There are some pretty common superstitions that still hold power even nowadays; black cats, ladders, the number 13, all silly, meaningless things that hold unnecessary power over otherwise rational people. These ones, however, are just plain old ridiculous.
According to this superstition’s origin story, one time a mechanic was told not to eat peanuts in the pits, because they are bad luck. Scoffing at such a ridiculous notion, this foolhardy greasemonkey tempted fate by throwing the peanut shells onto the hoods of five cars. All five crashed and three racers died.
Not only does this superstition make no sense, but it has no factual basis either (surprisingly).
Blessing a Sneeze
In various places in the world, a sneeze has been thought to be either bad spirits or one’s soul trying to escape the body. The belief that blessing a sneeze could help the sneezer came from a papal decree during the Black Death, which urged believers to bless those who sneezed in order to save them from the plague.
Lizard Dreams Mean Secret Enemies
If you dream of lizards, whether it be a giant snake biting your head off, or a tiny chameleon telling you how to catch the train to your exam where you will be naked in front of the whole school, it means there is someone out there who hates your guts. Why? How? Doesn’t matter, watch your back.
Salute Lonely Magpies
From an old English nursery rhyme where a lone magpie indicates sorrow, somehow the idea that saluting said solitary magpie would ward off the sorrow came to be common belief. In some areas it is also commonplace to say, “Hello Mr. Magpie, where’s your wife?” This might anger the magic magpie more, however; what if the magpie is a female, or in a same-sex relationship? It’s just as possible, in our enlightened times.
Sleeping with Your Head to the North is Bad Luck (Japan) and Sleeping with Your Head to the West is Bad Luck (Africa)
Both arising from the fact that dead people are buried facing north and west respectively; supposedly it must also be bad luck to sleep facing up, or filled with formaldehyde. Best bring a compass to bed with you and make sure your noggin is pointed somewhere between the South Pole and Kiribati.