The world is full of theories ranging from conspiracy to psychological and general knowledge. While some make perfect sense, others will have you thinking and wondering if they are actually true. Over time, some have become defunct, while others have passed the test of time and exist to date. Either way, we explore some theories below that will have you thinking twice.

1. Six Degrees of Separation Theory

Also known as the six handshakes rule, the six degrees of separation theory states that humans are always six or fewer social connections away from each other. As such, it is possible to create a chain of “friend of a friend” statements to connect any two people across the globe using six or fewer steps.

2. The Cheerleader Effect Theory

Written by Drew Walker and Edward Vul in 2014, the cheerleader effect theory indicates that individuals are likely to appear more attractive in groups than alone. This is especially true in women.

3. The Snake Detection Theory

This theory suggests that life-threatening snakes contributed a lot to the evolution of primates’, including humans, visual system. It states that most individuals fear the reptiles, prompting them to have better eyesight and instincts for identifying snakes even when camouflaged or have had a brief glimpse. The survival skills were transferred to the primates’ offspring over time.

4. The Gate Control Theory of Pain

The Gate Control Theory states that non-painful activities can help close the nerve “gates” to painful input; they prevent pain from reaching the central nervous system. It probably explains why rubbing against an injury can reduce pain.

5. The World Ice Theory

Sometimes referred to as Glazial-kosmogonie, the world ice theory is a discredited idea by Hanns Horbiger, an inventor and engineer from Austria. It suggested that the events described in the bible and the destruction of Atlantis resulted from ice moons hitting the Earth. Horbiger believed that all the primary substances were initially made of ice, which played a significant role in how the universe developed.

The theory was discredited because Hanns Horbiger said his ideas came from a revelation he had in 1894; it wasn’t based on actual research.

6. The Hair Part Theory

The hair part theory suggests that the left and right sides of human faces convey different information. For instance, if a woman parts her hair on the left, she stands a better chance of succeeding in an assessment for a traditionally male role, say, in a business or political setting.

7. The Horseshoe Theory

This is a political science theory that shows the political spectrum is horseshoe-shaped rather than being a straight line. It highlights the left and right ends in a political setting as almost similar.

8. The Phantom Time Conspiracy Theory Claims We Should Be Living in the Year 1726

According to Heribert Illig, through his phantom time conspiracy theory, the period between AD 614 and 911, popularly known as the Carolingian period, didn’t exist. He claims the years were added by Pope Sylvester II, the Holy Roman Emperor Otto III, and possibly the Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII for personal gains. By his logic, we should be living in the year 1726.

9. The Broken Windows Theory

Mostly used in urban centers, the broken windows theory indicates that tolerating telling times of misbehavior or disorder will likely encourage further misbehavior and disorder, paving the way for severe crimes. It was coined to emphasize eradicating neighborhood/class moral decay.

10. The Stoned Ape Theory

With evidence primarily based on Ronald L. Fisher’s findings, the stoned ape theory states that the Psilocybe cubenis mushroom species are to be credited for the Homo sapiens’ cognitive revolution from Homo erectus’.

11. Caloric Theory

The caloric theory indicates that heat contains a self-repellent fluid known as caloric that moves from hotter areas to relatively colder bodies. It was believed that the calories were weightless and could easily pass through the tiny pores in liquids and solids. Even though it became obsolete with the introduction of the mechanical theory of heat, the caloric idea persisted until the end of the 19th century.

12. Quantum Suicide Theory

According to the quantum suicide theory, every time a person commits suicide, they don’t die entirely. Instead, the universe splits in two, equally giving them living and dead attributes. As such, the theory emphasizes that it is possible to achieve quantum immortality.

13. Stone Tape Theory

The stone tape theory suggests that ghosts and other hauntings do not exist. Instead, the sounds and noises that most people usually claim to hear are stored traumatic sounds coming from the depressions of rocks. They are “taped” and only “play back” under certain conditions.

14. The Ironic Process Theory

In this psychological phenomenon, the theory suggests that the more an individual tries to suppress a thought or feeling of a specific emotion, the higher the chances they will think about it or feel it more. For example, when people try not to think about a rattlesnake, they are more likely to imagine one.

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Last Update: December 19, 2023