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t seems that as time goes on, it’s becoming harder and harder to separate facts from fiction. Many people swear by the information they’ve picked up on in school, from friends, or on the Internet. So many “facts” we deem as universal truths are in fact urban myths. We’ve collected some of the most widely believed myths and debunked them one by one. Scroll down to find the one that surprised you the most. Enjoy!
MYTH: YOU MUST WAIT 24 HOURS BEFORE FILLING OUT A MISSING PERSON REPORT
REALITY: THERE IS NO WAITING PERIOD
Many movies and television shows have ingrained this myth in our brains that there is a 24-hour waiting period before reporting a missing person. But the truth is that one must report an unexplained absence as soon as they can. police stress that the first 12 to 24 hours are the most crucial in this type of investigation.
MYTH: TURKEY MAKES YOU SLEEPY
REALITY: TURKEY WON’T KNOCK YOU OUT
Many people claim that the amino acid in turkey, tryptophan, is the culprit for tiredness after a big Thanksgiving meal. While this amino acid does promote good sleep, a few slices of turkey won’t make you fall asleep. Rather, other high-carb food we eat at this meal can raise blood sugar levels, which can ultimately make you fall asleep on the couch.
MYTH: THERE ARE RIGHT-BRAINED AND LEFT-BRAINED PEOPLE
REALITY: THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF RIGHT OR LEFT DOMINANCE
The theory that people’s brains are either the left side or right side dominant is a myth. Sure, we all have different personalities and talents, as well as certain brain functions that happen on one side more than the other. It’s believed that right-brained people are more creative while left-brained people are more logical. Turns out, people don’t have a stronger left or right brain network.
MYTH: THE GREAT FIRE OF LONDON ENDED THE BUBONIC PLAGUE
REALITY: THE FIRE DID NOT PURGE THE PLAGUE FROM THE CITY
Many people claim there was a silver lining to the fire, saying that it helped wiped out rats and fleas that were spreading the plague. In actuality, this fire only burned a quarter of the city and hygiene did not improve afterward either. Even more important was that the places that were most affected by the plague were not harmed by the fire.
MYTH: ROMAN SCULPTURES ARE SUPPOSED TO BE WHITE MARBLE STATUES
REALITY: THEY WERE ORIGINALLY PAINED WITH COLOR BUT CHIPPED AWAY OVER TIME
When we think of Roman sculptures, we often think of beautifully carved, white marble creations. However, Roman statues were painted with vibrant colors but faded over the years since they were buried for hundreds of years. Over time, the Western culture agreed as a whole that white marble was prettier and archeologists and museum curators scrubbed the color away before presenting pieces to the public.
MYTH: A POLYGRAPH IS AN ACCURATE WAY TO TEST IF SOMEONE IS LYING
REALITY: THEY ARE LESS ABOUT DETECTING LIES AND MORE ABOUT DETECTING PHYSIOLOGICAL RESPONSES
The accuracy of the polygraph test might not be as accurate as we may think. This kind of test measures a number of physiological responses such as heart rate, respiration, and sweat. In reality, the evidence from the lie detector test is rarely used in court.
MYTH: ADDING ANOTHER LANE TO A HIGHWAY WILL FREE UP THE TRAFFIC
REALITY: ADDING MORE LANES ACTUALLY MAKES TRAFFIC CONGESTION WORSE
Believe it or not, more lanes can increase traffic, which is the opposite of what we want. Increasing the space, allows more people to move around. By making driving easier, more people will use their cars more than they originally would have. Not everyone can drive at a constant speed, so it seems traffic will be something we will always deal with.
MYTH: PEEING ON A JELLYFISH STING HELPS ALLEVIATE THE PAIN
REALITY: PEEING ON A JELLYFISH STING COULD MAKE THE PAIN EVEN WORSE
Maybe you’ve seen the episode of Friends where this trick might have helped Monica, but in real life, this is not the case. Urine is not a good treatment for the sting, because it can cause stinging cells to release more venom. The best thing to do is remove the tentacles and apply rubbing alcohol or vinegar to help with the pain.
