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10 Strange Myths and Legends that Turned Out to Be True

6. Atari video game burial was thought to be based on a legend.

The urban legend of the mass burial of unsold Atari video game cartridges was proven real when construction workers unearthed them in New Mexico.

Atari Video Game Burial
Image Credit : Taylorhatmaker/Flickr

Atari, Inc. is an American video game and home computer company that was rumored to have buried all its unsuccessful and unsold video game cartridges. The information regarding the burial was received with skepticism and therefore dismissed as an urban legend.

The legend also included that the buried goods were the unsold copies of E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, which was regarded as one of the worst video games ever released.

The game burial remained an urban legend until construction workers in New Mexico unearthed the video games in 2014. The excavation was performed by the government and a few other organizations to validate the contents of the landfill as part of a documentary about the company.

The Atari officials revealed that around 700,000 video game cartridges of various titles including the infamous E.T. were buried at the time, but only 1,300 of them were fully recovered during the excavation. This proved that the urban legend of the video game burial was indeed true. (1, 2)

7. The urban legend of the “Green Man” or “Charlie No-Face” turns out to be based on fact.

The urban legend of “Green Man” or “Charlie No-Face” was indeed a real man named Raymond Robinson whose body was disfigured because of a childhood accident. The accident distorted his facial features and also gave him a greenish tint.

Raymond Robinson
Image Credit : Ncnewsmedia.com/ Wikipedia.org

“Charlie No-Face” or the “Green Man” was a popular urban legend that people in Pennsylvania would have heard of at some point in their life. But what the people didn’t know was that besides being a notorious urban legend, Charlie No-Face or the Green Man was an actual person. His name was Raymond Robinson.

Raymond Robinson was injured as a child because of an electrical accident that occurred when he climbed up a pole and reached for a bird’s nest. This accident disfigured his face beyond recognition and also gave it a greenish tint. He lost his eyes, nose, and an arm. To avoid people from panicking when they see him, he resorted to going out only at night and would often go for long walks to get some fresh air.

During his long walks, people used to come across him and mistook him for a boogeyman or a ghost. The stories of the green man and the man with no face became so popular that he became an urban legend among the people of Pennsylvania. (1, 2)

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8. The legend of Lake Nyos was based on actual facts.

The legend of Lake Nyos says that the lake harbors destruction and kills the people living too close to the lake. It turns out that the lake had high levels of CO2. Since CO2 is heavier than air, anyone in the lower areas simply suffocated and died.

Lake Nyos
Image Credit : Wikimedia.org

Lake Nyos, which is in the northwest region of Cameroon, Africa carried a legend that the lake harbored destruction and killed anyone who lived too close to the lake. When a disaster in 1986 killed around 1,700 people who lived near the lake, geologists studied the composition of the lake and discovered that the supposed haunted lake contained a very high level of volcanic gases.

Lake Nyos is known as a crater lake that is formed near inactive volcanoes. The presence of magma beneath this lake leaks carbon dioxide into the water, and this volcanic activity occurring miles beneath the lake contributes to the high levels of CO2 in the lake.

Under normal circumstances, this gas is released over time as the lake water turns over, but if any natural disaster occurred, then it can trigger limnic eruption and can cause the lake to explode. Since CO2 is 1.5 times denser than air, the high levels of CO2 released would simply settle down and suffocate anyone living in the vicinity and the lower levels of the lake.

Obviously, since people didn’t know about the volcanic origin of the lake, they believed that there were supernatural powers and forbade people from living in the lower regions of the lake. Thus, the legend of evil spirits in Lake Nyos was formed. (1, 2, 3)

9. The Hobbits of Flores is proven to have a legitimate origin

The Hobbits of Flores was a story about little people that were told by the locals for generations. It was considered to be a myth or a legend until the bones were found on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2003.

Ebu Gogo
Liang Bua cave, where the Hobbit remains were found. Image Credit : BBC.com

Legends about little people have been around for centuries among the locals of Indonesia. There is much folklore that contains tales about short creatures like Ebu Gogo or other creatures similar to it, like Orang Pendek. The people of Flores described Ebu Gogo as able walkers, fast runners with a height of just 1.5 meters.

But the legend turned out to be true when researchers unearthed remains of individuals who were just one meter tall with a grapefruit-sized skull on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2003. They were a species of humans called “Homo Floresiensis.”

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These little people were nicknamed “hobbits” and were capable of making tools to hunt tiny elephants. They are believed to have lived roughly at the same time when modern humans were colonizing the area. It is believed that the folklore could be based on the memories of actual encounters between modern humans and the “hobbits.” (1, 2, 3)

10. Qin Shi Huang replicating his empire as his mausoleum was considered a myth.

The myth that the first emperor of unified China, Qin Shi Huang, replicated his empire as his mausoleum was proved in 1974 when 8,000 terracotta warriors were uncovered in Xi’an China.

The Chinese Emperor Qin Shi Huang began building his mausoleum at a very young age. The mausoleum was built over a period of 38 years and it was said that around 700,000 men were recruited to construct it. The only written description of the mausoleum was by a Chinese historian Sima Qian.

His description of the tomb includes replicas of the palace and scenic towers, rare artifacts, 100 rivers of mercury and crossbows rigged to shoot anyone who tried to break in. Thousands of statues of soldiers were also constructed to guard his empire in the afterlife.

When the funeral ceremonies were done and the treasures were hidden, the craftsmen who worked on the tomb were locked in to avoid them from divulging any secrets. Since there was no proof for the existence of such a tomb and the details seemed exaggerated, it was often dismissed as just a myth. Until one day, when a family of farmers digging a well, came upon the terracotta warriors and the arrowheads.

Though the entire tomb has not been excavated yet, the probes placed by modern archaeologists showed an abnormally high level of mercury suggesting that parts of the legend are true. In 2012, it was confirmed that the remains of an imperial palace of great size were found at the site, proving the legend real. (1, 2)

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