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Urban Legends

June 1, 2016
by Dan Voigt , Emmetsburg News

In a conversation with friends the other day, we got talking about urban legends and the fact that for the most part, they were a bunch of bunk. For some reason, I kept replaying that conversation in my mind, and I decided to find some urban legends to prove my point.

After a quick look on the Internet, I?found several urban legends that aren't all that common for you to consider.

Mr. Rogers was a Navy SEAL

According to this legend Mr. Rogers, the popular children's show host, was once a Navy SEAL sniper in Vietnam responsible for numerous deaths. It goes on to say that the only reason he always wore a sweater was to cover up all of his tattoos. As you may have guessed, Mr. Rogers was never a Navy SEAL and he had no tattoos, in fact he was never even in the military. This isn't the first time, however, that this rumor has circulated concerning a clean cut celebrity.

Kennedy and the Jelly Donut

The legend goes that President John F. Kennedy made a trip to Germany back in the 60?s in an attempt to connect with the German people. While giving a speech in the capital he told the crowd, "Ich bin ein Berliner" or "I am a Berliner". Apparently though, a "berliner" is also a type of German pastry. Since then numerous stories have circulated claiming that he was practically laughed off stage afterwards. The truth is, however, that that the crowd understood him perfectly and nary a single eyebrow was raised at the statement.

The Dissolving Tooth

There are numerous urban legends involving Coca Cola. In fact, there are so many that these legends all now have their own category known as "Colklore". The most popular is that if you were to leave a tooth in a cup of coke overnight by morning the tooth would be completely dissolved. Like most of the other legends involving the popular drink this is totally untrue.

The Good Samaritan

Circulating for years this legend tells the story of a motorist who stops on the side of the road to help someone fix their flat tire. The person being helped then asks the motorist for his address to send a reward. Several weeks later the motorist receives $10,000 in the mail. Over the years this story has been attributed to several celebrities, most recently Donald Trump.

Walt Disney is Cryogenically Frozen

This is another one of those popular stories that most of us have probably heard. It says that Disney supposedly had his dead body frozen in hopes that future technology could bring him back to life. Unfortunately for all the gossip magazines though, records show that Disney was cremated in 1966.

Sewer Gators

This story tells the tale of how several alligators were brought up from Florida to be kept as pets in New York City. After they got too big and violent they escaped into the sewers where they now live freely. Dating back to the 1930s and spread by sensationalist newspapers the story is completely untrue yet continues to be circulated to this day.

The 9/11 Tourist Guy

Shortly after 9/11 a photo began to circulate showing a tourist standing atop one of the World Trade Centers with one of the airplanes in the background of the shot about to strike the tower. The accompanying story explained how the camera was found in the wreckage but the tourist remained missing. Aside from all of the very inconsistent details in the picture the story already seemed completely improbable and several people came forward claiming to be the prankster responsible. It wasn't until recently, however, that the real culprit was discovered in Hungary. He has since apologized to the families for making light of their situation.

USA, Japan

Yes, there is a town in Japan called Usa. No, the Japanese did not rename it after World War II so that they could legitimately stamp their exports with the phrase "Made in USA".

The Poisonous Daddy Long Legs

There has been a persistent rumor circulating for some time that the daddy long legs spider is the most poisonous in the world but cannot kill humans because its fangs are too small. Where this rumor started no one knows but one thing is for sure, the daddy long legs is certainly not the most poisonous spider in the world. If you're going to be careful around spiders we would advise keeping your eyes open for the brown recluse or the funnel web spider.

There you have it - nine urban legends that a whole lot of people believe are as true as true can be. My assessment?

I'd say it's just like the commercial - If it's on the Internet, well, it has to be true!

 
 
 

 

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