Myths or legends are usually a collection of stories that have been recorded in some way after being passed down orally for centuries. Sometimes they are related to the relgions, sometimes it's folklore that has no connection to the rituals of the area they originate.
Stories passed down by generations through word of mouth can now be recorded and shared on the internet for people to read across the world. It's exciting, but also easy to get lost in translation as things shift away from their original mythology.
Some of these myths are quite strange but have stood the test of time and continue to be shared in their local communities over the years.
Reddit users shared some of the strangest they've heard from their own home countries.
Redditor adwiwon asked:
"What is the weirdest story/myth your country/religion has?"
Here's some bizarre myths and legends from all corners of the world.
Struwwelpeter, or "Shockheaded Peter."
"One of the weirdest is the one of the guy that chops off a kid's thumbs because it still sucks them."
"Who has no thumbs and don't care? ...him, I guess."
"We truly are a weird bunch."
"Think about favorite nursery rhymes. Jack and Jill, Hansel and Gretel, etc. Most of them are about harm coming to children. I've always found it odd."
"If the point of the stories was to make children feel all warm and fuzzy, then yeah, it would be weird. But if the point is to warn children against potential dangers, like going to a stranger's house, walking through the woods alone, climbing hills alone, or to prevent undesirable behaviors like thumb sucking, it makes sense."
"My mom always told me that putting shoes on the table was bad luck. Turned out, she just didn't want shoes on her f*cking table."
The dog eating cereal with a spoon.
"In Monterrey, México, there's a creepy urban legend about a dog eating cereal with a spoon, and believe it or not, a lot of people are afraid of [it]."
Essentially what happened is a family came home and a little boy found a dog that has disappeared sitting at the table eating cereal with a spoon.
"It's so absurd that the sight of it drove a man mad. Now that's a story with a twist. It wasn't scary but so weird that it's depicted having the same effect as witnessing a Lovecraftian horror. Seeing the un-seeable, a dog eating cereal with a spoon."
This story was first seen on Facebook but was translated to English and posted on the Creepypasta Reddit page.
"Johnny Appleseed is a trip.
"He wandered around planting apple seeds and the story talks about how he fed westward expansion. Except... apples from seeds? You're almost certainly not going to get an edible apple. You can make fermented hard apple cider from them, though..."
"He didn't feed expansion, he boozed it up. And this is a children's story!"
"You forgot the part about how he wore a metal pot for a hat. While it sounds like a weird folksy embellishment, he really did wear one!"
"Appleseed was a die-hard Swedenborgian, a Christian offshoot that preached about living in harmony with nature, and a reason for why he never planted grafted trees -- essentially, it was forbidden to mess with nature. I recently read an account in a book that claimed that he once destroyed a pair of shoes because he inadvertently stepped on a living creature."
"The guy seemed to be a pretty genuinely good dude for the most part. He was pretty successful as a businessman (he often acquired the land he was planting his trees on as he traveled, but still tried to remain true to his ideals and certainly didn't travel in luxury."
"Well, he got apples for cider. He also did help spawn some of the more American varieties because he didn't graft but insisted on planting from seed, so the apple trees that survived were the ones better suited for the local climate. Most were crabapples, but there were enough sports/mutants with more desirable traits for edibility that were spread around with grafting."
"I grew up pretty close to this small town whose name means 'fragrant water' in my local language. How did that come to be, you say? Well well well I'm glad you asked."
"Apparently long long ago there's a king who's suspicious of his wife. He's all like gurl you're cheating, you gotta be! And the queen was like nooooo I'm not! I swear! But the king was not convinced, and kept accusing her. Eventually he decided that the queen is to be sentenced to death. Exasperated, the queen said, 'Fine, kill me. But then throw my body into this water right here and if I'm innocent the water will become fragrant.'"
"The king was like LOL yea right, go die now. /stab."
"Well, she died. But they humored her and threw her body into the, uh… river or lake or whatever. It's a body of water. Anyway, lo and behold, a strong flower fragrant starts wafting in the air, just as the queen said it would if she was innocent. The king fell to his knees, probably waving his fists to the clouds yelling a dramatic NoOoOooOoOO!!!"
