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Urban Legends: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
Are Terrorists Buying UPS Uniforms on eBay? -...
Email rumor circulating since 2003 claims a large number of UPS uniforms were mysteriously purchased at inflated prices, possibly by terrorists, on eBay.
Hoax Challenge: Can YOU Spot the Fakes?
Real or Fake? Take our quiz and see if you can tell the hoax photos from the real thing!
The Top 25 Scariest Urban Legends Ever!
Gather 'round the digital campfire to enjoy the Top 25 Scariest Stories we know. You'll be sore afraid!
"The Russian Sleep Experiment" Will Keep You...
Did Russian researchers conduct an experiment in which five prison inmates were deprived of sleep for 15 days straight, driving them to insanity and cannibalism?
Black Jack Pershing vs. Muslim Terrorists -...
Did U.S. Gen. 'Black Jack' Pershing rid the Philippines of Islamic extremism by executing Muslim terrorists and burying them with pig's blood and entrails?
Is This Photo of a "Monkey Orchid" for Real?
Description: Viral image Circulating since: 2012 Status: Mixed (details below) Example caption #1 As
Did Australia's PM Really Tell Muslims to...
Statements falsely attributed to Australia Prime Minister Julia Gillard advise Muslim immigrants to learn English and adapt to Australian culture or leave.
Do You Know What Happens When You Mess with...
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Also known as
Scary Stuff: The Legend of the Hanging Boyfriend
They picked the worst possible night to go necking on Lovers' Lane. Find out why... if you dare!
Beware of Drug-Laced Business Cards (and Urban...
Viral rumors warn of criminals using business cards impregnated with a drug called burundanga (scopolamine) to incapacitate victims before attacking them.
"Aren't You Glad You Didn't Turn on the Light?"
After coming home late and getting ready for bed in the dark, a college coed wakes up the next morning to receive the shock of her life...
7 Horror Stories to Make You Think Twice Before...
The absolute worst, most horrifying travel stories we've ever heard!
About That Photo of Barack Obama "Praying" in a...
Description: Viral image, text Circulating since: Jan. 2010 Status: False (details below) Text example:
Is There Such a Thing as a Black Lion?
Viral image purports to show a rare, all-black lion discovered in Africa.
Richard Gere and the Gerbil: A Moral Tale
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >I don't mean to
Stuff Onions in Your Socks to Cure Disease!
Viral message claims placing raw onions on feet overnight will take away illness or prevent flu. Be skeptical!
Does Dialing 112 in an Emergency Really Help?
Female college student pursued by cop impersonator is rescued by a real police officer after dialing 112 (or *112, or #112) emergency number on her cell phone.
Don't Be Fooled! Your Guide to Fake News Sites
Tired of people sharing fake news as if it's true? Point them to this checklist of satire sites on the web. Guaranteed 100% effective!
The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs
A teenage babysitter frantically calls the police after receiving prank calls from a stranger who repeatedly inquires after the welfare of the children she's supposed to be taking care of.
2 Versions of a Very Creepy Urban Legend
Also known as 'The Licked Hand.' A popular tale from the oral tradition recast as a spooky -- if not quite believable -- Internet chain letter.
The 13 Creepiest Tales to Tell Around a Campfire
Thirteen of the creepiest stories ever told. Read them if you dare.
What Really Happened to Carmen Winstead?
Internet chain letter tells the story of Carmen Winstead, a 17-year-old girl supposedly pushed down a sewer and killed by a gang of bullies from her school.
The True Origin of the F-Word - Urban Legends
In which we're asked to believe that the word 'fuck' originated as the acronym of 'Fornication Under Consent of the King,' or 'For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge,' or some variation thereof.
Do People Really Get Buried Alive?
Once upon a time, before modern embalming techniques were developed, people were indeed found on very rare occasions to have been buried alive.
Is Jamie Lee Curtis a Hermaphrodite?
Longstanding (and unproven) rumors claim actress Jamie Lee Curtis is a hermaphrodite, or was born intersex and underwent surgery as a child to become female.
