25 Absurd Rumors People Actually Thought Were True


1Pop Rocks

Pop Rocks

After the false rumors that mixing Pop Rocks with soda could cause death, General Foods sent letters to school principals, created open letters to parents, took out advertisements in major publications, and sent the inventor on the road to explain Pop Rocks are not dangerous.

2. In 1987, one of Heineken’s retailers started a rumor that urine was one of Corona’s important ingredients. They did it to stop its growing sales. Corona’s parent company sued for damages and reached a settlement.

3. A French chef named Bernard Loiseau committed suicide when he heard of rumors of his restaurant being downgraded from a Michelin Guide three-star restaurant to two-stars. This was the basis for the character "Gusteau" in "Ratatouille".

4. Popular American chewing gum brand Bubble Yum once had to mount a PR campaign to combat the rumor that it derived its soft texture from the addition of spider eggs.

5. An entirely unfounded rumor about "flesh-eating bananas" panicked the public to such an extent that the Center for Disease Control had to set up a "banana hotline" as it was inundated with calls from the gullible public worried about killer bananas.

6Gangnam Style

Gangnam Style

There was a rumor that Psy's "Gangnam Style" video was a fulfilling prophecy of the end time, that the world would end when the video amassed a billion views. It hit a billion on December 21, 2012.

7. There was once a rumor that Charles Manson auditioned to be in The Monkees.

8. Ann Wilson of Heart wrote the song Barracuda after her recording company created a rumor that she and her sister were having an incestuous relationship for publicity. Following a concert, a fan asked how her “lover” was. Enraged, she went directly to her hotel room and began writing the lyrics.

9. In 2009, Former Transport Minister John Baird sent a text that “Thatcher has died.” It started a rumor that the Former British leader had actually passed, when in fact it was his 16-year-old cat named Thatcher.

10. After rumors that Yellow No. 5 lowered sperm count, some people increased their consumption of Mountain Dew as a form of contraception

11Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

There were rumors going around before elections that Thomas Jefferson would go on to confiscate all the bibles if he were to be elected president in 1800.

12. When Elvis Presley made his 3rd appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, he was only filmed dancing from the waist up because of a rumor that he had been hanging a small soda bottle down his pants "to create the illusion of a large, swinging endowment."

13. Mr. Rogers never served in the military, despite ongoing rumors that he was a Navy Seal who had 25 confirmed kills during the Vietnam War.

14. A Canadian progressive rock band called Klaatu sounded so similar to the Beatles, that rumors began to speculate that the Fab Four had secretly reunited.

15. Actress Jean Seberg was a victim of COINTELPRO where the FBI created a false rumor that the child Seberg was carrying was not fathered by her husband Romain Gary but by Raymond Hewitt, a member of the Black Panther Party.

16Honore De Balzac

Honore De Balzac

In 1842, a famous writer named Honore De Balzac tried to publicize his play by starting a rumor that opening night was sold out. The play opened to an empty house.

17. Snapple fell victim to a rumor that the small "K" on their label was either a representation of the Ku Klux Klan or of an imagined "Jewish Tax.” The "K" on the products actually meant that they were certified kosher.

18. When he was alive and kicking around, there was a rumor that Saddam Hussein bought over 4000 PS2's for production of weapons of mass destruction.

19. The glass harmonica became unpopular due to the rumor that playing the instrument drove the player mad.

20. Contrary to popular belief, composer Johannes Brahms never killed stray cats with a bow and arrow. In fact, the malicious rumor can be traced directly back to Richard Wagner, who resented Brahms for his opposition to Wagner's music and philosophical writings.

21Lyndon B. Johnson

Lyndon B. Johnson

During an early congressional campaign, Lyndon B. Johnson supposedly tried to start a rumor that his opponent would have sex with pigs just to "make the sonofab****h deny it.”

22. During the Operation Pedro Pan, USA spread rumors that Castro was sending children off to Russia to train them. They did it so that Cuban parents would send their children to the US orphanages for educational purposes.

23. Because of her appearance, there were rumors that Confederate President Jefferson Davis' wife (Varina Davis) was mixed race.

24. During a nationwide search for Clément Barbot who had to lead a plot to overthrow Haitian president François Duvalier, rumors spread that Barbot had turned into a black dog. Duvalier ordered all black dogs to be put to death.

25. In 2009, a rumor about an all-lesbian "hidden city" located in northern Sweden spread through Chinese media.