"And then they named the town Fragrant Water. After this legend of a lady who died of sh*ttyhusbanditis, an extremely common disease back in the day. I'll let yall decide what message / lesson they're trying to convey by naming their town after this legend. Think before you stab your wives, I guess?"
Harold Holt swept out to sea.
"In 1967, the then Prime Minister of Australia, Harold Holt, swam out to sea and was swept away. It was said that he was caught in a 'rip', and dragged out by the current. One of the biggest search operations took place in order to locate him, but was unsuccessful."
"His body has never been found, and this has generated a whole bunch of theories. But yeah, pretty weird. You can read more about it here."
"I want to emphasize that the fact Harold Holt went into the ocean and never came back is true, but the many theories on how he went missing range from plausible to pretty bloody unlikely and we will never really know what happened to old mate Harold. I also want to add that one of the ways we chose to honour our late leader was to name a f*cking swimming pool after him."
"Some groundhog crawls out of a hole and predicts the seasons."
"The Nacerima sure have weird rituals, huh?"
The original Maui.
"Not a local to New Zealand, but read about the myths the Maori use to tell that explained how things were. In particular, some revolved around a demi-god named Maui. Not Maui from Moana, the historical Maui. There's a lot of odd stories about him, but I'll recap my favourites. Of which I have 2 to mention."
"First, the story follows the villagers of Maui's group(?) to become mad, because according to the myth, a full day took 12 hours, instead of 24. Understandably, the villagers were pretty pissed off about it. So, Maui and his companions, including his brothers; set out to cross the ocean to find where the sun rises. They then PULL THE ENTIRE F*CKING SUN DOWN with hooks on ropes. Maui yells at the sun god to give his people longer days, or they'll keep him down forever. The sun complies and the gang leaves, now with 24 hour days."
"The next one isn't as mind blowing as the last, but still ridiculous. One day, Maui and his brothers go out on a waka (Wah-ka, basically; it's a polynesian canoe.) And head north, in search of fish. As according to my memory, there wasn't enough fish near the mainland. So they travelled out to sea, for a long while. Eventually, they came to a nice fishing spot and Maui used his hook to fish. (It should be noted at this point, Maui's trusty hook is actually made out of one of his grandfather's bones.) Eventually, Maui catches a stingray, but not just any stingray. The stingray was the size of the entire north island of New Zealand. Using only his hook and strength mind you. (Although, he was a demi-god, still that's pretty impressive.)"
"He pulls it up to the surface and admires his catch, he warns his brothers not kill the fish as he had to go and do something. (can't remember the something he had to do.) Of course, his brothers give into temptation and kill the gigantic stingray. Causing it's body to transform into an island, sprouting trees and forming mountains. Maui comes back and is pretty pissed off with his brothers. He then returns back home with his brothers and they argue a bunch (I think.) And according to Maori mythology. That's why the north island is shaped like a stingray. (For those who don't see it, Wellington is the head, New Plymouth is one of the fins, and Kaitaia is the tip of the barbed tail."
"Sorry for the long story, but I just found these two interesting enough to talk about. If you wanna hear more stories like this about Maui, do some googling. There are plenty more stories than those two."
These are some strange and some hilarious myths and legends that have been around for decades. They've stood the test of time and generations of story telling.
We don't think anyone who originally shared these myths expected to see them talked about on Reddit one day.
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We all need a little wholesome content every now and then. Much of the world, especially right now, can seem very dark and depressing.
It's important to recognize that not all of the world is as scary as it may seem. So we wanted to see what wholesome facts people had to share with us.
In fact, the world "wholesome" literally means "promoting health or well-being of mind or spirit."
Take a minute to enjoy this list of wholesome facts that will just make your heart melt.
Redditor 2ndRockBottom asked:
"What is the most wholesome fact you know?"
You might want to grab some tissues.
A lottery winner and a lucky waitress.
