Origins of Urban Legends

We have all grown up hearing, reading, and telling urban legends. These stories are passed around from generation to generation. Sometimes they are funny, while other times they are shocking and scary. They are usually meant to be used as a life lesson or for a warning. Urban Legends are entertaining, but have you ever stopped and asked, what are the origins to these stories? Is there any truth to them? Or better yet, some of them are so silly that you really don’t understand how they became an urban legend in the first place.  Today, we are going to attempt to look at some origins of a few urban legends. Even though these have been researched, part of the appeal of urban legends is that it could be anyone’s story. It has been said there is a bit of truth to ever urban legend. Let’s see how spooky, or even how silly those origins might be.

 

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1. Drinking Diet Coke and Eating Mentos will cause your stomach to explode.

I think most of us have heard a variation of this particular urban legend. If you drink a full can of diet coke, and then follow that with eating the candy, Mentos, your stomach will blow up. Sometimes, it’s drinking a full can. Other times, it says to take a sip of the Diet Coke, and put a Mentos in your mouth. If you swallow them at the same time, then that will cause your stomach to explode. Does this actually happen? Of course not, but there is reasons behind this story. The origin comes from the fact that there is a very real chemical reaction that happens when adding mint Mentos to Diet Coke. If you place Mentos in a Diet Coke, it will cause the soda to shoot out of the container. However, this isn’t the same effect when you add in a human to the mix. What will really happen to you if you mix these two items? You may have a bad taste in your mouth, and get some gas. It’s not going to explode your stomach.

 

 

 

 

2. I’m carrying Spider Babies in my cheeks!

I clearly remember reading this story in the “Scary Stories”  books when I was a child. This really bothered me, as I’m sure it bothered many people. This urban legend states that a young girl went on vacation overseas. When she was at her destination, she was bitten by a spider on her cheek. They didn’t seek medical attention because it was not bothering her. By the time she had arrived back home, her cheek was swollen. While taking a bath, her cheek burst open and baby spiders came out of her face! I can say one thing about the origins of this myth. A spider can’t lay eggs in your face. Keep in mind, I said a spider only. There are many creepy crawling creatures that can do some serious damage to you. When you travel, take all the precautions that you need, including learning about the local wild life.

 

 

3.If you put batteries in the Fridge, they will last longer.

This may be a very dated urban legend since everyone has chargers for everything. However, there are still those certain things, like your TV remote, that requires actual batteries. Many people stored their unused batteries in the Fridge right next to the milk and butter in an attempt to keep them fresh. My Grandparents did this, and I think my parents did as well. The thought process behind this origin is that many years ago, different chemicals were used to make batteries. It might have been instructed on the packages to store in a cool, dry place. Many people decided to put their batteries in the fridge because they thought it would help them not to spoil. This became a learned behavior, and as technology improved, the need to do this anymore stopped. However, many people still store their batteries in the Fridge even though it may actually be damaging to them instead of extending their life.

 

4.Throwing a Penny from a high location can kill someone!

Have you ever been to a really high place like the Sears Tower and saw warning signs about not throwing anything off the side of the building? That makes a lot of sense, because there is a lot of items that can do some damage. However, people fear the tiny little penny as a weapon of death! To date, not one death has been caused by a penny. There also has never been property damaged done by a falling penny. The origin to this urban legend comes from the fact that items gain velocity while falling. Meaning objects that fall get faster, therefore have a greater force when it finally stops. A penny is not ever going to be enough force to hurt anyone, or anything if falling from a huge building. However, other falling objects can cause a lot of damage, so don’t throw anything off a building, and be careful where you are standing!

 

5. Chain Letters, Emails, Posts:

This super rich celebrity is going to pick one lucky person to give a million dollars to give to! All you have to do is like, share, and comment on this post. They will see it, trust me! Or, this random person won the lottery, and they want to share their money with one person! All you have to do is forward this email to everyone in your list! If this post gets 1 million likes, this person will give away a car to one of the people who clicked the like button. Did you fall for it? Many people have. The origins of this is simple. Most of the time, these are ways to collect your data. Many of these posts that you are sharing come with an unwanted guest, a virus that scans and collects data from your phone and computer. Let’s just be clear, if it’s too good to be true, it is not real.

 

Those were a few of the strange origins to some urban legends. They may vary, but essential the message is the same. What are some of your favorite urban legends?

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About ltebrinke 194 Articles
Hello everyone, My name is Lisa and I am excited about this new blog! I have been freelance writing for over 10 years. I went to school for creative writing and have several been published in several places including ebooks, magazines, newspapers, and more. I am a caregiver, Dog Mom, and a fun loving person! I always look for the bright side of life.

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