Dumb Myths We Need To Put An End To Right Now

List Rules
Vote up all the old myths that you are ready to see go.

A great deal of people are ardent believers in things that simply aren't true - and we seem to collectively believe many of the same things. Certain myths are so widespread that they're seen as fact by a large chunk of the general public, and it's difficult to convince people that they're not true.

While there are some old wives' tales that are actually true, many more are blatantly false, and these are some of the worst offenders. Hopefully they are already absent from your belief system, but otherwise, it's time to put an end to any stragglers.

  • 1
    1,096 VOTES

    You Don't Have To Wait 24 Hours To File A Missing Person Report

    Although it was true in the past, today there are virtually no police departments in the US or Canada with a 24-hour, 48-hour, or any waiting period for filing missing person reports.

    In fact, a shorter time frame is incredibly important in missing person cases, because most are solved within 24 hours and the vast majority within a week. For that reason, police departments usually encourage filing a report as soon as possible. 

    1,096 votes
  • 2
    875 VOTES

    You Do Not Regularly Swallow Spiders While You Sleep

    An often-repeated stat is that the average person swallows eight (or another number) spiders a year (or another time frame) while sleeping, but it doesn't have a credible source. In fact, much of its popularity can be attributed to a troll job done by Snopes co-founder David Mikkelson.

    Considering how often a person sleeps, how deeply a person can sleep, and how many spiders live in the average house, making an unintentional midnight snack out of a spider could happen, but experts say it would be an anomaly. Spiders are scared of slumbering humans - and slumbering humans are scared enough of spiders to freak out long before any spider could make it down their throat.

    875 votes
  • 3
    761 VOTES

    Alphas, Betas, And Omegas Don't Exist In The Way You Think

    Alpha, beta, and omega designations are commonly applied to wolves, with the "alpha" being the strongest and thus highest-ranking member of the pack, the "beta" the middle, and the "omega" the lowest. It sounds accurate, and for many years it was the scientifically accepted structure, but the propagator of that theory, L. David Mech, realized he was wrong and has spent the last few decades trying to correct his mistake.

    It turns out that that structure had been observed mostly in captive packs consisting of strangers. Wild wolf packs are traditionally familial, with the mother and father as the leaders. To promote the proper hierarchy, Mech has gone so far as to implore publishers to stop printing his seminal book, The Wolf: Ecology and Behavior of an Endangered Species.

    Dominance hierarchies exist in other animal groups, but they're generally more complex than the alpha, beta, and omega designations, especially among humans.

    761 votes
  • 4
    960 VOTES

    A Cold Is Not Caused By The Cold

    The common cold, despite its name, is caused by viruses like rhinoviruses and coronaviruses. Yet cold weather can increase one's risk of catching a cold. The phenomenon appears to be both physical and social.

    Physically, cold weather means a colder body temperature and thus a weakened immune system. Socially, cold weather means more people packed indoors and thus greater viral spread. But the weather being a little chilly when you go out ultimately has no bearing on the cold itself.

    960 votes
  • 5
    789 VOTES

    Bulls Don't Hate The Color Red

    Rather than hating the color red, bulls actually can't properly perceive the color red! Like dogs, bulls are partially color-blind, which means that the hue of a matador's cape is irrelevant.

    There are many other factors in a bull fight that could make them angry, like the movement of the cape, the teasing of the matador, or possibly the spears in its back.

    789 votes
  • 6
    675 VOTES

    Cracking Your Knuckles Won’t Cause Arthritis

    Despite constant parental warnings, multiple studies have shown that knuckle-cracking does not lead to arthritis. One of them involved one man, Dr. Donald L. Unger, who cracked the knuckles on his left hand every day for 50 years. For his valiant effort, Dr. Unger won an Ig Nobel Prize, which recognizes strange scientific achievements.

    However, other studies have noted that chronic knuckle-cracking can cause non-arthritic ailments, such as swelling and impaired grip strength. It is especially unadvisable to crack your knuckles if you have a preexisting joint condition.

    675 votes