Weirdest belief/idea you've encountered

Huh. I don’t think I had heard the story before. I had no idea it had a grain of sort-of truth to it. I cannot imagine how something going that fast could survive passing through the atmosphere.

I know squat about this area of science, so would it be reasonable to assume that the faster something went through the atmosphere the hotter it would become?

Manhole covers have so much mass that they probably wouldn’t get all that hot. Even meteors coming in much faster will generally only heat up on the surface.

I would be surprised if it made it into space, though. To go into space, everything would probably have to be just about perfect.

It could easily have gone in pretty much any direction and could be hundreds of miles away. A certain basalt around here that is fairly common was ejected from a volcano hundreds of miles away some millions of years ago and can be found at distances a fair bit further from the volcano than here.

And that man’s name…was Mike Pence. Now you know…the rest of the story.

Good…

DAY

I used to have a friend that believed reincarnation was a fact, but only a specific highly unique version of reincarnation, that as far as I can tell, only she believed in. But she was absolutely certain she was correct. She would brook no dissent.

There is a bit of info, even on this forum, about the famous “manhole cover maybe blasted into space”

https://boards.straightdope.com/t/atomic-manhole-in-orbit/429809/3
(Contains further links to more discussion)

https://boards.straightdope.com/t/tell-us-an-interesting-random-fact-you-stumbled-across/851674/1639

The end of Steven Seagals 1994 movie On Deadly Ground ends with a long speech by Seagal where be unironically claims there is technology out there for you to run your car engine on water for cheap, but the oil cartels have paid off the government so those engines aren’t released.

Challenge accepted!

Dan Brown is obviously a hack and that extends to his ideas not just his writing style. He in no way made up the premise of The da Vinci Code. The claim that the Merovingian Kings descended from Jesus and Mary Magdalene came from The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail which came out 20 years before Brown’s book. You DoS acquaintance probably believed it. The problem is the original book has little or no proof even though its put forth as nonfiction. Also any modern genealogical link to the Merovingian Dynasty appears to be tenuous at best.

Yeah, when I realized that the idea preceded Dan Brown, the situation made more sense to me. What originally happened is that I was overwhelmed and preoccupied with 9 million different activities at the time the State Department guy told me the story. I was juggling so much that a few days later I completely forgot about the episode.

Then, a few years later a friend was reading the Dan Brown book and he told me enthusiastically about the plot. At that point the crazy monologue in the car came rushing back to me.

Initially, I was extremely confused as the event with the State Department guy occurred long before the book came out. Of course, you’re right that the story long predated Dan Brown, and my State Department guy had no doubt acquired his delusion from the same sources Brown used.

One of my high school friends said she had a Campus Crusade for Christ kid ask to see her horns.

I don’t understand your challenge.

Do you eat blobs of butter or do you challenge the notion tht doing so means one won’t get cancer.

“Coors Light has so little alcohol in it I drink it to just stay hydrated during the day. That’s why I drink 12 cans a day, if I actually wanted to get drunk I’d be drinking Whiskey.”

Well, it is like making love on a canoe.

To be fair, my barber burns the hair off my ears with an open flame. It’s weird and terrifying. But the nose? No. That’s a waxing. A painful, painful waxing.

Reminds me of the BBT episode where the boys bounce a laser off a reflector on the moon and Zach is worried the laser will “blow up the moon”. Leonard reassures him that the laser is “set to ‘stun’”.

I used to have a co-worker who, although extremely capable, was very concrete and compartmentalized in his thinking. So he was an excellent auditor (his main job), but also believed the moon landings were faked and that he had been abducted by aliens in his sleep. I managed to debunk his reasoning for these, but not to actually convince him that they weren’t so nonetheless.

And that’s not even getting into the friends and family with the weird beliefs about COVID/Trump/etc. Let’s not get started on that.

:open_mouth:

The hair inside the nostrils are connected to the back of your eyeballs. YTF would anyone wax them when a cheap nose hair clipper cuts them down painlessly?

Fun story: the first time my barber did it, he didn’t even ask. He just coated two Qtip-type things with warm black wax and, before I could say anything, stuck them up my nose. At this point it was a little late to object. After a minute, he suddenly grabbed and yanked them both out in one swift movement. Freaking ow.

But it did tidy up the nosehairs, I must admit.

I don’t know anyone who believes this personally (maybe I should get out more) but I came across this idea online:

Birds Arent Real – Birds Aren’t Real

The premise is that all birds in the United States were killed in the late 20th century and replaced by surveillance drones. I am not sure whether this is some kind of weird joke / marketing stunt (there does seem to be a lot of stuff for sale on that site) or if they really believe this.

The former. Its founders have given interviews making this clear. NY Times article.
Non-paywalled quotes from Times article. Commentary on the Times article.

When I was a kid my neighbor told me that they turn off lights and appliances when there’s lightning nearby. He said to me, “If you are using a lot of electricity in your house, your house is more likely to be struck by lightning.”

I have conspiracy-minded friends who think the Moon landing were faked. I once got into this conversation with one of them:

Him: “Moon landing was faked.”
Me: “Which one?”
Him: “What do you mean?”
Me: “Are you aware that there was more than one Moon landing?”
Him: “Um, yea, sure.”
Me: “Do you know how many times we put people on the Moon?”
Him: “Um, no, not offhand.”
Me: “So you’re absolutely sure we never went to the Moon, but you have no idea how many times we have been to the Moon?”
Him: “All I know is that they were faked.”
Me: “We put people on the Moon six times (six missions). Are you saying just the first mission was faked (Apollo 11)? Or are you saying all of them were faked?”
Him: “Uh, they were all faked.”
Me: “Do you think we orbited the Moon before we put people on the Moon?”
Him: “Uh, I don’t know. Probably not.”
Me: “Do you think we orbited the Earth before we put people on the Moon?”
Him: “Uh, yea, sure.”
Me: “So you’re saying we had the technology to orbit the Earth but not the Moon? Why would that be?”
Him: “I don’t know. Maybe we did orbit the Moon.”
Me: “So you’re saying we had the technology to orbit a person around the Moon and land back on Earth, but did not have the technology to land on the Moon? Why would that be?”
Him: “I don’t know. I just know the Moon landing was faked. Watch this video.”