Embarrassed People Share Something That They Thought Existed But Actually Doesn’t.

At some point in our lives, we've all believed in something that doesn't actually exist. For me, it was the house hippo. Even though the commercial explicitly said not to believe everything you see or hear on TV. Sigh.

Here, 28 embarrassed people share something that they thought existed but actually doesn't.

1/28. I thought that dogs were male and cats were female of the same animal.

So... That animal.


2/28. My Aunt Carol.

For years as I child my parents took phone calls from my Aunt Carol, received packages from her, and would go to the office to write her letters. I heard about her so much I formed an imaginary picture of this woman in my mind - the way she looked, talked, walked, etc.

Turns out "Aunt Carol" was parent-code for weed. I have no Aunt Carol.


3/28. I used to think that everyone who had a bank account literally had like a pigeon hole with their money in it they deposited. And when someone wanted to take money out the teller would take it from the pile of cash they had lodged over the years.

It was a sad day finding out this wasn't the way it is.


4/28. The "Black Market." I literally thought there was a physical market you could go to to buy illegal items.


5/28. When I was young my father said to me:

"Knowledge is Power - Francis Bacon."

I understood it as "Knowledge is power, France is Bacon".

For more than a decade I wondered over the meaning of the second part and what was the surreal linkage between the two? If I said the quote to someone, "Knowledge is power, France is Bacon" they nodded knowingly. (continued)

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Or someone might say, "Knowledge is power" and I'd finish the quote, "France is Bacon" and they wouldn't look at me like I'd said something very odd but thoughtfully agree.

I did ask a teacher what "Knowledge is power, France is bacon" meant and got a full 10-minute explanation of the "knowledge is power" bit but nothing on "France is bacon." When I prompted further explanation by saying "France is Bacon?" in a questioning tone I just got a "yes". At twelve I didn't have the confidence to press it further. I just accepted it as something I'd never understand.

It wasn't until years later I saw it written down that the penny dropped.


6/28. I thought yams were animals, more specifically a crossbreed between a Yak and a Ram. That sounded correct in my mind until my 10th grade honors English class told me otherwise.


7/28. I thought that those anti-gravity chambers that astronauts use in certain movies were real. It wasn't until one day in a science class we were talking about Gravity and the teacher said something along the lines of "there are actually people that think you can just turn off gravity using a machine like in the movies." Everyone else was just like, "Wow there are some dumb people out there." On the outside I was saying, "Pssh I know right, who would ever think that?" But on the inside I had no idea that it wasn't a real thing.


8/28. When I was little my grandmother had a little houseplant that she put marshmallows on the ends of the branches that we would pick and eat when we visited. When she left she would put mini marshmallows where we had picked the big ones and told us we had to wait for those ones to grow back. So until I was a lot older I thought that there were marshmallow trees!


9/28. The magic chemical they put in pools that turns the water purple when you pee in it.


10/28. Ever heard of a fuggout? No? Let me tell you guys about my dads fuggout.

I grew up in a town called Dubbo, in outback Australia. Have you tried the cinnamon challenge? Thats what breathing air is like on a hot summers day in Dubbo. Like sucking down dust.

Growing up, there was nothing to do. My family lived in a pretty poor neighborhood and us kids spent most of the time poking sticks at snakes and pissing in the dam.

Anyway, I came home one scorcher of a Sunday afternoon, probably after trapping some kind of small marsupial, and heard my parents yelling upstairs. Belting their bloody guts out.

Some kind of dangerous snake, I assumed, or perhaps a drop bear has climbed through the window. Bloody low-hanging branches.

So being the little kipper I am, I run upstairs, burst through the door and whip out my boomerang. (continued)

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My mum seemed to be in heaps of pain, practically doubled over, panting, and red-faced. Thats when Dad needed to use the Fuggout. He yelled at my to go and get it, but I was pretty young, and Id never even heard of a fuggout.

Righto, then, I quipped, and racked off to the garage to find it. I searched for ages, but couldnt find anything labeled fuggout. I asked my brother Trev if he knew where it was, but he didnt know what I was talking about. I had to tell Dad we were out of Fuggout. I didgeri-diddle my way back upstairs. He opens the door naked, redder than ever.

I told you boy, get the FUGGOUT!


11/28. A brisk transition from childhood to adulthood. All I got was a slow realization that things usually suck more than I thought.


12/28. For all my life as a child I believed in a place called Fred's Pickle Warehouse. Every time my parents went on what I now know was a date, my dad would say they went to Fred's Pickle Warehouse and the open barrels of pickles were too dangerous for children. He kept up the ruse for years and even brought back a pickle whistle one time. He told me when I was 15 it wasn't real.


13/28. Cheap Lego. As an adult, it blows my mind how much Lego costs, and how much must have been spent on me on Christmas as a kid. Like it's a ridiculous amount of money.


14/28. Pens with white-out on the back.

When somebody has an obvious but good idea, people say, "It's like putting erasers on pencils!" But, as far as I can tell, nobody has ever done that with pens, even though more people use pens, and the lack of an eraser on them is the biggest complaint people have about using them.

Seriously, just put a brush on the back and attach a cap that has a white-out dispensing pad on it.

How does this not exist. It's literally exactly like putting erasers on pencils.


15/28. When I was little I thought there were real clowns. As in, I knew there were people who dressed up as clowns, like my grandparents for instance, but then I thought there were also actual clown beings. I wasn't afraid of the regular people who just dressed up as clowns, but I was afraid of the "real clowns." Does this even make sense?


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16/28. The often mentioned "permanent record" that teachers would threaten me with. "You dont want this on your permanent record, so just tell us who was in on this with you."


17/28. The Brontosaurus. After watching The Land Before Time when I was a little kid I thought Little Foot and his kin were the bestest coolest dinos around - the brontosaurus! Then I read an article a couple of years ago saying the bronto never existed


18/28. Only yesterday I found out the Trojan War and Troy itself likely wasn't real. I seriously thought it was historical and not mythological.


19/28. Real life Power Rangers. Actually wondered what the hell they were doing when 9/11 happened.


20/28. This didn't happen to me but a guy I work with once told me his friend thought a pepperoni was its own animal up until he was 20. A four-legged creature called a pepperoni


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21/28. Dutchland. Very embarrassing moment in year 8 geography. Netherlands, please.


22/28. Until I was in my twenties it never occurred to me consciously that Star Wars was fictional. It's not that I actively believed it was all real, it just had never occurred to me that it wasn't. Makes sense?


23/28. I thought dinosaurs were still alive. I live by a mountain range, so I always thought that dinosaurs lived on the other side of the mountains.


24/28. When I was a kid, I thought it would be an extremely common thing that dogs would eat cats. I used to think if a dog saw a cat, they immediately saw food and ate them.


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25/28. I saw Return of the Jedi when it opened in 1983. I could have sworn there was a scene where, after defeating Jaba the Hutt, Luke goes back to the remains of his his Aunt and Uncle's farm to reflect. It only lasted a minute or so and I know this scene never existed but I have a vivid memory of it.


26/28. That Viking helmets had horns.

Now all my childhood drawings are wildly inaccurate.


27/28. Turning this around... I actually thought narwhals were a mythical creature until last year, like a marine unicorn or something.


28/28. When I was really little, I thought people lived in the TV.

So I guess, TV people.




Keeping secrets from kids might seem like an easy thing, but they tend to see and hear (and understand) a lot more than what the adults in their lives think they do.

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