"In 1984, a regular customer at a pizzeria asked his waitress for help choosing his lottery numbers. He won, came back, and tipped her $3 million."
"For eight years, Robert Cunningham was a regular at Sal's Pizzeria in Yonkers, NY. One night, he asked waitress Phyllis Penzo to split the numbers on his card. On April Fool's Day, she was woken up by a phone call from Cunningham telling her he'd won $6 million and she was entitled to half of it and made good on his promise."
"There's a movie about that, right? Early 90's?"
Yep! It's called It Could Happen To You from 1994.
"There was a man from a small rural settlement in Australia (I think) who won $20,000 from a scratch card."
"A news crew reported on it and the chap demonstrated how it works by buying another ticket. When he scratched the ticket, he had won another $50,000."
"Not $50,000. He won $250,000."
"Not just that, I think he had just survived being declared legally dead, right?"
That's right. The man was declared dead and was then in a 15-day coma.
Cows are actually so cute.
"Cows have best friends."
"My parents had cows for many years. They always knew which cows were friends to each other. It was so cute."
"Cows love music."
"They'll drop what they're doing and run over to listen, and studies have shown lower stress levels and higher milk production."
"(Not doubting you) but I'm my experience, cows are just curious creatures. I remember throwing a football with my dad outside and the cows would always gather around to watch. Same would happen if I were playing in the yard. Any activity that wasn't 'normal' brought all the milkshakes to the yard"
"Cows ARE curious creatures. We had them come investigate our campfire one night."
"THAT'S a startling sight. You're drinking and smoking around a campfire with your friends, and suddenly you're in the middle of a circle of 30 cows."
"It was wild."
Happy little trees.
"Bob Ross's voice was intentionally soothing and quiet."
"He was a Airforce Master Sergeant, 'I was the guy who makes you scrub the latrine, the guy who makes you make your bed, the guy who screams at you for being late to work. The job requires you to be a mean, tough person. And I was fed up with it. I promised myself that if I ever got away from it, it wasn't going to be that way anymore.'"
"My wife and I have been watching Bob Ross' The Joy of Painting on YouTube. If you haven't checked it out, it is really relaxing and sometimes we fall asleep to it on the tv while lying in bed."
"We sometimes like to pick paintings and do a Bob Ross Night. We get out our supplies, some alcohol and some snacks, and we just watch Bob teach us. Some of the paintings do come out well."
More libraries than McDonald's.
"That there are more public libraries in the US than there are McDonald's. I grew up poor and the library was a refuge for me, my library card was the only thing I carried in my first wallet."
"I started taking my kids to libraries like my dad did with me and my brothers when we were kids."
"I f*cking love libraries man."
"Libraries are great! I spent the last 14 years living in a city with an underfunded library system, where I could never find what I was looking for. I moved to a different city that believes in funding public services, and I've been taking full advantage of my local library now."
Animals in mourning.
"Horses mourn the death of other creatures, not just horses. When my daughter was younger we took her to riding lessons. One of the horses stepped on one of the barn cats and killed it. It was buried inside the horse pen and ALL of them, including the younger one that was usually a pita and super playful, were standing around the burial area with their heads down. They were like this for 2 days I was told and this was common for how they deal with the dead."
"Elephants also mourn the dead hence the term 'Elephant graveyard' where relatives pay homage to those that have fallen. It seems the concept of life and death isn't an exclusive human thing."
"Crows mourn the deaths of other crows in a similar manner. They stand in a circle around the deceased and sometimes raise their wings up. Very surreal thing to see. They also remember faces and hold grudges, so be kind to your local crows."
Pets really are healing.
"Interacting with pets causes brain to make oxytocin."
"Where there was a lethal bus accident outside my workplace that had killed 8 passengers including coworkers, our workplace brought in some puppies for people to enjoy to make them feel better."
Mr. Rogers fun fact.
"Every one of the sweaters Mr. Rogers wore on his show were hand knitted by his mom."
