“What Is A Myth That Is Passed From Generation To Generation, And People Still Believe It?” (54 Answers)

We humans are a weird bunch. Some of us are shooting a spacecraft at an asteroid to demonstrate that it's a viable technique to protect the planet but others still insist that swallowed gum will stay in our stomachs for 7 years.

Interested in hearing the most prevalent misconceptions, Reddit user FM596 made a post on the platform, asking everyone to share myths that are passed from generation to generation, and that people still believe in. Turns out, there's no shortage of those! Continue scrolling and check out some of the most-upvoted entries.


That being out in cold weather will make you catch a Cold. The cold is a virus you catch from others and nothing to do with the outside temperature.

Image credits: The_Geordie_Gripster


Swallowed gum will stay in your stomach for 7 years. Never seen a single wad of gum in the hundreds of thousands of stomachs I’ve looked into.

Image credits: DoctorJonesMD


Vaccines cause Autisim.

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I got pregnant in 2002 and people legit told me I shouldn't raise my arms over my head because the cord would wrap around the baby's neck. Not just great grandmas telling me this either. People at my restaurant job fussed at me all the time for getting things off high shelves. Insane.

Image credits: YouSeaBlue


Over cracking your knuckles will lead to arthritis.

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That shaving makes hair grow back thicker and longer.

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That certain animal 'parts' have healing/magical properties. Like tiger whiskers protect the wearer or rhino horn cures impotence and hangovers.

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Someone can be tested to determine their virginity status. Hymens aren't barriers, they aren't supposed to be broken, and they heal when they do tear. No one, not even a doctor can look at someone and know they're a virgin or not.

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Carrots improve vision. Has to be on the list for top propaganda campaigns. Started in WWII to cover for the use of radar. Still to this day more people I meet believe it than don't.

Image credits: Neither-Storage-4157


Boys playing with dolls (or other traditional feminine toys) will turn them gay. Or that anything will turn people gay or lesbian.

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That your generation is always the last good generation.

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That you have to wait 24 hours before filing a missing person report.


Religion, easily.

I get that people believe in religion but they have zero proof that any of it is true.

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That cats kill babies.

I’ve run into this so many times since having kids. And it’s not the older grandmas making these statements. I’ve had 20 year olds tell me that you can’t have cats if you plan to have babies because “they’ll steal their breath” or some other variation. No amount of reasoning or rationale will dissuade them of this belief


Circumcision is medically beneficial enough to be *routinely* done to every male infant born, rather than just like.. you know… waiting to see if it’s actually necessary.

Image credits: Fit-ish_Mom


That birds will abandon their babies if they have a human scent on them.

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Bulls become angry seeing the color red.

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That we use 10% of our brain. Power or capacity, this was actually proven to be b******t.

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You eat 8 spiders a lifetime

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Lightning never strikes the same place twice.

Image credits: SuvenPan


In my country there's still a lot of people believing that first period blood is good for skin, like if u spread it on your face they say it will make your skin clear and you will not have acne if u did. It's dumb, stupid & disgusting.

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Sugar does not make kids hyper.

Before you say "I'm a parent, and I can promise you it does", consider when kids have plenty of sugar. Birthday parties, exciting events, etc. *That* makes them spin up.

If sugar was a direct cause of making kids hyper, why can they sit on a couch mashing candy for four hours while watching Frost on repeat. There's also the fact that kids are... You know, kids. Sometimes they're activated, sometimes they're not. Regardless of sugar intake.

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That your hair and fingernails still grow after you die. It's mainly an optical illusion. Your skin decays and shrinks, causing hair and fingernails to look like they've grown.


That the hymen is a freshness seal like a snapple cap, has any bearing on virginity, and your first time should hurt and cause bleeding

Image credits: Honey-and-Venom


One that's still not known well is the white people in the south and middle America that think they are part Cherokee. You're like 99.9% sure to be wrong. Your family is wrong. There wasn't a "Cherokee princess" or any of that. It's a folks tale basically. And your grandma was told the same as a kid, she told your mom, hour mom td you.

People get defensive about this because you have to accept that A) Your family accidentally mislead you on something your whole life, and B) you don't have some magic Cherokee princess Native American blood. You're just white.

This is what happened with Elizabeth Warren. She was told this tale and believed she was part Cherokee. I was also told this and believed it while growing up. Almost all of my friends were told the same about themselves too.

