The Truth Behind 10 Common Superstitions

Very superstitious...

Alan Bailey /

No matter how logical you like to think you are, superstition is just a part of being human.

Whether you're one of those people who throws salt over their shoulder, won't say Macbeth in a theatre, avoids standing on the cracks and would never, ever open an umbrella indoors, or whether you try your best to approach all situations with a cool, analytical mind, you will at least have heard of a few superstitions (and probably still own a pair of lucky pants).

Superstition isn't just limited to black cats and magpies, however, it stems into all kinds of areas, including astrology, witchcraft and religion (which, you might have noticed, is a pretty big deal even today). 

Are these magical good or bad luck charms, or is there something else going on? Whilst some remain convinced of luck, omens and fate, there are many scientists, researchers and historians who think there is a much more rational explanation for all of this salt-chucking, wood-knocking madness, and it's buried deep in the parts of our brains that are responsible for pattern spotting and even survival.

There have even been experiments over the years that demonstrate where the behaviour comes from, and some experts think that the origins of superstition might be in our very genes themselves.

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