36 Times People Online Were Doing Something They Thought Was Harmless Only To Find Out It Wasn’t

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Not all danger is obvious at first glance. In fact, it is usually the things that appear harmless when they really are not that cause the most damage.

Most of us have been in situations like these. You go on doing something that seems like some good, clean fun, only to quickly realize that the stakes are a lot higher than you imagined. Well, when one person asked other Redditors to share these stories and the experiences that came with them, they were eager to do so. Scroll down to see what they wrote!

More info: Reddit 

36 Times People Online Were Doing Something They Thought Was Harmless Only To Find Out It Wasn’t We were picnicking near a lake in northern CA that was full of salamanders

I caught one and was walking around showing it to people. I found out later that their skin secretes tetrodotoxin which is super toxic, especially if ingested. in hindsight im hella glad I washed my hands before eating pizza.

gdzeek , Stephen Leonardi Report

36 Times People Online Were Doing Something They Thought Was Harmless Only To Find Out It Wasn’t Mixing bleach and vinegar with hot water to mop the floors, then getting really light headed so I would sit near the bucket of chemical warfare I had created.

Alpha_Cox , Tima Miroshnichenko Report

36 Times People Online Were Doing Something They Thought Was Harmless Only To Find Out It Wasn’t When I was around 12 years old I went for a hike with a friend – we didn’t tell anyone where we were going and my parents thought we were playing in the backyard.

Well our hike took us through the forest to a frozen river which we decided to walk across. Since it was spring the ice wasn’t as thick as we thought it was and I ended falling through. My friend quickly grabbed me and pulled me backwards out of the water. The water was flowing surprisingly fast and I remember at the time thinking how lucky I was that he was there to catch me.

That was over 25 years ago and I still have flash backs to that and think what if. Nobody knew where we were, and if he didn’t catch me I could have easily been swept under the ice.

The-Real-Dr-Jan-Itor , Charles Parker Report

Many of the stories that people shared in this thread included one common factor — they were all young. This leads us to observe that there is a good correlation between young age or inexperience and taking higher risks or neglecting danger.

When realizing such a thing, one usually can’t help but wonder why exactly it occurs. You could say that young people are reckless and refuse to listen to reason, but with a closer look, that seems like a stretch, doesn’t it? After all, there are plenty of really smart youngsters out there who will still go and do something stupidly dangerous just for the thrill of it.

36 Times People Online Were Doing Something They Thought Was Harmless Only To Find Out It Wasn’t This was in a very isolated area on the Washington/Idaho border at my step mother’s cabin (Pend O’Reille River).Was outside walking about and saw a massive moose likely 50 yards from me coming through deep brush. Moved in to get a much closer look. It was a female and her (calf? foal?) then came into sight behind her as I got closer. Luckily she really paid me not much attention and continued on towards the river bank. I later found out how absolutely stupid that was and how fast I could have been a target. 

Edit to add: since this comment has gotten so many upvotes I thought I would add a bit more context. I grew up camping and fishing in the Pacific Northwest and was always raised to be wary of Predators, especially when salmon fishing or hiking at high altitude. I just had never come across a moose before in that proximity and my brain just instantly thought “oh big deer” it will just run. They dont always take the fight response but I’m sure someone else here can attest to the fact it is not an even remotely bright idea to test ones patience. Same area in Usk/Newport also has a huge population of Bighorn Sheep that they feed on a reserve and you can hike up and take pictures. They are mostly docile but Bighorn sheep does not = harmless little lamb. You have to be careful around those MFrs. .

NeedleworkerSuch9714 , Pixabay Report

Well, it turns out there is a better answer to all of this. According to Psychologist Dr. Lisa Damour, who was interviewed by Unicef, young people, especially teens and adolescents, are driven to seek new and exciting experiences. This can be driven by neurological factors, such as their brains being highly sensitized to the excitement of rewarding experiences.

While it can frustrate their guardians, most of the time, teens pushing against boundaries created by adults is a sign of healthy development. However, this type of behavior can also come from emotional struggles, severe stress, or feelings of isolation caused by problems in the family or outside of it.

36 Times People Online Were Doing Something They Thought Was Harmless Only To Find Out It Wasn’t I live in rural Alaska and when I met my bf I quickly learned he loves ice fishing. We went to a lake (my first time) beginning of winter to go ice fishing. I later learned that the lake we went to has alot of “hot spots,” and people fall through the ice frequently never to be found again. It’s apparently one of the scariest and most dangerous lakes to ice fish on in the area. Had no idea lol.

hiimk80 , Tima Miroshnichenko Report

36 Times People Online Were Doing Something They Thought Was Harmless Only To Find Out It Wasn’t While in New Orleans, I got in a car I thought was my Uber but wasn’t, ended up getting driven and round and eventually robbed at a gas station by the people who were my “Uber”

Luckily they only stole my phone and debit card but easily could have been taken somewhere and the s**t kicked out of me or worse. Also extremely lucky I got about 90% of the $6k they pulled from my account / venmo’ing them selves .

bunslightyear , Craig Adderley Report

Karen Young of Hey Sigmund added that the lack of a sense of fear might as well have been an evolutionary trait that gave humans, especially males, an advantage in earlier times, as putting one’s life in danger could mean a world of difference when it came to protecting or providing for the tribe.

