Believing The Unbelievable - Ten Urban Legends That Keep Us Hooked.


1 - Alligator outbreak in New York sewers

This long standing myth found its roots in American folklore when it appeared in a book titled The World Beneath the City, which detailed a history of underground public utilities in New York. According to the author, he met with a retired employee who claimed he had personally witnessed a whole colony of alligators living 'al fresco' in the sewer systems. By the early 60's the legend had become sacrosanct. It's thought that it might have been sparked by the fact that alligators do occasionally find their way into the tunnels. However, the legend claims that owners who initially bought baby alligators as potential pets, got fed up with them when they started to grow up. Hence, they flushed them down the toilet, where they duly procreated and spawned legions of giant alligators that still thrive there to this day.

2 - Facebook photos of injured children

Online social media platforms are great breeding grounds for all kinds of hoax'. Because we use it so much these days, it's easy to believe everything we see, but should we? In 2011, a photo of a badly beaten fourteen-year-old boy was posted with a caption claiming he had been almost beaten to death by his evil stepfather. It went on to state the boy had intervened between his stepfather and his sister and that he was clinging to life in a hospital bed. The post encouraged Facebook users to share the evocative photo claiming each new update would raise forty-five cents which would go towards meeting his medical expenses. There was no identification of the boy, no address or any other information provided and Facebook does not allocate monies for any cause. Yet, the photo went viral and is still popping up in our news-feeds.
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