writer and he said cell phones changed how they have to write because 99% of the stuck-in-a-murder town or house situations would be solved by phones now."
"Oh yeah, for sure! I write thrillers for a living, and the idea of a 'MacGuffin' that is hidden is a lot harder to pull off when the now-dead character hiding it could've just called the right people and told them, or sent them the data in an email, etc."
"I have a very good editor (he's BAFTA nominated) and had this exact one in my latest story outline, with them 'finding' a report he's hidden. But... he could've just sent it to his daughter by email."
"As I'm older, I have to adjust my mindset constantly to deal with stuff like that."
Security Before Love
"Running through the airport to confess one's love for the protagonist. Or the 'Home Alone' premises. These wouldn't happen today with current security measures."
Women's Panic Attacks
"Not really TV trope but slapping women that were supposedly having a panic attack was almost a trope in westerns and noire movies."
"People walking around with amnesia."
"Every freaking show, someone hit their head and had amnesia and there was nothing anyone could do about it. Like, hello, brain injury?"
"Stalking a woman long enough and constantly will eventually make her fall for you."
"This was probably the most confusing thing growing up in the late 80s and early 90s."
"This odd thing was sold to both genders: the guy was supposed to keep on going after being told to be uninteresting. This led to guys thinking 'no means ask again' and girls saying 'no' to guys that they were interested in, but thought this is how the game was played in real life."
"Even in my early 20s, I saw girls in my party crew doing this, quite often harshly rejecting a drop-dead handsome guy, then being all p**sy about it when the guy just f**ked off as being told to and didn't instead start the rom-com mating ritual."
Voyeurism Was Not Okay
"Spying on naked women or women changing clothes as an innocent boy or teen rite of passage."
"'It’s Always Sunny' does a great episode called 'The Gang Hits the Slopes' or something. They go to a ski resort and live out 80s tropes from their childhood before realizing how f**ked up it all was, including spying on women and skiing without helmets."
"Gay panic. I love 'Friends,' but how often the joke was AT any of the guys doing anything feminine?"
"The flamboyant gay character whose sexuality is either intended for the audience to laugh and make fun of or becomes a joke with other characters."
"Or in the case of 'Friends,' the straight character who everybody thinks is gay and is the butt (pun intended) of the joke."
The Dark Side of the Town Drunk
"Comedic town drunk. Think Otis from 'The Andy Griffith Show.'"
"I think part of the problem is the 'comedic town drunk' is something so many people can relate to because every small town seems to have one."
"My town growing up certainly did. His name was Silas. He drove a lawnmower everywhere because he lost his license, and would shout, 'Yee-Haw!' when it reached max speed. The man could consume an impossible quantity of alcohol and just as quickly piss it all out."
"He was homeless and on a first-name basis with every police officer in the county. He could tell the funniest, dirtiest jokes, and in late autumn would commit some minor harmless crime to spend the winter in jail (where he'd put on a lot of weight) instead of spending it in his tent."
"He was also a very reliable handyman, our family hired him a few times to remove massive trees, and he'd drop them right where he said he would."
"But that's where the comedy and trope end. I've referred to him in the past tense because he died of liver failure."
"He was ill with an addiction and desperately needed help to get past it, and that's what the TV tropes fail to discuss. Consequently, it's funny to the audience because it conveniently ignores the harsh reality of the situation."
"'Mind if I smoke?' in places where people would instantly object today, like cars, airplanes, spaceships, the baby's nursery, etc."
Anti-Tomboy and Androgyny
"'Fixing' the 'tomboy' who likes to wear boys' clothes, no makeup, and do boy things."
"There's an 'Andy Griffith Show' episode that would be considered an over-the-top parody if it came out now."
No Locked Doors
"People living in NYC and L.A. who never lock the front door."
"Pretty sure 'Friends' lampshade this with an episode where they all get locked out and Monica even asks, 'Who locked the door? That door is never locked!'"
Questionable Family Dynamics
"An overweight, lazy husband with a smoking hot, nagging wife. Add in one rebellious teen and one nerdy kid and boom. The family sitcom recipe."
The Hate for Wives
"The running joke in sitcoms is that every average American man hates their wife and is always complaining about her 'nagging' and just wants to hang with the boys and dreams about the single life or having more freedom but he’s a dad now."
"I think too many are sick of seeing that. It wasn’t really funny in the first place. And now society is trying to push many to see marriage as the ultimate goal anyway and vilifies people for wanting to be single."
Minorities As Targets
"Black dude dies first. It's basically never done nowadays and the trope is almost always pointed out if there's even the possibility of it happening."
When we look through this thread, we can all think of examples of these old tropes, from smoking to consent, and fortunately, most of these shows are older.
As terrible as it might be that these tropes were once popular, it's at least refreshing to see that we are learning, that the entertainment industry is reflecting that, and some of these tropes are fading away.
