Growing up, we have all heard some myths that may sound ridiculous to us, but we still believe in them for different reasons. Now the question is: Why do these myths persist despite the advancement of knowledge and access to information? In an age of science, where critical thoughts are encouraged, it is surprising to see these fallacies still being a part of human life!
One Reddit user asked, “What’s a stupid myth that’s still floating around?” The thread received thousands of comments giving people a chance to share these myths, and we have listed the top 20 myths for you to see!
1. Cracking Your Knuckles Causes Arthritis
One Redditor said, ‘A doctor in the 1800s or early 1900s heard this rumor so he cracked the knuckles on 1 hand every day for 50 years. Guess what? No arthritis.’
Another one added, ‘Never cracked my knuckles; I have arthritis. Can confirm falseness.’
While it is confirmed that cracking knuckles does not lead to arthritis, it is safe to assume that this was discouraged because of an entirely different reason: reduced grip strength!
2. Swallowing Gum
One user talked about a famous myth that has no scientific background whatsoever! They added, ‘It’ll take like 7 years to digest gum if you swallow it; I don’t know where it even came from.’
Someone else replied, ‘Probably someone who wanted to discourage kids from chewing gum.’
This myth has been debunked by doctors who claim that while the gum is intended to be chewed if swallowed, it does not cause any harm or take almost a decade to swallow. So, this myth is nothing in front of an expert’s opinion!
3. Waiting for Days Before Reporting a Missing Case
From movies and TV shows to real life, we have always seen how paranoid parents call 9-1-1 as soon as they lose their kids, but the police brush it off by saying that they need to wait for a day or two before filing a report for a missing person.
A user talks about this myth and says, ‘You have to wait 24/48 hours before filing a missing person report.’
Another commented, ‘A lot of police departments will tell you this despite it not being the law. Seriously, it comes up all the time in true crime podcasts. If you ever find yourself in that situation, you need to demand the police do something right then. They are otherwise very likely to tell you to wait anywhere from 48 hrs to a week.’
4. Our Blood Is Blue!
One Redditor talks about this myth and says, ‘Blood is bright blue until it hits oxygen, then magically turns red.’
Now this is a common misconception because we know our blood is red, but it appears to be blue through our veins. You can be easily confused by this phenomenon, but a Redditor explains this by commenting, ‘Well venous blood has less oxygen, and most blood draws are venous. You can actually see the difference in venous and arterial blood. Hemoglobin is a different color when saturated; it’s just not blue. Venous blood is darker in general than arterial blood, but they are both red. In fact arterial blood is sometimes so bright it almost looks fake to me, but not all the time.’
5. Vaccines Cause Autism
A person commented, ‘I grew up in the 60s and 70s; my friends and I had a lot of vaccines. How come we don’t have a lot of autistic adults of my age? I have a friend who’s an anti-vaxxer idiot; he can’t explain this. But he keeps drinking the fool-aid.’
You should also know that the studies carried out to test this hypothesis turned out to be fake! Because all the kids already had autism before being vaccinated and the sample size was relatively small, it resulted in the suspension of the medical license of the lead doctor.
Someone else stated, ‘Not only is that study fake, but it also had multiple different profit motives, was full of literal lies, and contained multiple cases of life-threatening child abuse! While even saying it didn’t claim anything! Worst. Study. Ever.’
6. Humans Only Use 10% Of Their Brains
Another common misconception is that humans can only use 10% of their brains!
One Redditor says, ‘I’ve read that the person who originally said it did so because it “sounded right” to him. It wasn’t based on any research or anything.’
Another one says, ‘Your brain is always 100% active; that’s called being alive.’
Research backed up by science and technology shows that food affects how much we are able to use our brains. Isn’t that interesting?
7. Shaving Causes Thick Hair Growth
Someone said, ‘This one is so stupid. Does cutting your hair make it thicker? No, of course not. Shaving is just cutting very short. Why do people think this?!’
Another one added, ‘That shaving your hair, in general, will make it thicker! It doesn’t. It’s a visual illusion (due to the hair not being tapered to a point anymore) and/or that you just forgot what it looked like before.’
Do you feel like shaving leads to thicker hair or faster hair growth?
8. Schizophrenia Is Having Multiple Personalities
Remember how we were told that schizophrenia is when someone has multiple personalities? How could we not question this? And if this were true, then what about Bipolar or DID?
One Redditor expresses their feelings, saying, ‘That schizophrenia means multiple personalities. It doesn’t. It means delusions. Some people hear voices with it, and others don’t. The voices are NOT personalities. These people are thinking of Dissociative Identity Disorder.’
Another one replied, ‘Another one to add, not all people who hear voices are schizophrenic. Not all people with severe delusions are schizophrenic.’
With these disorders being quite common in today’s world, it is important for us to debunk these myths to know what’s real and what’s not.
9. Drink Tea for Detoxification
Our grandparents always had tea on them because they believed in the popular myth that our bodies could only be detoxified by some specific teas and nothing else!
One user commented, ‘Detox teas don’t detox. They just make you poop because they’re laxatives.’
A Redditor also says, ‘It does sound good in theory, but our body is already doing so on a constant basis. It’s quite spectacular, really!’ This is because our liver and kidneys are natural detoxes, so unless you have them, there’s really no need to go the extra mile and buy all these expensive teas.
10. Earth Is Flat!
From the beginning of time, we have all come across Earth jokes; while some are funny, most are fake!
A frustrated user argues, ‘I mean, I can understand the fake moon landing, the JFK conspiracies, the 9/11 being an inside job. Literally countless conspiracies. I can understand people believing them. They have SOME logic behind them. But the flat earth one? This one just boggles my mind. How can anyone believe that thing is beyond me.’