MYTH: BREAKFAST IS THE MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY
REALITY: THIS IS ONLY A MARKETING SLOGAN CREATED FOR CUSTOMERS TO BUY MORE KELLOGG’S CEREAL
Yes, there are many benefits to eating a well-rounded breakfast, but it’s not the most important meal of every day. The slogan, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” was used to sell a new cereal. It wasn’t long after that the bacon industry tried to convince people about the significance of eating protein first thing in the morning.
MYTH: WALT DISNEY WAS THE CREATOR OF MICKEY MOUSE
REALITY: DISNEY’S BEST FRIEND UB IWERKS WAS THE ONE WHO BROUGHT THE ICONIC CHARACTER TO LIFE
Ub Iwerks was the father of Mickey Mouse, who sketched the famous mouse back in 1928. Unfortunately, Disney claimed that he came up with the character himself. Iwerks eventually left Walt Disney Studios and started his own animation studio. But 10 years after he left, he returned to the studio as a special effects problem solver adn the two became friends again.
MYTH: ADAM AND EVE ATE AN APPLE
REALITY: NOT AN APPLE, BUT A “FRUIT”.
We hate to break it to you guys, but nowhere in the book of Genesis does it say that Adam and Eve ate an apple. Shocking, right? In truth, Adam and Eve ate the ‘forbidden fruit’ of the tree of knowledge. That is – fruit. Not apple. Oh well, apples wouldn’t be our first choice for a food representing human sin – that title belongs to pizza alone.
MYTH: HUMANS USE ONLY 10% OF THEIR BRAIN
REALITY: WE ACTUALLY USE EVERY PART OF OUR BRAIN.
Nah, son. This is as smart as we get. Neurologists agree that though we only use parts of our brains for every given task, we do use every region of our noggin almost every day. In other words, there’s no such thing as ‘unlocking’ a 250IQ galaxy brain. Which, frankly, is actually a bit disappointing. Sucks to be us.
MYTH: VIKING HELMETS HAVE HORNS
REALITY: THEY DIDN’T, BUT HORNS ARE STILL COOL!
It’s about time that we, as a society, moved past such crude assumptions about our Nordic brethren. Apparently, the ‘horned helmet’ trope originated in 19th-century Wagnerian operas and somehow made its way into literally every single depiction of Vikings ever. Admittedly, they do look pretty cool.
MYTH: WE ONLY HAVE 5 SENSES
REALITY: WE PROBABLY HAVE MORE THAN JUST 5.
Oof, this is a tough one. Some scientists insist that there are actually 9 senses. Others believe that there twenty-one. The point is that the whole issue is still a hot topic of disagreement among scientists, as the minute details of what defines a ‘sense’ are debated. What is clear is that the age-old idea of five senses – coined by the Ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle, in 350 B.C. – is inaccurate.
MYTH: IT TAKES 7 YEARS TO DIGEST GUM
REALITY: GUM IS FLUSHED OUT OF THE BODY IN A FEW DAYS.
Sorry gum lovers, the truth is even worse: Gum isn’t digestible at all! It just passes through your body unscathed. In just a few days. it’ll come out of your body in pretty much the same shape it came in. This isn’t unique to gum, though. Many of our favorite culinary delights, like corn, are actually nutritional enigmas that our bodies have no idea how to digest.
MYTH: GOLDFISH HAVE A MEMORY SPAN OF 3 SECONDS
REALITY: THEY HAVE A MEMORY SPAN OF 3 MONTHS.
We blame Finding Nemo for this one. It’s true that Goldfish aren’t the most intelligent creatures on the planet, but they do have a memory span of approximately three months. That’s more than can be said for those of us who can’t even remember what we had for lunch yesterday.
MYTH: CARROTS IMPROVE EYESIGHT
REALITY: THEY DON’T. THEY ARE HEALTHY THOUGH!
This one’s going to make a lot of carrot enthusiasts feel very betrayed. So how did this fable come about? Well, It’s true that carrots are a trusted and reliable source of our dear old friend, Vitamin A. And though vitamin A deficiency can lead to night blindness (as in, difficulty seeing in the dark), a vitamin A surplus doesn’t particularly affect vision. In short, carrots help retain eyesight, not improve it.
