It’s no secret that it’s been getting increasingly hard to separate facts from fiction. With so much chaos, fake news, conspiracies and whatnot surfing around the media, it’s easy to lose your own standpoint.

But believing nonsense, aka myths, is part of (often flawed) human nature. In fact, people believed all kinds of crazy things a long time before the pandemic hit, and ridiculous beliefs, like that when you get a covid vaccine, you get injected with a microchip, started spreading much like the virus itself.

So when someone asked “what myth is still widely circulated as truth?” on r/AskReddit, the 33.2k responses came flowing in. We selected some of the most eye-opening ones that debunk so-called common knowledge that turns out to be anything but knowledge!

#1

30 Myths That Widely Circulate As Truth, According To This Viral Thread A lot of people still believe a woman sued McDonald’s because her coffee was hot. In reality, the woman had 3rd-degree burns throughout her pelvic area and only asked that her medical bills be paid.

staugh3 Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
2 months ago

She only wanted that McDonalds paid her medical bills. McDonalds refused and that why she took them to court and got the $2.9 million awarded.

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#2

30 Myths That Widely Circulate As Truth, According To This Viral Thread If you work hard at school and get good grades you'll get a good job and enjoy a stable life.

Ben716 , vazovsky Report

Otter
Community Member
2 months ago

School is one of those things that can only increase your odds of a good life, not guarantee it. Sure, education is no guarantee of stability, prosperity, and happiness, but no education means your odds gaining stability or prosperity are frighteningly low.

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#3

30 Myths That Widely Circulate As Truth, According To This Viral Thread That diamonds are rare and therefore should be expensive, that is just a myth perpetrated by the de beers diamond cartel.

Herrjulias , Edgar Soto Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
2 months ago

Stop buying diamonds and making the rich richer and keeping the poor poor. The De Beers are sh!ts. It's also environmentally a disaster.

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Many myths widely circulate as truth in our society, as this post has shown us all. And while some of them go about their ways for years and years after someone finally disproves them, other myths turn into full-blown fake news and conspiracies that can do a lot of harm.

Take anti-vaxxers, who vehemently avoid vaccines on the premise that they are dangerous and unhealthy. With the rise of the internet, they’ve organized into massive affirming echo chambers on forums like the Vaccine Resistance Movement. Researchers say that many conspiracies, just like covid denialism and anti-vaccination, are nothing new and they are all the result of fear and distrust. Think of 9/11 conspiracies surfing on the internet forums that were basically fueled by the lack of faith in the government.

#4

30 Myths That Widely Circulate As Truth, According To This Viral Thread That you have to wait for 24h before you can report a missing person. If someone is missing, go get help!

radiusmcfly , Erik Mclean Report

xX_Del_Xx
Community Member
2 months ago

read too many cases where the families did this, and the missing person ended up being found dead

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#5

30 Myths That Widely Circulate As Truth, According To This Viral Thread Bulls hate red. They are actually colour blind and are reacting to the movement of the cloth and the a**hole behind it.

pumperthruster , Giovanni Calia Report

troufaki13
Community Member
2 months ago

Stop this barbaric custom!!

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#6

30 Myths That Widely Circulate As Truth, According To This Viral Thread The mystery of how the pyramids were built. They know how they were built. Ramps, pulleys, ropes, and labor.

MedicalWelder , Leonardo Ramos Report

Abhinc
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

And they were not built by slaves. That's a myth too. The workforce consisted of a nucleus of specialized and skilled builders and craftsmen, permanently employed by the king, while the rest consisted of conscripted peasants. Most of them lived in villages that sprung up in the shadow of these massive structures. Archaeologists have found one of these workers’ village at Deir el-Medina. Excavations have revealed a great deal about the everyday life of these labourers. The conscripted labour forces who worked on the pyramids were paid for their efforts. The labourers worked on a pyramid in three-month shifts. A shift consisted of 25,000 men in total, which included not only the people quarrying, hauling, and setting the stones, but also metal-workers and other tool-makers, as well as potters, brewers, bakers, and water-carriers, who handled all possible necessities of the workmen’s lives.

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So in order to find out how exactly conspiracy theories work and why some people are more prone to believing them than others, we spoke with Annika Rabo, a professor emeritus of the Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University.

“Conspiracy theories can be understood as a response to the question: why are bad things happening to me (or my family, my ‘group,’ my country.) In conspiracy theories there is no room for chance but BAD THINGS happened because of the evil plotting of hidden actors out to harm,” the professor explained.

#7

30 Myths That Widely Circulate As Truth, According To This Viral Thread If an HIV-positive person has sex with another HIV-positive person, they don’t have to worry about protection. They do, because there are 140 different strains of the HIV/AIDS virus, and getting infected with another strain, especially a potentially deadlier one, could be dangerous. Also, pregnancy is still a very big risk for HIV-positive women. If you are considering a sexual relationship, get tested, and talk to your doctor about birth control.

PaulfussKrile , NIAID Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
2 months ago

Wow, I didn't know there were so many different strains.

