Stupid shit people believe

Sometimes I am truely astounded at the things that people believe without spending one minute thinking about. I received the following e-mail at least six times within the space of a few days last week;

This is frightning ! ! !

Aaron, just MINUTES before the attack………….


McDonalds, Burger king, Time Zone etc… All places with ball pits in the children’s play area.
Hi. My name is Lauren Archer, a friends of mine that resides in The Hill , Johannesburg ..
took his only son to McDonald’s for his 3rd birthday.

After he finished lunch, his parents allowed him to play in the ball pit. When he started whining later on, and his mother asked him what was wrong, he pointed to the back of his pull-up and simply said ‘Mommy, it hurts.’ they couldn’t find anything wrong with him at that time. After bathing him when they got home, they found what looked like insect bites at the time.

Upon investigating, it seemed as if there seemed to be matter coming out of the wounds.
they were on our way to the hospital, but soon he started vomiting and shaking, then his eyes rolled back into his head.. From there, we went to the emergency room. He died later that night.

He was found to have snake bites all over his legs & buttocks. When they cleaned the ball pit they found that there was a snake’s nest in the ball pit. He had suffered numerous bites from a very poisonous snake.



Repost this if it scares you!! Repost this if you care about kids!!

Ok, so…. WHERE DO I START? Whenever you receive a hoax e-mail, you should be on the look out for internal factual inconsistencies. Anything which makes you think you are being misled should raise the red flag in your brain.

Can you see that the picture of the snake is faked? The snake is in PERFECT focus. The balls however are all blurry and out of focus in the picture at the same depth of field as the damn snake. Secondly the balls and the snake are lit from different angles. The snake is lit from somewhere near my left elbow while the plastic balls are lit from around about where my head is.

Secondly, the little boy in the first picture does NOT look like a three year old to me! Look at how short and chubby his neck is and there are fat rolls at his wrists. This is my son Owen aged approximately two and a half (with a lady who contributed a quarter of his genome, and to whom I am not allowed to refer as his mother of a grander degree);


I’m sure you can see that the little boy pictured in the e-mail is not yet three years old.

There are two other tests that you could do before forwarding hoax e-mail to all of your friends;

1. Search for the subject on Snope’s excellent research team destroy the alleged snake in a ball pit story.

2. Search for the subject on Google. This is to check whether there are any actual, verifiable news stories to confirm the events claimed in the hoax e-mail. With a search for “snake in ball pit” I turned up plenty of debunking, and NO verification.

Life is too short to worry about your children being exposed to venomous snakes in indoor playgrounds. Seriously, worry about snakes if your kids are running around in the veld, but don’t freak out about them in the damn ball pit. And do for your kids what my mom did for me; teach them how to react when they see a snake, and what to do if they get bitten by one.

And please, for the sake of my sanity, don’t

Repost this if it scares you!! Repost this if you care about kids!!



11 responses to “Stupid shit people believe

  1. this may be useless, but the snake in the pit appears to be a rat snake; a nonpoisonous snake found in southwest india.

  2. Thank u so much for this info & its true life is too short to worry about things like this I’m a very protective paranoid mother & mails like this really scare me however I always google things to check if its true. Thank you again for taking the time to confirm that its not true

    • Of course, you should always keep an eye on your children, but do you believe that there was a snake in the pit?

  3. Well…………

    even if I agree with your every point!! I doubt tht the pitball area is cleaned every single day or even within a week or a month! IF NOT!!! then there are possibilities of difffnt venomous insects nests in that place…even if it’s not a snake!!! The moral of the story is…we all should be careful of these places as well……..But we aren’t!!! if this has not happened…then it’s a good news but it doesn’t mean dt it won’t happen!!!….it’s not jst about the photoshop work! but also about being careful!!

    • Thank you for your comment Tarnima, but I can’t shake the feeling that you did not understand the the thrust of my argument which is to arm your children with information and not worry needlessly about threats to their safety such as snakes or venemous insects hiding in the ball pits of an indoor playground. Sure, there might be bees or wasps in the playground, but try and evaluate the situation rationally and don’t over react to imagined dangers.

  4. What a coincidence! I took my daughter to swimming lessons today on on the noticeboard was the other one based on the ball pit at McDonalds and a kid dying from getting pricked by a heroin tainted syringe. Needless to say, put’s that one in its place.

  5. The balls in the pit are about 75mm diameter (to avoid being swallowed by adventurous kids). The balls around the snake are about 25mm diameter and not the same surface texture

    • excellent point, but can you tell me how you know the diameter of the balls? Do you know what kind of snake is in the pic?

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