MYTH: IT’S DANGEROUS TO WAKE SLEEPWALKERS
REALITY: THEY’LL BE CONFUSED, BUT THAT’S OK. THEY MAY HURT THEMSELVES BY SLEEPWALKING.
It’s late at night. The house is quiet. Everyone’s already gone to sleep, so where’s that noise coming from? You go check it out and oh dear lord what is that? Accidentally catching a sleepwalker red-handed is straight-up scary. Once you’ve calmed down, however, you really should lead them back to bed: There’s nothing dangerous about waking a sleepwalker (though they may feel a bit confused), and the actual sleepwalking could potentially be dangerous.
MYTH: GOING OUT WITH WET HAIR MAKES YOU SICK
REALITY: WET HAIR HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH GETTING SICK.
While grams may have warned us not to go outside with a wet head, wet hair has pretty much nothing to do with getting sick. Colds are caught by catching viruses, which aren’t particularly attracted to wet hair. Problem solved, no need to frantically dry your scalp every time you take out the trash.
MYTH: BATS ARE BLIND
REALITY: NO, THEY’RE JUST TOO STUCK UP TO USE THEIR EYES.
Look at ’em. Look at those bats, looking all high and mighty with their fancy sonars and echolocations. They think they’re better than us, seeing as they prefer to use their enhanced hearing instead of their eyes, which are perfectly functional, and in some cases even better than human eyes. Ugh, so stuck up and pretentious.
MYTH: THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA IS VISIBLE FROM SPACE
REALITY: SORRY CHINA, NOT EVEN CLOSE.
Though The Great Wall of China is one of the most impressive cultural achievements of the Ancient era, boasting a rich cultural history filled with epic tales of kings and dynasties, it just isn’t visible from space. It is, however, visible on the internet, which means we can just google image that bad boy and pretend we’re there. So beautiful.
MYTH: SHAVING THICKENS HAIR
REALITY: NO, NEWLY GROWN HAIR JUST LOOKS THICKER.
This one goes out to all the late bloomers obsessively shaving their nonexistent facial hair in a desperate attempt to grow a beard – we feel your pain, but it just won’t work. The game was rigged from the start. Shaven hair only looks thicker since it grows back with a blunt tip, but it isn’t actually chunkier or darker.
MYTH: SLAVES BUILT THE PYRAMIDS
REALITY: THEY DIDN’T. IT WASN’T ALIENS EITHER.
According to some Egyptologists, which is a fancy word for pyramid-nerds, constructing the pyramid was considered a great honor reserved for only the most respected laborers. Those who did get the job were granted the privilege of being buried near the ancient wonders themselves. That’s pretty metal in our books.
MYTH: EINSTEIN FAILED MATH
REALITY: NO WAY. EINSTEIN WAS A MATH WIZ.
Out of everything he could’ve failed – math? It’s literally Einstein, how could he have failed math? He did, however, fail a college entrance exam for a polytechnic school in Zurich. Do you know what part of that test he actually passed? You guessed it, it was math.
MYTH: BANANAS GROW ON TREES
REALITY: THEY GROW ON MASSIVE HERBS THAT LOOK LIKE TREES
Yup, not a tree. A plant. A herb, if you will. We’ve also got another banana fact up our sleeve: Bananas actually grow upside down, as illustrated in the photograph. Another thing you may have noticed in the photograph is that the bananas are red. That’s actually a thing: Australia’s home to the Red Dacca banana. Man, the monkeys there are probably ecstatic.
MYTH: THE EARTH HAS 4 OCEANS
REALITY: THAT WAS TRUE, BUT WE NOW HAVE 5.
In 2000, scientists came to the conclusion that they were wrong all along. The great body of water encircling the world was thought to be divided into four separate oceans: The Atlantic, The Pacific, The Indian, and The Arctic. Today, most countries recognize another ocean: The Southern (Antarctic) Ocean. Let’s welcome our new watery friend with open arms.
MYTH: CAFFEINE DEHYDRATES AND STUNTS GROWTH
REALITY: NOPE. COFFEE’S ALRIGHT.
Everyone needs a cup of Joe once in a while. Though caffeine does have a small diuretic effect, meaning you’ll be running to the bathroom a bit more than usual, this is pretty much offset by the water in every caffeinated drink. The whole “stunting growth” thing is also baseless. You know what coffee? You’re alright.