"Bonus Neighborhood fact, Mr. Rogers began to include a segment of the show where he fed his fish because a child wrote him, concerned about whether or not they were still alive and well."
"Mr. Rogers kept to a fairly rigid diet and exercise program, in order to consistently weigh 143 pounds. 143 was important to him, because the word 'I' contains 1 letter, the word 'love' contains 4 letters, and the word 'you' contains 3 letters."
"So, 143 = 'I love you.'"
"After he passed away, the Governor of Pennsylvania declared May 23 - the 143rd day of the year - to be '143 Day,' in honor of Mr. Rogers. Citizens are encouraged to show kindness to neighbors on May 23. (And every other day)."
"He responded to every single letter he received, and kept every letter and drawing in a special filing cabinet. He considered every letter and drawing to be sacred."
"He named his puppet King Friday the 13th because he didn't like the negative stigma associated with Friday the 13th, and wanted children to associate Friday the 13th with a friendly puppet rather than a day of bad luck or evil."
"One night, Mr. Rogers was invited to a fancy dinner for PBS employees and executives. He was given a limousine ride to the restaurant. When they arrived, Mr. Rogers asked the chauffer when they would see each other again. The chauffeur explained that he would wait 2-3 hours outside, in the car, then drive him home."
"This didn't sit right with Mr. Rogers. So, he insisted on having the chauffeur join him for dinner."
"On the way home, Mr. Rogers sat in the front seat with the chauffeur, getting to know him better. As the chauffeur told Mr. Rogers what a fan his children were of the show, Mr. Rogers asked the chauffeur if he could meet them. The chauffeur took Mr. Rogers to his own home, where Mr. Rogers met everyone, hung out for a couple hours, and even played piano for them."
"The chauffeur said it was one of the best days of his life."
Some of these really hit hard. If you needed a few happy tears today, we hope this did it for you. There's a lot of difficult news in the world right now and it's important to remember that there are good, wholesome things happening all at the same time.
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Laws exist to maintain order. However, they do not prevent crimes from actually happening, and before any punishments are made, the damage is already done.
Curious to hear about some of the more creepy indiscretions people get away with, Redditor Flytechofficial asked:
"What is perfectly legal, but creepy as hell?"
These things that happen in public restrooms can be considered criminal.
Respecting Splash Zones
"Using the urinal next to me when there were plenty of other choices."
Nightmare For The Pee-Shy
"hanging out in a public bathroom timing how long people pee."
"I swear to God. I did a lot of work in hospitals for a while, big f'king hospitals with tons of bathrooms all over the place. For some God damned reason, regardless of what time or bathroom I selected to take a sh*t in not 30 seconds after I sat down a janitor would knock on the door to clean the bathroom. It's not as if it was one janitor, just some random janitor would inevitably need to clean whatever bathroom I was in as soon as I got comfy. It's like I was being stalked by the janitors."
"So now I'm trying to take a sh*t knowing full well there's somebody out there actively timing how long it takes."
"I was drunk in a casino and went to use the washroom. The floors in there were a polished marble or something. Sitting on the toilet, pants down, my stall neighbour made eye contact with me on the reflective floor tile."
The following examples involving minors have no legal repercussions.
Kids For Show
"Child Beauty pageants."
"Technically, you can stand on the sidewalk and stare into someone's house through a window. It's not illegal as long as you stay off of their property, but it's really freaking creepy."
Keeping Tabs On Someone's Age
"A national newspaper having a countdown for when a child actress becomes 'legal' for sex."
"Answers to questions that will surely come. ....Yes. The Sun (UK). Emma Watson."
The Young Subjects
"When I was a child, we had a creepy horrible neighbor that would harass my family constantly. One of the things he did was stand at the corner of his yard and videotape me playing in a pool with my friends (we were around 8). My parents called the police but were told that it's legal if he's on his property."
These perfectly harmless examples can give you goosebumps.
"Hanging your doll collection from the trees in your yard using string made from human hair."
"I believe the act of cannibalism itself is legal so long as you didn't murder anyone to do it. If your homie gives you his arm to gnaw on, it's fair game."
