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No matter how weird it might sound, fear can actually be a positive thing. It helps guide our understanding of the world. It informs us about potentially dangerous situations and protects us from pain and long-lasting harm. However, some people’s metaphorical danger and common sense radars aren’t working like they should. Their survival instincts seem to be malfunctioning and lead to, frankly, reckless behavior.

In a thoroughly entertaining thread, the r/AskReddit community shared the things that exist only “because of people’s stupidity.” Do you know those warnings that you shouldn’t iron your clothes while still wearing them? That’s exactly the kinds of things they mean. We’ve collected some of the most bonkers examples to share with you. Scroll down, check them out, and upvote the most ludicrous ones.

Bored Panda wanted to figure out why some people seem to lack common sense and behave in risky ways, so we reached out to Glenn Geher, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the State University of New York at New Paltz and a published author. He shed some light on our questions. You’ll find Dr. Geher’s insights as you read on.

#1

Some Things Only Exist Because People Are Dumb, Here Are 40 Of The Most Accurate Examples Kardashians' Fame

Viks101 , Eva Rinaldi Report

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Blyss Blyssylb
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Karda-who? And they're famous why? Oh. Famous nobodies who are famous for no reason...

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“Much of the research in psychology speaks to individual differences in psychological traits. Some people have fantastic long-term memory but cannot find their keys to save their lives—whereas others are just the opposite,” Dr. Geher, from the State University of New York at New Paltz, told Bored Panda via email.

“Some things that seem like ‘common sense’ to one person might seem like trigonometry to the next. This diversity in people’s psychological traits is, to my mind, a beautiful thing. But it also helps to explain why some people just don’t understand certain things that seem obvious to others,” the psychology professor explained to us.

Dr. Geher pointed out to us that people’s survival instincts in the past were related to things that are very different from what we can find in the modern world.

#2

Some Things Only Exist Because People Are Dumb, Here Are 40 Of The Most Accurate Examples The anti-vax movement

_Caramel-Kitty_ , Becker1999 Report

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Realistic Optimist
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It shouldnt matter if soneone thinks vaccinations are dangerous. Its a public health concern. Them not being vaccinated could literally start another pandemic. What they 'believe' really shouldn't matter.

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#3

Some Things Only Exist Because People Are Dumb, Here Are 40 Of The Most Accurate Examples All those drug commercials that tell you not to take said drug if you’re allergic to it.

InfernalCape , Ron Lach Report

“Furthermore, when it comes to things like reading directions or eating food with the wrapping on, we are partly talking about processes that only exist in the modern world and that did not exist during the lion’s share of human evolutionary history—so there is a mismatch there,” he said.

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“I would posit that when it comes to ‘common sense’ for things that matched our ancestral conditions (e.g., staying away from venomous snakes), people, on average tend to do a bit better than when dealing with stimuli from the modern world. In a sense, what helps us to survive now (e.g., strapping in when driving) is very different from what would have helped our ancestors survive under ancestral conditions (e.g., avoiding snakes and cliff edges),” the professor told Bored Panda.

#4

Some Things Only Exist Because People Are Dumb, Here Are 40 Of The Most Accurate Examples The labels on superman costumes that say 'Wearing this does not enable you to fly'

Musical_Toad557 , Lobo Larson Report

#5

Some Things Only Exist Because People Are Dumb, Here Are 40 Of The Most Accurate Examples Influencers

anon , George Milton Report

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Blyss Blyssylb
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You mean the ones that take selfies with Large Wild Animals? Can't really hate those ppl since they're removing themselves from our gene pool

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#6

Some Things Only Exist Because People Are Dumb, Here Are 40 Of The Most Accurate Examples The tag on the iron that says "Do not iron clothes while wearing them."

flipping_birds , unknown Report

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WindySwede
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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

How many of this exists because of people did self harm, just because they would sue the company for money?

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We were also interested to find out how someone might go about cultivating a greater sense of awareness with regard to improving their survival instincts if they’re lacking. Dr. Geher was kind enough to walk us through this.

“On one hand, generally, the human brain can actually be pretty malleable—so some of these things may be learnable. On the other hand, some things are just very difficult for some people to learn,” the psychology expert noted that even if someone might want to master ballroom dancing, that might be next to impossible no matter how hard they try.

