People share myths that won’t go away, and you may recognize some of them


This post contains discussions about mental health issues.

It happens all the time: You hear someone repeat a common belief or historical anecdote that just isn’t true at all. You might even think to yourself, “Why do people still believe these things?”

Close-up of a man in a light pink hoodie shrugging with arms outstretched

Seva Levytskyi / Getty Images/EyeEm

U/Tech_Guru_96 recently asked the folks on Reddit, “What’s a stupid myth still floating around?” Next time you’re around someone discussing any of these, feel free to bring up this article:

1.“Create a Facebook status that says ‘I don’t give Facebook permission to use my photos or images’ or something like that.”


2.“Touching a baby bird will cause the parents to abandon it. Birds don’t have a good sense of smell. It’s worse than ours. They love their young too and wouldn’t mind if it smells funny. Leave the baby alone unless they are not in a dangerous situation, but if they are in a dangerous situation, get them out.And if you see a featherless baby bird outside a nest, put it back in the nest or take it to the nearest wildlife rehabilitation center.


Two hands holding a little bird

3.“That it will take, like, seven years to digest rubber if you swallow it. I don’t even know where it came from.”




5.“Blood is bright blue until it meets oxygen, then it magically turns red.”


u/Private John


A doctor administering a vaccine into a person's arm

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8.“That humans only use 10% of their brains. I don’t know where that could come from. Why would ANY animal develop an extremely expensive organ of which it only uses 10%???”


9.“That MSG is bad for you. Most people believe it, and those people probably still take it at least once a week without knowing it. It’s so much better for you than salt.”


10.“People are poisoning Halloween candy or putting pins and razor blades in it.”




A man applying shaving cream to his face and smiling

12.“That the hymen is a virginity detector. Hymens DO NOT work that way! They often stretch rather than rupture during sex (many adult women who have had a lot of sex still have an intact hymen), and the hymen can also rupture from non-sexual activities such as riding a bicycle or horse, while exercising and using a tampon or menstrual cup”.


13.“Those daddy long-legged spiders are the WORLD’S MOST VENOUS SPIDER, but their fangs can’t pierce human skin. I still feel it all the time and I hate to be smart, but I usually have to step in.”


14.“That schizophrenia means having multiple personalities. It doesn’t. Some people hear voices with it; some don’t. Voices are NOT personalities. These people are thinking about Dissociative Identity Disorder.”


15.“That certain teas detoxify your body or that your body even needs detoxification.”


16.“That Europeans used a lot of spices to cover the taste of rotting meat. It’s not only a myth, it’s really stupid. Spices were incredibly expensive. A single container of black pepper the size of a restaurant could cost the equivalent of dozens of thousands of dollars in 1400. If you ate a $10 steak that was going bad, are you going to coat it with $400 of black pepper to cover the flavor, or are you just going to buy a new $10 steak?” So where does that come from? the myth? Wealthy medieval Europeans used obscene amounts of spices in their dishes that would be almost inedible to modern palates… just for show. Henry VIII wanted you to know that he could afford to put $900 worth of nutmeg and allspice in the dessert.”


A rendering of Henry VIII and his court

Wynnter/Getty Images

17.“That it’s possible to hold menstrual blood, like pee.”



18.“Using dish soap will strip the seasoning off your cooking dish. This was true when lye was a common ingredient in dish soaps, but it’s been missing from all major dish soap brands for 30 years.”


A person who scrubs and washes a frying pan

0shut0 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

19.“That the age of 30 was considered ‘old’ in the Middle Ages. No. The median age of death has been dragged down by the infant mortality rate. If you survived infancy, you can reasonably expect to live to 60 years or 70s. There are so many myths about the Middle Ages in general. It happened over multiple centuries. No “average” can accurately convey what life was like then.”



Note: Some answers have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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