Have you ever had a conversation with someone and they look at you confused, like they have no idea what you're talking about? And then you realize that something you always thought was true never existed at all?
Everything you thought you knew is a lie!
Maybe that's a little dramatic, but it can be life-changing when you discover what you thought was fact is actually fiction.
These 35 brave souls share the moment when they discovered the world was not as it seemed.
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.
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.
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.
Exterminate The Pepperoni
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.
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 was questioning everything I ever thought I knew.
Ever heard of a fuggout? No? Let me tell you guys about my dad’s fuggout.
I grew up in a town called Dubbo, in outback Australia. Have you tried the cinnamon challenge? That’s what breathing air is like on a hot summer’s 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 splashing about 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.
My mum seemed to be in heaps of pain, practically doubled over, panting, and red-faced. That’s when Dad needed to use the Fuggout. He yelled at me to go and get it, but I was pretty young, and I’d never even heard of a fuggout.
“Righto, then,” I quipped, and racked off to the garage to find it. I searched for ages, but couldn’t find anything labeled fuggout. I asked my brother Trev if he knew where it was, but he didn’t 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!”
Where is this “Black Market”?
The “Black Market.” I literally thought there was a physical market you could go to to buy illegal items. I pictured it as a sort of middle eastern bazaar with barrels full of contraband and sketchy guys in turbans haggling over their wares.
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.
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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!
Peeing in Pools
The magic chemical they put in pools that turns the water purple when you pee in it.
Boys and Girls
I thought that dogs were male and cats were female of the same animal.
So… Whatever that animal is.
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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 that it wasn’t real.
The Bad Kind of Legos
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.
The Unicorn of The Sea
Turning this around… I actually thought narwhals were a mythical creature until last year, like a marine unicorn or something.
A Civil Engineer
When I was learning American history in grade school, I thought there was an entire railroad system under the earth’s surface that Harriet Tubman built to smuggle slaves across the country. I was honestly impressed by her construction skills.
A Historical Battle… In Space?
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?
It’s Permanent You Know?
The teachers often mentioned a “permanent record” that teachers would threaten me with. “You don’t want this on your permanent record, so just tell us who was in on this with you.”
The Brontosaurus. After watching The Land Before Time when I was a little kid I thought Little Foot and his kin were the best and coolest dinos around – the brontosaurus! Then I read an article a couple of years ago saying the brontosaurus never existed…
Cow tipping. Any farm kid who has ever been in a cow pasture late at night can tell you that as cows are VERY observant and will react to your presence quickly and alertly if they don’t know you – they ARE prey animals that herd for protection. Even if they were your cows, hand-fed by you since birth, they would not just stand there while you run into them at full speed. And heaven hopefull helps you if there is a bull in the pasture.
Call The Real Life Power Rangers.
Real life Power Rangers. I actually wondered what the hell they were doing when 9/11 happened.
Alf Eats Them Too
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.
Walking With The Dinosaurs
I thought dinosaurs were still alive. I live near a mountain range, so I always thought that dinosaurs lived on the other side of the mountains.
The land of The Dutch
I thought there was a country called Dutchland. Had a very embarrassing moment in year 8 geography. Netherlands, please.
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” which I guess I thought were just a different species. Does this even make sense?
Only yesterday I found out the Trojan War and Troy itself likely wasn’t real. I seriously thought it was historical and not mythological.
It’s The ‘Pencil’ Of Pens
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
Good Ol’ Aunt Carol
My Aunt Carol.
For years when I was a 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.
A brisk transition from childhood to adulthood. All I got was a slow realization that things usually suck more than I thought.
The TV People
When I was really little, I thought people lived in the TV.
So I guess, TV people.
Mandela Effect: Star Wars Edition
I saw The Return of the Jedi when it opened in 1983. I could have sworn there was a scene where, after defeating Jabba the Hutt, Luke goes back to the remains of 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.
That Viking helmets had horns.
Now all my childhood drawings are wildly inaccurate.
I thought ponies were just baby horses. I found out about a month ago…. I am 24.
It’s the birthday when your age is the same number as the date of your birthday, it’s meant to be an extra special birthday. So mine was when I was 8, as my birthday is 8th November.
At university, I exclaimed how I was jealous that my brother was celebrating his at the age of 27 and how I didn’t remember mine because I was so young. Everyone looked at me and that’s when I discovered that my parents lied to 8 year old me to make me feel special.
The Incredibles 2. I have no idea why, but I thought this was made ages ago. The video store clerk was a good sport when I called…he even pretended to look upon his computer and see if they had it in.
Giant Flying Birds Of The Sea
After seeing Fantasia 2000 as a little kid, I thought that whales could fly for the longest time. Why else would people go whale watching? You can’t see them underwater!
I was more than a little disappointed to find out I was wrong.