1. That woodchucks and groundhogs are the same animal. I was somewhere in my 30s. My state called them woodchucks, so I never made the connection when I was younger.
2. I was in my mid-30s before I realized that the ‘turn your head’ part of ‘turn your head and cough’ was so that you didn’t cough on the damned doctor. I always thought it must’ve flexed some particular muscle or something, I don’t know.
3. Coral is an animal! I always thought it was an undersea plant.
4. Found out that jackalopes are not real and are a creation from taxidermists and other folklore. Was absolutely mindblown and Scooby-Doo betrayed my younger mind.
5. When I was at a cigar store and noticed they had those fuzzy pipe cleaners and I asked the man what are those for and he said, “Pipe cleaners… you know, to clean pipes.” I always associated them with arts and crafts in elementary school. Never thought a pipe cleaner was for cleaning pipes.
6. That Alaska isn’t an island with a weirdly straight border.
7. A pony is not a baby horse. I’m 47, and learned that less than a decade ago.
8. Howdy is short for “how do you do.”
9. That pineapples grow the way they do instead of like bananas.
10. Soft drinks are called soft drinks in order to distinguish them from drinks with hard alcohol in them.
11. I was well into my 30s when I figured out that smoking a bowl did not involve… an actual bowl. Like a cereal bowl.
12. Triangles are called triangles because they have three angles.
13. “Baby carrots” aren’t baby carrots. They aren’t more tender, young carrots. They are large carrots too ugly to be sold as large carrots that get cut up and sculpted into a “baby carrot” shape/size.
14. I just found out a couple of months ago that wolves and wolverines were different animals. I thought “wolf” was just a shortened version of “wolverine”.
15. Dill is actually an herb that is commonly added to pickles. I always thought Dill Pickles were just a type of pickle, but nah… Dill is actually its own thing, it’s an herb, that people just usually like to add to pickles.
16. I thought you weren’t allowed to drive with the overhead cabin lights on in a car until like 2 years ago. Mom just didn’t want me putting them on when I was a kid. Weren’t actually blinding the people behind us at all.
17. It only recently occurred to me, in my fifth decade, that “Watch where you’re going!” means “Look in the direction you are walking,” and it’s not just something to say to someone who bumps into you.
18. My roommate was 21 when he learned that cows have hair. He thought they were just skin.
19. I recently learned that narwhals are NOT mythical creatures. As a child I learned that unicorns aren’t real, so now I’ve spent my entire life thinking that if a horse with a horn isn’t real, then neither is a whale with a horn.
20. I was losing my mind trying to find cupcake mix in the baking aisle… only to then have the epiphany that cupcakes are just… small cakes…
21. I thought pesto was a plant. Discovered in my thirties it’s basil, Parmesan, oil, and some other stuff. I just thought it was blended pesto-plant. Nothing else.
22. I thought Robins (the birds) came out of hibernation at Christmas time because that’s when you see them on cards and stuff in the UK. I did not realize for a verrrry long time that you in fact see them all the time, like normal birds.
23. I was only able to see the capital “D” in the Disney logo a few months ago. I always wondered why it was a backward “G.”
24. As a kid I used to think the Black Market was an actual place like a bazaar where all the criminals would regularly meet up.
25. I truly believed that for the longest time that hair grew from the ends of the strands, not from the scalp. When I was 13 I asked my friend who had dyed her hair what she was going to do when the ends grew her natural color. Didn’t hear the end of it. My stupidity still pains me to this day.
26. I thought until the age of about 21 that when companies had “Est” next to their name, it was estimated that companies were started around that time.
It was only when I voiced my disgust profoundly to my then-partner that it was ridiculous that no one knew when these companies were formed, and why were they all estimated?! She just stared at me blankly for a moment and just went: “Established.” Penny dropped real hard.
27. That little thing that dangles at the back of your throat isn’t your tonsils.
28. A few years ago I was searching for different classical pieces in Spotify, getting frustrated that every version Spotify had of works by composers like Beethoven and Bach were “covers” performed by modern orchestras. My idiot brain was looking for original recordings from the 18th Century until it finally realized how dumb that was.
29. For years I had been removing toast from the toaster by sticking a butter knife in and picking it out. It wasn’t until I was 20 that my girlfriend freaked out when I started doing it that I learned metal in toaster = bad. Guess I’d been pretty lucky…
30. I always thought the term, “the coast is clear”…was, “the ghost is clear” (transparent).