MYTH: BULLS HATE RED
REALITY: BULLS ARE COLOR-BLIND.
This one’s a shocker. Not only do bulls not have an inextinguishable hatred for the color red, but they’re actually colorblind? What bulls actually hate are the movements of that blanket those matadors are always flailing around. Makes sense, imagine someone just waving a blanket at you non-stop. Pretty infuriating.
MYTH: 3 WISE MEN VISITED BABY JESUS
REALITY: THE 3 WISE MEN ARE NOWHERE TO BE FOUND IN THE BIBLE.
We actually have no idea how many people came to visit baby Jesus. It’s generally assumed that there were three wise men since baby Jesus received three gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. As in, one gift for each wise man. However, we don’t know exactly how much of each Jesus was given. It could’ve been truckloads for all we know.
MYTH: NAPOLEON WAS SHORT
REALITY: HE WAS ACTUALLY OF AVERAGE HEIGHT.
Though Napoleon is often cited to be only 5″2 tall, this measurement is actually in French inches. Yeah, the French had inches. That’s new to us too. In good-old-American inches, Napoleon is about 5″5, which historians say is just a tiny bit under the average adult male height in 19th century France.
MYTH: DOGS SWEAT BY SALIVATING
REALITY: THEY ACTUALLY SWEAT THROUGH THEIR FOOTPADS.
This one may come as a surprise to even the most enthusiastic dog-lovers out there. Apparently, dogs salivate for a completely different reason: To regulate their body temperature. There’s a lesson to be learned from this: Avoid smelling a dog’s footpads at all costs.
MYTH: SLEEPERS SWALLOW 8 SPIDERS A YEAR
REALITY: THANK HEAVENS THIS ISN’T TRUE.
We firmly believe that spiders are nightmarish demons sent to us straight from the depths of hell. Ok, maybe that’s going a bit too far, but they are seriously scary. Thankfully, spiders usually don’t crawl into our beds at night. There’s just nothing of interest for them to find under our blankets.
MYTH: BAGPIPES ARE SCOTTISH
REALITY: THEY’RE ACTUALLY A MIDDLE EASTERN THING.
Though bagpipes may not be the first thing to come to your mind when you think of the Middle East, that’s actually where they originated from. The Scottish people did, however, develop their own style of bagpipes and bagpipe-playing. They just weren’t the first to rock those bad boys.
MYTH: TOILETS ARE REVERSED IN THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE
REALITY: TOILET WATER FLUSHES THE SAME WAY ACROSS THE WORLD.
Oh boy, are we relieved. A flushed toilet doesn’t rotate in the opposite direction in the Southern Hemisphere. The Coriolis effect just doesn’t affect the direction of water in sinks or toilets. We’re really not sure how this myth came to be, but we’re glad it’s over and done with. We’re finally free to move on with our lives.
MYTH: TOADS CAUSE WARTS
REALITY: FROGS ARE SUPER CHILL AND TOTALLY DON’T CAUSE WARTS.
This is blasphemy against our froggy brothers and we will not stand for it. Warts have absolutely nothing to do with frogs. The bumps on their skins are just skin glands. Warts can only be transmitted from humans to other humans. So could we just stop all this frog shaming? Please?
MYTH: HUMAN BEINGS EVOLVED DIRECTLY FROM APES.
REALITY: DARWIN SAID THAT HUMANS AND APES HAVE A COMMON BIOLOGICAL ANCESTOR.
Okay so stay with us for a second. It is a common misconception that humans evolved directly from the apes and monkeys that we know and love today. However, that’s not exactly accurate. The theory of evolution actually states that humans and apes evolved from a common biological ancestor. In other words, we did not evolve from any of the primates currently in existence, but an ancient kind of monkey-like animal out of which both us and today’s apes came from.
MYTH: BEN FRANKLIN WANTED A TURKEY AS OUR SYMBOL
REALITY: FRANKLIN PROPOSED AN IMAGE OF MOSES TO REPRESENT AMERICA.
