Brain Games: Superstitions

Video highlights from Brain Games


•    It is believed that the superstition that opening an umbrella indoors will bring you bad luck originated from the days of early Egypt.  There was a fear that opening an umbrella inside would offend the God of the Sun.

•    Obsessive compulsive disorder is not derived from being superstitious.

•    It is estimated that there have been millions of UFO sightings.

•    Tennis star Serena Williams is rumored to be quite superstitious when it comes to her sport.  She wears the same pair of socks for the duration of tournaments, brings her shower sandals to the court and ties her shoelaces in a specific way.  If she doesn’t perform well, she sometimes blames the loss on an error in her superstitious routine.

•    NBA star Michael Jordan wore his University of North Carolina shorts under his uniform in every NBA game he played.  He believed that his UNC shorts were good luck.

•    Approximately 50,000 suspected witches were executed in the 16th and 17th centuries.  

•    It is estimated that financial losses on any given Friday the 13th amount to 700—900 million dollars.  This is attributed to the reticence for some to travel, make purchases and conduct business during this day.

•    Knocking on wood comes from the time when it was commonly believed that spirits could be found in the trees.  A knock on wood would be a call on the spirits for protection.

•    It takes longer for a black cat to be adopted than a non-black cat.

•    Triskaidekaphobia is a phobia in which someone has an extreme fear of the number 13. When people with a severe case of this phobia come in contact with the number 13, they experience symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, rapid heartbeat and feelings of panic.

•    Chinese people do not wash their hair on Chinese New Year’s Day because they believe that doing so would eliminate luck from the body.

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