20 Ridiculously Idiotic Myths That Are Still Circulating Today

Are there any ridiculous myths that you hear still being shared today? For example, the one about turning the dome light in the car on as being illegal. Yeah, our parents got us good with that one. Or how about the one where if you sit too close to the television you’ll go blind?

After someone asked for other examples of idiotic myths in society, this is what an online forum volunteered.

1. Dropping Pennies Can Puncture Skulls

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Have you heard the myth that if you drop a penny or quarter off of a skyscraper and it hits someone below, it will puncture the skull? I had not, but it’s one mentioned several times. One says, “I’ve met people who think terminal velocity is the speed at which point an object can kill you.”

2. Titanic’s Third-Class Passengers Were Locked Behind Cages

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James Cameron’s Titanic certainly helped aid the myth that third-class passengers were being locked below. However, it’s not true. OK. I didn’t know this was a myth. Did you?

3. That MLMs Are Small Businesses

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Multi-level marketing schemes (MLMs) only work for the first few who enter a territory and amass huge teams. One user admits, “I know one who is indeed making millions per year, but she was literally the first rep for the company.” However, 99% of people joining MLMs lose money. Furthermore, reps are not running small businesses. They are at the bottom of the pyramid of a large conglomerate.

4. Play Dead During a Bear Attack

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Have you heard the myth that you should play dead during a bear attack? There is a partial truth to this. This tactic may work if it’s a grizzly bear protecting her cubs. However, if you’re being attacked by a predatory bear, like a black bear, that myth will get you killed.

A predatory bear usually stalks its prey and attacks silently from behind. In that case, fight back. Hit the bear with rocks, sticks, or anything you can use as a defensive weapon.

5. That Sit-Ups and Crunches Burn Belly Fat

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OK. I didn’t know this one. Do you believe the myth that you can target fat loss in certain body areas by doing specific exercises —for example, doing sit-ups or crunches to lose belly fat? It’s not true. You can strengthen the targeted muscle, but it won’t eliminate the fat behind it.

6. Flat Earthers

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Can you believe how many people honestly believe the Earth is flat? It’s true. There are entire communities and societies dedicated to spreading this false information. “The only thing to fear is sphere itself.”

7. Eating Spiders In Your Sleep

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Welp. I feel foolish and relieved. I’ve heard and believed this urban legend of eating spiders in your sleep at night while you’re asleep. However, after a quick Google search, it’s not true. Praise the Lord because I’ve honestly held the covers over my mouth before falling asleep over this one. OOF!

However, when you think about it, it makes sense. Spiders can sense heat and heartbeat and are not likely to voluntarily walk inside a predator’s mouth.

8. Black Belts Have to Register Their Fists as Weapon

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Whaaaaat? Have you ever heard that Black Belts in martial arts need to register their hands as lethal weapons? This myth led one user to ask, “If you walk around with your hands in your pockets, do they become concealed weapons?”

9. Lightning Never Strikes the Same Place Twice

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“Yes, it does. That’s the entire reason for lightning rods on buildings.” Lightening can and will strike twice. One user elaborated lightning also pulsates so it can hit the same place multiple times per second.

10. Halloween Candy Hoax

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Have you been told stories of Halloween candy laced with drugs and hidden razor blades? I first heard this as a trick-or-treating child. We always had to wait for our candy to be inspected before diving into the pile.

Later, as a concerned parent, I Googled and enlightened myself to the reality that this story was a hoax. But, unfortunately, it resurfaces every year with different details. One year it was allegedly “marijuana edibles.” Last year it was “rainbow fentanyl.”

11. It Takes 7 Years to Digest Swallowed Gum

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I heard this one growing up too. However, it isn’t true. Several gum swallowers admitted that they discovered the seven-year gum legend was a myth when they uncovered it visibly unchanged in their poo. One noted, “I stopped swallowing my gum after that bright blue revelation.”

12. Determining Gender

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Have you heard all the old wives’ tales about how different positions in the bedroom will determine whether your child is a boy or a girl? Unfortunately, some people honestly still believe these. Additionally, some think eating certain foods will influence the baby’s gender.

13. Headlights Off at Night Is a Gang-Banger Initiation Rite

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Do you remember in the 90s when the news warned drivers not to flash their headlights at vehicles with their headlights off at night? “They ran stories about not flashing oncoming cars, or you may be shot,” recalled one.”

14. Bats Are Blind

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The rumor that bats are blind is inaccurate, and they see better than humans in the dark. Of course, they don’t have the same color vision as humans, but they don’t need it.

15. Fake Moon Landing

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Never mind that there have been six successful landings on the moon, one user explains there is no way Russia or China wouldn’t call the U.S. out. “Russia had launched the Sputnik and had the first human in space. They had the means to track the moon landers.”

16. Shaving Makes Your Hair Grow Back Thicker

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I remember hearing this myth after I shaved my arm (don’t ask me why), and I was worried it would grow back like my dad’s! Another woman confessed her mother scared her so badly with the myth, “She made me think that once you shave, you can’t go back to not shaving or you’ll turn into Sasquatch.”

17. Urinating on a Jellyfish Sting

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“That you should pee on a jellyfish sting for relief.” One user warned people not to do that. Urine is not sterile. It contains low levels of bacteria, and urinating on the sting might worsen it. OK. I am very disappointed in Friends. “And if I had to. I’d pee on anyone of you!” – Joey Tribbiani. 

18. Whoever Smelt It Dealt It

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I don’t know if anyone believes this “myth,” but I can’t be the only one who still laughs at fart jokes. Someone says, “That he who smelt it dealt it. That is the defense of the guilty.” And so many others followed that with these phrases that made me giggle. 

  • He who accused it fused it. 
  • He who denied it supplied it.
  • He who said the rhyme did the crime.
  • He who deduced it produced it.
  • He who refuted it tooted it.

19. Holding the Baby Too Much “Spoils Them.”

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“Don’t hold your baby too much when they cry. It’ll spoil them.” I cannot help but immediately be reminded of Meet the Fockers when Robert De Niro discusses the Ferber Method. Nonetheless, the first year of your baby’s life is important for skin-to-skin contact and all the holding and loving you can nurture them with. They do not understand the concept of spoiled.

20. Trickle-Down Economics

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Finally, one of the most repeated responses is trickle-down economics. While you don’t hear the term often anymore, one insists, “Every time someone argues for corporations getting tax cuts or grants because ‘it will create jobs’ is espousing the same thing.”

Wikipedia suggests, “As of 2023, many studies have failed to demonstrate a link between reducing tax burdens on the upper end and economic growth.” The consensus of the thread is that it’s one of the biggest lies the government sold us to keep that 1% wealthy.

15 Most Successful Lies in the History of Man

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What is the most successful lie in history? Recently, a man took to an internet forum with this question, and the subsequent discussion provided these answers.




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Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and Jesus.