That’s right. An image of the biblical character of Moses, not a wild turkey. The story that Franklin proposed a turkey as the national symbol spread through American newspapers, and it’s based on a letter he wrote to his daughter describing the virtues of the Thanksgiving bird. As we all know, it was the bald eagle who was finally chosen to represent America.
MYTH: MSG CAUSES HEADACHES
REALITY: THERE IS NO SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE BACKING THIS.
MSG, Monosodium Glutamate, is a popular food additive commonly found in the meals of Chinese fast-food restaurants. It’s basically an umami booster that enhances the deliciousness of the meal. Thankfully, there’s no scientifically sound reason to believe that MSG causes headaches. This means we can go Kung-Pao crazy!
MYTH: MILK ATTRACTS SNAKES
REALITY: SNAKES DON’T PARTICULARLY CARE FOR MILK
Okay, guys, unpoison your milk bowls, because they’re not going to do you any good against snakes. It has been proved time and time again that snakes are not attracted to milk; in fact, most snakes are pretty much lactose intolerant. In the eyes of a snake, milk is a last-resort option reserved for extreme situations such as dehydration.
MYTH: TWINKIES STAY FRESH FOR YEARS.
REALITY: THE SHELF LIFE OF A TWINKIE IS A BRIEF 45 DAYS.
We think Zombieland is the main proprietor of this myth. Though it may sound disappointing that our favorite snack is actually much more vulnerable to the passage of time than we had previously thought, it is kinda reassuring to know that Twinkies aren’t some kind of immortal sponge cakes.
MYTH: SOS = “SAVE OUR SHIPS” OR “SAVE OUR SOULS”
REALITY: IT’S BOTH MEANINGLESS AND EASY TO SPELL IN MORSE CODE.
The S.O.S. signal doesn’t stand for anything in particular. It became a morse code distress signal because it’s very easy to transmit: Three dots, three dashes, three dots. Pretty catchy if we do say so ourselves. Even smooth-brained, IQ-lacking people like us couldn’t get that one wrong. Now we know how to tell our friend to save us from a bad date.
MYTH: YOU SHOULDN’T TOUCH BABY BIRDS
REALITY: BIRDS WON’T ABANDON BABIES WHO “SMELL” OF HUMANS.
Most birds actually have a surprisingly limited sense of smell, which makes the whole “don’t touch baby birds” thing kind of a sham. This doesn’t mean that you should go all trigger happy with baby bird hugs, though. They’re delicate creatures that should be treated with the utmost caution.
MYTH: DINOSAURS HAD SCALES
REALITY: THEY WERE PROBABLY BIRD-LIKE FEATHERY CREATURES.
At first thought, it might be a bit disappointing to learn that the dinosaurs in Jurrasic Park may not look like anything at all like the dinosaurs that actually existed. But, when you think about it, the feathers are actually kinda Gucci. They also make these terrifying creatures seem much cuter.
MYTH: LIFE EXPECTANCY IN THE MIDDLE AGES WAS ONLY 30
REALITY: THOSE WHO SURVIVED CHILDHOOD LIVED FOR MUCH LONGER.
Though it is estimated that the average life span of males born in the Middle Ages was approximately 31 years, it seems as though this number paints an inaccurate number of Middle Ages. The average is so low due to the fact that many people didn’t survive the early childhood years. The ones who did, however, lived for much longer.
MYTH: “DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY” IS A BOB MARLEY SONG
REALITY: THE SONG WAS WRITTEN AND SUNG BY BOBBY MCFERRIN.
This is nuts. Apparently, Bob Marley had passed away seven years before the song was ever written or recorded, so it’s definitely not his song. The misconception may have its roots in a similar line that Marley actually did sing in his song, “Three Little Birds”: “Don’t worry about a thing, every little thing’s gonna be alright”. Sounds familiar.
MYTH: CINCO DE MAYO IS MEXICO’S INDEPENDENCE DAY
REALITY: IT’S ACTUALLY A CELEBRATION OF MEXICO’S MILITARY ACHIEVEMENTS.
Cinco de Mayo is widely celebrated not only in Mexico but also in the U.S. Yet some people harbor a few misconceptions regarding the origin of this great celebration. It was on the 5th of May (Cinco de Mayo in Spanish) when the Mexican army achieved victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.
