Kids say — and think — the darndest things.
There’s a hilarious thread on Quora, the question-and-answer site, for people to reveal what tripped them up when they were children.
We’ve edited a few related to technology and science and excerpted them here.
This poor boy was needlessly terrified on flights.
Actor Liba Vaynberg must have hated travelling by aeroplane:
I thought that the fasten seatbelt sign on planes was meant to indicate that another plane was approaching us head on, so whenever it was illuminated, I would freak out.
This kid thought that he had figured out a cure for HIV.
When Tolu Manuwa was seven he thought that scientists had it all wrong:
I felt that pathogens in the blood were just basically impurities, and just like water, blood can be purified by boiling. So, I drew machines that would get the blood out of the body, boil it and put the “purified” blood back in, and in my head, I had found the cure to most diseases and I was going to win a Nobel prize.
You know when you close your eyes tight and sometimes see swirls and specks?
When she was a child, Nikhil Jain had an explanation for what caused the coloured patterns:
I thought I was gifted with some kind of superpower that I could see individual atoms and molecules.
Here’s how one kid believed automatic doors work.
Carl Grant, currently a convention speaker, was tripped up by a common religious phrase:
Hearing that God was everywhere at once, yet invisible, I figured he was the one that opened the door at the supermarket.
This child thought that cars automatically moved across the road when drivers signaled.
In the Kid-World of Jesse Lashley, this was how changing lanes on the highway worked:
My idea was that there were electromagnets on the roads and in the cars, so it was impossible to leave your lane unless you asked the road to turn them off first.
If only getting Oregon Trail was as easy as this kid thought.
Shaurya Chopra, now a roboticist, used to be a bit confused about how computers worked:
When I was 3, I thought I could get a game inside a floppy disk by writing the name of the game on the disk’s slip.
Because of this programmer’s mix-up, he always wanted to be a bus driver when he grew up.
Sourabh Agrawal was confused about what happened to the money you put into a bus’s electronic fare collector:
I believed that the money the bus driver collected was entirely his. I spent my initial childhood hoping to become a bus driver.
Space and astronomy aren’t easy for anyone — especially children — to understand.
When Shruthi Nayak looked at the night sky when she was away from home, she could only think of one explanation for why it looked the same no matter where she was:
I told my mum, “Mum, look, the moon is following us. I think it loves me.”
She also remembers thinking that her grandparents had literally lived in black and white when they were growing up after she watched a black and white movie.
This child didn’t realise that elevators moved.
Check out Prashanth Kannan’s explaination of what was happening when he went to department stores:
As a kid I always thought people changed the aisles and accessories in a store as soon as I stepped into an elevator.
Step out of the Men’s section. Door shuts. Door opens, they’ve changed it to the toys section.
I didn’t realise the truth until I was 5 when I asked my father how the store employees change the display items so quickly.
OK, so fax machines really are confusing.
James Pan told the story his friend’s little sister:
She always made a copy of a document before she faxed it over to someone. When I asked her why she did that she said, “It’s so that I won’t lose my copy. The fax machine teleports the document over to the other person right?”
When this kid complained about eating fruits and vegetables, it wasn’t for the usual reasons.
Apples and oranges scared the hell out of Saurabh Runwal:
I had a misconception that if I swallowed an apple or an orange seed and then drank water, a big tree would grow out of my stomach. The only cure for this would be to undergo a surgery or to eat herbicides after.
When she heard her entrepreneur stepfather and uncle talking about their days, this little girl didn’t quite understand.
Melissa Wood grew up listening to recaps of what her relatives did at work.
They were always going to “meetings,” and one day my stepfather had to leave early because he was firing someone.
I never understood why they ate so much meat and for years I carried an image of someone being set afire by my stepfather.
Fortunately I learned the real meanings and know they weren’t just meat eating flamethrowers.