Bright Side
Bright Side

17 Survival Tips We Were Told Would Save Us, but Are Pure Myths

The entire internet has thousands of videos and articles about survival tips that can save you during a very difficult situation. But, many of them happen to be completely inaccurate and can cause you severe damage if applied. For example, if you get chased by an alligator, running in zigzags won’t be that much help.

Bright Side knows that there are so many survival tips out there, but we’d like to let you know that many of them are nothing but myths.

  • “If a shark is coming after you, swim away.” If a shark is coming towards you in the first place, it’s most likely just curious and wants to check you out. Swimming away and thrashing about will further intrigue it to keep following you. Instead, redirect it by running your hand along its side and carefully positioning it to swim away from you. swaggy_kyu / reddit
  • “Change your voicemail if you are lost.” You need a cell signal to change your voicemail, if you have a signal, then why wouldn’t you just call for help? Moreover, it misses the most important thing about US cell phones and being lost: 911 will work on any cell tower, regardless if it’s “in network” or even if you have an active phone plan or not. So in an emergency always TRY dialing 911 regardless if your phone appears to have signal or not. Histidine / reddit
  • “Lightning never strikes twice in the same place.” If lightning has found a path that it likes to the ground, it’s extremely likely to strike there multiple times. That why lightning rods work. CatboyInAMaidOutfit / reddit
  • “You can drink water from a cactus.” Any liquid inside a cactus will be highly acidic and likely to cause nausea and diarrhea, further dehydrating you. aixbelle / reddit
  • “The desert is hot and little clothing is best.” Cover up during both the day and the night. The sun will burn you and dehydrate you very quickly. During the night, it’s really common for people to pass away of hypothermia because the temperature drops so fast. Curious_Wrangler_980 / reddit
  • “If you’re in a tornado, open all your windows to equalize the pressure inside to match the outside.” If you’re in a tornado, opening any window or door will create a wind tunnel that rips your entire roof off. NightOnF***Mountain / reddit
  • “Running in a zigzag to outrun an alligator.” Alligators don’t run for long distances, so this will probably just waste your energy. They can also climb some fences and trees as well. TchaikenNugget / reddit
  • That moss grows on the north side of a tree. It can grow all over the tree, so it’s not a steadfast rule that you should make important decisions solely on. d***rthegreat87 / reddit
  • “Follow flying birds to find water.” They can simply be flying to spend a night anywhere, so we can’t rely on them. loveliboi / reddit
  • Concerning frostbite, do not rub someone’s frostbitten skin or pour hot water on it to warm them up. Such measures will damage the skin even more severely. Grungemaster / reddit
  • Conserving water. You should not stretch a glass of water over four days. When you are thirsty, you need water. Basketballjuice / reddit
  • You cannot eat everything that an animal can eat. There are things animals can eat that humans find toxic, so eating everything you see animals eating can lead to you potentially eating deadly berries or mushrooms. lordbeezlebub / reddit
  • Split to cover more ground. Mission_Blueberry_48 / reddit
  • The rubber tires on a vehicle will insulate you from the ground and protect you from lightning. Lightning doesn’t stop for 2″ of rubber, tho the car will act like a faraday cage and protect you from the electrical current unless you’re in a convertible, a motorbike or any other vehicle that doesn’t cover you in all directions. Sad-And-Mad / reddit
  • You don’t have to wait 24 hours to report somebody as missing to the police. Inner-English-678 / reddit
  • “If a snake bites you, suck the poison out or use a tourniquet.” No, you should call an ambulance. Use a broad pressure bandage to immobilize the whole limb, never EVER tourniquet a snake bite. You are reducing the natural lymph movement through broadly spread pressure, not trying to give them gangrene. The victim must not move unless being carried. Don’t touch your mouth to the wound. Don’t wash it. AnnoyedOwlbear / reddit
  • Pouring salt on a serious burn does not help you. Learned from experience. I was a teenager when a bad situation led to me being burned multiple times. Afterward, not sure how to help me, my friend remembered Gladiator and poured a thing of salt over the worst burns. I ended up going to the doctor the next day. They had to scrape the dead skin away, which was made all the more painful by the gritty salt. LoPellegrino / reddit

Do you know of any other things we considered to be valid, but they would be more harmful instead of helpful?

Preview photo credit, swaggy_kyu / reddit
Bright Side/Tips & tricks/17 Survival Tips We Were Told Would Save Us, but Are Pure Myths
Share This Article