There are hundreds of superstitions out there. Some of them have origin stories that explain why they’re associated with bad luck, but other superstitions seemingly pop up from nowhere. Black cats and spilt salt aren’t the only things you should avoid doing. Here are some of the other weird things people believe bring bad luck:
Thumb tucking originated in Japan. It’s a superstition meant to keep a person’s parents from dying, because the Japanese word for thumb translates to “parent finger.” That’s why men and women believe they shouldn’t allow their thumbs to be visible when they pass by a graveyard or pass by a hearse.
In Turkey, people believe it’s bad luck to chew gum at night. While it’s perfectly fine to pop a piece into your mouth during the day, it becomes dangerous at night, because they believe you’re actually chewing the flesh of the dead. Of course, they also believe it is bad luck to cut their nails at night, play with their feet at night, look into a mirror at night, and kill a spider at night.
Some people believe it is bad luck to light up three cigarettes with the same match. The superstition is associated with World War I because the enemy was able to see the first person to light a match, and then the enemy would have time to load their gun and aim while the second person lit their match. By the time the third person lit their match, the enemy would have a perfect target and be able to kill the man who used the match for a third time.
In France, some people believe stepping in dog poop with their right foot will bring them bad luck. However, if they end up stepping in the same pile of poop with their left foot, it is considered good luck. So watch where you’re walking.
In Brazil, some people believe it is bad luck for their pocketbook or wallet to hit the floor. That’s why they place their items on countertops or hang them over the edge of their chairs. The superstition makes sense It’s easier for a pickpocket to steal items when they’re out of a person’s line of sight. However, the superstition has more to do with the fear of being reprimanded by fate for disrespecting your material items than the practical fear of thieves.
In Egypt, some people believe it is bad luck to leave a pair of scissors open. However, they also believe it is bad luck to open and close them without cutting anything. Meanwhile, there are other people who believe that it is bad luck for scissors to stick into the floor when they’re dropped.
Some Italians believe it is bad luck to turn a loaf of bread upside down. The theory behind this superstition is bakers hated selling their products to the King’s executioners, so they always presented the bread to them upside down in order to show their disapproval. After that, turning bread over reminded people of death and was eventually associated with bad luck.