Buck Wolf, of the Wolf Files on Abcnews.com has investigated urban legends and found out that while many are indeed myths, some of even the most bizarre are true.
An example of a false one is the story of the woman who tried to dry her freshly-shampooed poodle in her microwave. Here?s another: A woman on a flight from Scandinavia to the United States had to be pried free by a rescue team after a high-pressure vacuum flush sealed her to the toilet of a Boeing 767. It was reported in dozens of newspapers, websites, and TV news reports. According to Reuters, ?She could not get up by herself and had to sit on the toilet until the flight had landed so that ground technicians could help her get loose,? an airline spokeswoman said. ?She was stuck there for quite a long time.?
To the embarrassment of the news sources that reported it, this story turned out to be another urban legend.
Wolf wanted to find urban legends that are true or at least based on a true story. Here?s one: On the day that American Airlines Flight 587 crashed in New York, both of New Jersey?s winning Pick 3 lottery combinations included the numbers 5, 8, and 7. The morning drawing was 5-7-8. The later drawing was 5-8-7. True story.
?Urban legends are not the same thing as fictional tales,? says Barbara Mikkelson, who runs Snopes.com, a website that investigates urban legends. ?A story becomes a legend when it is circulated widely and regarded as the truth. Whether they actually occurred or not is irrelevant. When you look into legends, you see that they tell us a lot about our fears and obsessions.?
Here are other true urban legends: A lawyer demonstrating the safety of windows in a Toronto skyscraper deliberately crashed through a pane of glass and plunged to his death. Garry Hoy, 38, fell from the 24th floor of the Toronto Dominion Bank Tower in 1993 as horrified witnesses watched.
In 1986, the sheriff of Council Grove, Kansas, (population 2,300) accidentally returned an erotic video of him and his wife having sex to his local rental store. Soon, everyone in town seemed to have a copy.
In 1982, A student at the University of Alabama School of Medicine recognized one of the nine cadavers taken to her class for dissection. It was her great aunt, who had at one time discussed the merits of donating one?s body to medical science.
In 1982, Larry Walters of Los Angeles soared thousands of feet in the air on a lawn chair tethered to 45 weather balloons. He got so high, he disrupted air traffic and was eventually fined $4,000 by the Federal Aviation Administration. The 33-year-old Vietnam Veteran purchased the chair from Sears, hoping to fly it 300 miles from his home to the Mojave Desert.
In 1994, a 33-year-old Floridian man got his penis trapped in the suction hole of a public swimming pool while apparently seeking sexual pleasure. Paramedics shut off the pool?s pump, but the man’s penis had become extremely swollen. They struggled for more than 40 minutes to pry him loose. After lubricating the suction fitting, the man was taken to Lakeland Regional Medical Center.
For five years, Webster’s New International Dictionary mistakenly included an entry for ?dord,? a nonexistent word. In the mid 1930s, Dord could be found on page 771, nestled between Dorcopsis (a type of small kangaroo) and dor
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