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“I’d say that people can step back, be cognizant, and learn some basic ways to improve interfacing with—and surviving in—the modern world. But only to an extent,” Dr. Geher said.

“At the end of the day, the story of human psychology is a true mixture of fixed attributes and malleable attributes—we all have both.”

#7

Some Things Only Exist Because People Are Dumb, Here Are 40 Of The Most Accurate Examples In the user manual for RVs it specifies that the driver must remain in the drivers seat at all times when the RV is in motion because someone thought that cruise control was auto pilot and went to take a shower while on the freeway and crashed.

If I remember right, part of their argument against the company was that the manual did not say he had to remain in the drivers seat when cruise control was being used...

TimeMasterBob , Mark Doliner Report

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Realistic Optimist
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I have to (want to) imagine they were high to think this. Like, that's just next level dumb. They thought the RV would navigate traffic with no indication other than "cruise control". It just seems crazy.

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#8

Some Things Only Exist Because People Are Dumb, Here Are 40 Of The Most Accurate Examples Darwin Awards?

The Darwin Awards are a tongue-in-cheek honor that originated in Usenet newsgroup discussions around 1985. They recognize individuals who have supposedly contributed to human evolution by selecting themselves out of the gene pool by dying or becoming sterilized via their own actions.

Darktal0n75 , unknown Report

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ColdSteelRonin
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is the epitome of something that exists because of stupid people. Should be at the top

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Common sense isn’t as common as you might think. It seems absolutely obvious to (hopefully) all of you reading this that you should remove the plastic wrapper before eating something. Or that you shouldn’t use electric appliances in a bath.

However, not everyone is aware of simple things like this. Some individuals might have had very stressful or extremely sheltered upbringings, so they haven’t learned about the risks of doing certain things.

If they had a troubled childhood, they might not have had authority figures in their life teaching them these all-important lessons. Meanwhile, if they were being mollycoddled all the time, they might not have any hands-on experience doing basic chores like ironing, mowing the lawn, cooking, and cleaning. What’s common sense to you and yours truly (hi!) might be rocket science to someone else.

#10

Some Things Only Exist Because People Are Dumb, Here Are 40 Of The Most Accurate Examples Flat earth theory.

rshnsrt , star5112 Report

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Bored&InSchool
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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

flat earthers aren't actually that bad though because they are a group that is acceptable to make fun of.

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#11

Some Things Only Exist Because People Are Dumb, Here Are 40 Of The Most Accurate Examples religion

STK1369 , Pixabay Report

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Gregg Carr
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Religion isnt the problem , its the church or what ever your country calls it. You dont need a middle man (person) to have faith

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#12

Some Things Only Exist Because People Are Dumb, Here Are 40 Of The Most Accurate Examples [This sign at the London Luton airport](https://imgur.com/WqYDff0)

Bran_Solo , Bran_Solo Report

On the other hand, some individuals can have warped perceptions of danger and morality. They might not understand how risky it is to touch the spinning blades of a lawn mower, for instance, but they want to see what happens anyway. 

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Other people might take things far too literally. That means that unless something is expressly prohibited, they might not know to avoid doing it.

Similarly, they may have problems with understanding the consequences of their actions. They might focus only on short-term issues and rewards, completely ignoring the long-term.

#13

Some Things Only Exist Because People Are Dumb, Here Are 40 Of The Most Accurate Examples Traffic jams. Except for in outlying cases it's literally only bc people are too dumb to be efficient

frogseyes , Mikechie Esparagoza Report

#14

Some Things Only Exist Because People Are Dumb, Here Are 40 Of The Most Accurate Examples The ban on Kinder eggs in the US.

Are people really stupid enough to swallow those eggs whole? Even if they didn't know about the toy, you can't possibly want to deepthroat a f*****g egg, can you?

I_hate_traveling , Nenad Stojkovic Report

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Jake Banana
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's not about people being stupid. It's about a regulation set out by the Food and Drug Administration in 1938. Essentially, the law dictates that any food with a ‘non-nutritive object embedded’ – including toys embedded inside confectionery items – is not allowed, ostensibly to prevent choking hazards, so it's actually a reasonably law. A special exception would need to be carved out for Kinder, and it's yet to happen.