As the years went by, the need for such a behavior mostly vanished, yet many of the instincts remained. And the thing is, they can’t really be removed completely. That’s why if a parent tries to punish their teen for some reckless thing that they did, they’ll only end up pushing them away and possibly even giving them another reason to engage in similar behaviors.

Instead, the best way to help a young person through this period is to be there for them so they have someone to turn to and a place where they will be listened to and heard. After all, these lessons won’t be learned until the person experiences them on their own.

36 Times People Online Were Doing Something They Thought Was Harmless Only To Find Out It Wasn’t Not paying attention to hearing protection, listening to music in headphones loud enough for others to hear, not wearing an appropriate mask when creating fine wood dust. I now have tinnitus and asthma thanks to those two.

radiowave911 , Brett Jordan Report

36 Times People Online Were Doing Something They Thought Was Harmless Only To Find Out It Wasn’t I went to a friends new bar opening by myself. I couldn’t find anyone to go with me so I was just going to stop in for a quick drink to see the place then head home.

I accepted a drink from someone I was acquainted with but didn’t know that well. He bought shots for a group of people he was with and since I was standing there talking to them he got me one as well.

Something was in my shot and I blacked out. I vaguely remember being in my car in the parking lot and this person trying to get into the passenger side and apparently he did get in.

From what I understand, we got as far as the car wash/gas station across the street and I screamed until he got out of the car. Someone found him passed out behind the car wash the next morning.

I made it home, I don’t know how, and was found by an ex who I drunk dialed at some point on my way home. I was passed out in my driveway, still sitting in the drivers seat with the car running, and the car door open.

I was afraid to go to the ER or hold the person accountable. While I didn’t know the guy that well, it was common knowledge that he was a d**g dealer in the area and I was afraid of the repercussions.

I’ve never accepted a drink from anyone or left a drink unattended in any situation since.

splotch210 , cottonbro studio Report

36 Times People Online Were Doing Something They Thought Was Harmless Only To Find Out It Wasn’t I joined a crowd that surged and overwhelmed the entrances to a Rolling Stones general admission show in 1979.  A few weeks later, the tragedy at The Who’s show in Cincinnati occurred.

Ok-Elk-6087 , ActionVance Report

In the end, it is as the saying goes: “To be old and wise, first you have to be young and stupid.” While, as with any other thing, there are always some exceptions, it is only natural that younger people seek more thrills and experiences that lead to more dangerous events because that is how we learn what life is and how to handle it.

At the same time, a good bonus is that when everything turns out fine, there are some great stories to share with your friends or strangers online. So, let’s read and enjoy them as, at least here, we can be sure that everyone involved was fine by the end of it.

What did you think of these dangerous things that people did thinking they were safe? Has anything similar ever happened to you? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

36 Times People Online Were Doing Something They Thought Was Harmless Only To Find Out It Wasn’t More a near miss…

Working in a s****y kitchen at about 20 years of age. I was carrying a 30ltr drum of oil in a cardboard box and positioned myself in front of the fryer and drop the box down onto another upturned drum to refill the fryers. These were 30ltr fryer dumps each and currently were full of cooking fries.

The oil drum just clipped both handles and landed safely. Had it of hit both handles full on…. I can only imagine both fryer baskets flipping up and forward covering me in 180 degree oil and hundreds of nice little burny potato sticks.

I think about it still at 37.

iwantmygarmonbozia21 , Aqil Faisal Halfid Report

There was a short-cut path we took as kids to get to school in the 1970s. It involved walking across a small (30m – 100′) gorge on a 400mm pipe to get to the other side – the alternative was an extra mile or so. None of us considered what might happen if we fell off the pipe.

BornToSweet_Delight Report

36 Times People Online Were Doing Something They Thought Was Harmless Only To Find Out It Wasn’t Upside down sit-ups, hanging by the ankles off the 5th floor fire escape of an apartment building in the Bronx with Yankee Stadium off in the background… my abs were as flat as my head was going to be if I’d slipped.

SensitivePineapple83 , RDNE Stock project Report

36 Times People Online Were Doing Something They Thought Was Harmless Only To Find Out It Wasn’t Exploring a natural cave on private land without the proper equipment, knowledge or guidance.

