Weird things you believed as a kid

It’s been years since we had a thread about this.

As a kid, I thought that the tonsils were boney hooks on the back of the throat (as in, the side of the esophagus on your posterior as opposed to anterior side), and they were there for germs to get hung up on instead of making their way into your stomach or lungs.

That people were all basically good and nice.

I thought by wishing someone dead it would kill them. Then, when they happened to die soon after, I felt a lot of guilt that I caused it.

People are. Also basically self-serving, selfish, and their attention is focused first and foremost on themselves. Which is not a contradiction to being good and nice until and unless the situation becomes primarily competitive and adversarial rather than primarily cooperative and communal.

I’m participating in your hijack. Which is, I think, a hijack (just as much as if you’d cited a belief in God), given that this is MPSIMS and not GD. But I’m not a mod so I shouldn’t junior-mod, should I? Whatevs… appy polly loggies to those who resent my participation in the hijack, and likewise to those who object to my junior modding)

My own entry in response to the OP: I took it for granted that something shot out of my eyeballs and struck stuff, causing me to see it. It seemed totally foreign to me, wrong and weird, when I heard that light comes FROM the objects seen and goes TOWARDS the eyeballs and that’s how you see them.

I believed that when drivers changed lanes on the highway, they had to do it by maneuvering through the gaps between the white lines.

I never heard the part about the hooks, but yes, I also believed that the tonsils somehow stopped germs from entering your body. I must have heard that somewhere. I remember thinking that this didn’t really jibe with people getting their tonsils removed (I grew up in the 60s, when childhood tonsillectomies were pretty common).

Vittty Well, Brother!

They are part of your immune system. They’re just not boney hooks. And germs don’t dangle from them. And they’re more at the back of your mouth, not the posterior side of the throat. If you look at the diagram on the left, it shows the tonsils as being on the left. I thought they were on the other side of the throat/tube.

Hmm, can I post this with a pseudonym or something?

I thought that you were supposed to say “Excuse me” after farting because it made the smell go away. I swear my mom told me that. She swears she did no such thing.

Actually, It’s not. I really did believe that. Everybody was ‘Your Friend’. Steep learning curve, that was.

That’s what Plato and many other ancient Greeks thought.

It seems that a lot of people still think this today:

Fundamentally misunderstanding visual perception. Adults’ belief in visual emissions


The authors reviewed research about a profound misconception that is present among college students, namely, the belief that the process of vision includes emanations from the eyes, an idea that is consistent with the extramission theory of perception, which was originally professed by early Greek philosophers and which persisted in scholarly circles for centuries. The authors document the strength and breadth of this phenomenon and the object failure of traditional educational techniques to overcome this belief, and they reveal that students are leaving psychology courses with a flawed understanding of one of the most studied processes in the history of psychology–visual perception. Some suggestions are offered for overcoming this misconception in traditional college classroom settings.

I believed that women had one breast for each child they had. My mom and all my aunts had two kids each, so logically they had two breasts. Except my one aunt had three kids, so I figured one of them was adopted.

But then, eventually, you learned a bit about Quantum mechanics and discovered you had it right to begin with!

My parents were married on July 19. A year later, on July 21, I was born. Therefore, it took a year for a woman to have a baby. I was in my early teens before my cousin told me that was not true.

Everybody is not ‘Your Friend’, but not because it’s untrue that people are basically good and nice. The world is chock-full of good and nice people that you have to be wary of because they’re confused. Hell, I’m a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, and I have enough insight to know I’m somewhat confused and hence occasionally hurt the people in my life; and we’re the ones who supposedly lack insight into our limitations! ETA: life hasn’t always been this confusing but it has been substantially so for longer than we’ve been alive and somewhat so for the last dozen millennia plus or minus.

My mom apparently was uncomfortable with having “The Talk” and all she told me was that children are a gift from God. For the longest time I was confused when I’d hear about unwed mothers - how did they manage to confuse God and get babies???

The girl who lived next door to us told me that when you are asleep, your heart stops beating. I wasn’t sure whether to believe her or not, but I do remember lying in bed with my hand over my heart, waiting to see whether it stopped or not. I don’t know if she really believed that or if she was messing with me.

I thought islands actually floated on the water. My best friend was from Brooklyn, NY, which I discovered was on an island. I asked him whether he had been afraid it would sink.

This is quite minor, but I thought that when the umpire shouted ‘deuce’ during a tennis match, they were actually saying ‘juice’, and that’s when the players would sit down for a drink.

I believed a robot was perched on our roof, watching me at night.

I was about 6-7 years old, and my folks required me to carry the trash to the backyard cans after dinner every night. On our roof was a large, 4-sided vent of some type. Due to angles/slope/etc. I could only see it from the very back of the yard where the cans were, and in the light of the closest streetlight it really did have an ominous small-robot appearance. For various reasons I didn’t tell my folks about it, and my kid imagination turned it into a real machine that sat on the house at night. The way the light “turned” as I walked across the backyard made it appear to track me, and I remained convinced for a few years that it was real and actively observing.

I remained deathly afraid of it for years, and assumed my banging the can lids each time was instrumental in keeping it on the roof and safely away from me. Eventually I made the connection between roof vent and robot and relaxed about it.

For some reason, I never realized it was the metal vent I saw during the daytime.

At some age I came to understand how vision worked. Before that I didn’t think about it much except that I knew Superman’s X-ray vision was based on X-rays coming from his eyes, and so had I been asked I would have guessed regular vision worked the same way.

At around age 4 it started to rain one day when I wanted to go out and play. I shouted as loud as I could “Rain, rain, go away! Come again some other day!”, and it stopped raining. For a little while I was convinced that actually worked.

I used to think babies were born through the navel. It would have been a better arrangement.