(As always, to comment scroll BACK UP this page and click on the word HEARTS and that will take you to the comments. Thanks!)
Claim: The planet Mars will make a once-in-our-lifetimes remarkably close approach to Earth in August 2006
Status: One true, one false. To wit:
* Mars passed extraordinarily close to Earth in August 2003: True.
* Mars will pass extraordinarily close to Earth in August 2006: False.
809 Area Code Scam
Claim: Unsuspecting phone customers have been gulled by scam artists into placing calls to area codes in the Caribbean that result in hefty charges.
Status: Real fraud, but its usage is rare and most victims are taken for only a small amount of money.
Claim: The Swiffer WetJet poses a general danger to dogs and other household pets.
So much about this anonymous message purportedly detailing the demise of someone’s neighbor’s dog and that neighbor’s housekeeper’s two cats is either wrong or unverifiable that we cannot see how it could reasonably be considered anything but false.
Inflammatory Breast Cancer
E-mail warns about a disease known as Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC).
Claim: The silent killer – IBC – Inflammatory Breast Cancer. No lump needed for detection and won’t show up on mammograms and suggested an MRI with certain signs.
Status: TRUE According to the National Cancer Institute, Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is an uncommon type of breast cancer in which breast cancer cells block the lymph vessels in the skin of the breast, a type of breast cancer that may not be apparent through routine screening methods (e.g., feeling for lumps, mammograms)
Claim: Research shows that microwaving foods in plastic containers releases cancer-causing agents into the foods.
Status: False – It’s a pretty good assumption that if using plastic containers in microwaves — as millions of people have been doing for decades — posed a significant risk of cancer, you’d be hearing about it somewhere other than an e-mail forward of an anonymous summary of a morning news spot on a Hawaiian television station.
Chewing gum and the length of time it takes to digest
Claim:: Chewing gum takes seven years to pass through the human digestive system.
It’s hard to find anyone who hasn’t heard this specious claim about swallowed gum, usually when they were children. No, there’s nothing to support this rumor; as sticky as chewing gum might appear to be outside the body, once it’s sent down the alimentary canal it’s no more remarkable in that respect than most anything else we swallow.
And now, file this one under “Always double check your email BEFORE you send it”
Claim: Employee of South Korean firm gets fired after his e-mail brag to his friends about his sexual exploits is made public.
An excerpt of Mr. Chung’s writing prowess: “I know I was a stud in NYC but I pretty much get about, on average, 5-8 phone numbers a night and at least 3 hot chicks that say that they want to go home with me every night I go out. ” (and this was a mild portion of the email.) Go read the rest of it. And learn from CHUNG, the master!
Let’s Say Thanks
Claim: The Xerox web site LetsSayThanks.com allows the public to send free personalized postcards to U.S. troops serving overseas.
Status: True. And how nice, eh?
This website lets you send a free printed postcard to a U.S. soldier stationed overseas. All you do is pick your favorite card, enter your message and then Xerox does the rest! Visit Let’s Say Thanks and send the troops some mail today. And did you know that the USPS provides free Priority Mail shipping supplies for customers sending packages to U.S. military personnel overseas? I didn’t and that will come in very handy when I send care packages to my Soldier’s Angel serviceman! :)
A Bird in the Hand
Claim: Handling by a human will cause a baby bird to be rejected by its mother.
Children are routinely cautioned that they must not touch baby birds found in the wild nor lay so much as a finger on eggs discovered in nests, lest such actions cause a mother bird to reject her young or abandon her nest. This bit of lore confidently asserts that wild birds are so sensitive to the dangers posed by humans that they will fly off, never to return, if they catch even a faint whiff of human scent around the nest or on their young.
Which is hogwash. Mother birds will not reject their babies because they smell human scent on them, nor will they refuse to set on eggs that have been handled by a person.
Claim: A good way to remove an embedded tick is to swab liquid soap on it.
Although this particular Tick e-mail began circulating on the Internet in May 2006, the advice it attempts to impart is far older. Household lore is replete with tick removal suggestions that involve covering or coating the embedded arachnid with a substance it will find objectionable. Other long-lived suggestions include touching a lit match or hot needle to the tick’s rear and tickling its underside in an effort to persuade it to release its bite. However, those in the know about tick removal warn against these home remedies.
Claim:While swimming in a community pool, a girl is impregnated by sperm ejaculated into the water by male swimmers.
Status: False. And DUH!
Another one of those silly, impossible stories nearly everyone heard as a child, a companion piece to the persistent adolescent legend that a girl cannot become pregnant through having sex in a chlorinated swimming pool and the tale of a woman’s becoming pregnant from bathing in water into which a man has ejaculated.
