10 Most Outrageous Childhood Misconceptions We All Fell For

Ah, to be a child again, finding wonder in everything, not having a care in the world, no bills to pay, and still believing in Santa Claus? Those were the days.

But the existence of Jolly Old St. Nicholas isn't the only thing children believe that isn't true.

1. A BB Gun Could Take a Plane Down

“When I was young, I had a BB gun,” one person shared on social media. “I was honestly always safe with it. Spent my days plinking targets in the yard and such. I have no idea what possessed me, but one day I saw an airplane flying way overhead, and I decided I wanted to see if I could hit it. For months I worried myself to death that I might have shot it down.”

That poor kid! Can you imagine living with the unnecessary guilt of believing you'd possibly murdered an airplane full of people?

2. The World Used to be Black and White

u/genocide-inciter admitted, “I believed the world was monochrome in the older days.” u/Ocelot859 agreed, replying, “Ouuuu okay, see this is a good and creative one. I also believed life was literally in black and white because of seeing old film. Upvote this man.”

If every historic photograph and video a young mind sees is black and white, why wouldn't they believe that's how the world used to be? It's understandable, given the naivety and innocence of children.

3. Cats Are Female, Dogs Are Male

u/jaimearistea said, “I thought cats were female and dogs were male. So in my mind dogs (males) and cats (females) mated. And then the girls that were birthed were cats and the boys that were birthed were dogs. I didn't get that whole species thing for a quite a while.”

This one is surprisingly common and may partially stem from the fact that cat products are presented as if cats are female, and dog products are shown as if dogs are male (there are pet brands called “Good Girl” and “Good Boy” for cats and dogs, respectively).

4. Chewing Gum Takes Years to Digest

u/Eternal6k answered, “That gum stayed in your stomach for 7 years.”

We can all remember being told that we shouldn't swallow chewing gum (which, for the record, genuinely isn't advisable), but our digestive systems are more than capable of handling it in less than seven years. While gum won't normally digest, it will travel harmlessly through our systems (completely intact) in small amounts and come out in our stools.

5. Windows “Illegal Operations” Mean You Broke the Law

u/benderrules said, “Back in the Windows 97 age, I was screwing around on the family computer and got a Windows pop-up that said that I had ‘performed an illegal operation'. I didn't tell anyone and just prepared to spend the rest of my life in prison once the FBI came to arrest me at my house.”

Perhaps Microsoft should use different terminology regarding their operating system errors. “Incorrect operation” would have saved this poor kid from a prolonged period of worry.

6. “Brather”

u/JustinCooksStuff provided a wonderfully specific answer, saying “I thought it was pronounced brather not rather. Would you brather walk or ride bikes. No one corrected me for like 2-3 years. I guess I didn’t say it often enough for people to notice?”

We've all mispronounced words at one time or another, but there's something hilarious about this user's mispronunciation. Adding an entirely new letter to the beginning of a word is a different level of mispronunciation, however.

7. Osama Bin Laden is Bin Laden's Son

u/ThrowRARAw answered, “I thought Osama Bin Laden was “the son of Bin Laden.” I always wondered what his real name was.”

In the early 2000s, amidst the horror of 9/11, the orchestrator of the attack — Islamist militant Osama bin Laden — was spoken about an awful lot on the news. Despite his name being mentioned countless times, this user still misheard it as a child. We've all done something similar if we're honest.

8. Seeds Will Grow in Your Stomach

u/extasxxiii replied, “if you (accidentally) eat watermelon seeds, then a watermelon will grow in your stomach.”

This is one of those that almost every living human will relate to. We all thought swallowing seeds/pips – and not just watermelon seeds – could result in fruit growing in our stomachs. Apples, pears, grapes, you name it – everyone imagined the shocking potential sprouting of a little tummy tree.

9. All Seven Continents Are on One Side of the Earth

u/TatiyanaH20 answered, “I thought that all 7 continents were on one side of the earth & that was the side that we lived on. So when someone said “the other side of the world” I thought there was a whole different set of continents populated by people who I imagined lived way differently than we do. Almost like an alien planet 💀I even asked my mom “Hey what are the name of the continents on the other side of the earth?””

We thought this one would be unique, but u/NLtbal replied, “I even asked my mom “Hey what are the name of the continents on the other side of the earth?””

10. Black Friday

u/WorriedCause replied, “That when Black Friday rolled around every year people would go to shops and the moment they rushed through the doors like a mob, they would become dark and evil with red eyes and rush to essentially kill you. Black Friday, a day where everyone went evil.”

To be fair, that's pretty much true.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.