Just a folk tale passed down the generations


That women’s menstrual cycles sync up with each other after being around each other for a long enough time.

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That reading in dim lighting will cause you to lose your eyesight.

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If you watch the TV too much or too close, you will go blind

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sex can make your vagina loose


Taking hot showers is good for sunburn. Helps draw out the stinging. When I was young I would always get sunburnt on vacation my dad always told me to take hot showers. I suffered through the pain thinking it would help. Turns out it’s the worst thing you can do.


Trickle down economics.

Image credits: TwoTeapotsForXmas


That GMOs are bad. Without GMOs, we wouldn't have a lot of the food we have today.

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That eating after a certain time causes weight gain, when in fact it has more to do with what time you go to sleep and not a specific time of the day


Pit bulls can lock their jaws. If they bite you then you have to kill them because their jaws are locked.

No, I am not kidding. I’ve heard this BS from the elderly and from kids. They just keep repeating this nonsense.


That pissing in a pool makes the water go purple.

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Touching a frog/toad will give you warts.

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90% of the myths surrounding pregnancy and childbirth.

If the baby’s heart rate is fast it’s a girl. If you crave sweet things it’s a girl, if you are carrying “high” it’s a girl.

They’re the only ones I can think of at the moment but there are so many other myths out there.

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That fish only have a 5-second memory. My fish are fed automatically on a timer and they know dinner time better than my goddamn cat.

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Having the overhead light on in a car while driving is illegal.


That you should give cats milk.


That Nightshade is a poisonous plant.

The European variety of nightshade, Belladonna, is poisonous, however there are other varieties that are completely edible. When European explorers went over to the Americas and Africa, faced with the contradiction of seeing indigenous peoples eating nightshade stalks and leaves as a part of their diet, came to the conclusion that it must be because the indigenous people were closer to animals than humans.

To this day people still believe that Black nightshade is a poisonous plant— entirely rooted in racism, scholars across generations have defended this lie.


Every once in a blue moon I stumble across someone who believes that cabbits are a thing. Some people genuinely believe that a cat and rabbit can bang and produce viable offspring, but anyone with an ounce of common sense should understand that it would be impossible.


Not a myth exactly, but more of a misconception.

Yawning is not because of boredom or for getting more oxygen to your brain. The latest research points to yawning assisting in lowering brain temperature.


I was told as a kid if I touched myself I’d go blind. I used to love telling that to optometrists, until laser eye surgery completely ruined that joke!


The reason astronauts float on the International Space Station isn't because of low gravity, they're would actually be 90% of Earth's gravity but its actually because its in a perpetual free fall.


Putting something still warm in the fridge will cause it to go bad.

Leaving it out actually allows bacteria to grow faster and putting it in the fridge will reduce the time it spends in the danger zone. Although, it should be put separate from other fridge items, as it can unnecessarily warm those items and potentially reduce their lifespans.


The right side of your brain is for creativity and the left is for logic. If I see one more psych student with that sticker I’m gonna lose it


If your eyes stayed open during a sneeze, those mf's would pop right out

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That you won't get hired or taken seriously with piercings or tattoos. I've held a few jobs over the last 15 years that actually took your qualifications more seriously than your appearance.

S**t, even when I got my first adult job at age 20 as a medical filing clerk, I got my tongue pierced a few months later & my manager was like "you never had a lisp before" (tongue was swollen so I couldn't talk without a lisp) & when I showed her, she only said "hopefully the patients don't see it" & that was it.

I'm tired of ppl saying these things make you unprofessional. I respect those who choose to get tatted or pierced in unseen locations but stop telling ppl it's taboo. Times are changing & appearance does not necessarily translate into one's personality or intelligence


My dad insisted that if you didn't dry your hair immediately after getting out of the shower you would "catch your death of cold." As far as he was concerned, letting your hair stay damp would immediately give you a respiratory illness. Similarly, putting away dishes that weren't completely dry would putrify and poison someone. I know germ theory wasn't very well understood when he was a lad, but water was basically the end of all things as we know it to him.


Losing 90% heat through your head


If I get a raise at work, I’ll pay more taxes and just make *less* money!


Checking Halloween candy for whatever the hell it was checked for - razors, drugs, whatever the myth was


Don't eat before swimming