Beware the Hook Man!
The Hook: A teenager drove his date to Lovers' Lane for a make-out session before it was time to take her home. The place was dark and deserted...
'Twas the Spoof Before Christmas
Apocryphal versions of A Visit from St. Nicholas (The Night Before Christmas), one of the most parodied poems in the English language.
Was Mr. Rogers a Military Sharpshooter?
Was children's TV show host Mr. Rogers formerly a tattoo-wearing Marine sniper or Navy SEAL with dozens of confirmed kills to his credit?
Arachnophobe's Nightmare: The Spider Bite!
Can spider eggs really hatch inside someone's body? Here are two variants of an urban legend about a truly horrible infestation!
The Biggest Snake That Never Was... Photos Here!
Viral images purport to show an unbelievably large snake found and killed in the Red Sea by the Egyptian military.
Test Your Urban Legends IQ
Urban Legends Quiz: Test your urban legends IQ!: urban legends iq
The Killer in the Window
A teenage babysitter frantically phones the police after seeing a strange man approaching the sliding glass door near where she's watching TV.
Why Do People Think Friday the 13th Is Unlucky?
Why is Friday the 13th considered unlucky? We explore the origins and history of superstitions surrounding the date.
Did They Finally Find Obama's "Foreign Student"...
Viral image purports to show Barack Obama's 1981 student ID card from Columbia University, listing him as a 'foreign student.' Unsurprisingly, it's a hoax.
Is Barack Obama a Muslim? - Urban Legends
Online rumor alleges that Barack Obama is a Muslim and lied to the American people when he claimed to be a devout Christian.
Why Is the Ocean Salty? Whale Sperm! - Urban...
According to this viral message, a typical blue whale produces over 400 gallons of sperm when it ejaculates. And you wonder why the ocean is so salty!
One Dead Body Under the Mattress Can Ruin Your...
Honeymooners notice a strange odor in their hotel room and decide to peek under the mattress, only to find... The Body Under the Bed!
Is Urban Legend Debunking Site Snopes.com Biased?
Is there any truth to the claim that Snopes.com is a liberal front organization?
The Cadaver's Arm
Students in a medical school play a prank on a fellow student using the arm of a cadaver. It doesn't end well.
The Top 25 Urban Legends This Week
Trending urban legends, online rumors and hoaxes
The Killer in the Backseat
Drivers beware - that person following you on the highway may actually be trying to save your life!
Don't Believe Rumors About a Public Cell Phone...
Viral messages warn that all cell phone numbers will soon go public and instructs users to dial 888-382-1222 to add mobile numbers to the Do Not Call Registry.
Salaries of Charity CEOs Compared - Urban Legends
Viral text purports to compare the salaries of top executives of U.S. and Canadian charitable organizations.
Photo of Cop Pepper-Spraying Child Was Taken in...
Viral image shows a policeman spraying a child with mace or pepper spray.
Breast Infestation - Urban Legends
Ladies, wash your underwear in boiling water! Viral image and video purport to document a case of larvae infestation of the human breast.
The Laundry Room Killer
A teenage babysitter hears strange noises in the basement, as if someone is turning the clothes dryer on and off. She goes downstairs to investigate.
Did JFK Really Tell Germans "I Am a Jelly Donut"?
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Dear Urban Legends:
17 Hysterically Funny Urban Legends!
A hand-picked collection of hysterically funny stories from the Urban Legends archive
Xmas Expert? Try Our Christmas Folklore Quiz
Quiz: Christmas traditions, history and folklore
What Exactly IS an Urban Legend?
Urban Legends FAQ: What is an urban legend?
Is It True that ABC News Banned American Flag...
Viral message claims ABC News ordered reporters and news anchors not to wear American flag lapel pins or other patriotic insignia.
The Spider in the Hairdo
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Also known as
Amazing Cell Phone Tips! But Sadly Not Real
Viral message purports to divulge various tips and tricks for cell phone use, including dialing 112 to access a worldwide emergency network. Be skeptical!
