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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."

- Able-Application-539

"Who has no thumbs and don't care? ...him, I guess."

- Fr8monkey

"Even weirder is, that this is from a book with several of such weird stories yet parents f*cking love reading them to their children."

"We truly are a weird bunch."

- space-throwaway

"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."

- lotus_eater123

"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."

- Puddnhead_Wilson

"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."

- OfficeChairHero

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]."

- sour_honey_

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."

- PenguinPerson

This story was first seen on Facebook but was translated to English and posted on the Creepypasta Reddit page.

Johnny Appleseed.

"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!"

Astramancer_

"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!"

PocketBuckle

"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."

- loungehead

"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."

- greentea1985

Fragrant water.

"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?"

- forponderings

"Strange women lying in ponds distributing smells is no basis for a system of government."

- CuttingEdgeRetro

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."

- FineBahnMi

"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."

- Aussieboi393

Groundhogs Day.

"Some groundhog crawls out of a hole and predicts the seasons."

- lady0rthetiger

"The Nacerima sure have weird rituals, huh?"

- 8dogsinatrenchcoat

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."

- AzryxTheFolf

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.

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

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