We’ve all heard them.
Urban legends are the staple of campfire hobnob. These myths have gained “credibility” because they were retold by the neighbor of the second cousin of a neighbor’s aunt. There are countless urban legends that people believe without first checking their veracity. Actually, there are tons of urban legends floating around and we picked the top eight that really took the cake.
1 Santa Claus was invented by Coca-Cola
Some people believe that the jolly ol’ St. Nick on a red garb was concocted by the spin doctors down in Atlanta. In fact, the image of Santa Claus as we know it today was invented way before Coca-Cola used it in the 1930’s.
2 Walt Disney’s body is frozen
This is a popular urban legend that claims that Walt Disney’s body is cryogenically preserved so that it can be revived in the future. Documents show that Disney was cremated and no official indication that he is currently in a frozen state. But wouldn’t that have been cool? (pun intended!)
3 Bloody Mary
Chant her name thrice ye will summon the witch who will kill anyone at your behest. There is even a version that summoning the witch will kill the one who summoned. Hmm, how could we test this one to see if it works? I know, try it yourself. You’ll be just fine.
4 New York City Sewer Alligators
Legend has it that alligators flushed into the sewers mutated to become giant monsters. Yet there were no pandemic of alligators roaming the sewers that would indicate this story is true. Besides, the environment wouldn’t exactly be hospitable to a cold blooded reptile that typically dwells in the southern, warmer states. There are rats, and billions upon billions of bacteria and other nasty, small things, but there are no alligators.
5 Kidney Thieves
Imagine waking up to find an incision has been made on your side, and one of your kidney’s is… gone. Rumor has it that people are being drugged and kidnapped only to find they are missing a kidney. Well, the story started in a spam email and there are several variations of the legend. No, don’t lose sleep on this one.
6 Coke can dissolve your body
This is the second entry of our favorite soft drink on this list. The story goes that Coke has the ability to dissolve anything, teeth, body tissues, the gunk on the toilet bowl and any part of your body when you ingest it. Of course, Coke does contain phosphoric acid (it’s listed as part of the ingredients, so no surprise) that can really dissolve any body part if the concentration were high enough and if given enough time. And by high concentration, we’re talking Walter White levels.
7 People use only 10% of their brain
While some myths are just myths; this one has unfortunately been widely accepted as gospel truth. MRI scans, PET scans and other imaging studies show there are no dormant areas of the brain in healthy people, and even viewing individual neurons or cells reveals no inactive areas. Even metabolic studies demonstrating how brain cells process chemicals show zero non-functioning areas. The myth may have originated with self-improvement peddlers at the turn of the century who wanted to convince people that they had yet not reached their full potential. Also, our other organs run a near capacity, why would evolution select for a massive organ, require huge amounts of energy to keep it running smoothly, and then only use 10% of it? It just doesn’t make sense.
8 The Good Samaritan
Also known as the Grateful Millionaire, the story narrates that people got something in return after they helped a stranger. Helping others should never entail any thoughts of getting something in return. Bill Gates and Donald Trump paid off your mortgage because you were able to be there when they needed it… yeah right. Remember, nothing in life is free.
Urban legends are nice when you’re on a camping trip, but one should listen to these stories and take them with a grain of salt. It pays to verify it before investing your belief on it.
This post was contributed by Hannah. Check out her project if you want to find out what things cost in life.