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#15

Some Things Only Exist Because People Are Dumb, Here Are 40 Of The Most Accurate Examples Do not open door in flight

Edit: Neat, an award stating how helpful my comment is. Thank you, glad to help

aftcg , Mengliu Di Report

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Nae Nae BB
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Oh look there's my house, you can let me out here. I'll just see myself out😆

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However, at other times, fear dominates people’s lives. Instead of being a reaction to real threats, it rises up as a response to imagined dangers. If left unchecked, it can go out of control and cause a lot of unneeded stress.

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If you’re feeling excessive, irrational fear and it’s disrupting your daily life, you may need to talk to a health professional. They’ll be able to figure out what’s going on. You might be dealing with some sort of anxiety disorder, have a serious medical condition, or may be dealing with a phobia. In the latter case, you may want to seek a mental health specialist’s help. They can help reframe your fears so that they’re no longer disrupting your day-to-day routine.

The important thing to remember is that these people are professionals. They've got plenty of experience. They won't judge you. It's not a weakness to ask for a helping hand or some advice when you need it. 

#16

Televangelists.

Fart_connoisseur1 Report

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Michael Largey
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Ironically, televangelists are the only people who make me hope there is a God. Because when He gets a hold of them He is going to mess with them big time.

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#17

Some Things Only Exist Because People Are Dumb, Here Are 40 Of The Most Accurate Examples Multi-Level-Marketing (aka pyramid schemes)

The78thDoctor , Luis Quintero Report

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Roxy222uk
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is evidence not of stupidity but of how enthusiastically some people would exploit others when they are vulnerable and down on their luck.

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#18

Some Things Only Exist Because People Are Dumb, Here Are 40 Of The Most Accurate Examples Label on Swiss chainsaw, do not attempt to stop chain with hands and genitals

CannaBlasta , Karolina Grabowska Report

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Psycho Princess
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Hands is stupid, but you can basically figure that out. I want to know the story on who tried to stop a chainsaw with their genitals.

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#19

Some Things Only Exist Because People Are Dumb, Here Are 40 Of The Most Accurate Examples Panic buying

mooli1978 , Ben Schumin Report

#20

Meetings that could have been emails

Jenn_097 Report

#21

Some Things Only Exist Because People Are Dumb, Here Are 40 Of The Most Accurate Examples The law in Pennsylvania that *specifically* states that you can not barter infant children

MostlyFuckedUp , Anastasia Trofimczyk Report

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Jared Robinson
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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It doesn't exist because of stupid people. It exists because of desperate people. When times were so bad you had to sell one child so you could afford to feed the others.

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#22

Some Things Only Exist Because People Are Dumb, Here Are 40 Of The Most Accurate Examples California's Prop 65.

It says everything sold in California must have a label warning consumers that the product is made with ingredients/components known by the state of California to cause birth defects or cancer. Unless the seller can prove that the item does not contain such components. However, nobody can actually say if anything causes cancer or not. So if you sell something in California, you must either pay a laboratory to test everything in your product, then provide reports stating that each element does not cause cancer. OR you can buy a 1 cent sticker and slap it on your packaging. As a result everything sold in California, EVERYTHING, has that sticker on it. Because why wouldn't you just slap the sticker on?

We voted for this.

ClownfishSoup , sta5is Report

#23

Some Things Only Exist Because People Are Dumb, Here Are 40 Of The Most Accurate Examples The warning sticker on lawn mowers telling you not to touch the blades while they are in motion.

anon , Schlaht Report

#25

Some Things Only Exist Because People Are Dumb, Here Are 40 Of The Most Accurate Examples “Warning may contain nuts” warnings on packets of nuts

ConnorA94 , DefectiveDonkey Report

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Roxy222uk
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The law requires this for all products that may contain nuts (to protect people from dying) so it would seem a bit odd for the law to state "unless it's obvious, then you don't need to state it may contain nuts". I think it's amusing but not evidence that people are stupid.