Another one added, ‘Their argument is we don’t know it’s curved because we don’t have 3d pictures of it.’
11. Using Spices for Rotten Meat!
Another staggering myth suggests that Europeans use many spices to cover up the taste of rotting meat! While this has no scientific link to a common man, this may be highly persuasive, so we don’t blame you if you actually believed it.
One Redditor tries to break this rumor using logic and says, ‘Not only is it a myth, it’s a really dumb one once you think about it. Spices used to be incredibly expensive. A single restaurant-sized container of black pepper could cost the equivalent of tens of thousands of dollars in the 1400s.
So, let me ask you – if you had a $10 steak that was going bad, are you going to: a) coat it in $400 worth of black pepper to cover up the taste, or are you going to b) buy a new $10 steak? Yeah, those medieval Europeans woulda just bought a new steak, too.’
12. Adults Know Everything
Growing up, we’ve been taught to look up to adults and believe that they have all the answers, right? Well, guess what? It’s actually a big fat myth! While adults may have experience, they can’t always be right or know every possible thing!
Someone wrote, ‘I feel like this is the loss of childhood innocence. Realizing adults don’t know everything. I still remember as a kid being extremely confused about what scientists even did because adults already know everything.’
13. Eating Carrots Improves Your Night Vision
Here’s the thing—eating a ton of carrots won’t magically transform us into nocturnal superheroes! Carrots are no doubt good for our health, but will they improve our night vision? There’s no scientific support for this claim!
A Redditor comments, ‘I hate this one. There was an absolute idiot in my scout troop who had a stupidly bright headlamp, constantly ruining the rest of the troops’ night vision. He claimed he needed it because he “couldn’t get night vision” because his family couldn’t afford carrots.’
Now this one is a pretty popular myth that’s been going around for ages. Do you believe it?
14. Bulls and the Color Red!
Ever heard the wild tale that wearing red turns bulls into raging beasts? It’s a popular myth that’s been around forever.
For this myth, a Reddit user says, ‘Bulls are actually colorblind, so it’s really the movement of the cloth and the fighter provoking it that makes it attack.’
Another one shared their personal experience when they were gullible enough to believe this myth. ‘As kids, my cousin and I were crossing a field when we saw a bull, and she was wearing a full red outfit. We were so scared lmao.’
Sometimes, myths stick around because they’re entertaining or make for a good story. And this red-and-bull myth has certainly taken hold in our collective imagination, but let’s not forget that this is entirely false!
15. Astrology Is Real Science
Have you seen any of your friends predicting your personality from your star sign? Or those Instagram posts with your horoscopes and zodiac signs? If you enjoyed those, then this might be a bummer for you, but it is all fake!
It is not based on real science and is, thus, called pseudoscience.
While many Redditors are aware of the fabricated astrology but still prefer to enjoy its harmless ways, one user seemed irritated and said, ‘I hate that the suffix “logy” is used to define this word. It is not a science or a study; it’s just foolishness.’
16. If You Are Introverted, You Don’t Like Other People
A person commented, ‘That being an introvert means I don’t like people…Being an introvert means that I need to recharge my social batteries away from people (unlike extroverts who recharge their batteries while being with people).’
Another one said, ‘Yeah, even introverts can get lonely after enough time alone. Socialization is a basic human need.’
What do you think? Try looking at introverts’ or introverted friends’ behavior to bust this myth yourself!
17. GMOs Are Harmful!
Have you ever seen square watermelons or huge strawberries? Those are GMOs! So basically, any animal or plant biologically changed to meet human needs better is a GMO.
One Redditor says, ‘I have a T-shirt (I’m wearing it now, actually!) that says on it the following: VACCINES WORK, GMOs ARE SAFE, EVERYTHING IS A CHEMICAL.’
Another one says, ‘Actually, there are very few of our crops, Fruit, and vegies which have not been significantly modified. Just take a look at the wild ancestry of corn for an example. Another example is that Broccoli, Cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, etc.…….. all have the same wild ancestor and only exist because of artificial genetics caused by humans.’
Do you use GMOs in your life? Do you think they are scary or harmful?
18. Intelligence Is Based on Gender
A user wrote, ‘That men are smarter than women or women are smarter than men. It’s a misconception that has the potential to stifle a wide range of individuals’ abilities.’
Another one said, ‘Unless you lived in the early 1900s, I’m hopeful that this shouldn’t really need stating.’
It is quite fictitious to assume that one gender is smarter than the other in the 21st century, where equality is the new black!
19. Kids Lifting Weights Have Stunted Growth
Contrary to what people believe, it has been confirmed that kids who lift weights or go through strength training are likely to stay physically fit rather than have stunted growth! So don’t stop your kids from pursuing this passion because of a mindless myth.
One user shared their experience, ‘I have a friend that consistently lifted since we were literally in the 1st grade, brought protein shakes to school, the whole nine yards. Dude was a built little child. He kept growing and is like 6’1″ and a totally normal, buff adult now.’
20. Black People Have Thicker Skin
Another common misconception is that black people have thinker skin than white people. However, Redditors were quick to debunk this myth and explain the science behind it.
One user said, ‘They just have higher tolerance for UV radiation. But lighter skin people have been thought to have adapted to colder environments by storing their fat more around their internal organs, whereas those from hotter climates usually store their fat in other areas where it would be more useful to use for energy later (mostly b*** and hips). Slight differences are amongst all races like this, but none are really big enough to make a huge difference in day-to-day lives.’
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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.