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Urban Legends: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
Two Moons in the Sky on August 27?
Recurring rumor claims 27 August 2015 will bring a close encounter between Mars and Earth, during which there will appear to be two moons in the night sky.
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!
Are We Headed for a Close Encounter with Mars?
Recycled hoax claims Aug. 27 will bring the closest encounter between Mars and Earth in recorded history.
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?
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!
Richard Gere and the Gerbil, a Moral Tale
Several years ago, 'they' say, actor Richard Gere was admitted into the emergency room of a Los Angeles hospital with a foreign object lodged in a bodily orifice.
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!
Do You Know What Happens When You Mess with...
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Also known as
Six Scary Stories to Make You Think Twice...
Warning: If you read these terrifying stories about travelers and traveling you may never leave home again!
The 13 Creepiest Tales to Tell Around a Campfire
Thirteen of the creepiest stories ever told. Read them if you dare.
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.
"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...
Beware of the Killer Clown!
A babysitter calls the parents who hired her to ask if she can cover up the scary, life-size clown statue in the living room.
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.
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.
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!
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!
Test Your Urban Legends IQ
Urban Legends Quiz: Test your urban legends IQ!: urban legends iq
Is Urban Legend Debunking Site Snopes.com Biased?
Is there any truth to the claim that Snopes.com is a liberal front organization?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Is There Such a Thing as a Black Lion?
Viral image purports to show a rare, all-black lion discovered in Africa.
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.
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.
Did the Australian 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 the country.
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.
An 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!
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.
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.
Shampoo Warning Video is a Scam
Fake video supposedly reveals hideous skin condition caused by use of Head & Shoulders, Dove, Garnier, or other name-brand shampoo. Don't click. It's a scam.
The Top 25 Urban Legends This Week
Trending urban legends, online rumors and hoaxes
Work Moose in Harness (Moose Logging) - Urban...
Viral image purportedly shows a full-grown 'work moose' being harnessed to haul wood in a logging operation. Stated location varies.
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.
17 Hysterically Funny Urban Legends!
A hand-picked collection of hysterically funny stories from the Urban Legends archive
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.
Fake Parking Attendant Steals Millions!
Email tale about a 'very pleasant' car park attendant who showed up every day to collect parking fees from zoo visitors, then one day simply vanished.
Classic Urban Legend: The Killer in the Backseat
Drivers beware - that person following you on the highway may actually be trying to save your life!
Did Scientists Really Find Giant Human...
Hoax images purport to show skeletons of human giants (biblical Nephilim or Canaanites) allegedly found in Greece.
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...
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.
Did You Hear This Old Wives' Tale About Cats...
From the mailbag: Cats get a bum rap, imploding toilets disembowel victims, Altoids prove 'curiously strong' in more ways than one...
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.
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.
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?
The Last Time They Were Seen Alive
A slideshow of startling images purporting to show people milliseconds before meeting their doom. Be skeptical.
Did JFK Really Tell Germans "I Am a Jelly Donut"?
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Dear Urban Legends:
Can This Humongous Spider Possibly Be Real?
Viral image purports to show a massive spider lurking in the corner of a house in Manchester, England. Real or fake?
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.
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!
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.
Don't Fall for the '16 Dead in Roller Coaster...
DON'T CLICK on 'shocking video' posts claiming a bunch of people died in a roller coaster accident at Universal Studios in Florida. It didn't happen.
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?
The Escherian Stairwell - You Won't Believe...
Description: Viral video / Hoax Circulating since: April 2013 Status: Fake (see details below) View full
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!
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.
The Spider in the Hairdo
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Also known as
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?
Did You Hear the One About the Vanishing...
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.
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...
Is a Dog's Mouth Cleaner Than a Human's?
If you don't mind my falling back on a gut feeling, I'd rather be French-kissed by a human being than a dog any day.
The Biggest Snake That Never Was... See Photos!
Viral images purport to show an unbelievably large snake found and killed in the Red Sea by the Egyptian military.
STRAWBERRY QUICK Meth Warning - Urban Legends
Viral messages warn of a candy-flavored form of methamphetamine targeted at young people called strawberry meth (aka Strawberry Quick).
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Is That Infamous Marie Antoinette Quote You...
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Say what you will
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?
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.