Claim: Tapping the side of a soda can will prevent its contents from foaming over when you open it.
Our desire to exert mastery over seemingly bad-intentioned inanimate objects fuels belief in the oddest things. A shaken soda can will spew foam at us when it’s opened, so we’re quick to embrace a bit of “secret knowledge” that promises to put us back in charge of things and keep the lurking menace of frothing soda at bay.
Claim: The day after Thanksgiving is the biggest shopping day of the year in the U.S.
Status: False. (Surprised? I was!)
The day after Thanksgiving is the day millions of Americans, enjoying a rare Friday off (and a dearth of football games on television), head for the malls to inaugurate the Christmas shopping season. “Black Friday” (as it is known in the retail industry, supposedly because it’s the day retailers turn the corner and see their income statements move out of the red and into the black) is regularly cited as “the busiest shopping day of the year,” but although it may be the day the greatest number of holiday shoppers traipse through malls, it isn’t the biggest day of the year in terms of dollars spent.
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I love Snopes.com and send people there regularly. Most often its the Starbucks stories, since my husband works there.
And thanks for the link to Lets Just say Thanks. I’m sending a few cards right now!
My 13 is up!
Hey! I tap my soda!
I like the list! My TT is Up!
What a great list! I loved it! The girl getting pregnant in the pool… could be true if she was doing more than just swimming ;)
Happy T13… My list is up!
I’m still not going to use plastic in the microwave but I guess I can now stop tapping the side of my soda can. LOL.
LOL I still get people e-mailing me to “warn” me of these! Our TT this week is the 13 favorite games of the Lil’ Duck – come check it out! Have a wonderful Thursday ;).
I love Snopes! I also love Mythbusters! Great list!
Love Snopes! One of my favourite sites to visit.
Thanks for an interesting read!
Mine are up.
Snopes is the best invention on the internet! My co-worker always believes stuff that is always false!! The gum…oh yeah. .my dad used to tell me that all the time!
My TT is up!
I guess a lot of people are just window shopping the day after Thanksgving. It sure is a busy day!
That was a lot of fun to read, I could imagine any of them as true. Was surprised about the naughty email as TRUE though.
Aren’t we a funny creature that has these urban myths?
here is my TT
Cool list. Lots of stuff I didn’t know. Thanks.
Some of those were new to me. I was surprised by the last one…..Ya just never know when people will spend their money. we had a slow July and now are busy. Merc retrograde? Mercury governs commerce. Who knows….
I thought #13 was true, too!
and here I’ve been tapping soda cans! now I know and I’ll save that 3 seconds.
Ok, I will say I am surprised about #13. That is a great list!!!
I love SNOPES. These are funny!
That was a great list! I found it very informative thank you!!! My list is up too!
Great list, I loved the medical ones (I wonder why): the IBC, chewing gum, sperm in pool.
IBC really sucks, but it’s much more rare than other kinds of breast cancers, if that is a saving grace at all. It’s also why the public knows so much less about it – much lower incidence because of its rarity (is that a word?).
The South Korean guy, what was he thinking? I feel terrible for him, but it’s kind of morbidly funny at the same time, oh dear!
Wow, I love Urban Legends. Thanks for doing the homework. Delightful read.
a good list of some urban legends. nice to see that there some that are true and that they aren’t the scary ones. :grin:
I’m impressed that youre down with snopes! I know very few people, particulary females that know about it and aren’t willing to believe all those chain emails.
The IBC is interesting. Bummer too, lack of detection.
The sperm one is funny.
Really cool list!! Some of those I didn’t know, and ROFL to the email guy!!
that’s a great list! And I learned something too! Thanks for sharing. That Mars one has been drifting around for YEARS!
I love snopes! It’s so much fun to go read when I’ve got some free time. :D
Good list, I had actually read recently about the chewing gum one. Crazy one about the swiffer, this is probably just made up by mad product people at how popular Swiffer is. I think the can tapping works for cans that aren’t terribly shaken. I know a terrible story about a mom who made a child kill the birds he had touched because she thought the mom would reject them, so this child had to kill those poor birds for no reason, the lady was crazy for making him kill them anyway. Thanks for the list, good to know! My list is up!
Saw your post on TT and thought I’d view your Urban Myths! When I get those emails I usually go to the Urbanlegend webite to check them out!
I’m amazed at how long that chewing gum one has lasted…
eeeeeeewwww on the gum. Some of those are new to me.
Oh yes, the IBC – my Mom was diagnosed with this one year ago. It is very agressive and she had it in her lung also. However, she is doing amazingly well considering. I’m glad you helped to mention it and get the word out. Take care Girl! -Margie