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The ability to quickly and accurately perceive unexpected threatening or harmful situations is critical to our survival.

But our brains are incredibly complex and, sometimes, prone to errors. So Reddit user Smeghead9916 made a post on the platform, asking everyone, "What is something that people perceive as safe, but in actuality is pretty dangerous?"

The question immediately went viral and folks started sending in their answers. From giving birth to gossiping, we collected the most popular ones to help you readjust.

#1

“Eating Raw Flour”: 40 Dangerous Things That Most Perceive To Be Safe Ladders. 7 times more likely to kill you than a gun. Which is why I keep 7 guns in the house in case some MANIAC tries to sneak a ladder in here!

kitten_twinkletoes , ushindinamegabe Report

#2

“Eating Raw Flour”: 40 Dangerous Things That Most Perceive To Be Safe Childbirth. Still the number one k****r of young women globally.

Ok-Computer-1033 , solenfeyissa Report

We managed to get in touch with Smeghead9916 and they agreed to have a little chat with us. "The post was inspired by an opposite post I saw about safe things considered dangerous," the Redditor told Bored Panda about its origins.

"I didn't get the chance to read every response, but I noticed many people mentioning driving," they added.

#3

“Eating Raw Flour”: 40 Dangerous Things That Most Perceive To Be Safe Driving while tired. When we get exhausted, our minds stop working as efficiently as they should. Our reaction time slows down, we tend to daydream, we hyperfixate, we make poor judgement calls. That scene in Better Call Saul where Kim runs off the road is probably the most accurate depiction of driving while tired ever to be shown on TV. That scene is supposed to take place over the span of at least an hour; watch the background for clues. Note how the city just quickly vanishes. One second everything is fine, the next second you're in a ditch. Don't try to be a hero and "power through it". On a long drive, stop every two hours and walk around, even if it's just for a few minutes. Don't be afraid to stop longer. And try not to push yourself more than 6-8 hours a day.

Fair-Equivalent-8651 , samuele_piccarini Report

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Loverboy
Community Member
7 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Or just sleep for a bit, if that's possible. Get some caffeine in you, walk around, get back on the road.

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#4

“Eating Raw Flour”: 40 Dangerous Things That Most Perceive To Be Safe Heavy drinking. A lot of people, including myself thought that it took a long long time for heavy drinking to catch up to you, like when you're in your '50s or older. And mostly for people whose drinking was clearly catastrophic. And even then that a lot of the damage can be reversed through quitting, in the same way quitting smoking can. I was shocked when people I was acquainted with, or friends of friends, started dying of alcoholism in their 30s-40s. All of these people were high functioning- had successful careers, family, friends. And it was liver failure that came on without much warning. I was kind of shocked- I assumed there were many decades of warnings before your system finally failed, and I thought that most people who drank themselves to the point of it killing them were people whose behavior was clearly out of control, not people who are pretty well functioning in every other way.

RiceandLeeks , amseaman Report

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ЛеснойКороль(they/he)🇺🇦🇷🇺
7 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

as a russian who was given a lot of Vodka and has witnessed family members really drunk off Vodka, and has had an uncle die from too much, i cannot stress this enough

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And people are definitely onto something here. For example, one study found that about three-quarters of American drivers think their overall skills are better (57%) or much better (17%) than average.

At the same time, 58% say they had been in at least one prior vehicle crash as a driver.

"Most people think they are above-average drivers, and if drivers are a problem, it is other drivers, not themselves," the researchers noted. "This may explain, in part, the considerable public apathy about highway safety."

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#5

“Eating Raw Flour”: 40 Dangerous Things That Most Perceive To Be Safe Following another vehicle too closely, especially in a group on the highway. Unbelievable to me that people will be 1-2 car lengths or less in a pack of cars going 60-70 mph+, especially with 18-wheelers in the mix.

chaqintaza , 5tep5 Report

#6

“Eating Raw Flour”: 40 Dangerous Things That Most Perceive To Be Safe Tanning. You're literally cooking your skin and increasing your risk of skin cancer.

smeghead9916 , olly Report

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Loverboy
Community Member
7 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If it's that important to you, just get a fake tan. Better than skin cancer.

