20+ Stories About People Who Believed in Some Form of Nonsense Most of Their Lives

Our world is diverse and complicated, which is why it’s impossible to know about everything. We can be wrong about some things, which oftentimes causes feelings of confusion, especially when it comes to the simple stuff. That’s why they say, “Live and learn,” because even at 50, one might change their understanding of life, turning things upside down.

Reddit users revealed things that they or those close to them only realized in adulthood. And we at Bright Side believe there’s nothing shameful about not knowing something — new discoveries are useful at any age.

  • When I was 4 or 5, my mother brought me home a balloon one day. A plain blue balloon with helium. I accidentally let it go, and it flew away. Being little, I was devastated. Later that night she comes back from somewhere and tells me she was at the gas station and miraculously, my balloon just came floating by. Being a kid, I was thrilled and totally believed it.
    So fast forward 20+ years. I’m on a date and we stop to get gas and we see a balloon floating by the gas station. Probably hadn’t thought of that story again in all that time. So I start telling my date the story about how I had a balloon fly away and then my mother found the very same balloon at a gas station and then, as I’m saying it out loud, I realize that, of course, it wasn’t the same balloon. I’ve never seen someone laugh so hard. © Bonzi777 / Reddit
  • When I was a kid, I answered the phone when my Aunt Kris was expecting a call, then hung up when the person on the line asked for Kristina. I dunno why, but I grew up thinking my Aunt Kris’s full name was Kristopher. © corran450 / Reddit
  • As a kid, I was at a friend’s house. We were in the kitchen while my friend’s mom was standing at the sink washing up the dishes and looking out of the kitchen window, into the night. Suddenly, she let out a little cry. My friend asked her what was wrong.
    My friend’s mom: “The moon!”
    My friend: “What’s wrong with it?”
    My friend’s mom: “Well, where’s the rest of it?”
    She had apparently reached the age of, I dunno, 35? 40? Without ever noticing that the moon has phases and isn’t always full. © Schwann-Port / Reddit
  • My mom used to tell me the car doesn’t start if the seatbelts aren’t buckled...didn’t know that wasn’t a real feature until I was 22. © 24KaratMinshew / Reddit
  • I truly believed for the longest time that hair grew from the ends of the strands, not from the scalp. When I was 13, I asked my friend who had dyed her hair what she was going to do when the ends grew her natural color. Didn’t hear the end of it. That awkward moment still pains me to this day. © oreo_2005 / Reddit
  • My mother told me that if you swallowed gum it would stick to your ribs. I was in my second year of college in an anatomy class when it hit me that this isn’t true. © Lulubean16 / Reddit
  • My parents told me for some reason that if you drink water right after eating ice cream you’d get diarrhea. I told my girlfriend one day, who studies medicine, that she should not do this. She cried with laughter. © hetgepeperte / Reddit
  • I didn’t know how to sweep properly. I swept like how cartoon characters would where you would just swing a broom back and forth in the same place. When I was 19, my work supervisor asked me what I was doing and showed me how to sweep properly. © weatherforge / Reddit
  • My roommate was 21 when he learned that cows have fur. He thought they were just skin. © OGrimsby / Reddit
  • My wife always said she didn’t like scallops. I would occasionally have them early on in our relationship and offer her some if they were really good and she would decline. One day, we got really fresh scallops at a dinner party that our friends’ uncle had literally dived for that morning. They were so good. Seared in butter with just a hint of rosemary. I said, “Honey, I know you don’t like these that much but you have to try a bite.” Her response was, “No thanks, I really just don’t understand why people like something that makes your mouth go numb.” We learned that day she was allergic to scallops. © CupBeEmpty / Reddit
  • There’s no chemical in the pool that reveals pee. A buddy and I were talking about it and we both realized at the same time that neither of us has actually SEEN it. We looked it up and felt dumb as h***. It’s what they tell kids to scare them out of peeing in the pool. © lunchboxdeluxe / Reddit
  • At the age of 44, I learned that the sun is the only star in our solar system. Fifth-grade science. © ascapen / Reddit
  • My elementary school teacher told us that we had to be very quiet once it started snowing because the noise would make the snow stop. I continued to believe that for DECADES! And learned only recently that she just wanted us to be silent. © So_very_blessed / Reddit
  • My 31-year-old girlfriend thought islands didn’t touch the bottom of the ocean. © Diamondogs11 / Reddit
  • I was baking a cake and my friends were running around and being loud so I yelled at them to stop because I didn’t want them to ruin the cake. They looked at me like I had 2 heads so I had to explain that my siblings and I were always taught that making loud noises or running around a kitchen when something was baking would make it fall. Yeah, turns out that was made up to stop kids from running and being loud for a couple of hours when baking was being done. I called my mom up to ask her about it and both she and my grandma were just as shocked as I was to find out it’s a myth, so apparently, at least 3 generations have believed and followed that rule. © rakedleaves / Reddit
  • As a kid, I was really afraid of spiders. One night I saw a spider hiding behind a closet in my room. I told my mom about it and she said, “Don’t worry, spiders only live 24 hours, it is probably dead now.” I believed that for too long... © morsofer / Reddit
  • I’m 47 and I learned less than a decade ago that a pony is not a baby horse but a separate subtype of a horse. © Captain_Hampockets / Reddit
  • My ex-boyfriend found out at 18, from me, that the toilet seat is for sitting on. He used to lift the lid and the seat and sit on the ceramic bowl whenever he’d use the toilet, he thought the seat was just for women! © jessiehodgkin13 / Reddit
  • My grandma always made me eat the crust of my bread because “it has the most nutrients.” In college, when I told my younger cousin that in front of my Grandma, she laughed and said, “I only told you that so you wouldn’t waste the crust.”
    Similarly, if you turn the lights on and off too fast you’ll start a fire. Once I became a parent I realized it’s just a way to stop kids from being annoying. © BlanketsAndBlankets / Reddit
  • My mom told me eating the crust would make my hair curly!! I have super pin-straight hair...haha! © Kiwibear25 / Reddit
  • When I was younger, I was absolutely terrified of going to the beach because of sharks. Well, my mom got sick of hearing about it, so she told me that there was this giant net in the sea that circles our country and keeps the sharks out. It was 2 years ago when I realized this wasn’t true. I’m 31. © Helpful_Stock / Reddit
  • I am 64. But a couple of weeks ago, I learned they actually laid cable across the Atlantic for the telegraph. I was in tears when my hubby told me because I thought he was joking with me when he said they laid cable for the telegraph, I said “No they didn’t, that’s impossible!” But he was not joking and cable WAS put between the continents. Then I got very upset because I was never taught that in school. © HizKidd / Reddit

What facts became true discoveries for you when you grew older? Maybe you’ve learned something new from our article!

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