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Irrational Fears Everyone Had As Kids That Don’t Make Sense

Madeline Hiltz
Photo Credit: Cynthia Monaghan / Contributor
Photo Credit: Cynthia Monaghan / Contributor

Millennials seem to be realizing more and more things the older they get. However, they’re still baffled by all the weird fears that every single kid seemed to have growing up. Did all millennials live the same life or did parents just give really bizarre advice? Here, we break down some of the strangest things millennials were afraid of growing up that really hold no water today.

1. If you swallow gum, it will never leave your stomach

AnnaSophia Robb in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Photo Credit: Warner Bros./ MovieStills DB

Did anyone else think that gum would stay in your stomach for seven years if you swallowed it? No? Just us…?

2. You became an Olympic sprinter after turning the lights off in the basement

Tom Hanks running in Forrest Gump
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures/ MovieStills DB

Obviously, once you turned your basement lights off you had to run upstairs as fast as you could so the ghosts and monsters that came out in the dark didn’t catch you.

3. Quicksand is going to be a huge issue in your small town

Robin Williams in quicksand, Jumanji
Photo Credit: TriStar Pictures/ Sony Pictures/ MovieStills DB

Did anyone else think as a kid that quicksand was going to be a much bigger, much more common issue in life?

4. The Bermuda Triangle is a very real problem that will have very real-life consequences

Spongebob Square Pants opening credits
Photo Credit: Nickelodeon Cartoon Universe via Youtube

Did anyone else go through a phase as a kid where they were genuinely concerned about the Bermuda Triangle???? We were like, why is this problem not being solved??

5. Is an ax murderer hiding behind my shower curtain?

Psycho shower scene
Shower scene in the movie Psycho. (Photo Credit: Alfred Hitchcock /Shamley Productions / MovieStills DB)

Every time we went to the bathroom as a kid, we were so paranoid that a robber or murderer was hiding in my bathroom that we would rip our shower curtain open to make sure we were alone. We never really considered what I would do if there was a killer hiding in there, though.

6. What’ll really happen if you turn on a light when driving?

That 70's Show
Photo Credit: The Carsey-Werner Company / MovieStills DB

Did anyone else’s parents make them think it was illegal to turn a light on inside the car while they were driving? Our parents made it seem as though the car would immediately crash if we turned one on.

7. Booby traps were around every corner

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark
Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark. (Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures/ MovieStills DB)

We certainly thought we would be dealing with a lot more booby traps in our adult lives than we currently are dealing with.

8. Why are we not dealing with more piranhas?

Piranha tank scene in Now You See Me
Piranha tank scene in the movie Now You See Me. (Photo Credit: Summit Entertainment/ MovieStills DB)

Does anyone else remember the near mass hysteria over piranhas when they were kids? We know piranhas are real-life fish, but we must say we’re surprised they aren’t in our real lives. We thought they would play a much bigger role in everyday life.

9. Were we going to sink to the bottom of the ocean if we ate and then swam right afterward?

Meryl Streep's character in a Series of Unfortunate Events
Meryl Streep in a Series of Unfortunate Events. She later falls into this flesh-eating leech infested water. (Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures/ Dreamworks Pictures/ MovieStills DB)

We got a lot of our information from A Series of Unfortunate Events, and we’re certain that one character died from flesh-eating leeches because they didn’t wait long enough to swim. Yes, yes, we know that’s a work of fiction, but we swear our mom also said that we needed to wait at least 30 minutes before going swimming after eating so we wouldn’t get a cramp and drown.

10. Swallowing a seed will make a plant grow in your body

Harry Styles in Watermelon Sugar High
Harry Styles eating a piece of watermelon in his “Watermelon Sugar High” music video. (Photo Credit: Vevo/ Harry Styles via Youtube)

We used to genuinely believe as a kid that if we swallowed a watermelon seed, apple seed, sunflower seed, or any seed for that matter, that we would grow said plant in our stomachs. Really, it was an excuse for us to not eat our fruit.

11. We were told our eyes would stay crossed if we kept them that way too long

Hyena's in the Lion King
Hyenas in Disney’s The Lion King. (Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures/ MovieStills DB)

Maybe our parents just didn’t love us making funny faces, but was anyone else told that if you cross your eyes too long they’ll get stuck like that?

12. The moon is following you

The moon
Photo Credit: Xinhua News Agency/ Getty Images

More from us: Top 10 Most Common Wine Myths You Probably Still Believe In

Who else believed that the moon tried to keep up with the car? We used to always think we were in some sort of weird race with the moon.

Madeline Hiltz

Madeline Hiltz is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News