OK, Get Ready to Laugh. #2 Kills me..can you imagine going to the hospital to see a new friend’s baby and saying something like “Your baby looks like a dog fart”…and #3 is for real: I actually have a relative who does carry’s a raccoons penis bone with him when he goes hunting. -SF
Superstition is a fascinating thing. It tends to arise in times of turmoil or uncertainty, and it gives us a way to feel like we’re in control of a situation. But it can also be a great window into the way people think. Here are 15 surprising historical good-luck theories from around the world.
1. WEAR YOUR UNDERPANTS INSIDE OUT.
If you want to guarantee yourself a good year, you’ll need to do as Colombian people do and put on a pair of yellow underpants, inside out, on December 31. At midnight, reverse your undies and sail smoothly on into a new year full of luck, love, and prosperity. A similar tradition exists in Spain, with one key difference: lucky underpants are red, not yellow.
2. CALL YOUR BABY RUDE NAMES.
The first few years of life have historically been pretty risky, and babies really were lucky if they survived. This precarious time spawned all kinds of baby-protecting superstitions, many of which seem kind of counter-intuitive. In China, for example, it’s best to shower a beloved baby with verbal abuse, calling it names like “dog fart” and “stinky pig.” This performance tells any hovering malevolent spirits that the baby isn’t wanted, which might make them lose interest.
3. KEEP A RACCOON PENIS BONE IN YOUR POCKET.
Many male mammals have a bone called a baculum in their penis. For reasons we have yet to understand, these penis bones have become popular lucky charms in the southern United States. People keep them in their pockets, wear them around their necks, and even incorporate them into bridal bouquets.
4. MAKE A GROANING CHEESE.
During the super-perilous 16th century, expectant fathers would make a special “groaning cheese,” named for their partners’ labor pains. Once the child was born, a father’s job was to cut the cheese (pretty sure we’ve found the source of dad jokes!) from the center outward and distribute pieces to everyone in the house. The circular rind was saved for the baptism, at which time the baby would be passed through the hoop as additional insurance against bad luck.
5. GRAB YOUR PACKAGE.
It’s common knowledge that bad luck is contagious. But if you’re near someone who’s been jinxed or cursed, what can you do? If you’re an Argentinean or Uruguayan man, you grab your genitals, specifically the left testicle. No testicles? Don’t feel left out: touching your left boobshould have the same protective effect.
Read the Remaining 10 Absolutely Hilarious (and Strange) Theories at Mental Floss