Urban legends have been part of the culture of every society. In ancient civilizations legend often became fact and part of the religion or political structure of a society. In ancient societies scientists did not have the means to answer question about the dynamics of the earth and the universe. So the people made up stories to explain the phenomena that could not be understood.
In ancient Greece the gods took on human forms. Lightening could not be understood so Zeus was created as a humanized embodiment of the natural wonder. The urban legends became such an important part of societies that it took generations for people to change their minds. The gods of ancient Greece took Roman form after the decline of the Greek city states.
Legends continue into modern times even though the means to discover the truth now exist. Silly urban legends are easy to dismiss. Ghost stories of tales of monsters such as the “Jersey Devil” can easily be checked on websites such as Snopes.com. One of the most popular legends in modern times is of a guest at a hotel bar who wakes up in a bath tub filled with ice. Something is written on a mirror to tell him to call 911 because his kidneys have been taken by a ring that traffics in human organs. This legend has continued to fester even though Snopes and other websites have debunked it as just a story.
Some urban legends continued to spread because of the internet such as the lie that President Barrack Obama is a Muslim. Chain e-mails continue to spread rumors of this even though there is no evidence to back it up. Legends seem to be part of the fabric of nations. Urban legends continue to surround the founding fathers of the United States, such as George Washington’s truth telling. Even with the means to disprove tall tales a portion of the population holds onto fables.