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#26

Some Things Only Exist Because People Are Dumb, Here Are 40 Of The Most Accurate Examples I worked at Cabela's for years and they carry a product called "The Butt Out" and its a tool a hunter would use to remove the a**s from a deer. On the back of the packaging in the bottom corner is a warning stating "Not for sexual use"

TheSchoeMaker , t_wittenburg Report

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xxx
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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Oh deer lord (pun intended) that must have been a wild day at the ER.

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#27

Some Things Only Exist Because People Are Dumb, Here Are 40 Of The Most Accurate Examples Warning labels telling you not to eat things that are not food.

tylerss20 , Toshiyuki IMAI Report

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Tobias Reaper
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

fun fact silica is not poisonous it tells you not to eat it as you could choke on it

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#28

Some Things Only Exist Because People Are Dumb, Here Are 40 Of The Most Accurate Examples "Do not place child in shopping bag"

McManARama , Stefanie Seskin Report

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JoNo
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"Do not place baby in backpack" was the warning on the tag of a brand-name baby backpack. The baby I bought it for is 18 yet I still remember the tag.

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#29

Some Things Only Exist Because People Are Dumb, Here Are 40 Of The Most Accurate Examples The phrase, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.

anon , Monstera Production Report

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Mr.Li
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Hi i'm Johnny Knoxville, welcome to J@ckass! This is .......

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#30

The sticker on curling irons that say “for external use only”

IAmAFrogOk Report

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Jon Steensen
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

well there was this girl who wrote kind of a bad review on her "new vibrating toy" that it was getting awfully hot when used, to the point where it burned her. Seemed kind of fair thing to complain about ...until you spotted the picture of said product and realised that it was a curling iron.

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#31

Bullying

Doehap Report

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Sky Render
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Engaging in acts of hatred and violence against others for being different is a hallmark of low intelligence.

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#32

Some Things Only Exist Because People Are Dumb, Here Are 40 Of The Most Accurate Examples https://imgur.com/gallery/F3apENt This was in front of a catholic school I did some work on. This is not the only tree in the area, it's not even the only tree in front of a parking space. How did this sign come to be? The world may never know

Mok0bo , i3onezman Report

#33

Some Things Only Exist Because People Are Dumb, Here Are 40 Of The Most Accurate Examples Warning labels on electric appliances warning you not to use them in a bathtub.

filthy_pikey , TheJediPikachu Report

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François Bouzigues
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

In France, a huge popstar from the 60´s who had OTC adjusted a lamp which was slightly tilted from his bathtub => we have strict rules for electrical safety in bathrooms.

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#35

Some Things Only Exist Because People Are Dumb, Here Are 40 Of The Most Accurate Examples The f*****g message on my in dash display on my Honda Fit.

YES I KNOW I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR THE OPERATION OF THIS MOTOR VEHICLE.

Imagine the car not telling me that every time I start it, me getting in an accident, and suing Honda for NOT telling me that I'm responsible for the car I'm driving?

ChuckawaspSlanders , Mike Bird Report

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Superb Owl
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

""Possible ice on the road". My brother in christ, it's -15 Celsius and there's more than a meter of snow on the ground, I can see the ice on the road.

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#36

Some Things Only Exist Because People Are Dumb, Here Are 40 Of The Most Accurate Examples The warning on strollers, "Do not collapse while infant is seated"

MarkOfTheDragon12 , Lisa Fotios Report

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Psycho Princess
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The informal version should be "Do Not turn infant into a human pretzel" or "Your infant does not have the ability to become a rubber band ball."

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#37

The belief that brown cows give chocolate milk

digger200 Report

#38

Some Things Only Exist Because People Are Dumb, Here Are 40 Of The Most Accurate Examples Fruit roll boxes that warn "Remove plastic wrap before eating"

faragorn , deleted Report

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Ali H M Salehuddin
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I never seen this before. If one is given to me, I might attempt to eat that rolled wrappers too. They look edible. Especially since there is already an outer wrapper protecting them.

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#39

There was a washing machine I saw in Thailand and it said please do not put children in here

anon Report

#40

Tabloid newspapers

dublinblueboy Report

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martymcmatrix
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Is this meant to be regarded as a contradiction? Like, how can a digital newspaper still be called a »paper«???

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Note: this post originally had 51 images. It’s been shortened to the top 40 images based on user votes.