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Title: What are the most well-known myths?

Portugal, a country rich in stories and legends, is also the stage for various urban myths that permeate the popular imagination. These narratives, often based on real facts but with fantastical elements, are transmitted from generation to generation, shaping the culture and national identity.

One of the most well-known myths is that of the giant, albino, and voracious rats that supposedly inhabit the underground tunnels of the Mafra Convent. According to the legend, these rats are fed with animal corpses by the military of the Infantry Practical School to prevent them from invading the streets.

Another widely spread myth is that of organ trafficking. The story goes that teenagers are picked up in Chinese stores or nightclub bathrooms and later found with a scar, supposedly victims of organ trafficking.

There is also the myth that Chinese people do not die in Portugal. It is suggested that the bodies are dismembered for chop suey dishes or hidden so that the documents can be used by illegal immigrants.

Despite being intriguing stories, it’s important to remember that they are just myths without factual evidence. They serve more as a window to the collective imagination, reflecting fears, anxieties, and how society interprets and reacts to certain phenomena.

**FAQ**

**What is an urban myth?** An urban myth is a contemporary story, passed from person to person, that contains elements of mystery, horror, fear, or humor. Although it may have a grain of truth, it is often exaggerated or distorted over time.

**What is the difference between myth and legend?** The main difference between myth and legend lies in what each intends to convey through its narrative. Myth is a fantastic narrative created to explain things that people couldn’t scientifically explain, such as the origin of things, natural phenomena, among others. Legend, on the other hand, is a popular story passed down from generation to generation, usually with a character or historical event as the protagonist.

**Why are myths important to culture?** Myths are important to culture because they help us understand the world we live in, understand certain values, and sometimes the morality of a people. They are a way to transmit traditions, values, and beliefs of a society, as well as serving as a form of entertainment.

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