10 Huge Lies in History That Weren't True After All


AUTHOR: Ben Rice

In the post-truth world, facts have become like a subjective hot potato — a flaming mass nobody wants to hold onto.

Terms such as 'my truth' abound in our society. I prefer the good, old-fashioned truth, though I will concede truth may look different depending on your perspective.

However, many truths we have heard over the years are complete lies, and a recent Internet discussion asks people to share the biggest ones they know. Here are some takeaways.

1. Signing Your Soul Away

Happy proud mixed ethnicity young family couple customers sign loan investment contract sale purchase prenup agreement meeting bank manager agent make financial mortgage deal buying house insurance
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"I acknowledge that I have read and agree to the above Terms and Conditions," begins our first entrant. I am yet to meet anybody who reads the Terms and Conditions part entirely. If they were simplified, most people wouldn't agree with them!

2. To The Victor Goes The Spoils

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The late, great Norm McDonald's wisdom slips into someone's response: "It says here in this history book that, luckily, the good guys have won every single time. What are the odds?"

3. Three Times The Charm

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"Das drittes mal ist der Charme," writes a commenter in curious German. This comment follows the adage that the third time is the luckiest. However, a direct response contradicts this translation, sharing the literal German translation: "All good things are three."

4. No Such Thing as Absolute Truth

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Sticking with the Teutonic theme, German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche believed the truth is uncertain because humans shape narratives according to selfish values. "Even truthful stories are filled with half lies," confirms a discussion spectator. This philosophy is visible in today's fractured, subjectively trapped society.

5. Team America

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Naturally, not everyone is a fan of exceptionalism rhetoric. One skeptic says the "Best nation on earth" moniker is a lie. A simple understanding of hyperbole is necessary to dissect rhetoric like this. However, such soundbites are irresistible to politicians, I agree.

6. Consuming Fat is Unhealthy

Portrait of a happy young woman biting chocolate bar isolated over pink background
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Any nutritionist worth their salt (pun alarm) will tell you that certain animal fats are necessary for building tissue, nerves, and brain cells. A health hawk notes that the sugar lobby is behind this fallacy. By pushing sugar at fat's expense, "obesity became an epidemic."

7. The Marilyn Manson Rumor

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A deft online search is appropriate if you have not heard this one. Marilyn Manson is famous for allegedly removing some ribs for personal pleasure. "We spread this rumor across the entire country without the use of cell phones or the internet," comments a joker. Many subsequent posts disagree: it was the entire world!

8. Greenland

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One thousand years ago, famous Nordic explorer Leif Erikson discovered Greenland on his voyage across the North Atlantic. Selling a vast ice wilderness to Nordic settlers would not work.

So, on his return, he gave promise of a green, fertile paradise where they could plant good crops — he also labeled coastal North America as Vinland, painting a picture of wine country for his gullible compatriots. Erikson later started a Ponzi scheme — I made that last one up.

9. Catch Me if You Can't

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Frank Abagnale Jr. was not such a great conman, says one thread poster. "He conned people into thinking he was a bigger con man than he actually was," explains the discussion post. I beg to differ: the guy convinced the world he was a big deal, and Steven Spielberg made a movie about him. "A meta con, if you will," jokes a quick-witted commenter.

10. Diamonds Are Forever

Woman Wearing Many Different Elegant Engagement Diamond Ring in Beautiful Girl Finger.
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"That diamonds are valuable," laments another member. "Made one family really rich, though." Some feel diamonds have an inflated value. I had no idea they were flammable — it must be a nightmare to insure them. "They are flammable, for one," adds a cut-stone skeptic.

This thread inspired this post.

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