13 Lies Movies Taught Us

Jon Mayer
 Tom Cruise did not, in fact, engage in a "war of the worlds"
Tom Cruise did not, in fact, engage in a "war of the worlds" / James Devaney/GettyImages

The art of cinema combines moving pictures and sound to conjure up stories, fueled only by the human imagination and the craftsmanship of a dedicated team of professionals. Films also might convince you to try sucking venom out of a loved one’s snake bite. One of those things could turn out to be a problem.

For instance, despite what you might have seen in Snakes on a Plane, the cut-and-suck method ratchets up the risk of infection—in part because your mouth is teeming with germs. And if you have any sort of open wound in your mouth, the venom could very well enter your own bloodstream. Moreover, snake venom typically moves through your body too fast for your suction tactics to make much of a difference.

A rattlesnake
If someone's been bitten by a rattlesnake, you should skip the cut-and-suck method altogether. / Andrew Lichtenstein/GettyImages

If you’re with someone who has an unfortunate encounter with a venomous snake, putting your mouth near the bite area is not advisable. In fact, you shouldn’t even apply a tourniquet, as that can cause nerve and tissue damage. Instead, call 911. And if Samuel L. Jackson is around ... maybe ask him to call 911.

That suspect snake strategy isn’t the only lie movies might have taught you. In the latest episode of The List Show, host Erin McCarthy walks through more than a baker’s dozen-worth of myths from the movies, from how easy it is to walk away from a nearby explosion to how many phone calls you’re guaranteed after being detained by police.

Subscribe to Mental Floss on YouTube for new videos every week.