Everyone has a different journey on their road to self-discovery.
Especially when it comes to their sexual identity, many young adults struggle with not fitting in and wondering where they belong in social situations.
It's common for many of these individuals to be ashamed and suppress their identity for fear of being judged or ridiculed, while others have a support system at home or among close friends.
Curious to hear how people arrived at their moments of self-discovery, Redditor TheGreek1asked:
"What made you realize your true sexual orientation?"
Exposure to media helped these Redditors with their epiphany.
The Guy On TV
"So one day I saw a tv show, and there was a gay guy in some part of it, so I thought to myself, am I gay? And I came to the conclusion that I am in fact, straight."
"Same! Or you may see a good looking guy but it doesn’t feel the same way as seeing a good looking woman. I hope that makes sense."
"I stumbled upon a stack of old playboys when I was 7 actually. I was very very intrigued. Before that I thought boys and girls both had penises lmaoo."
'Cuz Ya Gotta Have Faith
"I’m dating myself here but George Michael’s video for 'Faith.' At the beginning there is a hot girl in high heels leaning against a jukebox on one side and he’s on the other side. My eyes went to him. I thought, maybe I just want some jeans like that. Naw. I wanted what was IN the jeans."
Some experimented to determine their sexuality.
"Honestly? I had some doubts at first. So I let a guy go down on me during a 3some with his girlfriend. He was a freshman psychology student and had just learned about Kinsey and was making a big long speech about how sexuality is a spectrum, and nobody is truly 100% straight, and you know what? It was kind of compelling. So there I am, getting what was probably the third blowjob of my life, and I just can't stay hard. This dude was motivated, and no matter what he did... I think I was every bit as surprised as he was."
Best Buddy Hook-Up
"Same here. I thought, 'let’s try men, see how it goes!' Found myself hooking up with a close male friend who is, by all means, a f'kin smoke show."
"It was a safe space. I felt comfortable. And I learned - at most I’m a Kinsey 1 maybe. Maybe a Kinsey 0.5."
"If I die without ever being with another man, all good."
Those who were acquainted with or related to these Redditors tried to convince them of their sexuality.
Recognizing Beauty, Not Acting On It
"My sister in law was trying to convince me I was 'bisexual with a preference for men.' She wouldn’t let it go, all because I can appreciate when a woman is beautiful. I told her that I can see when a woman is beautiful, but it doesn’t mean I’m attracted to them."
"My best friend in high school was a lesbian, and was always trying to convince me that I was bi. I was like, 'lol no, I'm straight af.' Well, one night with my guy of many years, we were opening up about our kinks and- I don't know, I guess I just finally felt safe enough- but I realized I'd always kept a door closed inside of me where I knew I was also attracted to women."
"I've had way too many bad experiences in the past with female friends (who I think were actually crushes) to actually ever think about dating a woman, but I'm definitely also sexually attracted to them."
Impressions made from a certain age can't be forgotten.
"When I went to kindergarten round-up when i was 5, I remember seeing two very pretty girls and thinking I would like to kiss them. To be honest, 35 years later those two women are still very pretty and I would still like very much like to kiss them."
The Handsy Child
"I remember falling in love with my first grade teacher. Ms. Florence. It has always been ladies for me. I read these modern discussions where people are debating sexuality, and it just doesn’t compute. My Grandpa told stories about me putting my hands down women’s shirts at age two/three."
My elementary teacher's assistant was a high school student named Randy.
He was the first guy I couldn't take my eyes off of.
He was a redhead, had freckles, and stunning green eyes that looked deep back into mine whenever I pretended I had a question for him but fumbled with my attempt at small talk.
I recognized him as a beautiful man but I didn't understand why I gravitated toward him as I was years from having any kind of sexual comprehension or awakening as a ten-year-old.
But I know for certain that was when I realized I was "different" when I pined for him and wanted to be near him every time I went to school.
I wonder what Randy is up to now?
Do you sometimes think about the people from your past you've had crushes on?
CW: Death and miscarriages.
It's always sad when a couple doesn't make it all the way.
Especially when a promise was made.
Isn't that what an engagement is?
A very expensive promise.
Diamonds ain't cheap.
Redditor mimi_nivi wanted to hear about the reasons why finally getting to "I DO" was impossible, so they asked:
"People who were engaged at one point but never got married, what happened?"
I've never been engaged.
And I thank God everyday.
My laundry list of exes is full of stains.
Not in Bed?Season 5 What GIF by The OfficeGiphy
"Came home for lunch one day to surprise her. Surprise was on me as she was in the middle of doing her co-worker on my couch. I loved that couch."
3 Months Before
"He wasn't participating in the wedding planning at all and I realized he didn't actually want to get married. There was a lot of pressure from his family and admittedly, me as well. I just wanted a family and to be married and hadn't really paid attention to his reluctance up until that point."
