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Top 10 Urban Legends (Around The World)

Written by Top 100 Arena on 2012-09-19
As if tens of thousands of folklores and myths from our history and ancient times are not enough, we see urban legends popping up on a monthly, if not weekly basis. Some urban legends have credible roots, while some are utter craps. Some legends are quite humorous, while some are downright scary. Despite the name, urban legends don't necessarily originate from an urban area. Instead, the term is merely to differentiate contemporary ones from traditional folklores. Interesting thing to see is how urban legends spread. They used to spread from "friends of friends" in word of mouth fashion, which quickly migrated to emails. These days, they spread in a form of blog posts, news in unreliable news sources, and on social media platforms. Out of thousands of such urban myths, we have compiled the top 10 from around the world for you.

10 Dakar - Protect Your Penis!

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In several West African countries, including Dakar, it is believed that some people possess the power to shrink your penis just by shaking your hand. Now imagine traveling to West Africa for business and you can't shake anyone's hands out of fear. West Africans are usually well-endowed (much more so than their American and European counterparts) and if they are afraid of getting their member shrunk, then perhaps we should be too. In West Africa, there are a lot of people that have been beaten to death or burned alive because they are accused of having such power, much like witch hunts in America and Europe. Come to think of it, this is such a good power to use in clubs. More info

9 Cokelore - International

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We all know Coke, and no it's not cocaine. Coca-Cola is the most popular soft drink all over the world. When you visit anywhere in Asia and don't speak a single word from their languages but want to order Coca-Cola, they will still understand you. Such popularity also makes it a target for many urban legends. In fact, there are many urban legends about Coca-Cola that they even have their own name: Cokelore. One of them is that acids in Coke can even dissolve a tooth if you put it in a glass of coke overnight. Another one says that mixing Coke with aspirin will give you a drug-like high. All these urban legends have been proven false. More info

8 The Good Samaritan

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This legend is usually associated to a number of famous and rich people. Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Ford, Warren Buffet, Richard Branson and many more. The story usually goes this way. A man has a flat tire on a highway and been trying to stop cars to ask for help but none did. A motorist (in some versions, another car owner) stops to help, and the man thankfully asks for the helper's address so that he might send a thank you gift or something. A few weeks later, the good Samaritan gets a check in mail for $10,000 (or sometimes $100,000) signed by a famous person. The story usually varies depending on whom the celebrity is. Donald Trump actually tried to confirm this (as a publicity stunt), but all proofs show that this is just a rumor. Perhaps to teach our kids that helping people in dire need on highway roads is a good thing? More info

7 Walt Disney Is...*Wait For It*... Not Dead!

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According to this legend, cryogenical technology is used to freeze Disney's body so that he can return to life when some future technology allows that. No one really knows how it starts. According to the records, Disney was cremated in 1966 when he died. However, there was much secrecy around his funeral, and being an inventor, people must have linked all these with cryogenical technology, leading to this long-standing urban legend. More info

6 The Sewer Alligator

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This is among the most popular of all urban legends. According to this legend, sewer system under New York City is infested with deadly and hungry alligators. In some versions, it is said that people who want to keep them as pets brought them from Florida. But as the alligators become bigger and more violent, they were released into the sewers. In fact, in the 1930s, sensationalist newspapers started using this false stories of alligators being found in and around NYC, and claiming that police were hunting them down, just to sell more newspapers. The urban legend is still alive and kicking, and in fact, you might know a mobile game inspired by this: Where's My Water? More info on Wikipedia

5 The Vanishing Hitchhiker

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This urban legend is one of the oldest and perhaps the most popular and circulating worldwide. It seems like each countries have a version of this. The general theme is that a man picks up a young hitchhiker (usually a girl) on a deserted road (highway or countryside). He drives her to her house, but as they arrive and he turns back to say bye, she has disappeared without a trace. Confused, the man will ring the doorbell but then he learns that the girl has passed away for years, due to a car accident on the same spot he picked her up. This story is actually quite old, dates back so far that some earliest versions have horses or covered wagons instead of cars. More info on Wikipedia

4 Stockholm - Phantom Train

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Metro trains in Stockholm are green. However, when you ask any Stockholm residents where you can buy a ticket for Silverpilen, they will either refuse to talk to you anymore, or send you to a mental asylum. You see, Silverpilen is in silver color, and this unit is seen only now and then, but no one drives it. The story goes that the Silverpilen usually stays at an abandoned station named Kymlinge metro station. It is also said that this station is for dead people. More info on Wikipedia

3 The Dead Boyfriend

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This urban legend and variations are used to death by a lot of thriller, murder, serial killer and ghost movies. The general theme is that a couple is parked in a wooded lover lane one night and making out in car. When it's late and the girl asks the guy to take her home, he agrees but the car won't start. He realizes that it has no gas so he decides to walk to a nearby gas station but tells his babe to stay in the car. But then, he's gone for a long time and the girl starts to get worried and scared. When she hears scraping noises on top of her car, she becomes really really scared and huddles in the car all night. Next day, two trekkers happen to pass by and open the car door to let her out. As they open the car door, the girl notices their look of horror. She follows where they are looking at to the trees above the car, and see her boyfriend hung from a branch. His boots were the ones scraping the car's roof and making noises all night long. More info

2 Kidney Heist

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This is the most persistenta nd ubiquitous urban legend. In fact, this story has made to online newspapers and freak people out pretty hard. TV shows and movies immortalize it and the legend lives on. The general theme is that a traveler meets someone at a bar or a club, and the stranger offered a drink. In some variations, it would be a hot chick. The drink is drugged and the traveler will black out, waking up only to find himself in a bathtub covered with ice. There is a phone next to him with a note to call 911 immediately. Paramedics arrive later and they learn that the person's kidney has been removed by people who will sell it on the black market. The story is indeed scary for travelers at unfamiliar destinations. However, The National Kidney Foundation has announced in newspapers and Interenet and asked the supposed victims of the crime to contact them, but to date, there is none. More info

1 Bloody Mary

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Bloody Mary originates from the folklore but it is definitely an urban legend. Mary is a vengeful spirit who get executed along with her kids (or in some versions, she is Queen Mary of Spain who got mad and killed all her children). You can summon her by calling her name "Bloody Mary" three times in front of a mirror in a dark room, holding a candle. Some versions say that her names must be chanted 13 times, or 20 times. When Mary appears, she will kill you dead, pull you back into mirror, or scratch your face. Or she wil haunt you forever. Some versions say that the mirror will crack after the image of Bloody Mary appears, and blood will pour out, indicating your fate. We don't think you should try this. More info on Wikipedia

There are a lot more urban legends around the world. A lot of legends in this list may originate from one country but they are quite popular in other countries as well so it's hard for us to discern which one is from where. Nonetheless, we hope that you enjoy this list and hopefully, you won't find out if any of them are true.

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