#914 – Ctesias

It’s funny how when you are a kid you are exposed to new things in books, TV and movies before you have the skills to understand fact from fiction. There was a time when Santa Claus, dragons and unicorns were just as real to me as whales, dinosaurs and the Space Shuttle. The truth is revealed gradually and not in any organized way. For a long time I thought woolly mammoths were just what elephants looked like in the winter. What misconceptions did you have that lasted longer than it probably should have?


75 thoughts on “#914 – Ctesias”

  1. Find another one and you can make a double-headed snowman!

  2. Space Butler says:

    Biff…how could you.

  3. Zephir says:

    @Space Butler: How could he not? 😀

  4. Danny says:

    actually, Poul Anderson – and possibly others – speculated that if you have elephants who can survive winter weather, they _will_ grow much thicker fur.

  5. Monkeyman says:

    Lol, Biff has a mean side!? YES! Haha, this one is gold.

  6. Riftsong says:

    I think the idea was that he found the horn–not the unicorn. Like how deer shed their antlers and leave them around periodically.

  7. Micah says:

    I would expect him to use twigs for the eyebrows…long twigs.

  8. Moi says:

    I had the misconception that *all* liquids where water with more or less solids dissolved in it. An exception being gasoline, of course.

  9. mr toast says:

    is this…no…it cant be…IS THIS A CHARLIE THE UNICORN REFRENCE?!? You are now my favorite comic ever! come to the future charlie! the fuuuuture!!!

  10. Takla says:

    My family is bhuddist and on top of it, we’re still not really religious, so the term “Bless you” wasn’t used a lot in our house. Still, when you sneezed, there was almost always someone there to say “Bless you”. I heard it as “Bleshoo” and to this day, I still say bleshoo when someone sneezes.

    Maybe not quite the same as what we’re supposed to answer, but it’s sorta close.

  11. Pazno says:

    Haha, I, too, thought of Charlie the Unicorn.
    “Aah! Hey, where’s my horn… AAAH! What purpose did that serve?”

  12. Hah, Biff! Instant classic!

  13. Boo says:

    >Everyone knows trolls don’t exist… >Oh yeah, then how do you explain the dead unicorns?

  14. Chris says:

    @Riftsong – Yep!

  15. @Boo – Nice Metalocalypse reference!

  16. August says:

    I used to think that hippos were fine, as long as you stayed out of their water. Now I come to find out that not only can they run faster than humans, they will actively chase and kill people on land. This has become reason number one for me never to visit ‘the Motherland’ ever.

  17. baughbe says:

    What did I believe in? A very long and depressing list.

  18. Stephen says:

    Did you know graveyards are actually big chessboards and the pieces move around at night? Me and my brother did.

  19. Luca Light says:

    I used to think liver was some kind of vegetable. It always got listed alongside other things that are good for you but taste bad, like spinach and brussel sprouts, so I mistakenly assumed that it belonged in the same food category. Since we never ate it at our house, it wasn’t until high school that I became aware of my error.

  20. emo bob says:

    i remember those days… i lived in perpetual fear of snowmen, because any one of them could be a Deranged Killer Mutant Snow Goon and kill me. also, all lizards were really baby dinosaurs and the moon was the Death Star in disguise

  21. SarahA says:

    I used to think that the island off the coast of NY (Long Island) was Cuba. I have no idea why.

  22. Kitsune Dzelda says:

    @emo bob

    Your parents liked to pull yer leg alot didnt they?

  23. teretorre says:

    Dogs are all boys. Cats are all girls dontcha know.

  24. Sean says:

    I was about 6 when I realized Sunday wasn’t always going to be sunny.

  25. beccity98 says:

    I used to call rabbits “bock-bocks” because of the Cadbury commercials around Easter. For years I thought that was the sound rabbits made.

  26. Wannabeelf says:

    Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the like were ripped from me very young by a girl who was even younger than myself. she was 5 and never taught to believe because her only sibling was a teen and her parents didn’t want to deal with all that stuff any more; however, monsters under the bed, in my closet, wantering around my room, and lurking in the toilet to bite my butt when i flushed stayed with me untill i was 14. yeah, i was scared a lot when i was little.

  27. Chris says:

    @Wannabeelf – Butt biting is a hard fear to get over!

  28. Mad David says:

    I would *not* trust that snowman

  29. frullic says:

    I never had any of those problems, in kindergarden I was the smartass kid telling people “Santa Claus was invented by parents and Wal-Mart” or “BUNNIES DO NOT LAY EGGS YOU DUMB FAT HIPPO!” Also I’m in college and I’m still required to see the psychologist once a week…

  30. Cucui says:

    Something I started on Facebook: What are 10 things you used to believe that may not have been entirely correct. Make your own list and share:

    1. All newly poured concrete was extremely deep and could swallow up a person like quicksand, never to be heard from again. And wet cement was indeed as fast acting as shown in cartoons.
    2. At any moment the USSR would launch a world-ending nuclear war and my family’s only hope was to get to Nellis Air Force Base as fast as possible because it would surely be a prime target and then we would at least die instantly and not have to live through the subsequent nuclear apocalypse.
    3. If I ran over the vacuum power cord with the vacuum it would get cut and I would get electrocuted.
    4. My Grandma didn’t smoke (I’ve never had a sense of smell and I never saw her smoking so I didn’t know she smoked until several years after she died).
    5. My teachers and classmates absolutely needed to be corrected every time they said something I knew to be incorrect.
    6. Slot machines in grocery stores (and virtually everywhere else) wasn’t odd
    7. The best way to get out of a nightmare was to wet the bed
    8. The Count on Sesame Street was really spooky and had hypnotic powers (here’s why: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LH62UQ8pSR4 ).
    9. Growing up in the ’70’s everything seemed old, even when it was brand new. Clothes, cars, electronics, and pretty much everything seemed old. I somehow managed to alter my memory such that I thought Star Wars came out in the ‘80’s. Even though it had a dominating impact on my childhood, I thought nothing that awesome could have belonged in the ’70’s. I was actually surprised, I think in college, when I realized that Star Wars came out in 1977.
    10. One night, late at night, I saw a glow-in-the-dark Spiderman-type person walk through the front door of our house (without opening the door) and walk half-way down the hall, wave at me, and slip into my older sister’s bedroom. Actually I’m not entirely sure that didn’t happen.

  31. sco3tt says:

    I just saw the Biff: Sword Swallowers ad, perfect timing on the scroll up, I’m still laughing!

  32. Ziriath says:

    I used to believe that somewhere in woods around Brno city (where I live) is a bottomless hole (nobody knows accurate where it is) and many children fell into it.

  33. Raya says:

    Spagette was made of worms. ._. That was my brothers favorite cruel joke towards me… That, and that there were monsters in the drain that would come out and eat me when i washed up for dinner…

  34. sco3tt says:

    I used to use Monster Repellent, which of course came in an invisible bottle and I made the noise that it was spraying. worked though.

    @ Cucui “Count Sheep, who is that?” HA!

  35. reynard61 says:

    “What misconceptions did you have that lasted longer than it probably should have?”

    That the Law was about Justice, Fairness and preserving our liberties and freedom and that no man was above it, and that the Constitution could withstand pretty much any attack. 8 years of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney cured me of that. (Hey, you asked…)

  36. Hershey says:

    I was certain that dinosaurs were the fictional ones and dragons were real until I turned ten. What happened when I turned ten? I bought the book ‘ Dragonology ‘ or whatever and it confirmed to me that everyone else was right ; dragons were not real. Dinosaurs were.
    I also believed that during the night, little pixies danced around my room.
    No monsters for me, other than the usual toilet flushing fear and drain.

  37. Ziriath says:

    Do you know a quite archaic type of elevator called Pater Noster? I used to have strong respect for it. Many children believe the cage will turn you upside down or crush you when you forget to get off in the last storey. Trying if it is true was a test of courage.

  38. Madness says:

    I believe Blue from Blue’s Clues was a girl. For the longest time ever.


  39. Madness says:

    Saw. That she was a boy*

  40. Vannah says:

    This reminds me of the third Charlie the Unicorn video.

  41. Moogle says:

    For the longest time I would have sworn George Washington’s name was Warshington. For that matter, washing machines were warshing machines. I blame my mother with her south and central american roots.

  42. Ziriath says:

    Yeah, and I thought Hitler’s first name was Heil.

  43. Codename V says:

    i was convinced that the little balls in tapioca pudding was fish eyes by my little brother. I still can’t eat it

  44. Random says:

    When my brother was little I told him that if he ate too much ketchup, he would turn pink. Even after I told him I was joking, he never ate the same amount of ketchup again.

  45. Corjoth says:

    biff did NOT make that snowman>.>

  46. amanda says:

    My dad told me that in the old days, the world was black and white. That’s why there is no color in old photographs.

  47. The Dustin says:

    I still believe Santa exists, but he’s smarter than to do all the work himself. a large fat man in a red suit entering every house without detection is far fetched, that is why it makes sense that Santa would employ a worldwide organization of christmas Ninjas.

  48. John says:

    It’s a shame he used the unicorn horn like that, he could have used it the OTHER WAY, then he could be proud to call it a snow MAN, if you get my meaning. *wink wink*

  49. ZeoViolet says:

    I’d love it if Biff picked up on Calvin and Hobbes’ penchant for demonic-esque snowmen….

  50. -2! says:

    @ Micah

    You mean like this: http://www.thebookofbiff.com/2006/12/29/157-snowman/?

    He still did the mouth.

  51. Ziggy Stardust says:

    @Takla: May the blessings of the Buddha rain down upon you like rain upon the ground. Sometimes we use this version in my house. XD
    When I was really small I was convinced that babies were produced in hospitals, because that was where everyone was getting them from. I was partly right!

  52. TVTMaster says:

    When I was little, we used to own the VHS of Toy Story, and I was convinced that it was the longest thing in the world to sit through. The first time my mom showed me how to plant seeds, I asked how long it would take to grow. She told me it would be a “long time”, and I asked her how much of Toy Story I would have to watch before the flowers were done.