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We also asked the author of the now-viral post why they think we sometimes underestimate or overlook potential dangers in everyday activities or objects.

"That's either because of previously held beliefs that people don't realize have changed or stubbornly refuse to change (for example, how smoking was once considered safe, now we know better but people still smoke) or because statistics relating to accidents or illness are small compared to other things, so it simply isn't on most people's radar," the Redditor explained.

#7

“Eating Raw Flour”: 40 Dangerous Things That Most Perceive To Be Safe Not wearing a helmet while cycling or skateboarding or roller skating. I have called an ambulance for a teenager who hit his head on a curb doing a skateboard trick and had such a terrible head injury that he slipped into a coma at the hospital and died. It haunts me.

Humans are resilient and can survive crazy things but it can also take as little as an unfortunate fall to kill you.

SecretBattleship , ocen Report

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Earl Grey
Community Member
7 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Think also about the long-term effects of crippling brain damage and all that it entails.

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#8

“Eating Raw Flour”: 40 Dangerous Things That Most Perceive To Be Safe Climbing in and out of the bath tub.

thathorsegamingguy , sora-shimazaki Report

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Indeed, beliefs are our brain's way of making sense of and navigating the world. They are mental representations of what we expect from things in our environment and how they should be related to each other. Beliefs are templates for efficient learning and are often essential for survival.

As a prediction machine, our brains must take shortcuts for pattern recognition as it processes the vast amounts of information received from the environment. Beliefs allow it to quickly categorize and evaluate that information and to jump to conclusions.

But in doing so, our brains have a preference for familiar conclusions over unfamiliar ones. Thus, they are prone to error, sometimes seeing patterns where there are none, like assuming something to be safe when in actuality it can be quite dangerous.

#9

“Eating Raw Flour”: 40 Dangerous Things That Most Perceive To Be Safe Energy drink. I did a presentation on caffeine in school and was shocked to discover that small children can overdose on only a few cans of energy drink... particularly scary when my 10 year old sister (at the time) drunk so much of the stuff.

smeghead9916 , theshuttervision Report

#10

“Eating Raw Flour”: 40 Dangerous Things That Most Perceive To Be Safe Putting your feet on the dash of your car while traveling.

Thanles , vicbils Report

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#11

“Eating Raw Flour”: 40 Dangerous Things That Most Perceive To Be Safe Social Media (Reddit included)

AshwoodAurelia , mikoto Report

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Loverboy
Community Member
7 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yep. I wonder what percentage of suicides are caused or influenced by social media

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#12

“Eating Raw Flour”: 40 Dangerous Things That Most Perceive To Be Safe Blocking fire escapes.

Used to see this all the time, "Oh I was just putting it there for now", "there's another door right there!", "people can just walk around/over it", "how am I supposed to do my job with all these mad rules.?!"

In an emergency, most people turn into idiots.
Give them the scenario of an obstical course, or die:

Some people just die.

worldworn , matthiaszomer Report

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MayaGeGe
Community Member
7 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

We had to evacuate my office building of 1000+ people because of a bomb threat (was not an exercise). The evacuation doors at one spot were not opened and we remained stuck at the gate with no possibilities to go outside or move backwards. I can tell you within seconds people started panicking and pushing us to the gates while we couldn't go away, and the room started filling. No one was injured but we a realised that had it been a fire a real stampede would have started.

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#13

“Eating Raw Flour”: 40 Dangerous Things That Most Perceive To Be Safe Stairs. Stumbling and falling down is one of the most common fatal accidents at home.

Anxious_Sound_9823 , jorgearturo-andrade-270022 Report

#14

“Eating Raw Flour”: 40 Dangerous Things That Most Perceive To Be Safe Any mechanism involving a cable or rope can redirect drastic amounts of force, and gain or lose tension unpredictably.

Never take a wrap on a line that you aren't certain the potential load on if you like your fingers. Could be a tow rope on a car. A ratchet strap securing a heavy load that shifts.

And stay clear of any line under tension. You got a high speed machete if it snaps.

samtresler , shottrotter Report

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#15

Am I the first to mention garage door springs?

Utterlybored Report

#16

Living. Everyone who have tried end up dead at some point.

