We all know that myths aren’t true, but that doesn’t mean they can’t hurt us.
If people operate under false assumptions, they could do something – or not do something – that could have had a lasting positive impact on someone else or the world around them.
It can be hard to rip out a myth once it’s really gotten deep in society, but these people really think that, when it comes to these 15 untruths, it’s definitely worth a try.
1. Ask any parent of Irish twins.
You can’t get pregnant if you’re breastfeeding. It lowers your chances but not to zero.
Source: I, a mother of two children ages 7 and 8. Doesn’t matter if your baby hasn’t had anything but breastmilk. Doesn’t matter if you haven’t a normal cycle. All of those things they say. It doesn’t matter.
I promise you absolutely without a doubt CAN get pregnant while breastfeeding.
2. That poor lady.
That the spilled coffee lady made a bunch of money.
What everyone seems to miss about that story is the raw power large corporations have. I welcome any corrections to any details that I miss or get inaccurate. Here’s what happened:
An old lady spills coffee on herself. The car was parked outside a McDonalds, and she was in the passenger seat. The coffee was kept at near-boiling temperature because that keeps the coffee fresh the longest, thus saving McDonalds money.
She hired a lawyer, and was lucky enough to get a damn good one who did his research, and found plenty of cases similar to hers.
McDonalds was shown to be 100% in the wrong. The serving temperature was demonstrably unsafe to the point where it had caused severe third-degree burns and fused the woman’s labia together. Not only that, but the McDonald’s employee handbook listed a lower coffee temperature than what this cup was served at.
McDonalds was ordered to pay millions (I’d have to Google the exact number), but they appealed.
Meanwhile, this lady was elderly. She couldn’t be in and out of court all the time, and she still wasn’t getting paid. Her quality of life dropped considerably.
McDonald’s spent money on advertising and propaganda to make the case look absurd, completely fabricating the myth that this was a frivolous lawsuit. It was even in a Seinfeld episode. Edit, courtesy of u/Algur: This one is a bit more nefarious. McDonald’s didn’t just spend money on advertising to make this seem like a frivolous lawsuit. They actively colluded with just about every mainstream media outlet to accomplish this.
The case was appealed. A new jury was brought in. This jury had been primed to find the case frivolous, and they did. It got dismissed, and the woman died not seeing a penny of it.
Edit, courtesy of u/Algur: The judge reduced punitive damages to $480,000, three times the compensatory amount, for a total of $640,000. The decision was appealed by both McDonald’s and Liebeck in December 1994, but the parties settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.
Think about it, McDonalds has so damn much money and power, that it was literally cheaper for them to move the entire culture than to pay for a lawsuit and risk potential loss of business.
3. Help the nekky bird.
That mother birds will reject a baby if you handle it because they can smell if you’ve touched it.
While you should leave fledgling (small but feathery) birds alone unless there’s immediate danger, putting a naked little hatchling back in the nest is totally fine. Birds don’t really have a sense of smell.
Help the nekky bird, save the duckling stuck in a grate, move the lost quail chicks stuck in the road due to a high curb. They’re gonna be fine.
4. There are so many symptoms.
ADHD-related: you can’t have ADHD, you’re so calm 🙂
5. Always refuse.
That lie detector tests are accurate. There’s a reason they aren’t admissable in court. They are completely unreliable. Even the creator made sure the public knew they weren’t fool proof. People still take them at face value all the time. That irks me.
Cops know this too. It’s just an interrogation tactic. If they’re having trouble getting their suspect to confess, well, hook them up to a high tech machine that they don’t understand and tell them it can tell when they are lying or not. That may grease out a confession.
This method does work, it cracked Chris Watts pretty well. But I’m sure many innocent people have been coerced into false confessions or have had their reputations ruined because they “failed” a polygraph.
6. Bull fighting is gross.
Bulls are angered by the color red.
I believed this nonsense as a child thanks to popular cartoons and never realized why people were so rightfully disgusted by bull ‘fighting’.
7. Don’t wait.
That you have to wait 24 hours to report a missing person.
It is a myth perpetuated TV and movies for the sake of drama, but not true in real like at all.
It is one of those things that everyone thinks is true because of movies but isn’t.
8. They’re just regular cats.
Leave the black cats alone, they did nothing wrong and are adorable void fuzzies.
9. They’re not trees.
“You can tell a ladybug’s age by counting it’s spots.” Even as a kid this didn’t make sense to me. Why tell your kid this? What’s the point?
10. Only a day or two.
Gum does not stay in your stomach for 7 years.
Sure, swallowing a lot of gum isn’t great and can cause problems in your digestive system, but it only takes a day or two to pass.
11. It’s so much more.
That OCD is liking things to be extremely neat, tidy or organized.
It’s almost kind of frustrating to me, because I have OCD and it’s manifested in multiple ways (scrupulosity, some counting type compulsions, having to do things in a certain order), but the most obvious outward sign is really typical of what people believe OCD to be. My apartment is spotless, everything in a specific place. I’m organized to an uncomfortable degree – my Spotify is curated to death, all my file systems on all my computers (work and personal) are impeccable, I keep lists of a lot of things that I’m always writing and rewriting, etc.
But it’s hard to explain to people why I do this. It’s not because I just like things tidy, it’s a pathological need to control my environment. My anxiety gets bad unless things around me are in the correct place, be that physical or virtual. As soon as a space becomes “mine” I have to own it fully. And that means deep cleaning and reorganizing.