MYTH: HAIR AND NAILS KEEP GROWING AFTER WE PASS AWAY
REALITY: WRONG, BUT IT DOES SEEM LIKE IT.
After passing away, the human body’s skin tissue actually recede, making it seem as though the hair and the nails have grown when in reality it’s just the skin around them that’s shrunk. Kinda morbid and definitely gross. We wouldn’t use this one at a party to break the ice; it’s more likely you’ll just get ice-cold stares of disapproval.
MYTH: THE TONGUE HAS DIFFERENT AREAS FOR EACH “TASTE”
REALITY: THE ENTIRE TONGUE CAN SENSE EACH TASTE MORE OR LESS EQUALLY.
It’s generally known that we’ve identified a total of five basic tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and Ranch. Okay, the fifth is actually Umami (the savory, meaty taste), not Ranch, which means we still don’t know what Ranch is. Anyways, there is no specific zone for each taste in the tongue; all flavors are made equally.
MYTH: SUGAR CAUSES HYPERACTIVITY
REALITY: NO CONNECTION HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED BETWEEN SUGAR AND HYPERACTIVITY.
Concerned parents rest assured – you can let your kid chew on a Milk Dud. Admittedly, more research would be needed to completely bust this myth, but it seems as though there just isn’t any good reason for us to think that sugar causes hyperactivity. Besides, there are plenty of other unhealthy aspects to sugar, why force another one?
MYTH: REDHEADS ARE GOING EXTINCT
REALITY: NOT LIKELY. THE REDHEAD DYNASTY WILL LIVE ON.
The Ginger Geneology is still alive and kicking. Though it’s true that ginger hair is a rare, recessive trait (that is truly getting rarer as time passes), children of redheads still carry redhead genes, even if they themselves aren’t redheaded. The only way for redheads to go extinct is to stop reproducing completely. Yeah, that probably won’t happen.
MYTH: ORANGES – THE FRUIT IS NAMED AFTER THE COLOR
REALITY: IT’S THE OTHER WAY AROUND – THE COLOR IS NAMED AFTER THE FRUIT.
This round goes to the citrus. The word orange comes from the Old French word orenge, meaning orange (the fruit). In fact, up until the early 1500s, which is when the fruit became widely available in England, English speakers may have not even had a specific name for the color. Surprising at first, but it makes sense – how many orange things are there in nature?
MYTH: MOZART WAS POISONED
REALITY: HE MOST LIKELY PASSED OF AN INFECTION.
The great composer did indeed believe he was poisoned. But now, over 200 years later, it is becoming more and more apparent that that is not the case. Modern studies suggest that what really came over Mozart was a sort of infection, a strep infection to be specific. The poisoning theory certainly seemed much more grandiose and fit Mozart’s larger than life image quite neatly.
MYTH: THE INUIT HAVE A HECK OF A LOT OF WORDS FOR SNOW
REALITY: THIS IS A LARGELY EXAGGERATED CLICHÉ.
While it’s held by some scientists that some Inuit languages do have more root words for ‘snow’, the whole claim is largely contested. This misconception stems from a misunderstanding of anthropologist Franz Boas, who claimed that the structure of Inuit-Aleut allows more variety as to how those root words for snow can be combined to form new words. These new words help describe specific weather phenomena.
MYTH: PENGUINS MATE FOR LIFE
REALITY: ACTUALLY PENGUINS HAVE ONE-NIGHT STANDS TOO.
Well, maybe not one night stands, but they certainly don’t mate for life. Penguins are seasonally monogamous, meaning that a male and female penguin will mate only with each other for one mating season. After that season, however, it’s fair game. In addition, some female penguins have been reported to mate with more than one male mate. Sorry pal, there are other fish in the sea. Or penguins on the iceberg.
MYTH: MOUNT EVEREST IS THE TALLEST MOUNTAIN ON EARTH
REALITY: ONLY IF YOU START MEASURING ABOVE SEA-LEVEL
If we were to measure Hawaii’s Mauna Kea Volcano from its underwater base, we would find out that it stands at a whopping 33,000 feet tall – 4,000 feet above Everest. So although Mount Everest looks taller, it actually isn’t. That’s insane, and also, let’s chalk up another victory for Hawaii – how do you like them apples, Nepal?
