Lifestyle

11 facts about Los Angeles that are actually lies

As George Washington once famously said, "I cannot tell a lie... unless, crap, it's one of those 11 things Thrillist LA wrote about that I totally THOUGHT were facts, but turned out to be totally bogus." Speaking of...

(Oh, and a major hat-tip to this website for leading us down good rabbit holes...)
 

Los Angeles has always been called Los Angeles

Except, no, it hasn't. Some researchers think it was actually Pueblo del Rio de Nuestra Senora la Reyna de los Angeles de Porciuncula. (Seriously. That whole thing.) Others think it was El Pueblo de la Reyna de los Angeles. Either way, the abbreviation was WAY longer than two letters.

The tunnels under Venice were built for rum runners during prohibition

Though LA has a ton of tunnels built for that specific purpose, it seems the ones in Venice -- while used by rum runners during prohibition -- were actually built by hotels in the area to comply with a city ordinance that prohibited bathing suits on the boardwalk.

LA street gangs have an initiation where they drive without headlights, and if you flash your lights at them, they'll kill you

Nooooope. This rumor was actually started in reference to the Hells Angels in Montana and somehow found its way down here, but in any case, it's not true.
 

Someday, LA will tumble into the Pacific

Yeah, no: the San Andreas is moving vertically, not horizontally. So, at some point, we're gonna be on top of San Francisco, but we'll never be an island in the middle of the ocean. As relaxing as that sounds.

The Santa Monica pier was always intended for recreation

Hahahahahahaha, no. Though you may associate it with ferris wheels and roller coasters and free summer concerts now, the original pier was built to hide a sewage pipe that pumped treated crap -- literally -- into the ocean.

Everyone works in "The Business"

Noooooope! According to this extremely dense report that we didn't read all of, only 18 out of every 1,000 people in LA work directly in entertainment. Though, that IS still the largest ratio in the country, and it doesn't count the people who work for the people in entertainment, so... you probably don't count, even though you probably actually do.

No one has ever admitted to the Black Dahlia murder

Uh, this is patently untrue. Though this unsolved murder (in which Elizabeth Short was drained of blood, dismembered, and left in a park -- lovely!) remains unsolved, more than 50 people have admitted to it. Unfortunately, none of them actually DID it, but that's irrelevant, right?

Walt Disney is cryogenically frozen in a vault under the Pirates of the Caribbean ride

There're a lot of other reasons to feel a sort of creepy tingle when you go underneath New Orleans Square (bizarre likenesses of Johnny Depp; realizing you'll never get "yo ho, yo ho it's a pirate's life for me" out of your head), but this isn't one of them: though it's unofficial, Walt was very likely cremated. And if you want more secrets of Disneyland, well, you're in luck: we've got those for you right here.

A munchkin hung himself on the Culver City set of Wizard of Oz -- and you can see it in the movie

Uh, no, you didn't actually see a dead body dangling when you were a kid: what you saw at the very end of the Tin Woodsman sequence was actually a bird that was lent to production from the LA Zoo, though what kind of bird it is (emu! Pelican!) is definitely still subject to debate.

There is a secret underground society of lizard people who hoard gold under the city

Yo, seriously, people have believed this for DECADES, and at one point the LA Times closely followed the story (which means, uh, no more criticizing the LA Times for being worse than it used to be!). Of course, this is patently untrue, though it would be awesome if it was true, because who doesn't want to meet a lizard person?

The ArcLight is owned by the Church of Scientology

Somehow, somewhere, someone thought that this was true and propagated the myth, but it's not: Curbed did the research and then a bunch of commenters followed up, so even though the company shares some language with the VERY LEGITIMATE RELIGION THAT WE DON'T WANT SUING/STALKING US, you're not giving them money when you go see a Tom Cruise movie. Directly, at least.

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Jeff Miller is the Senior City Editor of Thrillist LA and is crossing his fingers for Ace Ventura III. He's at @ThrillistLA on Twitter and @jeffmillerla on Instagram.