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#17

“Eating Raw Flour”: 40 Dangerous Things That Most Perceive To Be Safe Being comfortable working around machinery.

I have heard too many horror stories of people getting too comfortable and acting in ways they shouldn’t around moving equipment and machines and horribly maiming themselves or dying.

Now you shouldn’t be terrified but you should always be afraid enough to always remain cautious

Grundle_Gripper_ , chevanon Report

#18

“Eating Raw Flour”: 40 Dangerous Things That Most Perceive To Be Safe Not knowing what medications you take.

Can’t tell you how many times someone gets brought in to the ER without a thought in their mind about what they take for meds. “Oh my spouse/kids/etc take care of that for me.” What meds you are given in the ER/hospital can be dependent on what you are already on.
It is your health, you should have some knowledge about it.

Castmo , towfiqu999999 Report

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MayaGeGe
Community Member
7 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

“Oh my spouse/kids/etc take care of that for me.” For real ?

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#19

“Eating Raw Flour”: 40 Dangerous Things That Most Perceive To Be Safe Gossip. I've seen too many lives ruined by it.

frikanih , tim-douglas Report

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Daniela Lavanza
Community Member
7 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

How sad so many lives broken because some ordinary douchebags (who don't even see what's wrong with their behavior) can't keep their mouth shut.

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#20

“Eating Raw Flour”: 40 Dangerous Things That Most Perceive To Be Safe Eating raw flour. Everyone's worried about the eggs but flour's up there with raw chicken.

Azthun , klaus-nielsen Report

#21

Removing a blade from a stabbed individual.

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#22

“Eating Raw Flour”: 40 Dangerous Things That Most Perceive To Be Safe Surgery in general. I feel like people look at a lot of surgeries as something foolproof, because doctors need to have a lot of practice and skills to be able to perform what they do, but with high skill requirement jobs comes high consequences for failure, and it sometimes seems like people don't give surgery enough respect, as it is literally opening up your body in a controlled environment, something that can usually end up being fatal when not done by experts. Like yeah, the surgeons are well trained and this is their job, but at the same time i'm still holding my breath when a professional daredevil does something risky, and to not have any level of respect for the risks associated with surgery is in my opinion very naive.


For an example of what i mean, there's a noticeably large number of mothers who hold the bad opinion that if you had a c-section, you're not a mother because "You took the easy way out", which always angers me so much because of a variety of reasons, one of them being that having to need surgery for any reason is not the easy way, and it shows their lack of respect for what surgeons do.

jabaash , raul-infante-gaete-2660047 Report

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David Paterson
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7 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Even just going into hospital. My mother caught three different hospital acquired diseases in a single visit. My daughter went into hospital for a minor operation on her tear duct, came out with pneumonia and died a fortnight later.

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#23

Home fireworks displays. Every time I’ve been involved in one it’s very nearly gone horrid in a very bad way due to something falling over or not launching or the fuse being way shorter than expected/advertised (usually not to do with me!).

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Pittsburgh rare
Community Member
7 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

As someone living in a place with a STRONG penchant for gunpowder, this. Every year people lose fingers or get severely burnt but they keep firing them and initiating small children on it as some dumbass rite of passage.

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#24

Hiking. If it‘s a big area without proper trail marking people tend to overestimate themselves and get lost easily. Without a cell phone with connection and enough water it can get tough really soon. Cold nights outside, nothing to eat/drink, dense forests that prevent being spotted by helicopters or wide unvegetated areas where the sun burns down on the hikers and dehydrates them even more

Icy-Cow-6808 Report

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LillieMean
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7 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Don't forget bad weather. In thunderstorms, the right course of action when you can't get indoors can save your life.

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#26

Alcohol. You're literally drinking poison

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Dianellian
Community Member
7 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Aww damn. I’m sipping on a champagne right now. Very nice tasting poison though!

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#27

“Eating Raw Flour”: 40 Dangerous Things That Most Perceive To Be Safe Sitting, at home or during long work hours, sedentarism is already bad but sitting turbochargers all bad effects it has on your health, they are not kidding when they say its as bad as smoking, higher risks for heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol you name it.

I have had a deskjob most of my adult life and hobbies centered around a computer but I still jog everyday and try to move as much as possible during iddle hours at work, my coworkers have even asked me why I walk around so much.

