20 Facts That Make Everyday Fears Less Terrifying
The two biggest forces that drive this world are love and fear. While it is nice to think that love governs us most of the time, it would be silly not to admit that all of us have a large part of our lives ruled by fear. It is absolutely true that the word is a big, scary place – but in reality it is far less frightening than you probably realize. Misinformation leaks into our minds through history and pop-culture and molds us into people who are afraid of harmless things. Here are just a few things you should know to ease your mind about some of the world’s most common fears.
Everybody’s Heard About The Bird Flu
For all the hypochondriacs out there, there is no need to be afraid of catching the infamous H5N1 virus, also known as the Bird Flu. If you live in the United States, you have a greater likelihood of getting a date with Taylor Swift.
Being stung to death by a swarm of bees sounds like a painful way to die, but it isn’t that probable. Bees are relatively harmless when they are swarming – it means they are looking for a new hive and therefore don’t currently have any food or offspring to protect.
Bat S**t Crazy
Because of its name, Vampire Bats have a less than bright reputation. And yet, despite their moniker, they are actually harmless to humans and cause little or no pain to the animals they feed on. They have even been known to adopt the orphaned pups of other bats.
Spiders are the creepiest of creepy crawlies, which makes tarantulas their king, but the large arachnids barely have enough venom to cause the pain of a bee-sting. Their friendliness is on par with that of a house cat.
With seven billion people in the world, everyone seems afraid that the world will soon be overpopulated and one day everybody will be living in a very cramped planet. Fortunately the world is a huge place – the entire population of Earth could fit in the state of Texas with a density about the same as New York City.
Have you ever worried that some stir-crazy plane passenger will open one of those emergency hatches mid flight? Don’t worry – cabin pressure holds the door closed, making it impossible to open while in the air.
Mental patients are a common theme throughout horror movies, slashing up innocent people in terrifying craze. Actual statistics prove that the mentally ill are more than twice as likely to be on the receiving end of a violent crime.
Dogs can be mean and vicious creatures and are prone to biting people when agitated. Being ripped apart by angry dog is a horrible thought, but you have a better chance of dying of heat stroke before that would ever happen.
Filthy, Filthy Porn
Because of their very nature, people are quick to think that websites that contain pornography are more likely to give you a raging computer virus. In actual fact, you are more likely to get a virus from a church website as the sites are often put together by volunteers who know nothing about programming.
Rats have a horrible reputation as disgusting little creatures that carry diseases and eat anything they can find. While feared by most, they are actually relatively intelligent. In Tanzania, rats have been trained to detect tuberculosis and sniff out landmines – they’re called hero rats.
Terrorists are horrible people who do horrible things and cause destruction and death, but the likelihood that the average person would get killed by one is slim and none. More people are killed by accidents involving toddlers.
Deer probably seem like one of the most harmless animals out there, a graceful mammal with a vegetarian diet. Although they are the cute and cuddly type, deer cause more deaths a year than bears, wolves, sharks, spiders, bees, wasps, snakes, alligators, and scorpions combined.
Death By Teeth?
The movie Jaws made the world terrified to go swimming in the ocean forty years ago, a fear that most people still have today. While it is perfectly rationale to be afraid of a giant predatory fish with a mouth full of razor sharp teeth, you are more likely to killed by a pig, a falling coconut, or a vending machine than being gobbled up by a great white.
To Die For
The most poisonous and therefore deadliest spider in the world is the Sydney Funnel Web Spider. Do you want to know how many deaths it has caused in the last three decades? Zero.
Come Fly With Me
While flying in a plane experiencing turbulence is scary, flying is one of the safest ways to travel and even when there is a crash over 90% of the passengers survive. On the Asiana Airlines Flight 214, 304 of the 307 passengers survived; on Air France Flight 358, all 309 souls survived.
Going to war brings about the great likelihood of being killed in combat, but death is a lot more common everywhere else other than war zones. More people were killed in the U.S. by gun crimes in a year than the total number of deaths from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined since their beginnings in 2001 and 2003 respectively.
The Air That I Breathe
Pollution is a very real issue that threatens our environment, but it makes people overly paranoid a lot of the time. Those large stacks you see emitting large white clouds exhaust? No worries – that’s just water vapor.
No Fear Of Heights
Vertigo is one of the most common fears all over the world, but those who have it should take comfort in knowing that plenty of people have proven to be resilient against falls from great heights. In 1972 a woman survived a fall from an airplane from over 30,000 feet in the air after she hit the ground at terminal velocity.
Thunder And Lightning
Everyone is scared at the thought of being electrocuted by a lightning bolt, but it’s an incredibly rare occurrence. Per year, more people die of choking on pen caps.
Itsy Bitsy Spider
While a few people across the world die from spider bites each year, it isn’t something arachnophobic people should dwell on. More people die on an annual basis from being hit in the head by flying champagne corks.