People on Reddit were asked: "What is the weirdest thing you have heard of someone not believing in?" These are some of the best answers.
1/28 A girl at university thought owls were mythical creatures because they are in Harry Potter. She was genuinely shocked/amazed when we showed her that they did exist.
2/28 My ex was totally and completely invested in the idea that if the girl is on top, she can't get pregnant. I was 15 at the time and she was having sex with me so I went along with it. I still wore a condom because I wasn't an idiot but she refused to do any other position in fear of getting pregnant.
3/28 Back in college, I met a woman who didn't believe in magic tricks. She thought all the big Vegas magicians were really practicing witchcraft, and they were just pretending that it was fake so people wouldn't freak out and burn them at the stake. I asked her if she felt that way just about big illusions, like vanishing tigers and stuff, or if card tricks were also really witchcraft. She said, "Well, the really good card tricks are."
So I showed her the "Chicago Opener" and she left in a panic and never talked to me again.
4/28 My ex-girlfriend didn't know what the Grand Canyon was and after I described it to her and showed pictures, she was convinced I was trying to trick her. She was 17 at the time.
5/28 The earth spinning. His argument was that, if the earth was spinning, we would not go anywhere when flying east, and it would go twice as fast flying west. But as that is not the case, the earth must not be rotating.
I did not even have the courage to explain it, he was a lost cause.
6/28 Ants. No matter how much proof we showed her, my dumb cousin was convinced they were spiders. She had to have been 15 at the time.
7/28 Meerkats. My father, a man of 50+ years, did not believe meerkats were real. Rather, meerkats were invented by Disney in 1994. Even after we had a reality TV show called 'Meerkat Manor' that followed the lives of a meerkat family he was doubtful. It wasn't until I took him to the 'Meerkat Cafe' at the Zoo that he lost [it] and laughed hysterically at "all the little Timons"
8/28 One of my old coworkers didn't believe in solar eclipses. He said you would have to be stupid, bc the moon would melt if it went into the sun... I tried explaining why he was mistaken and he called me a Scientologist.
9/28 A coworker of mine doesn't believe there are "people who don't believe in god". She says they believe, but just don't know yet, or haven't felt the divine inside them.
10/28 Greenland. She thought it was a joke name given to a large iceberg. (Though now that I think about it, she's not far off.)
11/28 I know someone whose sister and boyfriend don't believe in the government. I mean, they know that it exists but they refused to register their kid, they don't file taxes, etc. They're one of those people who never named their kid either. It will get to pick its own name.
12/24 When he was running for President, my grandmother was convinced that Barack Obama wasn't half-white. So I showed her pictures of his white mother. Nope. Still not convinced.
Grandma: If she's so white, how come we never see her?
ME: ...Grandma, she's dead.
Grandma: Well, isn't that convenient.
13/24 Until 2013, my wife didn't think nuns existed.
14/24 One day in middle school, in science class while studying the light spectrum, I saw a friend sitting in the corner looking completely zoned out (and seemingly angry). After approaching him and asking what the problem was, he looks at me and says, "I am a Christian. I do not believe in the light spectrum." What.
15/28 I purchased a telescope a few years ago to fulfill a childhood desire and got into astronomy a bit. One of the first things I always look at in a night is Saturn. On several occasions I will have a party on my deck and someone will mention the telescope so I bring it out (yes we are adults and I live in the country so dark skies) and I just point it at Saturn. On 3 occasions I have had people say, holy cow its real.
16/28 My otherwise very smart mother believes mental illness is just people being too whiny and sensitive and that they don't actually exist.
17/28 My ex girlfriend is one of the most clever people I've met, she goes to one of the top universities in the country to study Immunology, she has always been able to pass tests with minimal revision while I study for months beforehand, yet she doesn't think that the theory of evolution is remotely correct.
18/28 I've encountered a guy who was extremely convinced that humans hadn't landed on the moon, not for any of the usual reasons, but because he thinks anything originating on Earth ceases to exist if it leaves the atmosphere.
He thinks Earth matter detunes it's vibrations or something and simply blinks out of existence. He doesn't believe in the moon landings, the ISS, or satellites.
19/28 I had a roommate in college (who was pre-pharmacy) that didn't believe in modern medicine. He believe everything was the placebo effect and that it was all a money making scam and he wanted in on it.
Bonus: he thought prior to the industrial revolution people could live for hundreds of years. Like Methusalah, whom he thought was real. Just after the advent of things like factories, processed food, medicine, etc. People lost the ability to survive that long due to weakened immune systems.
20/28 There is a friend of mine who thinks the existence of waves is a joke. I don't understand him.
21/28 In elementary school I had a classmate that didn't believe in sharks. He thought they were just a scary thing grown-ups made up to get out of taking their kids to the beach.
22/28 Narwhals. Friend of mine thought they were simply the imaginary subject of a Weebls animation.
23/28 My ex gf didn't believe in headaches.
24/28 I knew this girl back in elementary school who didn't believe in Santa Claus. I mean come on, how do you think you get presents every year?
25/28 Atoms. Like, the guy did not believe the coffee table in the room was made up of atoms stuck together. He just thought it "was". I don't even know how to begin to process such an idea.
26/28 A friend of mine didn't believe me when I told her that animals don't understand the human language. Like, she believed that her cat understood everything she said. When I told her that this isn't the case, she asked me if it's because the cat is from a different country and only speaks that country's language. What. She still doesn't believe me.
27/28 Here's one from my sister. About a year ago (she's 21) she and I along with my parents were riding in the car and she looks at the crescent moon and says "It's so weird how the moon does that" and we ask her to explain. She went on to explain how she still couldn't wrap her head around how the moon's light could just stop shining like that.
That was the day we had to explain that the moon was just a rock and not emitting its own light to a 20 year old college student who just got accepted to law school.
28/28 My friends grandfather does not believe in Japan's existence. Like if you buy him a ticket to Japan he will think you will land in the ocean.
Racism is an insidious, and unfortunately prevalent, force in all of our daily lives. Maybe we're on the receiving end of it, being treated differently and losing opportunities because of others' preconceived notions.
Or maybe we're on the other side of things. Even those who aren't actively racist or discriminatory still have to process the world through the filters of the things they've been told about people who are different.