MYTH: SALTY WATER BOILS FASTER
REALITY: IT CAN ACTUALLY MAKE BOILING LONGER.
So counter-intuitive. Chefs around the world should really take notes here: Salt actually increases the boiling point of water, which means that salty water takes longer to boil than regular, non-salty water. This phenomenon is called “boiling point elevation” which is definitely a sick name for a pop-punk band.
MYTH: DROPPED PENNIES CAN FATALLY INJURE
REALITY: THEY CAN’T BUT THEY WILL LEAVE A BOO-BOO.
The terminal velocity of a falling penny is between thirty to fifty miles per hour, which isn’t fast enough to fatally injure someone, but it sure would sting. Basically, it still isn’t okay to yeet your leftover change from the top of the Empire State into unassuming pedestrians below.
MYTH: BLOOD IS BLUE IN THE BODY
REALITY: BLOOD IS RED. THAT’S ALL THERE IS TO IT.
So there’s actually a bit more to it than that: The amount of oxygen in the blood can change its hue, but only to different shades of red. This is opposed to a common misconception which states that blood is blue up until it is exposed to the air or replenishes its oxygen. Given the fact that veins are blue, this theory is reasonable enough. It’s false, though.
MYTH: THE 5 SECOND RULE
REALITY: GERMS DON’T CARE ABOUT SECONDS.
Bacteria is straight-up merciless, and it won’t hesitate to leap on anything you mishandle. It is true that the longer a piece of food stays on the ground, the more bacteria your piece of food will collect. So how about we reform the 5-second rule into a “don’t fumble the bag” rule and just refrain from dropping any piece of nourishment?
MYTH: EATING BEFORE SWIMMING CAUSES CRAMPS
REALITY: EATING BEFORE SWIMMING WON’T INCREASE THE RISK OF CRAMPS
It might, however, depending on how adept you are as a swimmer and athlete, induce shortness of breath. So generally speaking, it might be best to avoid Swanton Bombing into a pool right after you just devoured a four-cheeses Papa Johns with extra cheese, but the cramp thing isn’t true.
MYTH: ROMANS VOMITED THEIR MEALS AT THE VOMITORIUM
REALITY: ROMANS DIDN’T REGULARLY VOMIT THEIR MEALS, DEFINITELY NOT AT THE VOMITORIUM.
The vomitorium was not a room the Romans used for their Bacchanalian feasts, but the name for the entrance and passage to a stadium or amphitheater. Though the whole vomiting thing is indicative of the hedonistic, fun-loving lifestyle that Roman nobles led, it itself just isn’t true.
MYTH: CRACKING KNUCKLES IS UNHEALTHY
REALITY: NO BUT IT’S STILL WEIRD.
There’s a common misconception that cracking knuckles causes Arthritis. This, however, is completely false, which means all the knuckle-crackers out there can keep cracking away. Just maybe we could ask them to do it in the privacy of their own rooms, far away from any innocent bystanders. Knuckle cracking gives us the shivers.
MYTH: FINGERNAILS GROW AT THE SAME RATE
REALITY: THE NAILS ON THE DOMINANT HAND GROW FASTER
Not all fingernails were created equally. Blood flow stimulates nail growth, which causes a curious little occurrence: The nails on the dominant hand actually grow faster than the nails of the less-dominant hand. Even more proof that the human body is less of a temple than it is a bizarre labyrinth.
MYTH: MARY ANTIONETTE TOLD FRENCH PEASANTS TO “EAT CAKE”
REALITY: SHE DIDN’T, AND SHE DIDN’T TELL THEM TO EAT “BRIOCHE” EITHER.
The infamous phrase attributed to her was apparently coined by none other than the French Philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who had reported that the French queen had told the peasants to eat “brioche”, a luxury form of bread in 19th century France. Antionette was symbolic of the old order, the same order which the French revolutionists sought to abolish.
MYTH: THE PILGRIMS FIRST LANDED AT PLYMOUTH ROCK
REALITY: NO, NO, NO, THEY LANDED IN PROVINCETOWN!