Night before Easter in 1973 and four friends and I decide to go into a cave we had heard about in Southern Illinois after dropping a few white cross. We each had a cheap flashlight and wore boots but that’s about it. Three of the friends were brothers and fought the entire time (at one point physically). We did ok going in avoiding the water by traversing along rocks but after about three hours our lights started going out. After turning around we made it about halfway and decided it would be faster to just slog through the shallow stream that ran the length of the cave. At some point one of my boots disintegrated so I was basically barefoot for over an hour walking out. We made it out just as the sun was coming up with one working flashlight. I’ll never forget the look on my mom’s face when I walked into the house that morning covered in mud from head to toe.

earnestweasel22 , Jeremy Bishop Report

36 Times People Online Were Doing Something They Thought Was Harmless Only To Find Out It Wasn’t Pre-internet, in the prior century, I wanted to beat a snowstorm while on a cross-country drive. Weather started out as nothing special – turned into a blizzard with white-out conditions. I couldn’t see the freeway surface, then I couldn’t see in front of the car. I was behind an empty logging truck (it had poles sticking up in the air that I could see). The truck kept going and I stayed [closely behind] for the next hour and a half until I could see the road surface again. White-knuckle driving. Really (young) stupid judgement, on my part.

NoDontClickOnThat , Chris Peeters Report

36 Times People Online Were Doing Something They Thought Was Harmless Only To Find Out It Wasn’t We had a small boat when I was growing up. In my early teens me and my friends used to go out in it all the time, and no one ever wore life jackets. Storms form quite fast in the area I grew up in, and we were caught out more than once. .

FinishTheFish , Pixabay Report

36 Times People Online Were Doing Something They Thought Was Harmless Only To Find Out It Wasn’t I was on a trip with my older sister and I had insomnia. Seemed like a good idea to go for a walk at like 1 or 2 in the morning. Alone. In Seattle. When I was 16. And I’m female.

At the time I just thought it was weird that so many men stopped to ask if I wanted a ride. Especially the car that pulled off and blocked my walking path.

boxofmarshmallows , Andrea Leopardi Report

36 Times People Online Were Doing Something They Thought Was Harmless Only To Find Out It Wasn’t Driving with my teen friends who regularly got in auto accidents and drove over the speed limit. Regularly smooshing in like 6 people in a car even. No one was buckled. So bad. .

Moral_Drifter , Samuele Errico Piccarini Report

Broken glass in food. If you break a glass or ceramic cup or bowl near food, don’t f**k around with it and eat it. It will f**k up your insides if you eat enough of it.

Islandboi4life Report

‘Skitching’ — holding onto the side of a car while standing on a skateboard (like Marty McFly!). At a certain speed, the skateboard truck would uncontrollably wobble and shoot out from under me. We were ‘smart’ though and only did this in a parking lot.

Aardet Report

36 Times People Online Were Doing Something They Thought Was Harmless Only To Find Out It Wasn’t I think about this sometimes and am really grateful that it turned out like it did. I lived with my parents for a few months after college (I was 22) before starting a new job. My dad left one morning to go do something (I’m assuming going to check out garage sales). Maybe 5-10 minutes later, a man came to the door and said he needed to check if our pilot light was on. He came in what looked like a handy-man van, and I didn’t know much about the stuff, so I said sure. Our furnace was in the basement, but I figured I shouldn’t leave him down there alone so that nothing went missing. Thankfully, my dad had recently adopted a dog and he stuck by my side. The guy was in and out pretty quickly. When I told my parents about it, they had no idea what I was talking about. It really set in several years later that there was a very good chance that guy had nothing to do with furnace maintenance and saw my dad leave. Who knows what would have happened if our dog hadn’t been there. I consider myself to be fairly intelligent, and I can’t believe I allowed it to happen. This was a good 15 years ago.

RIP Coaly; thanks for watching out for me.

glittergalaxy24 , Life Of Pix Report

36 Times People Online Were Doing Something They Thought Was Harmless Only To Find Out It Wasn’t The amount of bullying my friends and I did in high school. We made it up to this one kid and he really enjoyed his graduation day for it, but the reality is we shouldn’t have been f*****g with these kids to begin with.

therealdeviant , Keira Burton Report

36 Times People Online Were Doing Something They Thought Was Harmless Only To Find Out It Wasn’t Driving during a tornado warning. In hindsight it was good though because the place I left had gotten destroyed by the actual tornado 30 minutes later.

kevasfriend , NOAA Report

36 Times People Online Were Doing Something They Thought Was Harmless Only To Find Out It Wasn’t Might sound boring but definitely having a diet full of refined sugar and soda. It doesn’t seem like much at a young age especially if you are physically active. Yet it can wreak havoc on your mental and physical health in the blink of an eye. I get it, everyone loves chocolate and it’s probably OK to go for a dessert every once in a while but in a way, now I find it so scary that kids grow up consuming so much sugar and developing a mindset that this is OK, this is what eating or “normal” diet looks like.

SpregelAndCheese , Denny Müller Report

I used to jump the I90 freeway in Issaquah, WA from the trailer park to Gilman Blvd to and from school every day. I did this from 4th grade to graduation in the 90s. Shaved like 45 minutes off the trip. I walked the 2.5 miles each way because the kids on the bus would constantly pick on me.

horror- Report


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