Last week, I heard, again, that stupid fact that “the average person swallows 8 spiders a year in their sleep”. I really hate that fact. But I’ve found a way to rationalize so that I’m a little more ok with it. It goes like this:
Since I swallow zero spiders per year, some poor schmo out there has to swallow 16 to make this statistic true. Glad I’m not that guy.
That might have been the end of this post except I’m incapable of writing down a fact without fact-checking it first. (Even if I’m just going to mangle said fact/statistic to make myself feel better about the possibility of ingesting spiders – at least I’m mangling an accurate statistic.)
Fear not, spider-haters! This is what I found:
As it turns out, this is completely and utterly false. Apparently some woman in 1993 wanted to illustrate how gullible we plebeian internet users were (and are, I suppose) and made a list of some utterly ridiculous fake-facts to illustrate that people will believe really dumb things if they read it online.
Bet you thought that was the end, right?
Unexpected Plot Twist!
I thought it would be cool to see the other fake-facts on the list, so I tried to find the article and this is what I found:
Apparently, no one can actually find the 1993 article where this woman wrote this. Furthermore, the Library of Congress has no record of there even being a magazine with that title at all. There is some speculation that the magazine might have been German and is now out of business, which is why no one can seem to find it. But what if the “truth” about the story being a myth was actually a myth?
A myth within a myth.