As a species, people share a love of stories. Some are based on real events. Others are fictional, and in some cases the line between the two can be blurry or uncertain.
Urban legends tend to fall into the latter category, but they can be found in any form in any culture and society.
These are 10 examples of some of the strange urban legends.
10. Killer Electric Fans
South Korea is one of the most scientifically advanced nations in the world. Nevertheless, there is also a peculiar modern urban legend that has little or no scientific support.
Some South Koreans believe that turning on an electric fan overnight can be fatal. It's not entirely inconceivable that an electric fan will fail and catch fire in very rare cases, but that's not what believers worry about. The fear is that anyone who sleeps in a closed room with the electric fan running never wakes up.
This particular urban legend can be found almost exclusively in South Korea, and there is very little evidence to support it. Nevertheless, it is so widespread that even large fan manufacturers issue warnings that fans do not give up on people overnight to be judged.
It seems that the roots of this particular urban legend can be traced back to 1927 when an article was issued warning that electric fans circulating stale air could cause nausea or even suffocation could lead.
9. The Zambezi River God
In 1955, an Italian construction company started work on the Kariba Dam on the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe. It would produce huge amounts of hydropower, but at the expense of thousands of locals from their homes and their lands.
Some warned that the Zambezi River God would be upset to trigger floods and severe retribution. This snake-like creature, known as Nyaminyami, is said to inhabit Lake Kariba and act as a protector of the Tongan people.
The engineers of the Kariba dam were not affected. The huge structure's defenses have been designed to withstand flooding once in a thousand years.
Despite their trust, the dam was hit by this millennial storm in 1957. The damage was great and several Italian construction workers were killed. Construction was delayed by several months before work could start again.
Despite all the calculations, a second, even larger flood followed only a year later. Several other workers were killed and their bodies fell into the still setting cement of the dam, from where they could not be recovered.
The construction of the dam was finally completed, but not before 82 construction workers lost their lives. Some believe that the completed dam cut the Zambezi river god from his wife and that he is still working to destroy it.
If so, then he seems to be making progress. Engineers warn that the Kariba Dam is in urgent need of repair and there is a risk of a complete breakdown with catastrophic consequences.
8. Spring-Heeled Jack
With more than two million inhabitants, London was the most populous city in the world in the 1830s. It was a global center for science, invention and innovation and in 1829 introduced the first professional police force in the world.
Nevertheless, London was a city in the grip of fear. A mysterious figure attacked young women across the city and the police didn't seem to be able to arrest him.
It was not even clear whether the threat was human. Eyewitnesses reported that he had a demonic appearance, the ability to spit flames, and even jump long distances in one sentence. He became known as Spring-Heeled Jack .
Mass hysteria may have played a role, but the fear of Spring-Heeled Jack was very real. The newspapers, which knew a juicy story when they saw it, were only too happy to publish articles about this shadowy character.
In 1838 a man named Thomas Millbank, who was worn a little worse in a London tavern, bragged that  was none other than the mysterious Spring-Heels Jack. He was immediately arrested for attacking a victim named Jane Alsop. However, he soon had to be released. Jane Alsop remained firmly convinced that her attacker had breathed flames. If Millbank had actually been able to manifest this ability, he would have stubbornly refused to do so.
It is certainly difficult to say whether there was ever a single real person behind the legend of Spring-Heeled Jack, but the legend lives on and on. Occasional sightings are still reported.
7. The black bird of Chernobyl
The mere mention of Chernobyl is enough to cause discomfort. The name is inextricably linked to the worst nuclear accident the world has ever seen, and it is burned into our collective consciousness as something dark and terrible.
Most people know the story well enough. A nuclear reactor in the Soviet power plant has melted down, and only luck and heroism have prevented a far greater catastrophe that would have made much of Europe uninhabitable.
The supernatural aspect of history is less well known. Thousands of people were evacuated after the collapse, but many still speak of a terrible phenomenon that appeared to herald a catastrophe.
In the weeks leading up to the disaster, they claim to have seen a horrible humanoid creature with huge wings and eyes that glowed like hot coal. This phenomenon in the air became known as Black Bird of Chernobyl .
It cannot be said with certainty whether this was an urban legend that emerged after the disaster or whether it has a certain basis in reality.
] 6. The Deadly Drop Bear
Australia is home to some of the world's deadliest animals. If the snakes, spiders, jellyfish and the deadly squid with the blue rings were not enough, there is also the drop bear.
The creature is said to be a relative of the koala, but much less appealing. About the size of a leopard or a large dog, drop bears are ambushed predators.
They live in the woods, where they hide in the canopy and wait for unsuspecting prey to pass underneath. They fall from the trees and use their powerful arms and poisonous bite to subjugate their prey and sometimes even attack humans.