Though it is commonly held that the first pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, they actually came to what is now Provincetown, Massachusetts first. There they signed the Mayflower Compact, the first governing document in U.S. history. They reached Plymouth Rock only five weeks later.
MYTH: BODY HEAT IS LOST PRIMARILY THROUGH THE HEAD
REALITY: ONLY IN INFANTS.
So apparently some people believe that we’re some kind of steam engine that spits out body heat through our ears or something. Well, apparently this is true for newborns which makes them eerily steampunk. The reason this is such a common misconception may be connected to the fact that our heads are one of the only parts of our bodies that aren’t fully wrapped in clothing, which helps retain the body’s warmth.
MYTH: BLACK HOLES ARE HOLES, DUH
REALITY: BLACK HOLES ARE JUST REALLY DENSE OBJECTS
This one goes out to all the tryhards in the audience trying to make other people feel ashamed of how little they know about space-time: Blackholes aren’t actually holes, but really, really dense objects. So dense, that their gravitational field allows nothing, not even light to escape them. This lack of light is where the “black” part of the black hole comes from. The “hole” part comes from the fact that whatever falls into a black hole is trapped there forever.
MYTH: IRON MAIDENS WERE MEDIEVAL TORTURE DEVICES
REALITY: NO THEY WERE ACTUALLY MODERN CIRCUS PROPS.
So when we say Iron Maiden, we’re not talking about the critically acclaimed and universally beloved metal band hailing from London. No, no. We’re talking about those weird contraptions supposedly use to torture poor peasants. Turns out that this was just something that 18th-century circuses made up for views.
MYTH: BILL GATES FOUNDED MICROSOFT BY HIMSELF
REALITY: MICROSOFT WAS FOUNDED BY BOTH BILL GATES AND PAUL ALLEN.
The two were quite the dynamic duo, working together all throughout their childhood. They had met in Lakeside School, an exclusive private school in Seattle, and were brought together by their common interest in computers.
MYTH: THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE IS DANGEROUS
REALITY: THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE IS JUST A REGULAR, WATERY TRIANGLE.
Meaning that the Bermuda Triangle does not have any more mysterious shipwrecks or disappearances than most other waterways. The Bermuda Triangle is one of the most heavily traveled shipping lanes in the world, despite what is often said about it in popular culture.
MYTH: FOOT PAIN HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOUR HEART
REALITY: SYMPTOMS OF PERIPHERAL ARTERIAL DISEASE MIGHT MANIFEST IN THE FEET AND LEGS
According to the American Heart Association, Peripheral Arterial Disease, or PAD for short, can manifest as pain in the legs and feet. PAD is a disease that affects the arteries by blocking blood flow and can put a lot of strain on your heart.
MYTH: FRIGHTENED OSTRICHES STICK THEIR HEADS IN THE GROUND.
REALITY: THEY STICK THEIR HOLES IN THE GROUND BUT NOT BECAUSE THEY’RE FRIGHTENED.
Yeah, maybe frightened Minecraft ostriches do that, but not the real ones. They do, however, stick their heads in the ground to bury and move their eggs. This is totally different than Zinedine Zidaning the ground whenever they feel a bit scared. We swear, people have no respect for ostriches these days.
MYTH: CHAMELEONS BLEND IN WITH THEIR SURROUNDINGS
MYTH: WHAT DETERMINES THEIR COLOR IS ACTUALLY THEIR MOOD, TEMPERATURE, AND THE LIGHT SURROUNDING THEM.
This definitely makes them less stealthy than we would have liked to believe. Apparently, a calm chameleon would usually be green, an angry chameleon would turn yellow, and a *ahem* romantic chameleon would basically shine in every single color known to man. The lesson learned: Chameleons are rad.
MYTH: ALL BROWN BREAD IS HEALTHY
REALITY: NAH MAN, THERE ARE SOME DEADLY BROWN LOAVES OUT THERE.
This is definitely a case of not every rectangle being a square. While it’s true that quite the majority of brown bread is 100% whole wheat, there are, however, some brown loaves of bread that aren’t whole wheat at all! Darn nefarious imposters! The secret to a bread’s level of nutrition is revealed, unsurprisingly, on the labels on the back of the loaf.