"Facing the wrong way in an elevator."
I recently treated myself by going to a movie theater after what seemed like a long hiatus for much of the year.
Streaming blockbuster movies from home, while convenient, has never made as much of an impact when compared to the moviegoing experience.
But after my recent trip to our local AMC, I'm beginning to think watching entertainment from the comfort of my quiet home is a much better option.
I forgot that a good majority of audience members are disrespectful and pretty much ignore all the rules—including no texting or talking during the movie.
The normal volume conversations and the number of lit screens from people's smartphone's in my peripheral vision throughout the movie were huge distractions.
Maybe as I'm getting older, my patience has worn thin, or I happened to have a particularly unpleasant experience. But seriously, how can anyone enjoy going to the movies when people are constantly updating their status inside a darkened auditorium?
It should illegal. Rant over.
Shaking hands... what's up with that?
Could this social custom be going out of style given that we're all in the middle of a global pandemic and have become hyperaware of all the germs around us?
And not just that, but just how nasty people are? Why would you want to shake hands with them?
People shared their opinions after Redditor alebenchhe asked the online community,
"What social customs do we need to retire?"
"Making couples feel obligated to have giant, fancy, weddings."
If someone wants that, then more power to them.
But there are indeed people out there who spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to have weddings to please their families... only to divorce later.
"If I take a day..."
"Rest being seen as lazy. If I take a day off of work simply to sleep in and rest at home instead of having to have some sort of big plans or destination it shouldn't be seen as anything less."
"Having to purchase..."
"Having to purchase gifts for extended family that you cannot afford because it is Christmas or another holiday."
Yeah, let's stop that. Not all of us are made of money!
"Though it looks like this custom is fading away during the pandemic...but how about we stop glorifying us "being model employees by showing up to work even while sick?"
I was at a retailer for 14 years, and I don't have enough fingers and toes to count how many times I used to see managers and supervisors dragging themselves to work while sick to please their superiors. In January 2020, I ended up getting the flu from a co-worker that decided it would impress the store manager if she still showed up while sick with the flu.
That culture went away REAL quick when we started getting COVID cases in the store I was at...and I too ended up getting a mild case of COVID. I've called out any time in the past when I felt sick...and I will continue to do so as I normally did."
"I don't create..."
"Worshipping celebrities. I don't get it and it seems to just create tons of problems."
The celebrity worshipping culture, at least in the United States, is insane, and sets people up with rather unrealistic expectations.
"This goes along..."
"That because someone is"family", you should force yourself to spend time with them and be "nice and respectful", no matter what kind of person they are or how they treat you.
This goes along with the enabling acceptance of "that's just how they are" rather than condemning poor behavior choices."
Yes, let's normalize cutting out toxic people from our lives. We'll thank ourselves later.
"Expensive funerals. The funeral industry is insane."
"Discussing salary with co-workers should no longer be taboo."
That's how they get you––it's in your employer's best interest to keep you in the dark, and it's wrong. Many people out there are not aware of their rights in the workplace.
"Giving greeting cards..."
"Giving greeting cards for every single event imaginable. Why pay $5 to give someone a piece of paper that will get thrown out the next day? I'd rather you give me $5 and skip the card."
It's a wild world we live in and social customs can and do change. Life now won't look the same twenty years from now for instance––perhaps for the better? Who knows?
Oh, and sorry, but can we go back to the topic of shaking hands? Let's not do that. Just wanted to be extra clear.
Have some opinions of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
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I have a paralyzing fear of death. If I could I would live forever. Have you ever seen the movie "Death Becomes Her?" I would give every penny for that potion. And I wouldn't be all crazy like them.
Live well forever and be happy? It's possible. Even though life is nuts and scary, you're still here. What if there is nothing after the final breath? I don't want to just not exist, while everybody else just gets to keep on dancing.
In my hopes I see a Heaven with ice cream and vodka. So I'm going to hold onto that until eternal life is an option. Let's hear from the gallery...