Salaries of Charity CEOs Compared - Urban Legends
Viral text purports to compare the salaries of top executives of U.S. and Canadian charitable organizations.
Card Trick: I CAN READ YOUR MIND! - Urban Legends
I can read your mind! Don't believe me? Here, I'll prove it!
Can a Floridian Rattlesnake Reach 15 Feet and...
Viral images purport to show a 15-foot-long, 170-pound eastern diamondback rattlesnake caught in a subdivision near Jacksonville, Florida.
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.
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier - Urban Legends
Widely circulated text purports to describe the lifelong duties of the Honor Guard of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.
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.
Don't Fall For The \$250 Neiman Marcus Cookie...
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Circulating via
NASA Photo of the "Eye of God" in Space
NASA photo of the Helix Nebula taken by the Hubble Space Telescope has been dubbed the 'Eye of God' by frequent forwarders.
Brad Pitt's Love Letter to His Wife
Supposedly a letter written by Brad Pitt to Angelina Jolie, this viral essay extolls the 'secret of love,' namely that given enough hugs, kisses, and compliments a woman will 'blossom' and become 'the reflection of her man.'
Pictures: Dead Mermaid Found in the Philippines
Emailed pictures purportedly show the carcass of a dead mermaid caught by a fisherman in the Philippines.
Why You Shouldn't Click on Facebook's 'Shocking...
Viral scam purports to link to a video of a teen girl who died after being raped by friends.
Mermaid Body Found After Tsunami!
Viral images allegedly show the carcass of a dead mermaid found washed up on a beach near Chennai, India after a tsunami.
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!
The Teacher and Little Teddy Stoddard - Urban...
Inspirational (though fictional) story of little Teddy Stoddard, a disadvantaged child who blossomed under the influence of his teacher, Mrs. Thompson, and went on to become a successful doctor.
This Video Is Supposedly Being Deleted All Over...
FAKE: Viral video of UFO emerging from behind a cloud, then descending rapidly to earth in a bright, green fireball.
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.
Will a Copper Penny Cure a Bee Sting?
Viral message claims that taping a copper penny over a bee sting (or hornet sting) will provide overnight relief from redness and swelling.
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 Story of the Seventh-Inning Stretch
The seventh-inning stretch: does anyone really know when, where and how this baseball custom got started?
The Reverse PIN Hoax - Urban Legends
(Updated May 21, 2014) Contrary to online rumors, it isn't true that ATM users can contact police by entering their PIN number backwards.
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.
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.
Card Trick
I can read your mind!: card trick cards
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?
Altoids and Oral Sex - Urban Legends
Altoids lore: Does chewing mints before performing oral sex really enhance the pleasure?
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.
Did You Hear the One About the Exploding Cactus?
A family receives a cactus as a gift and gives it place of honor in their living room. Weeks later, someone happens to notice that it's... quivering?
Origin of the Word 'Picnic' - Urban Legends
Viral message contends that the word 'picnic' originated in southern 'family outings' during which white people lynched African Americans.
Giant Skeletons Found in Middle East? - Urban...
Giant Skeletons? Forwarded email claims recent gas exploration activity in the southeast region of the Arabian desert uncovered skeletal remains of 'a human of phenomenal size.'
Are Members of Congress Really Exempt from Laws?
Proposed 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: 'Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives.'
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.
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.
Is There Toxic Benzene in Your Car?
Forwarded email claims car interiors contain toxic levels of cancer-causing benzene and recommends opening windows before turning on the air conditioner.
Beware of KFC's "Mutant" Chicken!
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >The online rumor
Did Pepsi Omit 'Under God' in Patriotic Can...
Don't buy the new Pepsi can? Baseless email campaign protests the alleged omission of the words 'under God' in an excerpt from the Pledge of Allegiance on new Pepsi cans.
Is the 809 Area Code Scam Real? - Urban Legends
0809 Area Code Scam - Viral messages warn consumers not to comply with telephone, pager, or email requests to dial phone numbers beginning with area code 809, 284, or 876.
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.
Photos: Giant New Orleans Crocodile - Urban...
Emailed photos of a gigantic crocodile purportedly captured in the flooded streets of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
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.
Is This Photo of a "Monkey Orchid" for Real?
Viral image is said to depict a so-called Monkey Orchid, an unusual flower with features resembling the face of a monkey.
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.
