Common Misconceptions About Flying

He's harmless.
He's harmless. / Katherine Welles, Shutterstock

Barreling through the skies in a giant metal canister definitely has the power to take your breath away—whether it’s from wonder or paralyzing fear.

If the experience always has you clutching the arm of the stranger in the aisle seat beside you, this episode of Misconceptions might alleviate at least a little anxiety. Mental Floss’s Justin Dodd is nosediving into all things flight-related and debunking several widespread myths about the (very safe) mode of travel.

For one: As irksome as turbulence can be for anyone trying to nap their way into a new time zone, it rarely means the plane is in danger; it’s a little like driving a car on a patchy cobblestone street. And while airplane bathrooms are far from cozy, those terrifying toilets aren’t quite powerful enough to suck your intestines right out of your body. (That said, freak accidents have been known to occur.)

Fasten your seatbelts and press play below for a crash course on flight.

For previous Misconceptions episodes and more, check out the Mental Floss YouTube channel here.