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urban legend

Myths about anything and everything that barely have a shred of truth in them, yet seem to take on a persistent life of their own. Before the Internet, such urban folklore as "alligators in New York City sewers" was carried in magazines and newspapers. Today, they speed around the world in a few seconds. See

Also known as the Urban Legends Reference Pages, the site was founded in 1995 by Barbara and David Mikkelson, who met online in a Usenet discussion group. Journalists and detectives in one, the Mikkelsons investigate rumors, conspiracy theories, strange stories and scary headlines that circulate widely across the information highway via email and the Internet. Site traffic increased tenfold after 9/11, and its reputation for accuracy, authority and trust increased along with it. is maintained without the benefit of sponsors, investors or outside affiliations, but it accepts advertising revenues and public donations to help with research. The Snopes name comes from a family of characters in the writings of American author William Faulkner. See urban legend.

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