Rumors come and rumors go. There’s always been a special place in society for tales of the weird and strange, especially those stories that are ‘absolutely, guaranteed, 100% true!” Even though, much of the time, they’re not. They’re called urban legends. They’re the totally strange, mostly unbelievable stories that somehow start, get passed around all over the place and seemingly take on a life of their own.
Strange stories are a lot of fun, especially during spooky times like the Halloween season. In the past, urban legends were passed along from friend to friend, neighbor to neighbor, from the schoolyard to the workplace, naturally evolving as they passed from one friend to another, embellished with each repetition.
Now with the advent of the Internet, stories of the strange and unbelievable are passed along seemingly by the speed of light. And because the stories now have a sort of “Internet Seal of Approval,” they more easily lure in folks who are naïvely accepting of hoaxes and tall-tales.
The most popular urban legends sent around on the Internet are of course some of the most outrageous. One favorite is the story of Hercules, purportedly the world’s largest dogs. A photo circulated on the Internet, beginning in 2007, of an enormous dog, an English Mastiff weighing in at 282 pounds. According to the photo circulated with the email, Hercules was almost as big as a pony. The rather convincing photo was found to be a skillfully photo shopped image, and the story of Hercules, the world’s largest dog, was debunked.
Though the urban legends circulating today often end up too strange to be true, some are true indeed. Another widely circulated tale was the story of fraternal twins born in England in 2005. The babies were born to parents of mixed race, and the little girls were of different skin color. One was black, one was white, but both were biological sisters. The odds of this occurring are actually one million to one, but it is possible. It is one very intriguing Internet urban legend that turned out to be true.