There are some things in life that are truly better left unseen. Thanks to the wonders of Google, though, all those things are now at our fingertips – and human curiosity is a very powerful force. But, if you can, at least try to stay away from these 20 search terms. After all, some may have the power to land you in jail; the results of others, meanwhile, may just simply scar you for life. Either way, they’re definitely best avoided.
20. Your symptoms
We’ve all been there: bedridden, too ill to move, coughing up our lungs and barely able to speak. But no matter how bad things feel, the last thing you want to do is Google your symptoms. After all, where the internet is concerned, pretty much everything leads to cancer. Sore throat? Throat cancer. Stubbed your toe and now your nail’s gone black? Toe cancer. You’re much better off just seeing an actual doctor if your health doesn’t improve.
19. How to make a bomb
Curiosity really can get the best of us at times. After all, where’s the harm in just finding out how to make a bomb? You’re only trying to reassure yourself that it’s actually super difficult. But no matter how desperate you are to know, do not, under absolutely any circumstances, Google it. Call us cynical or paranoid, but let’s face it: you’re going to end up on a list somewhere, your every web search monitored until you die.
18. Bedbug infestations
Dealing with bedbugs is an experience we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemy. And, likewise, having to see pictures of what a bedbug infestation really looks like is something we’d prefer to avoid. In fact, you should avoid looking at those pictures, too, if you ever want to sleep soundly again. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
17. Skin conditions
There are all manner of skin conditions and diseases out there, images of which will – aptly enough – make your skin crawl. So, unless you’re suffering from one in particular and want to know more about it, you’re better off staying away from the horrors hiding behind Google’s search results. And even if you are afflicted with such an ailment, remember: go to a real doctor, too.
16. Smokers’ lungs
There’s really only one reason why anybody should be searching for images of smokers’ lungs: to shock someone into quitting their habit. Indeed, the blackened, tarred organs of a lifelong smoker ought to be enough to put anyone off lighting up in the future. If you’re only idly curious, though, just stop at imagining what you might find instead – as the truth is probably far worse.
15. Your own name
Sure, if you’ve been particularly diligent with your online footprint over the past decade or so, you might not find anything too embarrassing when you Google your own name. But chances are that there’s going to be something out there that you don’t want to be reminded of. Just think of all the horrendously cringeworthy stuff you wrote to the world back in 2006, for example. Or don’t, if you’d rather stay sane.
14. Blackhead removal
“Blackhead removal” isn’t a particularly horrendous thing to Google by itself. Certainly, the images that pop up as a result aren’t as likely to scar you for life as pictures of some of the other items on this list. But as anyone who’s ever fixated on getting rid of their blackheads will know, it’s a slippery slope to addiction. Yes, once you’ve started looking for the best way to banish those dark bumps on your nose, it’s ridiculously difficult to stop. So, unless you’re looking for a gross new obsession, make sure to give this Google search a miss.
13. Giving birth
The miracle of birth is a glorious thing. And, of course, praise should be given to those who have made it through what can be a horrendously painful experience. But labor itself doesn’t really need to be seen by anybody who hasn’t already witnessed it – especially if they want to keep their dinner down. Unless they’re being trained to actually deal with a baby being born, that is; the rest of us, however, should just carry on as we are.
If you’re in the market for a new nightmare, try Googling “trypophobia.” Thankfully, we can safely recommend that, because not many people actively seek new ways to terrify themselves. And, therefore, not many people will ever actually Google the term for a fear of groups of holes. But if you still want to rebel, we really recommend you don’t – unless you fancy strawberries haunting your every thought for the rest of time.
11. Tetris fan fiction
Yes, it seems that people can write fan fiction about pretty much anything these days. And that includes stories about Tetris, the classic video game that involves falling colored blocks. What’s more, should you unwisely choose to delve into the realms of Tetris fan fiction, you’ll find some properly disturbing stuff. One horrifying tale, for instance, involves a character from the anime Death Note getting freaky with some Tetris blocks while also noting their “odd texture.” The internet is weird.