"It was 3 months before the wedding and I sat down and reviewed our relationship. We were incompatible at several crucial points, even though we loved each other a lot. So I called off the wedding and ended it and while we were both sad, we were also relieved."
"This was more than a decade ago and whenever we run into each other we catch up and there are no hard feelings at all. He's married and a father now and I couldn't be happier for him."
Back in 2012
"She died due to seizures. 3 am: she was home alone. She woke up and had a seizure and unfortunately hit her head against a wall… 7 am: she was supposed to show up at her parent's house to drop off the dog before work. She didn’t. 9 a.m.: her parents went to check on her, the dog was fine, but she was unresponsive. 9:30 am she was declared deceased at the scene. 10 am: I was at work and I got a call from her father… I lost it right there. It was back in 2012 but still, I’m not over it yet."
"We had like 6 miscarriages."
"At the end of the relationship, he said something to me like 'It’s just so hard… I look at your face and I feel like I SEE nothing but 6 dead babies.'"
"Can’t really come back from that one. I mean some people can. We couldn’t."
"It’s crazy in hindsight but everything just kind of worked out. I have two beautiful daughters and a stepdaughter I love and a great life!"
"Turns out she liked vagina as much as I did."
Sometimes too many of the same interests are NOT a good thing.
Thank YouPreach Amy Poehler GIF by SistersGiphy
"He cheated before we got married and I found out. I thank the stars every f**king day I didn’t marry him."
"She started hanging out with an old group of high school friends and just changed. She became extremely nasty over wedding plans, telling me we had to have the exact same number of guests on both sides. If I had one more guest than she did, she made me remove someone from my side. I knew if I moved forward it would have ended in divorce, so I just ended it before it got to that."
"The longer we lived together leading up to the wedding, the more he showed his true colors. One day while I was cooking dinner for us he started screaming at me, like an inch from my face, and called me a (see you next Tuesday.) Something about it snapped some sense into me. I walked out and never went back."
"We’re still technically engaged, but we never wanted a wedding. We met way late in life (I’m 50, she’s in her mid-40s), no kids, and if we get legally married the gov’t f**ks with her disability assistance so she is my spouse, my partner, and my soul mate. But we don’t feel the need to get married. But I do have a living will just in case. We will be celebrating our 10-year anniversary early next year."
Holy Marylike a virgin madonna GIFGiphy
"The Holy Spirit came to him in a dream and told him that he couldn’t marry me because I wasn’t a virgin."
Well, sometimes it's just not meant to work out.
And that sounds like a blessing.
We've all heard our fair share of conspiracy theories, and whether or not we truly believe them, we can agree that they're fun to think about.
But there are some that are more sinister than others, and some that are far too applicable to simply ignore.
Redditor Specific_Shop_3975 asked:
"What's a conspiracy with the most evidence to back it up?"
The Sinking of RMS Lusitania
"The British government deliberately put the RMS Lusitania in harm's way to get her sunk to bring the USA into WW1. The fact the records have been resealed for another 100 years adds credence to this conspiracy."
"Dude, it's not even a conspiracy theory. The German consulate took out a two-page ad in the New York Times telling people to not board because they were going to sink it."
"Also at the time Britain didn't have an option but to sell the ship because it was carrying so many munitions that they desperately needed. This isn't a conspiracy theory; it's just plain fact."
"Both governments knew the risks and they needed it to galvanize support."
Not So Sweet Candy Stores
"In the UK, there was a recent boom in American sweet shops that sold grossly overpriced import candy. They were suddenly everywhere after the pandemic, they didn’t sell much, but they were everywhere."
"Someone on TikTok theorized that they were all money laundering fronts, so people started filming in the shops laughing at the prices, and staff always seemed to get really angry about it."
"Then it was announced last year that there was an HMRC (UK’s tax wing of government) investigation started because the theory held water, and suddenly they all shut down."
"The one in Leeds Centre near Trinity currently has a notice of abandonment in the window and you can see the shelves are still stocked: the owners just ran off and left it."
"Sounds like another successful case for the TikTok detectives."
What's Behind the Price of a Piece of Art
"Modern art is just money laundering."
"Nobody pays 2.2 million for a blank canvas."
"The brilliance of modern art money laundering can't be understated."
"Alfred wants to pay Brad $100k for a bribe."
"Brad wants this money to be 'clean' to avoid authorities looking into him."
"Brad 'sells' a worthless modern art piece for $100k."
"Alfred has now successfully transferred the bribe to Alfred. However, Brad is now in possession of a painting that the 'market' says is worth $100k. Down the line, Alfred might be able to sell this now 'valuable' piece of art to a third party for $50k, $100k, or potentially at a profit!"
"It can get even more complex when the artist is basically a part of the money laundering ring. This makes it so that Brad can fictionally increase the cost of buying the art from the artist in the first place in order to make the money laundering less obvious."
