What are examples of historical superstitions we can now explain with science?

Apr 2019
1
Baltimore
I was reading about porphyria and how its symptoms (long canines, animea, photosensitivity) might explain the existence of Vampire myths. Are there other examples of myths that we know now the scientific reasoning of?
 

MG1962a

Ad Honorem
Mar 2019
2,197
Kansas
I was reading about porphyria and how its symptoms (long canines, animea, photosensitivity) might explain the existence of Vampire myths. Are there other examples of myths that we know now the scientific reasoning of?
Garlic being good for mitigating colds and flu symptoms. Turns out allicin found in garlic is what is responsible for this.

Back in the day when tasting urine was a diagnostic tool - Having sweet tasting urine meant you needed to cut down on sugary food. Turns out sweet smelling urine is a sign of diabetes.
 
Feb 2019
905
Pennsylvania, US
“Miasmas”... the theory that miasmas (polluting organic matter or bad smells, “night air”) caused all sorts of horrible diseases, including some that we now know as STDs.
 

cachibatches

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
2,355
I am skeptical of catch-all explanations, but a couple I have heard:

Infra-sound can cause people to sense "ghosts."

Hypnagogia, or sleep paralysis, causes people to experience vampires, ghosts, alien abduction, old hag, incubus, succubus, etc.
 
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