There are many ancient beliefs and superstitions that ancient civilizations had we consider comical today. These beliefs have been “revealed” to be natural or scientific phenomenon, but many years ago their exact cause was misunderstood.
One such belief was that most maritime disasters today are caused by navigation errors or weather phenomena. In early times, most maritime disasters involving lost ships and crew were the result of sea monster attacks. Ancient mariners believed that if you wandered too far away from the shore your ship could run afoul of large creatures, which would consume it and your crewmates.
Another common one involves people today who are left-handed. Today, we know that your left or right-handedness is not a comment on your personality. In some Christian societies people who wrote with their left hand instead of the right hand were possessed by the devil. In Puritan New England parents would often strap their children’s left hand across their chest to prevent them from using their “bad hand” if they exhibited tendencies. Because being possessed was such a dangerous thing in the New England colonies, many people would even whip their children to prevent them from using their left hand.
A final superstition from back in history involves the weather. Today we know that natural disasters are caused by weather and tectonic factors causing natural disasters. In ancient times the commonly held belief was that natural disasters, such as famine, earthquakes or hurricanes were the gods showing their displeasure over people’s behaviors. Many civilizations across the world shared this belief and incorporated it into their religion, such as the Greeks, Native Americans, and Ancient African cultures.