Why So Many Options?
"There is something fishy going on at Mattress Firm. How can they stay in business with a store in practically every plaza when the average person buys a new mattress every decade or so?"
Quite the Distraction
"Might not be a 'conspiracy theory' per se. But I believe that the government works hard to cover up their own incompetence."
"Part of that is manufacturing insane conspiracy theories as a way to make anyone who asks questions look crazy. Or at least to serve as a distraction."
A Conspiracy Is a Conspiracy
"The meta-conspiracy to convince dumb people that the word 'conspiracy' means 'a crazy person’s imagination.'"
"Conspiracies happen every day. There’s a global conspiracy of adults to convince kids Santa is real. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s a conspiracy."
"Somewhere along the line, the word got hijacked and it immediately discredits whoever says it. It’s practically a trap to use the word, so you have to dance around it if you want to describe people planning things in secret."
"The government deliberately leaked false information to UFO investigators to discredit them because they were getting too close to the truth."
"(The truth being that Area 51 was a testing grounds for spy planes and stealth aircraft and was attracting too much attention for a secret weapons facility.)"
"I think the government does this with conspiracy theories across the board. Promoting outlandish tinfoil hat-type theories helps discredit the ones that are actually real."
Another Money Laundering Front
"Benetton is a front for Italian mob money laundering."
"Probably wasn't at first back in the 80s but now... decent-sized stores in expensive real estate all over Europe, never anyone in the stores, never seen anyone wearing the clothes, don't know anyone that's bought anything from them, ever, and neither do those people."
"I shop there all the time, in both Italy and Switzerland. It’s the highest quality for the most reasonable price that I can regularly find in Europe. I’m never the only one in there or checking out, either."
"Sounds like something a money launderer would say."
"Blackrock and Vanguard are buying up all the residential property they can in order to get the majority of Americans renting from them. Estimates say by 2030 they will own 60% of residential property."
"I so wish we could all stop fighting about dumb sh*t for just a few weeks so both sides of the country could pass a law that bans any corporation or non-US citizen from owning residential property(with some provisions to account for things like bank loans obviously)."
"This would have such a massive effect on quality of life going into the future. Of course, it won’t happen."
People of Influence Parties
"The Bilderberg group. Every year in summer, they meet, and people keep track of who is there. Guest lists every year. Top politicians, royalty, corporate owners. Extreme security. No protocols."
"There is confirmation from a variety of these people that they were there."
"So, what do they talk about? Are they coordinated somehow after each meeting? How much influence do they have?"
"Well, given the extreme security, it's difficult to say. I am sure it's nothing, though. Why would those groups of people want to influence the world to suit their agendas, right?"
"Also note, anyone discussing this gets called a tin foil hat, or paranoid, or a conspiracy theorist who probably also believes in antivaxx reptilian....."
Secret Climate Change
"The petroleum companies knew burning fossil fuels would lead to global climate change but hid the evidence of their own funded studies and did nothing to curb consumption, instead funded groups opposed to renewable, non-greenhouse gas generating energy to maximize shareholder value."
The Travels of Elvis Presley
"Elvis didn’t die in 1977. He was working with the government (DEA OR CIA? I can’t remember?). When he was compromised they had to fake his death."
"He actually moved to Argentina and lived the rest of his life down there."
"There were a lot of sightings. My favorite is when one of his house workers reported someone that looked just like him lying out by the pool at his own house the day after he died."
"It’s a fun theory that is pretty convincing the more you look into it."
Conspiracies All the Way Down
"People believe all the governments in the world have collaborated on keeping the shape of the Earth and our inability to visit the Moon a secret..."
"But what about the turtle we are sitting on?"
"More importantly, what about the turtle THAT turtle is sitting on?"
"That our governments are turning us all against each other to distract us from the blatant wealth manipulation, corrupt practices, nepotism, cronyism, among hundreds of other big issue things. Their plans working a treat and the people as a whole can't see what's happening and start working together against it."
"We are losing our privacy, our rights, and our sense of connection with one another. We drift away while they get more and more powerful. People hand away their rights like they're going to get them back and never question it when it's not."
"Our planet had to deal with another of the world power's attempts at control and that's the pandemic or should I say the reaction to it. I was always a believer it happened naturally but as time goes on it becomes more apparent it wasn't."
"We are bodies hanging from the roof being bled dry slowly but if this keeps up we aren't just f**ked like a world war or nuclear war, if we don't do anything we will lose whatever control we have and we will never get it back."
From interesting and wowing to deeply troubling, there's truly no shortage of conspiracies and conspiracy theories out there for people to puzzle over and research.
The most troubling thing about them, honestly, has to be the stigma surrounding a person's interest in them. As soon as someone expresses interest in one of these theories, others are quick to discredit them.