View Full Version : Snopes Top 25 Urban Legends

03-06-2010, 08:36 PM
Saturday, March 06, 2010

Cell Phone Directory and Telemarketers
1. Warning that cell phone numbers are about to be given to telemarketers.

PPA Recall Alert
2. FDA health advisory regarding drugs containing PPA (phenylpropanolamine).

Ashley Flores
3. Plea to help find a missing girl named Ashley Flores.

Onion Contamination
4. Article warns about contamination dangers with cut onions.

*77 Cell Phone Notification
5. Advisory about contacting police by calling *77 (or *112 or *47) on a cell phone.

Facebook Virus
6. Warning about a password-stealing Facebook virus.

809 Area Code Scam
7. Warning about scammers' sending pages from the 809 area code.

Cell Phones and Popcorn
8. Video clip shows popcorn being popped with activated cell phones.

#-9-0 Phone Scam
9. Warning about scammers' running up long-distance charges by asking victims to press #-9-0 on their telephones.

Mail Server Report
10. Information about the "Mail Server Report" computer virus.

Mortimer Zuckerman
11. Editorial about the 'The Fall of Barack Obama' attributed to Mort Zuckerman.

Postcard / Hallmark Virus
12. Warning about a computer virus masquerading as a postcard from a friend or family member.

13. Claim that Starbucks refused free product to G.I.s serving in Iraq.

Cell Phone Electrocution
14. Warning that using a cell phone while it is being recharged poses a serious threat of electrocution.

F1 Key Virus
15. Alert warns about malware activated by prompting Internet Explorer users to press the F1 key.

Microsoft / AOL Giveaway
16. Promotion promises free cash or merchandise for forwarding an e-mail message.

17. Warning about medical ailments caused by the artificial sweetener aspartame.

Dr. Starner Jones
18. Letter to the editor by a Mississippi physician criticizes a patient's lifestyle choices.

19. Warning that criminals are using burundanga-soaked business cards to incapacitate their victims

New Dollar Coins
20. Claim that the design of new U.S. dollar coins omits the motto "In God We Trust."

Jasmine the Greyhound
21. Pictures of Jasmine, a greyhound who cares for other animals at a wildlife sanctuary.

Jury Duty Scam
22. Warning about scammers' tricking victims into revealing personal info by telling them they've failed to report for jury duty.

Corpus Christi
23. Petition protests an upcoming film that will portray Jesus as gay.

Michelle Obama's Staff
24. Claim that First Lady Michelle Obama has an unprecedented number of staffers working for her.

Asparagus vs. Cancer
25. Article claims asparagus has miraculous cancer-fighting properties.

The URL for this page is http://www.snopes.com/info/top25uls.asp

03-06-2010, 08:45 PM
So this is just the top 25 searched things? Because I just looked up the Jasmine the greyhound one and it said it was true. I'm confused. :confused:

And urban legend is something that isn't true. Definition: An apocryphal, secondhand story told as true and just plausible enough to be believed, about some horrific, embarrassing, ironic, or exasperating series of events that supposedly happened to a real person.

03-06-2010, 08:57 PM
Here is the definition of the term from Snopes (bolded text mine):


Urban legend

Urban legends are a specific class of legend, differentiated from "ordinary" legends by their being provided and believed as accounts of actual incidents that befell or were witnessed by someone the teller almost knows (e.g., his sister's hairdresser's mechanic). These tales are told as true, local, and recent occurrences, and often contain names of places or entities located within the teller's neighborhood or surrounding region.

Urban legends are narratives which put our fears and concerns into the form of stories or are tales which we use to confirm the rightness of our world view. As cautionary tales they warn us against engaging in risky behaviors by pointing out what has supposedly happened to others who did what we might be tempted to try. Other legends confirm our belief that it's a big, bad world out there, one awash with crazed killers, lurking terrorists, unscrupulous companies out to make a buck at any cost, and a government that doesn't give a damn.

Folks commonly equate 'urban legend' with 'false' (i.e., "Oh, that's an urban legend!"). Though the vast majority of such tales are pure invention, a handful do turn out to be based on real incidents, and whether or not something actually happened has no bearing on its status as an urban legend. What lifts true tales of this type out of the world of news and into the genre of contemporary lore is the blurring of details and multiplicity of claims that the events happened locally, alterations which take place as the stories are passed through countless hands. Though there might indeed have been an original actual event, it clearly did not happen to as many people or in as many places as the various recountings of it would have us believe.

03-06-2010, 11:08 PM
Oh. Ok. :) Thanks for the clarification. :D