12. No emotional liability.
That bipolar means you are “happy one minute and sad the next minute”. It’s a disorder where you have episodes of depression and episodes of mania/hypomania.
These episodes last weeks/months/years. There’s nothing about emotional lability at all. That’s an entirely different disorder
13. Sometimes three times – or more.
“Lightning never strikes twice in the same place.”
In fact, it does – and frequently.
14. They’re harmless.
That porcupines “shoot” their quills out. I’ve known (educated) people who have set live traps to catch nuisance raccoons near their chicken coop, only to catch a porcupine instead and then shoot it so it couldn’t shoot the quills at them vs. letting the poor thing out to freely walk away as it is harmless.
The same goes for skunks. They aren’t spiteful, and they do have to choose their battles wisely. They only have so much spray to use before having to wait more than a week to replenish.
15. Poor misunderstood lemmings.
That lemmings will follow each other off a cliff. That’s a myth perpetuated by a nature documentary which actually drove a herd off a cliff using their vehicles.
It was done for a Disney-produced film called White Wilderness.
16. At the same time…that bit is important.
We only use 10% of our brain.
17. It’s just salt.
Msg is bad for you.
I had someone tell me they were deathly allergic to MSG literally while eating a bag of Cheetos. Monosodium Glutamate is an ingredient in Cheetos, and not even the last one.
I’m not sure where the whole thing started, but MSG is fine. It’s just a flavor enhancer, like salt.
18. He was just exceptional.
That mr Rogers was ex military and thats why he wore a sweater due to sleeve tattoos and was so calm with kids.
Maybe he was just paying attention to their needs and cared about his perception to them.
19. It can happen to anyone.
That only stupid people get involved in cults or fundamentalist religion.
Cults and fundamentalist religion works because they indoctrinate people and manipulate people’s weaknesses. It’s not purely about intelligence.
20. I swear adults told me this as a kid.
Blood is blue when it’s inside your body.
21. It can be the opposite.
That autistic people don’t experience empathy.
In fact, I think Autistic people can feel TOO much, that is why they can go into overload sometimes.
22. There’s no trade-off.
That someone with ASD/Autism is some savant superhuman in one specific subject. This is portrayed A LOT in media, most characters inserted into stories who have Autism turn out to be some genius mathematician or expert musician or some other sh*t.
I think it perpetuates a really detrimental stigma towards the demographic, expecting others to have some niche super power has some sort of “trade-off”. As though that person needs that magic quality to be a redeemable character.
23. The space pen.
That NASA spent millions to design a pen to work in zero gravity and that the Russians just brought a pencil. HUR DUR DUR AMERICANS SO DUMB. Graphite is electrically conductive and would short circuits.
For anyone wondering; both the American and Soviet space programs originally used grease pencils as writing tools. An American company then invested about $1 million USD into developing a ballpoint pen that would work in zero gravity, eventually getting a patent for such a pen in 1965. NASA adopted the Space Pen in 1967 and the Soviets did so as well in 1969.
24. Investing isn’t founding.
Musk didn’t found Tesla. He just gave its founders a lot of money, enough to become Tesla’s chairman, and then pushed the founders out.
Even saw him referred to as Tesla’s founder in an article about the potential Hertz deal the last couple of days.
Very early huge investor, yes, but not really a founder.
25. Not exactly.
That you can get a raise and wind up with a lower net income because of the tax brackets.
That’s. Not. The. Way. It. Works.
26. Our parents are just trying to keep us safe.
That you can’t drive barefoot. It’s not illegal anywhere in the United States and yet so many people think it is. It’s such a strange thing to think is illegal.
To be fair, when I was learning how to drive it did mention somewhere in the manual that it’s dangerous to drive barefoot. That may be where the myth is getting perpetuated so I really can’t blame anyone for believing it.
27. Go ahead and talk about it.
On the topic of money, that employers can ban you from talking about your pay. They can put it in your contract all they want, but its not enforceable and they cant legally do anything about it if you discuss pay with your coworkers
(In the US, not sure about other countries)
28. They’re just regular cats.
That black cats are evil. No truth there.
29. The first 24 hours are crucial.
That you need to wait 24 hours before reporting someone missing or that the police will not start searching until the first 24 hours is up.
30. You can cut your family off.
You have to keep in touch with your family, even if they are toxic, because they are “family.” Nobody loves you like your mother or father. This can lead to trapping people in abusive and toxic relationships for years because there is no societal or cultural support to escape or go no contact.
It also leads to great mythical statements like ‘yeah they may have done that but they are your [insert relative name here] and you only get one [insert relative name here]!”
Like someone else has said on here before, you only get one appendix, but if it goes bad you cut that sucker out.
31. Believing them could literally kill you.
Most survival myths.
Moss grows wherever has the best conditions.
Animals can survive eating things that we can’t.
Not all civilisation is downstream.
Sometimes birds just go quiet.
All weather is specific to certain locations, so sunset colours tell you nothing if you don’t know local conditions.
Most importantly, so much of the folksy bullsh*t is northern hemisphere only, often American only – you can’t navigate with the north star when you’re south of the equator, and the sun is on your north side there too.
Yes! All of these actually drive me nuts, too.
I know there are more myths you can’t stand. If your personal pet peeve isn’t here, lay it on us in the comments!