Our perceptions rule our lives. The way we perceive the world around us affects all of the decisions we make. Sometimes these perceptions can lead us a bit astray, though.

We tend to think that things we hear about or encounter frequently are common, but many things are quite a bit rarer than we think.

Reddit user u/Nox_aac asked:

"What is extremely rare but people think it's very common?"


People giving away drugs to kids at Halloween, Why would they when they could potentially sell it?



Hacking things without any type of interaction from the victim. Like media shows people hacking into mainframes with a command prompt, but the majority happens with social engineering and people just being stupid online


how people think hacking works:

opens terminal window

slam random keys for 30 seconds

"we did it boys , NSA is no more"

how it actually is:

install keylogger through some file in an email

wait for the victim to log in to paypal

"how much money did we get , 30 milion dollars , 50 million?"

"3 dollars , take it or leave it"





It's extremely common in the universe, but quite rare on Earth. Only available in our upper atmosphere, or trapped underground. When we run out, we're out. The next best place to get some would be to mine the goddamn Moon.



Lots of death types ; eaten by shark (or killed by any wild animal really), airplane crash, being shot (kinda depends where you live), etc.

Fear the mosquitoes and your own body in first.



People getting wealthy with their own business: Normally they don't bring anything new and even luck can affect the outcome.


Or that you can start a business and just sit back and collect a paycheck. Anyone I know with a business worth a damn is there at least 50 hours a week and often much more than that.



Social mobility. They tell you from a young age that if you just work hard you will move up in life. The truth is most people work hard to end up right around where their parents were.



Getting attacked by any predator, whether it be a wolf, bear, shark, or mountain lion. The fear of these extremely rare attacks actively inhibits their conservation, and inspires crazy people to kill them so they can feel macho. Humans are not part of the regular diet of virtually every carnivore, with the exception of some crocodiles.

Herbivores are far more likely to attack you, but people don't seem to be as worried about moose or hippos.

I work as a park ranger, and where I am people often see no problem with approaching bison or feral horses. Last week, I had to tell someone who was 20 feet away from a horse band with a foal that they had to go somewhere else. However, when I tell people that mountain lions are very rare in the area, and that the last one has been sighted in December, they often get extremely nervous.

At least media coverage of big cats is usually positive. With sharks, even supposedly educational material treats them like they are "invaders" or "intruders", as if they don't belong in their own natural habitat.

I blame evolution for this. We evolved having to avoid lions and other predators, not dodging fireworks, car crashes, firearms, or other things far more likely to kill you but do not stoke primal fears.



Voter fraud numbers are so negligible that they couldn't possibly affect even a local election, much less a large national one.


Voter suppression is the bigger problem. Crying voter fraud is meant to deflect from that.



This gets less and less rare with each generation, but actual "tall" people. Tall being 6'3" or above, at least in the US.

I think that a lot of people inflate their heights which creates a skewed perception of what the true "tall" is. I work with a dude who is legitimately 6'8, and a lot of people will swear that he has to be taller than that because they're 6'3", when in reality they're more like high 5s or 6ft.

As an example, someone who is 6'3" is in the 97.4 percentile or something of height in the US. But you would think it's a lot more than that if you went off people's perceptions or personal measurements!




Death by native Australian wildlife. In Australia, most deaths by wildlife are from bees, horses, dogs.

The deadly Australian native wildlife mostly is shy and in areas away from big populations.


KJ Styles/Unsplash

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Years ago I had a classmate who was a total daredevil... so much so that he would often injure himself. He once drove a bike in the direction of oncoming traffic, just for the hell of it. He got out of that episode unscathed––luckily. By contrast, I prefer keeping all my limbs, and still have them all. I wonder where he is now. Hopefully not too banged up. I did do some stuff unwittingly––like the time I stuck a fork into an electrical socket. I thankfully wasn't shocked too much. I was young and naive.

People told us all about the dangerous things they did when they were younger after Redditor Not-an-Ocelot asked the online community,

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