In the age of information, it’s baffling to think that there are still widely accepted beliefs that are, in fact, misconceptions. Whether it’s a piece of historical trivia or a scientific “fact” we learned in grade school, many of us carry these falsehoods into adulthood. Let’s debunk 25 of the most popular myths and set the record straight!
1. Goldfish Have a 3-Second Memory Span: Contrary to popular belief, goldfish have a memory span of months. They can even be trained to recognize different shapes and sounds.
2. People Only Use 10% of Their Brains: Neurologists have refuted this claim for years. Brain scans show activity coursing through the entire organ, even while we’re at rest.
3. Chewing Gum Takes 7 Years to Digest: If you swallow your gum, it doesn’t stick in your stomach. It passes through your digestive system and is excreted, much like any other food.
4. Vikings Wore Horned Helmets: Historians and archaeologists agree that there’s no evidence to suggest Vikings wore these iconic helmets.
5. Touching Baby Birds Will Make Their Mother Reject Them: Birds have a limited sense of smell. They won’t abandon their babies if a human touches them.
6. Eating Carrots Improves Night Vision: While carrots are rich in vitamin A, which is good for eyesight, they won’t give you superhuman night vision.
7. Humans Swallow an Average of 8 Spiders a Year While Sleeping: This urban legend has no basis in fact. Spiders aren’t interested in crawling into the mouths of sleeping giants.
8. Bats Are Blind: Many species of bats have perfectly good eyesight, and some can even see in ultraviolet.
9. The Great Wall of China is Visible from Space: Without aid, the wall is not visible to the naked eye from space.
10. You Should Wait 24 Hours Before Reporting a Missing Person: If someone you know is missing, report it immediately. There’s no need to wait.
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11. Dropping a Penny from a Skyscraper Can Kill Someone: While it might sting, a penny doesn’t have enough mass to cause fatal harm.
12. Einstein Failed Math as a Kid: Albert Einstein excelled at math throughout school.
13. Cracking Your Knuckles Will Give You Arthritis: There’s no scientific evidence to back this claim.
14. Humans Have Five Senses: We actually have more, including a sense of balance, temperature, and spatial body awareness.
15. Shaving Makes Your Hair Grow Back Thicker: Shaving hair doesn’t change its thickness, color, or rate of growth.
16. Sugar Causes Hyperactivity in Children: Numerous studies have found no consistent evidence supporting this.
17. You Can See the Great Wall of China from the Moon: Even from a low orbit with the naked eye, it’s very hard to see the Great Wall.
18. Bananas Grow on Trees: They grow on large herbaceous plants, not trees.
19. It Takes Seven Years for Your Body to Digest Gum: While not digestible, gum is expelled from your body like other waste.
20. Fortune Cookies are a Traditional Chinese Custom: They were invented in California!
21. Napoleon Was Extremely Short: He was of average height for his time, roughly 5’7″.
22. Bulls Hate the Color Red: Bulls are color blind. It’s the motion of the matador’s cape that gets them riled up.
23. You Lose Most of Your Body Heat Through Your Head: The amount of heat you lose depends on how much skin you expose, not just your head.
24. Sushi Means “Raw Fish”: It actually refers to the vinegared rice. The fish needn’t be raw.
25. Cinco de Mayo is Mexico’s Independence Day: It actually commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla.
Knowledge is empowering. By debunking these myths, we arm ourselves with a clearer understanding of the world. So, next time someone brings up one of these “truths”, you’ll be well-prepared to set them straight!