Zuliano1 , studiorepublic Report

#28

Motorcycles: I've known more than one guy who wanted to be a biker and gets himself a Harley and then finds out how hard they are to drive and get killed.

Also guys even though they have been riding all their lives dont realize they are getting older and dont have the same sense of balance or riding skills. And they get killed.

Urbanredneck2 Report

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Needmorecowbell
Community Member
7 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The second paragraph is exactly what ended my dad’s life a year ago. Too old to maintain his balance taking a bend in the road, and too stubborn to wear a good helmet.

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#29

“Eating Raw Flour”: 40 Dangerous Things That Most Perceive To Be Safe Vape

SimonPetrikov12 , rosssneddon Report

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Sian Edwards
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7 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Just found out my step-niece was caught vaping with her friends in the toilets of the youth club where I work. She's 10. Unfortunately my stepsister (who I have next to no contact with) can't deal with being a decent adult, let alone being a decent parent, so there will be no real immediate consequences.

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#30

Eating rice that hasn’t been refrigerated/reheated properly. If you store rice at the wrong temperature, it can allow the bacteria Bacillus cereus to grow in the rice. People who have gotten sick from the rice have had severe vomiting, sometimes as little as 20 minutes after eating the rice. I only learned about this after hearing about a restaurant where about two dozen people got sick from eating contaminated rice, and the restaurant ended up shutting down because of it.

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Ray Ceeya (RayCeeYa)
Community Member
7 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I know that smell. Old rice smell is what I call it. If I smell it in a chinese restaurant I'm not eating the food there.

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#31

Being overweight

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Beans
Community Member
7 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

No. Being morbidly obese or obese is bad. Being slightly overweight is not bad for you. Studies in Japan have started to show that the sightly overweight live longer than skinny people. This is why labels and BMI are stupid. https://www.google.com/amp/s/medicalxpress.com/news/2009-06-japanese-overweight-people-longest.amp

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#32

Night shifts. It’s so damaging to the human brain to go against our natural sleep-wake cycle aligned with the day-night cycle, yet we don’t have the appropriate countermeasures to help shift workers stay healthy and safe.

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#34

“Eating Raw Flour”: 40 Dangerous Things That Most Perceive To Be Safe Modern day coke.."but I KNOW the guy he'd never sell me bad stuff" said a lot of people who aren't with us anymore.

Scumbag787 , mart-production Report

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Miss Mali
Community Member
7 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

They are cutting that stuff with fentanyl these days, not worth the risk people!!!

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#35

“Eating Raw Flour”: 40 Dangerous Things That Most Perceive To Be Safe Sugar.

Look at how much sugar is in that grande caramel frappuccino or soda you're drinking. Now go into your kitchen and pour out that much sugar on a scale. Would you down that much sugar in one setting?

Fair-Equivalent-8651 , yosef_fxum Report

#36

People thinking they need to put their hands on every animal they see

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#37

Hot weather. In the UK because we normally associate this country with being very cold, windy and rainy, the dangers of extreme heat is often overlooked. It's quite easy to die from heatstroke in 30 celcius weather, if you stay in the sun too long!

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Happy Homemaker
Community Member
7 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

6 years ago I ☠️ of a heat stroke. My body temperature was 106.5. It took 17 bags of ice to bring my temperature down. I’m very lucky to be alive today.

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#38

“Eating Raw Flour”: 40 Dangerous Things That Most Perceive To Be Safe Showering.

Everything in your bathroom is made out of material that can kill you. A slip and fall out of a shower/tub onto the hard porcelain of the toilet (or tub edge), or the corner of the bathroom counter? The tile floors? Immediate brain bleed.

Walking down stairs comes in a close second, especially if you have pets or small children.

RD_Life_Enthusiast , karolina-grabowska Report

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Loverboy
Community Member
7 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

See, just another reason to never shower or bathe period. Redditors will agree with me

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#40

Doing “stunts”or “pranks” involving fire. I’m not saying people think fire is 100% safe, but the level to which they underestimate it is astounding. 

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Shark Lady
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7 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"Hold me beer" or "watch this" are two of the most foreboding phrases in the English language. I'm sure every language has something similar.

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