30 Hilarious Things Everyone Believed As Kids
Wait! Chocolate milk doesn't come from brown cows?!
Let's face it: kids are total suckers. That may sound mean, but we speak from experience. When we were young, we all believed a lot of crazy things. That's just part of being a kid. As we tried to make sense of the world, our imaginations often got the better of us. And with the benefit of hindsight, you can't help but laugh at some of the most absurd things you used to actually believed as a youngster. Need a good chuckle? Read on, because here are 30 of the most hilarious and completely untrue things ever believed by children. Call it the origins of fake news!
A blanket can protect you from anything.
To be honest, we still kind of believe this, even though, rationally, we know it doesn't work. A blanket won't protect you from monsters or anything else, except maybe a chilly bedroom. But when we were kids, nothing could dissuade us from the belief in a blanket's almighty power.
If you cross your eyes for long enough, they'll stay that way forever.
It's such an obvious attempt by parents to make kids stop crossing their eyes, but it sure does sound real enough that not many kids were willing to take the risk. The same warning was given for making a funny face. It makes no medical sense, of course, but kid science also supposes that belly buttons, if played with too roughly, could cause a person to deflate like a balloon. So clearly these aren't our brightest medical minds. And if you're looking for parenting advice, here are the 30 Worst Parenting Mistakes Everyone Makes
When you kiss someone, you're automatically married.
Can you imagine if this was true? At this point, most of us would have more failed marriages then Zsa Zsa Gabor and Liz Taylor combined.
If you swallow watermelon seeds, an entire watermelon will grow inside you.
There are so many ways to disprove this bit of childhood mythology. For one thing, how could anything grow in a human stomach with no sunshine and so much corrosive digestive juices? And why is it just watermelon seeds—and not cherry or orange or apple or peach seeds—capable of growing in the gut? Just watermelon seeds grow in the most hostile garden ever?
That Santa at the Mall Is Actually One of Santa's Elves.
"C'mon, dad. I know he's the real thing!" And for more on what kids think of the jolly man in red, here are The Most Hilarious Letters to Santa of All Time.
And the adult-sized mouse in clothing you met at Disney World? Yep, the real Mickey Mouse.
What other explanation could there be? He's just some college dropout making minimum wage wearing a stuffy rat costume and posing with tourists all day? Ha! As if!
Quicksand is everywhere, and you have to be constantly vigilant for it.
We sincerely thought that any time you left the house, there was a 99 percent chance you'd encounter at least a little quicksand. It could be anywhere—parks, school playgrounds, the backyard—and after stumbling into it, you'd either be sucked underground with dinosaur bones or, if you were lucky, you'd manage to pull yourself to freedom with a tree branch.
Stepping on a crack could literally break your mother's back.
The science explaining the connection between placing your foot on the gap between sidewalk slabs and your mother's spinal health is unsubstantiated at best. But hey, it rhymed, and that's enough to make most kids believe it's an airtight hypothesis.
Sharks are lurking in the deep end of every swimming pool.
If there's one rule to the universe that every kid accepts unconditionally, it's that, if you can't see it, it must be dangerous. If you're in a pool and the deep end seems murky and vast and full of mystery, that can only mean there are sharks in there. And if there aren't sharks, then there are probably piranha or maybe an octopus or two. The point is, there's something down there that wants to eat us, and our only chance of survival is to swim, swim, swim as fast as we can in the other direction.
Elemenopee is one word.
The alphabet song is a catchy and fun way to learn your letters, except for maybe the L-M-N-O-P part. Ask any kid still learning to read to recite the alphabet for you without singing it and they'll likely lump those five letters together, calling it "elemenopee." It isn't until they're forced to use letters to create words that they finally realize, "Oh wait, that stupid song was messing me up!"
Your grandparents lived in a world that was entirely black and white.
Just as kids today can't fathom a world before the Internet, the idea of color photography not existing is inconceivable to them. When they look at old photos of grandparents in their youth, the only logical assumption is that color wasn't invented until at least the mid-to-late 20th century. It took a team of scientists years to come up with pigments that weren't just variations on black, white, or shades of gray. It was a visually dull time to be alive, but, hey, at least everybody matched.
If you aren't careful when draining a bathtub, you could get sucked down the drain.
Sure, we'd never heard about it happening to anybody, and it's hard to explain the physics of how an entire child could even fit inside an average bathtub drain. But it wasn't the practicality of it that scared us, but the horrifying thought of spending the rest of our childhood in a septic system deep underground, trapped with all the other kids who forgot to get out of their draining bathtubs in time.
The floor could become lava and the only protection is your living room couch.
We all knew this one wasn't true—well, mostly untrue. If you've seen the terror of a child jumping from a chair to the couch because they've been told the floor is now liquid magma, you know the awesome power of a child's imagination. They know the floor is probably not really lava that could burn them alive, but best not to take any chances.
The moon follows you.
What kid hasn't stared out of the back seat window of their family car during a long ride home at night and wondered how the moon always manage to be right above them? Well, obviously, the moon must be following you home, making sure you get there safely before moving on to its normal moon business. It was always weirdly reassuring to think it'd taken a special interest in us, and we felt bad for the other kids who didn't have personal moon security.
There are tiny people living in stoplights.
We weren't exactly sure if they were tiny people in there or if it was some kind of magical creature staff, like elves or gnomes, who made sure the lights switched from red to yellow to green. It was the only explanation that made sense. There were no chords or electrical connections that we could see, so obviously there had to be somebody doing all the work manually, throwing a switch in a very, very, very tiny office.
Teachers live and sleep at school, in their classroom.
