The world is rife with certain misconceptions that have come to be generally believed as true. Some have even influenced pop culture in one way or another. Here are 34 of the most notable myths believed by the masses.
1. That Einstein flunked math. In his own words: “I never failed in mathematics. Before I was fifteen I had mastered differential and integral calculus.” In primary school, he was at the top of his class and “far above the school requirements” in math.
2. That the Great Wall is the only manmade thing visible from space. There are actually quite a few including the Great Pyramids of Giza and many bridges. The Great Wall is in fact only visible in low orbit, and barely even then.
3. That lightning never strikes twice in the same place. In fact, any veteran storm observer will tell you that it is possible for lightning to strike the same place twice.
4. I once heard someone say “your heart stops when you sneeze.” Apparently this is a thing. However it’s not really true obviously. If your heart stops you should probably go to a hospital because that’s cardiac arrest.
5. Many people say that Napoleon was very short. The guy was actually slightly taller than the average French man at the time. However he was 5’6 so for today that is shorter than average.
6. Many people still think that schizophrenia is the same as multiple personality disorder, which is actually extremely rare. Not true, never was.
7. That we only use 10% of our brains.
The 10 percent of the brain myth is a widely perpetuated urban legend that most or all humans only use 10 percent (or some other small percentage) of their brains. It has been misattributed to many people, including Albert Einstein.
8. That in the Middle Ages we believed the Earth to be flat. It’s a misconception born most likely at the end of the 19th century. The ancient Greeks had already correctly estimated the circumference of the Earth around 240 BC.
9. There is a myth that different parts of your tongue are sensitive to different “base” flavors (sides are sour, tip is sweet, etc.). Scientists say that each of the several thousand sensors on our tongue can recognize any of the tastes.
10. When you shave your hair, it grows back faster. Shaving facial or body hair gives the hair a blunt tip. The tip might feel coarse or “stubbly” for a time as it grows out. During this phase, the hair might be more noticeable and perhaps appear darker or thicker but it’s not.
11. The word ‘factoid’ does NOT mean a little-known fact – in fact it means completely the opposite: it’s an item of unreliable information that is reported and repeated so often that it becomes accepted as fact.
12. Sugar makes kids hyper. Experimentation has shown that parents who believe in a link between sugar and hyperactivity see one, even though others do not. Another possibility is thatchildren tend to be more excited at events like birthday and Halloween parties where sugary foods are usually served.
13. Touching a wild animal’s young will not cause the mother to kill it. Most animals will do anything they can to ensure their youngs survival even when a nest has been disturbs. Occasionally wild rabbits have shown an exception to this rule as they are a very “flighty” species.
14. The mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell. In actuality, android 17 and 18 were the powerhouse of Cell.
15. That Jesus Christ was born on December 25th. There is no mention of when his birthday was in the Bible. Throughout history, many Gods have been reported to be born on or around December 25th as it is near the winter solstice. After that day, days become increasingly longer. In many cultures it symbolizes a new beginning and positive things to come.
16. When re-entering the atmosphere, most of the heat generated by the space shuttle is not caused by friction. It’s heating caused by rapidly compressed air.
17. That reality TV is actually reality TV. It is often as scripted and fabricated as any other sitcom or series.
18. That a goldfish can live well in a bowl. Please just don’t do it. I learned the hard way.
19. That a “fatwa” is a “death warrant”. It’s actually just any legal pronouncement in Islam.
20. There is a widely-held belief that the burning of the library of Alexandria was a big event that set back science/technology. When in reality by the time it was finally destroyed, it was basically a glorified storage shed used to keep tax records.
21. Dogs have a cleaner mouth than humans. I think it was made up to protect people who allow their pets to “kiss” their face.
22. That blood is actually blue when deoxygenated, it isn’t, rather it looks blue in your skin because of the way your skin reflects the blood’s color. Countless people don’t know this!
23. My favorite is that fortune cookies aren’t Chinese. They’re actually American.
24. Low taxes on the rich benefit an economy as a whole. This is called trickle down economics and is a buzz-term that’s often used by very rich people and politicians to justify a lack of regulation on immoral financial behaviour.
25. Twins skip a generation. My wife is a twin and I just had two twins (no IVF).
26. Women make 70% of what a man makes doing the same job.
27. That if you eat ANYTHING before bed you will gain weight.
28. That peanuts are nuts. They’re actually legumes, related to beans and the such.
29. That women having babies later in life is this new thing that has to do with women having careers. What’s different is that it’s the first birth coming later, but it has been the norm for most of human history that women had babies until they really just can’t anymore, into their 40s.
30. Undercover Cops have to tell you they’re Cops if you ask them.
31. That tetanus bacteria is present in rust.
32. That the red bull lawsuit was because it didn’t give you wings. It was actually because they claimed it gave more caffeine than a cup of coffee.
33. Fish only grow to the size of the tank you put them in. This is not true.
34. Most people think that carrots are good for your eyesight, but actually that was a lie made up by the British during the WWII. They claimed to have fed their pilots a diet filled with carrots to cover up the fact they had developed radar. The Germans believed them and so do many people to this day.