Why Do They Say Leftover Onions Are Poisonous?
Forwarded email claims leftover onions are 'poisonous' because they're 'a huge magnet for bacteria' and especially prone to spoilage.
The Vanishing Hitchhiker
The honeymooners came upon a young woman hitchhiking on a deserted road in the middle of the night. They offered her a ride, embarking on a detour they'd never forget.
Is That Infamous Marie Antoinette Quote You...
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Say what you will
Check Out This "Real" Photo of a Deadly Snow...
Description: Viral image / Prank / Hoax Circulating since: 2013 Status: Fake / False (see details below)
Waves Engulf the Statue of Liberty and Other...
Check out the wildest, wackiest fake storm photos that went viral during the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy, Oct. 29, 2012.
The Legend of the Tootsie Pop Indian Wrapper
Where did the rumor come from that you could get a free Tootsie Roll Pop (or a whole bag of them) if you found a star (or an Indian, or both) on your wrapper?
Can People Look Up My Driver's License on the...
Website purports to offer free, easy access to personal information contained in state driver's license databases.
Can Vicks VapoRub on Your Feet Relieve Coughing?
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Synopsis: This
Myth Busted: A Duck's Quack Doesn't Echo
In which it is claimed that the quack of a duck, unlike every other sound known to man, does not echo. Humbug!
Read If You Dare: The Knife in the Briefcase
After consenting to give a ride to a good samaritan who helped her fix a flat tire, a female driver suddenly remembers she has a very important appointment and races off without him. Later, she finds he left his briefcase in her back seat. She opens it.
The Case of the Choking Doberman
That the Doberman seemed to be choking to death was scary enough. Then they discovered what he was choking on...
Don't Fall For The \$250 Neiman Marcus Cookie...
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Circulating via
Did Obama Really Salute the Flag with His Left...
Viral image appears to show Barack and Michelle Obama saluting the flag by placing their left hands over their hearts.
Read This and You'll Never Eat Cookies in Bed...
Doctors looking for the cause of severe headaches and facial itching in a young child discover that ants have crawled in his ear and infested his brain.
Theodore Roosevelt on Immigrants - Urban Legends
Emailed quotation in which Teddy Roosevelt insists that every immigrant must become 'an American, and nothing but an American,' forsaking their native language for English and all other flags for the American flag.
Origin of the S-Word - 'Ship High in Transit' -...
In which we are told, and with a straight face, that the word 'shit' originated as the acronym of 'Ship High in Transit' (or 'Stow High in Transit'), a supposed nautical phrase.
World Record Grizzly Bear (Photos) - Urban...
Viral images of an enormous, 1,600-pound, man-eating grizzly bear supposedly killed by a hunter in Alaska.
A Tech Support Nightmare: The Snake in the...
What do you do when you hear hissing sounds coming from your PC? Call Tech Support, of course. Unless the problem is a snake in your hard drive.
8 Ways to Spot an Urban Legend
Learn to spot an urban legend. Here are some telltale signs and a few tips and tricks for separating fact from fiction.
4 Theories About Who Killed Princess Diana
More than 15 years after Princess Diana was killed in a car crash on Aug. 31, 1997, conspiracy theories are still circulating about the circumstances of her death.
What Really Happened to "The Missing Bride"?
After a lavish wedding in a stately mansion, members of the wedding party play a game of hide-and-seek. It isn't long before everyone is found... everyone, that is, except the bride.
Is This a Real Mermaid Caught on Video?
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Yet another viral
What About Those "Spermicidal" Properties of...
Is it true that the popular American soft drink Mountain Dew can lower a male's sperm count and be used as a contraceptive to prevent pregnancy?
Are All of Santa's Reindeer Female? - Urban...
Is it true that male reindeer lose their antlers by December, therefore all of Santa's reindeer - including Rudolph - must be female?
Do Carjackers Have a New Method?