Redditor u/St3fan34 wanted to discuss life after life, by asking:
What do you think really happens after death?
I feel like if there is nothing after life, it just invalidates life. But maybe I'm just dramatic. I hope there is peace. Thoughts?
Leftoversblack and white two funerals GIFGiphy
"Your family fights for your belongings."
"When we die, the whole world as seen by us, dies together with us."
"Yes it does. As does the entire universe. Only when we are alive can we experience the passage of time. The instant we die the entire universe will experience heat death and cease to be. It my take a million eons but since we can no longer experience time it will be relatively instantaneous."
"It's one of the great wonders of life: What will it be like to go to sleep and never wake up? And if you think long enough about that, something will happen to you. You will find out, among other things, that it will pose the next question to you: What was it like to wake up after never having gone to sleep? That was when you were born. You see, you can't have an experience of nothing. Nature abhors a vacuum. ~Alan Watts"
"When I was much younger, I had a dream where I died. Not a typical dream, not a romanticized dream. It was a dream where I was an archer in a medieval battle. About 5 minutes into the battle, chaos was all around me, and I watched an opposing archer aim and loose an arrow straight into my left eye."
"I remember the sensation of impact, ringing in my ears, and falling to the ground. I remember the warmth of the blood on my face. The feeling of life leaving my body, and the sense of worry evaporating into warmth and peace as the world left behind me."
"I remember waking up shortly after thinking that the feeling and reality of that experience was so vivid and so detailed that it must have been an experience from a previous incarnation hundreds of years ago. From that moment on, I've never feared the actual process of death. I feel like I've experienced it many times before."
EraseComputer Reaction GIFGiphy
"I think one of your best friends delete's your browsing history."
If you love me... rule number one... HIDE THE EVIDENCE!!! Let that be heard far and wide. And dreams, always so intertwined aren't they?
Before & AfterHappy Baby GIFGiphy
"Exactly the same as before you were born."
"We clean the bed and assign it to another patient."
"The REAL reason why nurses are so dark. 90 year old man in hospice got hit by a car on his way to get fitted for his funeral tuxedo, and didn't have a DNR. Kept him alive for four hours, and now it's time to document everything that was done to save his life because there will inevitably be a lawsuit from a family member who has had four years to say goodbye but somehow didn't get to."
I don't know what they mean or how to utilize them. I'm a Buddhist (but a gamer first and foremost) so it's cool you guys made those connections This totally makes up for r/movies continuously banning me."
"I've answered this one before but here it is again. Either two things happen after you die: you either go somewhere or it's oblivion. If it is oblivion, then we're just going back to the same place before we were born and there's nothing wrong with that. We were there for billions or trillions of years, possibly infinity."
"You lose that concept of time since your brain doesn't work anymore so you don't even know it's over. It's not nothing because nothing would be something and that means that you are aware, which you can not be if you're dead. If we do go somewhere, then that's something no one understands because no one has ever come back to tell us."
"Those stories of people coming back after they "died" and "saw stuff" weren't really dead. Their hearts stopped but their brains were still working. If the Universe continues to recycle itself infinitely, then there's a chance we will be reborn or continuously reborn but have no memory of our previous selves."
"When I was a kid I drowned while on holiday with my family, a giant fat man jumped in the pool on top of me and no one noticed till I was on the bottom of the pool. I remember the feeling of my lungs being on fire, then shivering then as everything was going dark a strange sense of peace and I was ok with it, No panic or terror then it went black."
"I was resuscitated at the side of the pool a few minutes later. I remember nothing from the black to being "alive" again. I was around 7 when it happened and since then I've been strangely at peace with the fact that one day I will die and slip into the dark void of nothingness. Hope that helps."
Popcorn?500 days of summer cinema GIFGiphy
"You wake up in a chair in a cinema and learn that the other are past lives of you and you're about to watch your next life very soon on the big screen."
The truth is none of us know the truth. We live everyday with the afterlife being a gamble. And that seems like it's going to have to be enough.