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#8

30 Myths That Widely Circulate As Truth, According To This Viral Thread people believe in the whole alpha and beta wolves thing

It’s not true. The “leaders” of the pack are the parents.

-in natural wolf packs, the alpha male or female are merely the breeding animals, the parents of the pack, and dominance contests with other wolves are rare if they exist at all.

rawsugar87 , Eric Kilby Report

Abhinc
Community Member
2 months ago

Many animal societies seen as "manly", powerful or dangerous are in fact matriarchal !! Elephants, hyenas, lions, killer whales, bisons ...

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#9

30 Myths That Widely Circulate As Truth, According To This Viral Thread The Food Pyramid

WCGWjoiningReddit , bigbrand . Report

Nelson Ricardo
Community Member
2 months ago

It's a circle now.

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Prof. Rabo said that there may be a few reasons why people are prone to conspiracies. “Some researchers claim that people who are less able to handle uncertainties are more prone to embrace conspiracy theories. Other researchers claim that people embracing conspiracy theories are evenly distributed in the population.” Having said that, she added that “populations in stable democracies in North and West Europe have until now been less prone to embrace conspiracy theories of a political nature.”

#10

The Bible.

Report

RandomBeing
Community Member
2 months ago

I am Christian and I read the bible. But for heavens sake people it's far from a primary source, its been translated many times by people who are far from perfect, and the context of what its about, and it's translation should be taken into account. Words change meaning in less that centuries. It's far from a literal and perfect document.

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#11

30 Myths That Widely Circulate As Truth, According To This Viral Thread That washing chicken gets it rid of bacteria. No. Cooking chicken gets rid of bacteria, given that you do it well. Washing chicken, on the other hand, can contaminate your whole kitchen with salmonella.

Peterthemonster , JK Sloan Report

KJ
Community Member
2 months ago

Never heard of washing chicken being promoted, I have always been told the opposite.

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#12

30 Myths That Widely Circulate As Truth, According To This Viral Thread That goldfish have a 6 second memory. I mean it's still not great, I think like a couple of months. But still... Get your fish a bigger damn tank

SilverRabbit1 , Ahmed Hasan Report

DforDory
Community Member
2 months ago

Yeah,give them a break! Wait,who said that? 🐟

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When it comes to the conspiracy theories we notice now in the pandemic period, Prof. Rabo said that they are not really different from earlier ones. “They involve hidden agents who are either evil outsiders or insiders. The suspicion against vaccines and the pharmaceutical companies is not new. What is new is the fact that news and conspiracy theories are spread VERY quickly across vast distances today,” she explained.

“The basic elements—the theme—of conspiracy theories are fairly constant, but the elements differ and if they do not resonate with local conditions, they will disappear or evolve into new elements,” the professor concluded.

#13

30 Myths That Widely Circulate As Truth, According To This Viral Thread That you can tell if someone is a "virgin" by looking at their hymen to see if it is "intact."

TravelBookly , orzalaga Report

DforDory
Community Member
2 months ago

It's not like we're sealed until our first intercourse.Sexual education about both men and womens' body functions should be mandatory for both girls and boys in school! 🤷‍♀️

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#14

30 Myths That Widely Circulate As Truth, According To This Viral Thread That whole "you eat seven spiders a year" myth. It was created by some lady in the late 90s or early 2000s to prove that ridiculous things can be found on the internet, spread like wildfire, and believed by many.

JasaProxy , Vidar Nordli-Mathisen Report

ShriSha Kamboj
Community Member
2 months ago

idiots everywhere everytime

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#15

30 Myths That Widely Circulate As Truth, According To This Viral Thread That cold is caused by lower temperatures. The cold is a virus that transmits between people.

Edit: a lot of people are saying that cold temperatures weaken the immune system and thus indirectly make you more susceptible, and while it’s true, the direct cause for common colds is caused by human contact.

reddit , Annie Spratt Report

Otter
Community Member
2 months ago

I know a friend with a PHD in physics, who still believes that getting his feet wet causes colds.

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#16

30 Myths That Widely Circulate As Truth, According To This Viral Thread That we only use 10% of our brain

xtra_sleepy , Alina Grubnyak Report

Ziiiiiing
Community Member
2 months ago

Well, some people do

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#17

30 Myths That Widely Circulate As Truth, According To This Viral Thread That the tongue has different regions for salty, sweet, bitter, and sour.

honguss , Hayes Potter Report

Otter
Community Member
2 months ago

I read this in an anatomy textbook, long ago.

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#18

30 Myths That Widely Circulate As Truth, According To This Viral Thread Antibiotics can cure virus infections. No, they don't

metal_gearmen , anjanettew Report

Robert T
Community Member
2 months ago

They can help with secondary infections caused by the virus though.

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#19

30 Myths That Widely Circulate As Truth, According To This Viral Thread The Bermuda triangle. Turns out ships and planes disappear at the same rate all over the world's oceans.

MedicalWelder , Daniel Lerman Report

boredpanDaman
Community Member
2 months ago

ooh, so everything is bermuda!

