From a broad perspective, urban legends express a modern form of mythology and folklore with strong roots in the natural human fear of the unknown. Even though most people are aware of the fictional nature of the stories, some of these urban myths enjoy an astounding amount of credibility.
It is possible that the plausibility of such tales has something to do with the fact that they always seem to happen to a friend, cousin or friend’s cousin, a fact that gives the storyteller a certain level of authority. In reality, urban legends are nothing more than good stories that have a moral and perhaps, this is one of the explanations to why so many people fall for them. Let’s examine the modern myths that have managed to gain a lot of popularity nowadays.
1. Bloody Mary
Often played at children slumber parties, the myth of Bloody Mary appearing after being summoned three times is nothing more than folklore. Obviously, it is basically than a test of courage for children, particularly since the summoning of the alleged witch Mary Worth must take place in a completely dark room.
There have been so many rumors and misinformation regarding the most popular soft drink in the world, that it deservers its own name: “Cokelore”. Essentially, numerous pseudo-experts claim that Coca-Cola has the capacity to dissolve anything, from teeth to tissue overnight. Well, this is partially true: some of the ingredients found in Coca-Cola like phosphoric and citric acids can dissolve various items given a certain time. However, the concentration of acids in this soft drink is actually very low and the digestive system is very capable of dealing with them.
3. The good Samaritan
This urban myth has been around for a very long time and underwent several variations. Nonetheless, the basic idea is the same in all variants: somebody stops to help a motorist change a flat tire and he is being asked for his home address so that he can be rewarded. After a certain period, the motorist who lends a helping hand will find a check for a large sum of money signed by a celebrity. Considering that rumors suggest it was Donald Trump who paid off his helper’s mortgage, you can understand why this is legend seems implausible.
4. The alligators in the sewer
If you were to believe the gossip, the sewer system of New York is currently overwhelmed by deadly alligators that were released by their masters after they became big and aggressive. Even though some animals that escaped from the zoo have been found in the system, there are actually no alligators lurking around in the NY sewers!
5. The mysterious hitchhiker
Considering the popularity of this urban legend, you surely heard at least one its variation. To summarize, a motorist picks up a hitchhiker (usually a young woman) on a deserted road and drives her home. When they get to the destination, the young woman suddenly disappears and the confused driver decides to ring the doorbell of the house she indicated. To his surprise, the person answering the door tells him that the woman has been dead for a few years, killed in a car accident that took place at the exact spot he picked her up.