Piranhas, spontaneous combustion and the Bermuda Triangle: how kids thought they'd meet their doom

REMEMBER when you thought you’d die of something cool, and not from a sedentary lifestyle and poor genes? You were convinced these five things would kill you: 


On TV, thrashing pools of radioactive piranhas devoured heroes in seconds, leaving only skeletons behind. If it could happen to Daffy Duck it could happen to you too. That’s why you refused to go in the sea at Morecambe for three years straight.

Spontaneous human combustion

Images of an old lady who exploded in her kitchen were there whenever you closed your eight-year-old eyes. The worst bit was that it was spontaneous, so it could happen right when you were about to win at Sports Day or snog someone at a school disco.

The Bermuda Triangle

As a kid you never understood it why adults and governments weren’t obsessed with the pressing problem of a triangle of sea where planes and ships disappeared, even when Barry Manilow sang about it. Many were the school trips that you worried your coach to Rhyl would be drawn off-course and you’d end up there.

Global thermonuclear war

Foolish, impressionable children worried about this in the Cold War, but there’s no need to fear now nuclear arms are only held by sober, serious countries like Russia, China, the USA, India, Israel and Britain.


Though unusual, you heard rumours of tornadoes in the UK and spent every waking moment preparing for one. It was frankly shocking that neither parents nor teachers had a plan for being carried away in a wind vortex to the top of the BT Tower.

Killer bees

While you were appropriately scared of king cobras and great white sharks turning up in Nantwich, it was killer bees kept you inside in the summer. Every year a new, deadly type was swarming here from Africa to sting you to death on your 13th birthday before you even got to use your Walkman.

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Couple have baby to see if they're ready for a dog

A COUPLE have decided to try out life with a baby to see if they can handle the commitment of owning a dog.

Susan Traherne and Nathan Muir of Barnsley have been together for two year and want to take things to the next level, but are worried about providing a cockapoo with a settled, happy life so are testing the water with a child.

Muir said: “We’re being sensible. Realistically, we’re not financially stable enough to support a dog full-time – we don’t even have an SUV – so a baby is the first step.

“Of course, we’re never going to get as deep or as meaningful a bond with a newborn, but it gives us a good idea of what it’s like to have something to take care of. They might not need walking, but they’re still a burden!”

Traherne agreed: “The whole pregnancy-birth debacle is more time consuming than you’d think. But I said to myself, ‘Susan, if you can’t handle this, how on earth are you going to cope with vet registration forms?’

“Once we’ve got the little critter into a routine, housetrained it, maybe taught it a few tricks we’ll be ready for real responsibility. The baby? My mum can probably take care of it during the day.”

Muir said: “Obviously we still dream of having a dog one day, hopefully even more than one. But for now, while we’re still settling down, some sort of baby will fill that hole in our lives.”