10. Peanut, the world’s ugliest dog
Yeah, calling a dog ugly seems pretty heartless. And we agree – but it’s really the only descriptor suitable for poor old Peanut. If you’re still curious about exactly how ugly he can be, however, be warned that he’s even worse-looking than you’re thinking. In fact, he might just taint dogs for you forever – and is satisfying your curiosity really worth that risk?
Elephantiasis, if you’re unfamiliar with the term, is a condition caused by something called a filarial worm. And if that on its own doesn’t fill you with terror and a desire to never Google the word, the symptoms of elephantiasis will. Basically, the affliction can result in immense swelling to a person’s limbs – even, in some instances, their genitals. These days, cases of elephantiasis are mostly found in Asia and Africa, and close to a billion people are in danger of contracting the disease.
Evan Fournier is an NBA superstar who plays for the Orlando Magic. Fournier gangrene, on the other hand, is a horrific flesh-eating disease most typically found in alcoholics, diabetics and people with a weakened immune system. So, if you’re ever trying to find out more about the basketball player, just make sure to include his first name in your Google search. Otherwise, you may just live to regret it.
7. Your insecurities
The internet can be brutally honest, so asking it straight up whether you have a weight problem may seem like a good idea for those tired of loved ones’ sugar-coated reassurances. But don’t give in, as you could be inadvertently sharing your insecurities with advertisers, and this can be dangerous. After you Google “Am I fat?”, for instance, weight loss pills ads may then pop up during your browsing sessions for weeks to come. And, eventually, you may just end up relenting and buying them.
6. Young Boys strip
Alright, so maybe you really are only trying to find the team kit for Swiss soccer side BSC Young Boys. Perhaps your favorite sporting moment truly was watching them beat Tottenham Hotspur during the UEFA Champions League group stages in 2010. But try explaining that to whichever government has placed you on their watch list after you’ve Googled “Young Boys strip” – and we bet they won’t believe you.
5. Things to do before you’re 30 (or 40, or 50)
It’s fine to have a bucket list. After all, everyone’s got a few things they’d like to do before they shuffle off this mortal coil. But putting a specific time frame on them – for instance, before you turn 30 – is just setting yourself up for disappointment, especially if you try Googling for inspiration. Once you realize you haven’t bungee jumped, swum down the Amazon or visited Machu Picchu and you’re already 29, those feelings of inadequacy are basically inevitable.
4. Anything you’ve recently bought
It doesn’t matter how diligent you were in researching whatever you’ve bought most recently. You might have found an awesome deal. But as soon as you search for it online, you’re only going to find a brand new bad review that wasn’t there a few days ago – or, worse, an even better deal.
3. The Death Clock
Imagine traveling centuries into the future and having access to all of the world’s history up to that point. What would you investigate first? Chances are, few people would be able to resist finding out when they died. And the Death Clock preys on that morbid curiosity, using your height, weight and date of birth to calculate when you’re going to kick the bucket. But don’t give it a go, as it’s unsettlingly harrowing to be told exactly how long you’ve got left on the planet – even if the methods used to determine this are somewhat unscientific.
2. “Insider trading with international account”
“Insider trading with international account” is a very specific phrase, so there’s probably not much chance of you Googling it by accident. But don’t even try it out of curiosity: after all, doing that got one guy arrested. That’s because insider trading – or making financial transfers based on top-secret corporate info – is strictly prohibited. And if you still want to break the law and give insider trading a go, then at least don’t run a Google search on it. University researcher Fei Yan found that fact out to his cost in 2017.
1. Things people have found in fast food
Over the years, everything from bits of plastic to human and animal parts have been found in fast food restaurants all over the world. So, if you’d like to continue being able to eat at those kinds of places, you’ll probably want to steer clear of searching for the disgusting items that have showed up in other people’s burgers. Once again, it’s better all round if you just live in blissful ignorance.