  53. Cact says:

    Finally, after one thanksgiving and three finals, I am caught up completely.

  54. -2! says:

    One thing I believed for way to long was that my cottage was the farthest point on the planet away from my house. It is 1 hour and 30 minutes away.

  55. statikpunk says:

    until i was in high school I thought “INXS” and “In Excess” were two different bands. i had never heard the name and seen the name at the same time. I thought the first name was pronounced “INKS” phonetically

  56. Mering says:

    My dad had my sister and me utterly convinced that a bb gun he owned was an elephant rifle. We were maybe 3 and 5 when he told us and 10 and 12 when we finally figured it out xD

  57. nobinobi says:

    Thanks to South Park, I thought the word Jew was a bad word well into my teens. Then we got our first computer and internet access and I learned it wasn’t.

  58. Daima says:

    That Vienna sausage was made solely of cow tongue. I repeated that for YEARS up until a few months ago (I’m 24) when I finally had enough mind to look it up.

  59. Adam says:

    @teretorre, 3 days ago – yes, all dogs were male and all cats were female! My sister held this to be absolute truth, so we had two female dogs named Buster and Jake, and three cats (two males) named Sasha, Cleopatra, and Pandora.

  60. HL2freak says:

    I have aspergers (A very high-functioning form of autism, it impedes social skills and makes people smarter), and I always viewed things with a bit more of a scrutinizing eye when it came to things I believed in. I’d never even heard of the belief of monsters in the toilet, under the bed, or in the closet until some other kids told me. I didn’t learn about people knocking on the bathroom door before entering until Kindergarden, when someone walked in on me in the room’s bathroom.

  61. DLow0012 says:

    I used to think that the only M&M’s that were chocolate-flavored were the brown ones.

  62. Zeke Iddon says:

    I found an old chemistry exercise book not too long ago which dated back to when I was about twelve or so. On one page I’d had to write everything I knew about oxygen, which I’d done and subsequently a dreadful grade for. It was easy to see why the page was covered in red crosses – the opening line was ‘oxygen is just a fancy word for air.’

  63. Radical Edward says:

    I have to say that I still believe in a type of Santa Claus. But no, I haven’t really been given any proof otherwise. Mainly because I still remember a man who came to me and he was a benevolent spirit. He helped me find a box big enough to hold all sorts of things. When we turned around to thank him, he was gone.

  64. Stevie says:

    :O CHARLIES HORN! Where art his kidney! this drawing is a misconception!

  65. Xydexx says:

    I’m 40-something years old and still think unicorns are awesome.

  66. RedEft says:

    When I was little, I used to think “LMNOP” was one letter. It’s the only sequence of letters in the alphabet song that’s out of rhythm. As a result, I was constantly searching for this illusive magical mystery letter. (Sorry for backposting, I just started reading this comic a couple weeks ago and have really been enjoying savoring little bits of Biffness every day.)

  67. Chuck says:

    I thought Narwhals were fake.

  68. Hornswaggler says:

    XDDD Charlie reference, whether intentional or not! “Oh, come on, now WHAT did that accomplish??” “Quick! Grab a hold of our tongues! -bleh-”
    …-goes to watch them again-

  69. Troglo says:

    For a long long time I believed the phases of the moon was caused by the earth casting a shadow on it.
    It wasn’t for lack of information, I must have seen the standard charts they use to explain it in several books, but I was 18 before it dawned on me that I was wrong. And I consider myself smart! 🙁

  70. jenny_penny says:

    As a kid I always thought that my teddies were alive somehow and after I saw Toy Story I thought I had finally figured out how. I’m now 19 and I know they’re just stuffing and material but I still treat them nicely and occasionally speak to them (well it’s more like thinking out loud but directing it at someone rather than having a conversation)

  71. Matt says:

    I was born hearing impaired and as such I did and still do often misunderstand some words or phrases when I haven’t got my hearing-aids in. Occaisionally as I was growing up I would hear some one say, “I think that child may be autistic” or some thing similar. (This was also several decades ago and so autism wasn’t really understood by the general public) What I always heard was, “I think that child may be artistic.” The meaning of artistic and the behaviors and symptoms of autism became linked in my mind and for the longest time (until I was about 12) I believed that only people who showed signs of autism could ever be artists.

  72. brent says:

    i thought the vietnam war occured in cuba and the russians shipped vetnameese fresh with the missles and america inveded cuba form the north and south from the same time and ended up killing other americans when they met in the middle cus all army men were green and looked the same. that caused stars to be put on generals helmets so they wouldnt get shot.

  73. Waladil says:

    In a cunning reversal, one false belief that ended TOO SOON for me was the belief that my parents were perfect. That’s probably why I have so little faith (in anything; people, religion, engineering, books). Just a suspension of disbelief for temporary periods.

  74. rysworld says:

    I thought Arkansas and Arkansaw were two different states until my thirteenth Summer.

  75. Princess613 says:

    I still believe that most people are good, and that good people get good things. The world seems to be trying much to hard to rid me of the notion, but experience is a powerful teacher.

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