When a kid runs into one of their teachers in the outside world, it's confusing and discombobulating. What are they doing out here? They don't belong here! They should be at home (i.e., school) wandering the halls and waiting for the kids to come back. Encountering a teacher outside of school is like running into a gorilla outside of a zoo. It makes kids nervous.
People who died in movies actually died.
The concept of "acting" it's a little unclear to kids. What they see on TV and movie screens seems so real, so authentic, it's hard to believe they're watching anything but the absolute truth. Just like the superheroes on TV must be actual superheroes, and not just actors in latex suits, when somebody dies on screen, especially if the acting is a bit melodramatic, it feels to a kid like they're watching something that literally happened.
If you cut a doll's hair, it will grow back.
If a kid's hair grows back no matter how often you cut it, then why wouldn't a doll's hair do the same thing? Logic says it should work the same way, right? It doesn't matter how many times a parent scolds them and insists they've ruined a doll beyond repair, a kid's belief is unwavering that if they just wait long enough, fresh hair will sprout from the bald scalp of their beloved doll and all will be right again.
Dogs don't die, they go to a farm to live with other dogs and run through open pastures forever.
Parents only say that to kids to spare them the heartbreak of learning that a beloved pet has died. No dog has ever been "sent to a farm." Except for our dogs. Our dogs are still on that farm, running and leaping and barking and having the time of their life and DON'T YOU DARE TRY TELLING US OTHERWISE!
If you touch a toad, you'll get warts.
It's an old wives' tale with no basis in medical fact. According to WebMD, there has been not a single incident of a person developing warts from exposure to toads. This rumor was likely started by a kid who was grossed out by the idea of touching a toad, but rather than look like a coward he invented an elaborate and ridiculous medical reason for why he couldn't go near toads. Nice try, kid. And for more far-fetched stories, here are 25 Crazy Old Wives' Tales People Still Believe.
If you don't start running the moment you turn off the lights, monsters will find and devour you.
That's all monsters do all day, they sit and wait for a light switch to be turned off so that they can finally emerge from the darkness of your closet and feast on child flesh. Only the slow ones get eaten, so move fast and don't give those ogres a chance to sink their fangs into you.
Chocolate milk comes from brown cows.
And the really scary thing is, a lot of those kids grew up to become adults who still believe this. According to a 2017 study by the Innovation Center of US Dairy, seven percent of American adults are pretty sure brown cows create chocolate milk. That's nearly 16.5 million people. If you're one of those people, we have some stunning news for you. Chocolate milk is made by adding chocolate to milk. Sorry to burst your bubble.
Alligators live in the sewers and climb up pipes and into your toilet and will bite you right on the butt.
This is one of those crazy kid beliefs that adults, despite their better judgment, are a little worried about too. Sure, we've seen the stories about alligators living in the New York sewer, but we know there's been no credible evidence of alligators ever crawling up inside someone's plumbing and into their toilets. You have a better chance of being abducted by aliens. And okay, fine, if you're in Australia, apparently there is at least a chance that a gigantic python could crawl up your toilet. But as long as you don't live in Australia, you should be fine. Right?
Cracking your knuckles will give you arthritis.
The satisfying "pop" of knuckles being cracked sure is addictive, especially for kids. Which may be why parents have tried so hard to make them believe it can lead to arthritis or other chronic joint problems. Sorry, parents, the only thing cracking your knuckles leads to is looking like a street punk ready for a brawl. (Which may explain why kids find it so fascinating.) In fact, one doctor proved this in a 2004 study, after cracking the knuckles on his left hand for a full sixty years. The result: He was fine.
At night, or any time you leave the house, your stuffed animals became living, breathing creatures.
But what do they do in our homes when the humans are gone, that's the real question. Do they have projects or parties? How are they so good at fooling us into thinking they're just dolls and don't have brains and organs and feelings? The adults may buy it, but the kids aren't so easily fooled. And someday, one of them might even catch a doll in the act of moving.
People on TV are watching you.
In fact, they might even be inside the TV, performing live just for you. Any time you turn away, they're sneaking a peek at you. And when you leave to get a snack or go to the bathroom, they take a break too and talk amongst themselves. In a kid's mind, everything in the world is being done live, and manually. There are people inside your car, performing as your "radio," and a tiny operator inside your Siri or Alexa, responding personally to your every request.
The entire state of Pennsylvania is made out of pencils.
Well sure, you don't name a place Pencil-vania unless writing implements are literally holding it together. But here's a fun fact: Pencils with an eraser attached at the end were actually invented in Philadelphia, by a guy named Hymen Lipman. So Pennsylvania does have some connection to pencils! And for more wild inventions, here are 50 Amazing Things Invented by Kids.
If you swallow gum, it'll stay in your body for seven years.
It may be true that the synthetic part of gum doesn't break down in our digestive systems in the same way other food does, but it definitely doesn't sit in our gut for seven years. It doesn't even stay there for a month or a week. No, gum leaves our system in pretty much the same time frame as anything else we swallow. Have you seen the things that come out of a baby? If a baby can poop out a dime, there's no way gum is sticking around in your stomach for the long haul.
If you urinate in a pool, there's a special dye that will turn it bright red so everybody will know.
Parents have been tricking kids with this myth for generations, and it's no truer today than it ever was. According to Aqua Clear, a New York manufacturer of pool treatment chemicals, "There is no chemical that can function as an indicator for urine in a pool." But if it's convinced even a few kids to get out of the pool when they feel the need to pee, we hope this myth continues to spread.
Adults have the world pretty much figured out.
When you're a kid, grown-ups seem like they have an answer for everything. They have no uncertainties or insecurities or even a nanosecond of doubt about what to expect or how to behave on any given day. It sure will be great when they grow up and become just like Mom and Dad, completely at ease in the world and with nothing that could ever surprise or frighten them ever again.
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