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#20

30 Myths That Widely Circulate As Truth, According To This Viral Thread I was adamantly told by some seniors at work not to drink the water that boiled twice because it cooks the oxygen out of it.

DesignerPilky , Ty Konzak Report

Kitty Queen
Community Member
2 months ago

They would just be hydrogen gas then?

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#21

30 Myths That Widely Circulate As Truth, According To This Viral Thread Shaving hair causes it to grow back longer and thicker.

IllusiveAceOfSpades , Laura Mitulla Report

Rachknits
Community Member
2 months ago

Shaving makes hair look thicker because you're cutting it at the thickest part so when that grows out, it's thicker than hair that starts naturally from the root

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#22

That historical armour was useless, or just something you wore so you had a slight chance to turn a death blow into merely a serious injury.

Shows and movies still perpetuate this. Game of Thrones has "acclaimed" sword fights where guys casually shove swords through dudes in plate armour. Impossible. Metal is not cardboard.

Even the most basic iron or bronze chain mail armour will be barely scratched by a slash from the sharpest katana. Well-made plate armour is impervious to all damage short of a blow from a specialized armour-piercing weapon (lance, pole axe etc.). Even the earliest guns couldn't penetrate plate armour.

Armour was incredibly expensive. Common people couldn't afford it so made do without or, if lucky, with fabric armors (that were still very effective protection!). A suite of the custom-made plate would have cost a knight the equivalent of a modern high-end luxury car. Why would people pay that much for something useless?

Armour was very useful. That's why weapons continued to advanced over the centuries and why armour did as well. It was an arms race.

reddit Report

Otter
Community Member
2 months ago

Medieval knights mainly used their swords to kill people who weren't wearing armor, it was very hard for two fully armored knights to do each other much damage with a sword.

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#23

30 Myths That Widely Circulate As Truth, According To This Viral Thread Organic crops don't use pesticides or herbicides.

reddit , Daniel Fazio Report

Kira Okah
Community Member
2 months ago

Indeed, just natural ones instead of synthetic. Same with fertilisers.

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#24

30 Myths That Widely Circulate As Truth, According To This Viral Thread That the seeds are the spiciest part of hot pepper. The seeds are the only part of a pepper that isn't spicy. The white stuff near the seeds though, spice max.

Toxicsully , Pickled Stardust Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
2 months ago

True. Although a seed caught between the teeth still hurts like hell.

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#25

30 Myths That Widely Circulate As Truth, According To This Viral Thread Knuckle cracking doesn't lead to arthritis, it is just an old wives tale people use in place of simply telling you it's annoying them. Crack away!

SquilliamFancySon95 , TAMHSCPhotos Report

Captain Awesome
Community Member
2 months ago

Actually, as a lifelong knuckle cracker, it doesn't cause arthritis but can cause tendon/ligament damage in the fingers and hands.

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#26

30 Myths That Widely Circulate As Truth, According To This Viral Thread That you can reduce fat from a particular body part

AAAARRRGGGGHHHH , mahmoud99725 Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
2 months ago

Unless it's lipo suction ;)

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#27

30 Myths That Widely Circulate As Truth, According To This Viral Thread Gum takes 7 years to digest

Snoo48391 , Valerie Hinojosa Report

Grant Barke
Community Member
2 months ago

It does under a desk.

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#28

That Corsets are a lethal torture item and every Victorian woman did tight-lacing.

The myth about harmful Corsets was started by Victorian men, in order to bring down women-owned businesses. And some feminists (looking at you, Emma Watson) swallowed that lie, hook, and sinker, thinking they are empowering somebody with it.

The truth is, Corsets are way better than bras. If you have back pains, which many women have because of their bras, switch to Corsets. There is a reason, why it was used that long.

jasmin_booklover Report

Robert T
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

Not every woman by any means, but there was certainly some form of competition as to who could have the smallest waist. Not entirely dissimilar to who can have the largest knockers with modern day plastic surgery.

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#29

30 Myths That Widely Circulate As Truth, According To This Viral Thread You have to wait 30 min to swim after eating

Lizardsteve , Martin Abegglen Report

Monica Martinez Castañeda
Community Member
2 months ago

When I was a kid, in Spain, it was said you had to wait 2 hours! :)

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#30

The European "Dark Ages"

People seem to love the idea that, between the fall of Rome and, like, DaVinci or something, everyone in Europe was just blowing spit bubbles and looking at the funny pictures in the Bible. Not only was there not a complete absence of classical learning in Europe during the dark ages but throughout the dark ages and medieval period, there actually was a fair amount of progress in fields like architecture, engineering, metallurgy, philosophy, theology, and yes, even science.

But then again, I suppose it all ties back to the notion that people in the past were somehow far stupider than we are.

Nurhaci1616 Report

Jon S.
Community Member
2 months ago

As a British archaeologist I firmly support the term 'Dark Age'. Primarily because of the collapse of written records, so we have little 'light' to shed on about 400 years of British history. It should not imply that the people were backwards, only that records are scant.

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Note: this post originally had 47 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.