Viral rumor warns of a new carjacking scheme involving the placement of a flyer or piece of paper or currency on the victim's rear window to trick them into exiting the vehicle.
No, Obama Did Not Declare December "National...
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Synopsis: Internet
Check Out This Amazing Pic of a Rare "Golden...
According to her caretakers at an animal sanctuary in Hawaii, Zoe the golden zebra was born with a condition known as amelanosis, a melanin pigment deficiency.
Have Scientists Really Found Giant Human...
Hoax images purport to show skeletons of human giants (biblical Nephilim or Canaanites) allegedly found in Greece.
Gross Pictures
WARNING: Some viewers may find these images unnerving or offensive. A gallery of viral images notable for their 'ick' factor. Some are authentic, others not. As you'll see, it's not always easy to tell which is which!
The Terrifying Tale of Bunny Man Bridge
In which we investigate the legend of the Bunny Man, an ax murderer in a bunny suit who has supposedly terrorized Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. for decades.
Watch Out for the "Anaconda Swallows Zookeeper"...
(Updated 5/12/14) DON'T CLICK on video posts about a giant anaconda swallowing a zookeeper in South Africa.
Is Santa's 7th Reindeer Named Donner or Donder?
What IS the correct name of Santa's seventh reindeer? Is it Donner, Donder or Dunder? We've gone back to the original sources to find an answer.
A Police Officer's Night Before Christmas
Another Internet parody based on the classic Christmas poem 'A Visit from St. Nicholas'
Obama's 'Muslim' Ring - Urban Legends
Close-up photo of President Obama's wedding ring shows no visible indications of any writing at all, much less the Arabic phrase 'There is no God but Allah.'
Did Obama Really Say He Wants to Change the...
Circulating online, fictitious statements attributed to President Obama explaining his 'refusal' to salute the flag and national anthem.
Muslims Exempt from Obamacare? That's a Myth!
Viral rumor falsely asserts that Muslims are specifically exempt from the government mandate to purchase health insurance under Obamacare.
Did Bill Cosby Really Say Those Things on the...
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Allegedly written
World's Biggest Dog, or Dumbest Hoax?
Viral photo of a gigantic dog named Hercules, purportedly the Guinness Record holder for Biggest Dog in the World.
10 Things to Know About Slender Man
Who or what is Slender Man, and why is everyone so afraid of him? All your questions answered here!
The Truth About That "Alaskan Tree Frog" Photo
Description: Viral image / Hoax Circulating since: 2013? Status: Mislabeled (details below) Caption example
The Last Time They Were Seen Alive
A slideshow of startling images purporting to show people milliseconds before meeting their doom. Be skeptical.
Altoids and Oral Sex - Urban Legends
Altoids lore: Does chewing mints before performing oral sex really enhance the pleasure?
Was Obama Really the Only President Not to...
Viral message claims Barack Obama is the only president in 68 years to neglect visiting the D-Day monument in Normandy.
Is the "Knockout Perfume" Scam Real?
Criminals are supposedly knocking out victims by getting them to sniff samples of drug-laced perfume or cologne.
Check Out the Latest Trending Hoaxes and Urban...
Hoax List from About.com: Current Internet hoaxes, email rumors and urban legends debunked - your resource for information on all the latest misinformation on the Net.
Are Car Thieves Hacking Remote Keys as a New...
Is it true car owners should lock doors manually instead of using a remote key,because thieves can gain entry by cloning the security code('code grabbing'?)
What Do Brown Recluse Spider Bites Look Like?
Viral images purport to show the progressive deterioration of a brown recluse spider bite. Are they real?
The Escherian Stairwell - You Won't Believe...
Description: Viral video / Hoax Circulating since: April 2013 Status: Fake (see details below) View full
What Exactly ARE Urban Legends?
Infrequently answered questions about the whys and wherefores of those silly-yet-irresistable stories called 'urban legends.'
Incredible "Pig Fish" Tastes Like Bacon!