Facebook Hoax Begs for Likes & Shares to...
Please don't aid and abet this cynical hoax.
Walking Dead Cancelled? No, It's a Prank
Description: Online prank / Hoax Circulating since: June 2014 Status: False Analysis: (June 2014) No,
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.
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?
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.
Does AriZona Tea Really Contain Human Urine?
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >A viral "news
College Application Essay - Urban Legends
A viral hit since 1990, here is the funniest 'college application essay' ever written.
Did Einstein Prove that God Exists?
Einstein's proof of God? In this viral anecdote of unknown origin, a university student named Albert Einstein humiliates his atheist professor by proving that God exists.
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.
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...
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.
Did Starbucks Refuse to Donate Coffee to U.S....
Viral rumor accuses Starbucks of refusing to donate coffee to U.S. Marines on the, uh, grounds that the company has taken a stand against the Iraq war 'and anyone in it.'
'Earth Didn't Move' for Astronauts, NASA Says
Allegations that Space Shuttle astronauts conducted 'sex experiments' in outer space are based on an Internet hoax, says NASA.
Good Luck, Mr. Gorsky! - Urban Legends
An apocryphal footnote to the history of Neil Armstrong's Apollo 11 lunar landing and moonwalk.
Who's Afraid of The Slender Man?
The Internet boogeyman known as Slender Man (aka Slenderman) is best described as a crowdsourced fiction.
Why Do People Think Friday the 13th Is Unlucky?
As folklorists we may not be able to cure paraskevidekatriaphobia (fear of Friday the 13th), but we can at least lend its sufferers a few good excuses.
Gold Ring Test for Lead in Lipstick - Urban...
Viral alert claims major-brand lipsticks contain 'cancer-causing' lead, which consumers can test for by scratching the surface of a product with a 24K gold ring.
Myth Busted: Sucking on Penny Will Fool...
Urban legend: Sucking on a copper penny will fool a breathalyzer test. Myth or fact?
Gerbilling Mishap Injures Two - Urban Legends
Two people injured in gerbilling mishap (another insult to the reputation of gerbils everywhere).
Will Facebook Really Donate Money to This Boy...
FALSE posting claims Facebook will donate 45 cents per share to cover medical expenses of a 14-year-old boy shot 6 times by his stepfather.
Is That a Photo of Barack Obama Praying in a...
Description: Viral image / Text Circulating since: Jan. 2010 Status: False (see details below) Text example:
The Queen and Scottish Soldiers (Photo) - Urban...
Viral image shows Queen Elizabeth of England sitting amongst a band of kilt-wearing Scottish soldiers, one of whom appears to be revealing a wee bit too much of his manhood.
That Study Linking Women's Breasts and Men's...
'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.
Not All Heroes Are People (Daisy the Golden...
Did a brave guide dog named Daisy lead her blind master, James Crane, and 900 other people out of the burning World Trade Center on 9/11?
Priest Dies, Wakes Up, Claims God Is a Woman....
Fake news story claims a Catholic priest resuscitated after a heart attack says he went to heaven and met God, whom he described as feminine and mother-like.
The Long, Long Snake
Viral image purports to show a gigantic snake spotted beside a roadway in Delray, Florida (or the Morganza Spillway near Baton Rouge, La., or Branxton, NSW, Australia, etc.).
Can Vicks VapoRub on Your Feet Relieve Coughing?
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Description: Home
Urban Legend: Gangs Kill Drivers Who Flash...
Decades-old urban legend says innocent people who flash their headlights at oncoming cars are being chased down and killed by gang members.
Are Months With 5 Fridays, Saturdays &...
Viral message claims a particular month will have 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays, a configuration that supposedly only occurs once every 823 years.
FBI Warning: You Visit Illegal Websites - Urban...
TRUE: Beware of messages purporting to originate from the FBI (or CIA) accusing you of visiting illegal websites. Said messages are unauthorized and arrive with an attachment containing a variant of the 'Sober' virus.
Tupac Alive? No, It's a Hoax
Satire website claims slain rapper Tupac Shakur is alive and has finally come out of hiding after nearly 18 years.
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.
Weightlifting Mishap
This shocking image, origin unknown, purports to show a weightlifter suffering from a prolapsed rectum after attempting to lift more weight than his innards could bear. Page 30.

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