In reality, the fall bear is an urban legend created to scare and amuse tourists and occasionally prank . unsuspecting journalists . Oddly enough, however, during the last ice age, Australia was home to a carnivorous marsupial that lived and hunted from the trees much like the mythical drop bear.
5. Body in the Sydney Harbor Bridge
Sydney is one of the most famous cities in the world and appears to be Australia's hot spot for urban legends. If you want to believe them all, there is a secret network of tunnels under the streets, a hidden lake populated by giant albino eels that big cats have escaped at large, and even one prehistoric river monster.  Other urban legends are associated with Sydney's architecture, such as Sydney Harbor Bridge .
The bridge opened in 1932 and became famous worldwide. However, the construction cost human lives. Official numbers say 16 people were killed in falls, construction accidents and one case of tetanus after breaking a thumb.
Local legend says that this is not the full list of fatal accidents. Rumor has it that several workers fell into the structure during construction. Since these bodies would be bad for the public, not to mention that they are difficult and expensive to find, their cruel death may have been covered up.
4. The Wendigo
In November 2019, Gino Meekis hunted capercaillie in the forests of northwest Ontario. While there, he heard a wailing sound that he had never seen in more than twelve years of hunting.
Gino was so nervous that he pulled out his cell phone and took a picture and that later sparked an online debate about what exactly was responsible for the scary noise.
One suggestion was a grizzly bear, but this species had never been spotted in the region. Others speculated that it might be a Wendigo .
Bumping a grizzly in the woods is dangerous, but it would be extremely beneficial to encounter this terrible supernatural animal.
The Wendigo of Legend is said to be fifteen feet tall and has a stinky, rotting, emaciated body. His lips are torn and bloody and he is constantly hungry for human flesh. The animal is constantly looking for victims, but no matter how much it eats, it can never satisfy the craving.
This monstrous creature has found its way into modern medical language. Fortunately, the rare mental state of Wendigo syndrome is characterized by the desire to consume human meat.
3. The Rock Star's Parakeets
There are many urban legends about animals or beasts, the existence of which is at best questionable.
This is slightly different, as there are tens of thousands of parakeets that have found their home in London's parks.
The parakeets definitely exist, but they are definitely not native to the UK and no one is entirely sure where they come from.
A popular suggestion is that Jimi Hendrix is responsible for this. He is said to have released two of the birds, Adam and Eve, to the London sky when they were stoned in 1968. The multitude of parrots that now live in England are said to be descendants of this first pair.
The idea was even investigated by researchers from Queen Mary University. Unfortunately, while Hendrix may have contributed to the parakeet population they concluded that the birds are too common to be derived from a single pair.
2. Aka Manto
The Yokai are a group of supernatural beings and monsters that populate Japanese folklore. Different in appearance and temperament, some are benevolent, others cruel and you have an unusual preference for women's baths.
The descriptions of Aka Manto's appearance vary, but he is always represented with a mask and a red cape. The supernatural being is said to regularly appear in public toilets or in school toilets and to offer residents a choice between red and blue toilet paper.
Both are not a good option. Choosing the blue paper causes you to be strangled to death, but choosing the red paper is no better and results in death from injury.
Aka Manto is also smart for anyone who could try to fool himself. He requested the different colored toilet paper that he had offered. It is their fate to be dragged into the underworld and never to be seen again.
Fortunately, not everything is lost. If he politely rejects Aka Manto's offer of toilet paper, he will go looking for another potential victim.
The legend of Aka Manto can be traced back at least to the 1930s, and he is said to have followed public toilets to this day
1. NASA's billion dollar pen
In 1957, the Soviet Union launched the first satellite ever. It did nothing but whiz around the planet and beep regularly, but it was enough to trigger an enormously expensive space race with the United States.
America would achieve victory by landing men on the moon in 1969. However, there were a variety of challenges to be overcome before this point could be reached.
Even something as simple as writing turned out to be problematic in space . It turned out that normal pens just didn't work in zero gravity.
The American answer was to start a lengthy research project and put billions of dollars into a solution. In the meantime, the Soviet Union went cheaper, but far less complicated, using pencils instead.
Many people know this story, but it is not really true. It is an example of a particularly successful urban myth that is now so firmly anchored in our collective psyche that it is unlikely to ever disappear.
The reality is that the American space program, like the Soviet one, originally switched to using pencils. When a pen was developed that could be used in space, it was designed by an inventor named Paul C. Fisher independently of the US government or the military.
NASA approved them for use in space and bought a total of 400 of them at a modest price of $ 2.95 each. The Soviet space agency also bought some.
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