Believe us now?
Many of us have been told what we think is a tall tale or two. In fact, we’ve probably given in to our guilty pleasure of scouring the tabloids for factual evidence that will either confirm our wildest fears or satisfaction. If you’re like the rest of the world and have Googled how true some of the stories you’ve overheard actually are, this one’s definitely for you.
Check out which rumors are actually true!
Lake Nyos Legend
One of my favorites is Lake Nyos in the Republic of Cameroon.
The local legend was that an evil spirit or a monster lived in the lake and would come out at night to kill anyone who lived too close to the lake. One of the local groups, the Bafmen, settled in the high ground near the lake due to the legends. Different groups moved into the area in the mid 1900’s and lived closer to the water’s edge, disregarding the customs of the Bafmen.
In 1986, nearly 1,500 people living near the lake were found dead. Those who lived in the higher ground were fine.
It turns out the lake was very deep, and would essentially become carbonated. A land slide could trigger a release of CO2 from the lake waters. On that night in 1986, an enormous release occurred and since CO2 is heavier than air, anyone in the lower areas simply suffocated and didn’t wake up.
So while the myth about the evil spirits wasn’t entirely true, there really was something in the lake to fear!
Stone Age was light years ahead
For a few hundred years the Micronesians, a stone-age culture, had the fastest sailboats in the world. The first few reports of how fast the boats went were derided as fantasy. It wasn’t until George Anson made actual measurements and drawings in the 1740s it was taken seriously.
Germ Testing On U.S. Citizens
In the 1960s there were rumours that the US government had been carrying out secret germ-warfare tests on its own citizens. These rumours were strongly denied.
Then in the 1970s, when pressed by Senate hearings, the military admitted that, between 1949 and 1969, such tests HAD taken place, most notably on the New York subway system.