Description: Viral image / Photo hoax Circulating since: Feb. 2013 Status: Fake (see details below) Text
Bill Gates Speech on 11 Rules of Life - Urban...
Circulating virally, the text of a speech allegedly given by Bill Gates setting out 11 Rules of Life kids won't learn in school.
Do Earwigs Crawl in People's Ears and Eat Their...
Myth Busted: The earwigs is so named because it crawls into sleeping people's ears and eats their brains.
How We Know the Story of Ciara's Secret Sex...
Internet rumors claim Ciara was born male and is either a secret transvestite or underwent a sex-change operation to become a transsexual.
Is There a Nasty Secret Ingredient in Your...
We look into the claim that the secret ingredient responsible for the boost you get from Red Bull and other energy drinks is bull sperm.
Can Tanning Beds Kill?
A young bride-to-be decides she needs a tan, so a week before her wedding day she visits a tanning salon. Then another, then another.
Is This "1800-Pound" Wild Boar for Real?
Description: Viral images Circulating since: March 2009 Status: False / Mislabeled Analysis: See last
Tupac Is Alive! - Full Text of Purported CNN...
Full text of purported CNN news story reporting the 'resurrection' of Tupac Shakur. This is an Internet hoax perpetrated on April Fools' Day 2005.
Was This Flight Really a 'Dry Run' for...
Unreported airline incident? Viral email by Tedd Petruna purports to be an eyewitness account of a Muslim terrorist 'dry run' aboard AirTran Airways Flight 297 from Atlanta to Houston on November 17, 2009.
Is the Halal Meat in U.S. Supermarkets Safe to...
Viral message claims that halal meat products being sold in U.S. supermarkets are processed in plants 'notorious' for 'filth and uncleanliness.'
Was the Flush Toilet Invented by a Man Named...
Is it true that a 19th-century British plumber named Sir Thomas Crapper (aka John Crapper) invented the flush toilet?
What Is a Leap Year and Why Do We Have It?
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" >leap years . A leap year contains one extra
Do Bar Codes Reveal Where a Product Is Made?
Viral messages claims potentially hazardous products made in China can be identified by looking at the first three digits of the bar code on the packaging, which supposedly indicate the country of origin.
Beware of KFC's "Mutant" Chicken!
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >The online rumor
Was Tom Hanks' Dad the Lead Singer of The...
Social media rumor claims Tom Hanks' dad was an original member of the vocal quartet The Diamonds. Not true.
Did Obama Really Offer Free Cell Phones to...
Viral rumor claims the Obama administration started a program whereby taxpayer money is being 'redistributed' to provide free cell phones ('Obama phones') to welfare recipients.
Viral "Privacy Notice" on Facebook Has No Legal...
DON'T FALL FOR IT! Viral post purports to protect the privacy and intellectual property rights of Facebook members who copy and paste it to their walls. Not true.
Do Plastic Water Bottles Really Cause Cancer?
Bottled water cancer danger? Viral text warns against drinking bottled water left in a warm car because the heat may cause cancer-producing toxins to 'leak' from the plastic into the water.
Do Gangs Use Eggs and Abandoned Babies to Trap...
Viral alert warns of criminals using new techniques to trick drivers into stopping their vehicles - throwing raw eggs at windshields and leaving infant car seats with fake babies in them beside the road.
Card Trick: I CAN READ YOUR MIND! - Urban Legends
I can read your mind! Don't believe me? Here, I'll prove it!
Was Aunt Bee From The Andy Griffith Show Once a...
Viral image purportedly shows the young Frances Bavier (who played Aunt Bee on the Andy Griffith Show) as a 1940s pin-up model.
NASA and the Missing Day in Time - Urban Legends
In which we are asked to believe that NASA scientists inadvertently confirmed the biblical account of God causing the sun to stand still for a day.
Can You Unlock Your Car Door with a Cell Phone?...
Locked out of your automobile? According to this forwarded email, you can have someone transmit a signal from your spare remote key via cell phone and unlock your car door in a pinch.
Could Cannibalism Be Alive and Well in Modern...
Dear Urban Legends: I received an email last week which was quite disturbing. It is about dead babies that can be bought from hospitals in Taiwan to meet the high demand for grilled and barbequed babies!
That Time You Ate Someone Else's Cookies by...
A traveler is aghast when an indigent sits down next to him in an airport and begins filching cookies from the package he has just bought.
Can Raw Onions Really Absorb Germs and Prevent...
Viral message claims raw sliced onions will 'collect' or 'absorb' any flu virus present in a home and protect household members from influenza.
Is This What They Mean by "Panda Diplomacy"?
Viral image purports to show a 'real panda' flying on a plane, gnawing on bamboo shoots in business class beside a human passenger.
Does Flour Really Work as a Burn Remedy?
No. Plain white flour will not stop pain from a burn nor promote healing. Experts say it's better to use cool water, then cover the burn loosely with dry, sterile gauze.
Who's Afraid of The Slender Man?
The Internet boogeyman known as Slender Man (aka Slenderman) is best described as a crowdsourced fiction.
Why Are People Saying Tommy Hilfiger Is a Racist?
About those rumors that fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger made racist statements on the Oprah Winfrey Show...
College Application Essay - Urban Legends
A viral hit since 1990, here is the funniest 'college application essay' ever written.
Did Nostradamus Predict the 9/11 Attacks?
Internet rumors claim French seer Nostradamus predicted the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon 500 years before they happened.
A Classic Urban Legend: The Mexican Pet
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >As told by '"Starsxnine"...
Ever Wonder What a Real Mermaid Looks Like?
Viral images allegedly show the carcass of a mermaid found washed up on a beach near Chennai, India after a tsunami.
Is It True that Poinsettias Are Poisonous to...
Is it true that poinsettia plants are poisonous if ingested, especially by small children and pets?
Is There a Hidden Meaning in "The 12 Days of...
Internet text purports to explain the 'origin and secret meaning' of 'The Twelve Days of Christmas,' describing it as an 'underground catechism song' for Catholics who endured religious persecution in Protestant England.
The Tourist Guy of 9/11 - Urban Legends
The Tourist Guy (aka Tourist of Death, Accidental Tourist of 9/11): A snapshot purportedly taken atop one of the World Trade Center twin towers seconds before the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001.
It's a Hoax: "Worker Puts HIV+ Blood in Frooti...
Online hoax claims Frooti products have been contaminated by a worker with HIV-positive blood. It's false.
Snake Tangles with Electric Fence, Loses
Various tales, some taller than others, accompany shocking images of an unfortunate python who tangled with an electric fence and lost.
Good Luck, Mr. Gorsky! - Urban Legends
An apocryphal footnote to the history of Neil Armstrong's Apollo 11 lunar landing and moonwalk.
Can Listerine Really Be Used as a Mosquito...
Viral text claims spraying an outside area with Listerine mouthwash repels and/or kills every mosquito in the vicinity.
Is the "Talking Angela" App Stalking Your Kids?
Online rumors claim the popular smartphone app 'Talking Angela' is a threat to kids' privacy and safety. Not true.
The Roommate's Death, An Urban Legend
There's a killer hiding in the room. Don't turn on the light!
Do Birds Really Explode If They Eat Wedding Rice?
People say you shouldn't throw rice at weddings because birds will eat it, the grains will expand in their stomachs, and they will explode. Not true.
That Study Linking Staring at Women's Breasts...
'Medical study' supposedly published in the New England Journal of Medicine claims staring at women's breasts improves heart health and lengthens lifespan in men.
7-Headed Snake Bites the Internet
Viral images purport to show a 7-headed snake (or a 5-headed, or 3-headed snake, depending on version) found in Honduras (or India, etc.).
A Look Back at the Wildest Rumors of 9/11
A look back at the wildest, weirdest, wackiest rumors that circulated in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

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