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Interesting Facts

35 Most Common Facts that are Actually Myths

“Myths must be kept alive. The people who can keep it alive are the artists of one kind or another”. -Joseph Campbell.

But who wants to be the artist of myths. It’s a fact, fact, fact world. And the irony is what we have spent our almost whole lives believing; are actually enduring myths and misconceptions.

Here are the most common myths people believe on!!!

1. Humans use only 10% of their Brains.

We always keep on wandering what if we use 10% or more of our brains,  which is not just true. The human brain is quite busy all day and might using about 20%of the body’s resources and never  really “turning off” until death. The myth prevailing states the fact of turning off the brain during sleep. Well if that would happen really, then what about dreams? Well, well, well…..actually, the fact is that our brain is more conscious during sleep and this is the reason due to which we remember our dreams. The most part of the brain is active all the time, far more than the mythical 10%.

2. Lightning never strikes the same place twice.

Have you listened, or let me ask-have  you believed this myth. If yes, then let me tell you, this myth is not only wrong, it’s dangerously wrong. Lightning do strike at the same spot twice at least in a close vicinity and that too very often! There is no outdoors man or forecaster who would recommend you go stand where lightning has already struck. Instead, you should stay indoors,  and  away from  anything metal or electrical. Next time when you face storms, don’t believe this myth and stay safe!

3. Bananas grow on Trees.

A misunderstood concept that can truly be called a myth. Bananas grow on something the size of trees, but the ” banana tree” is actually not a tree. It is a plant which can grow up to 25 feet and is actually the world’s largest perennial herb. It doesn’t have woody fibres. Rather,  it has strong stalks and leaves but no trunks and branches to prove it a tree. And also bananas are berries! Yes, they don’t produce mature seeds. So next time when you get to see a banana plant, inspect it carefully.

4. We humans have 5 Senses.

One more fact we have been studying since class 1, is nothing but a myth. Besides 5 empirical senses (sight, auditory, gustatory, tactile and olfactory), there are at least 4 other senses for balancing, maintaining body temperature, introception to quote a few. Some researchers believe humans have about 20 senses excluding the “famous 5”. So let others know the fact about humans having atleast  of 9 senses!

5. Elephants are afraid of Mice.

The one among the biggest myths believed to be originated from cartoons and children stories. Isn’t it funny for such a big creature like elephant to be scared of a mouse! Yeah, of course, it is! It is completely a myth and the fact being elephants have no particular fear of mice. Instead, they have a poor vision and are fairly slow. This clearly explains that they being strong and big, and even brave, can still be startled when a small animal like mouse or a bird , darts past and surprises the lumbering pachyderm. Tell your children not to believe the myth which you believed since your childhood!!

6. Human beings evolved from Apes.

A myth, agreed very well by most frenzied critics and supporters of evolution. But the fact to the standard evolutionary account is that humans and higher apes (gorillas, bonobos, orangutans) evolved from a common ancestor often referred to as the “missing link”. We did evolve from an ancestor that was far more ape like than humans. They haven’t evolved from apes, rather shared a common ancestor.

7. Cold weather makes you Sick.

A very common myth around the world which is absolutely not true. Researchers have shown that feeling more cold when we are chilled, but the temperature doesn’t make us susceptible to viruses. Because cold or flu actually is caused by viruses not by low temperature and the flu may spread most effectively under cold, dry conditions.

8. Chewing gum takes 7 years to come out of the stomach.

Have you engulfed your chewing gum? If yes, then relax, no need to panic, it will not stay in your stomach for 7 long years. It’s a myth! Although it’s true about many of the ingredients of chewing gum such as elastomers, resins and waxes, which are indigestible, but does not mean that they hang out in your guts for 7  years! The digestive system is a sturdy piece organic machinery and anything it can’t absorb, removes along. Despite the stickiness and strange consistency of gum, “it passes right through your digestive tract and into commode”.

9. Reading in the dark or sitting too close to the screen ruins the eyesight.

Proving this very often fact wrong is really great. Yes! This is again a myth. Dim light, or staring into a multi coloured screen at close range, can undoubtedly make your eyes work so hard they hurt. But unfortunately there is no evidence that these cause long term damage to the eyes. Studying in dim light or looking at computer or TV screen for long time makes our eyes tired and this can be cured after rest. So when next time your mom scolds you for “this myth”, tell her “the fact”.

 10. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.

Studies have proved that our bodies are very good at regulating our fluid levels. And also, we are not all walking around in dehydrated state generally. This 8 glasses a day is a myth. Actually it was found that adults should drink 2.5 litres of water every  day which is equivalent to 8 glasses or 2-3rd of a gallon . This myth do support  drink water daily but the fact is the required amount of water for an individual is fulfilled through the food one eats. We should maintain the fluid level of our bodies.

11. It’s safe to eat food that’s been on the floor for 5 seconds or less.

The 5 second rule for the fallen food is completely a myth. Do not adhere to it even if that’s your favourite food! The fact being, the researchers have found that a substantial amount of bacteria is transferred to the food within 5 seconds.

12. Cracking your knuckles will lead to arthritis.

Those having knowledge about biology will definitely consider this fact a supreme myth . It’s not going to give you early onset arthritis, as some might have believing. The crackling sound is simply the popping of bubbles in the fluid, the synovial fluid, lubricating the joints. This practice doesn’t cause arthritis but can have other negative effects like, reduced grip strength or swelling in hands.

13. Dog mouths are cleaner than our mouths.

The mouths of dogs are no cleaner, and in fact are much dirtier than human mouth. Their mouths are teeming with bacteria because they eat and lick all sort of gross things like garbage, carcasses and of course poop. Since they use all 4 of their legs to walk and don’t posses hands with opposable thumbs, they use their face for lot of things which we would do with our hands. The mouth of dog is it’s washcloth, hands and even the toilet paper. So next time when you want your dog to lick your face, just remember the places the mouth has been. Dog mouths are really very dirty!

14. The largest living organism on this planet is the blue whale/the redwood forest/ Titanosaur.

Well, well, well……again this is a myth! The Blue whale may be the largest ocean creature. The Redwood forest may include the tallest trees and the Titanosaur may have been the largest dinosaur in its day. But when it comes to the largest living organism on the planet, the throne is claimed by the humongous honey fungus in the Oregon Blue mountains. This single organism has thousands of mushroom fruiting bodies roughly 2.4 miles across. The sad news is its spreading and the good one is its mushroom are edible. So next time when the smartest kid of your class brags about his mythical knowledge, prove him wrong with the fact!

15. Sharks don’t get cancer.

Don’t pull out your wallet the next time a “Shark oil” salesman comes to your door promising a cure for cancer. It’s definitely a myth! Sharks do get cancer, but bot often. They have a compound called “angiogenin inhibitor” that reduces the tumor’s property of angiogenesis. As a result of which the tumors die effectively. But so far sharks haven’t been able to cure cancer for themselves or anyone.

16. Bulls become angry at red color.

This is a myth which originated from movies and cartoons. This is really funny as bulls and other cattle are partially color blind  and cannot see the color red. They are, however, testy and defensive creatures that will charge when threatened, frightened, angry or just annoyed. Bulls don’t mind the sight of red, but they do however get angry at the sight of jerks!

17. Adding salt to water makes it boil faster.

The salt water boils faster than the pure water is a myth! The difference  between boiling water with salt and without salt is negligible.  The temperature of salt water will get hotter faster then that of pure water, but the boiling point  is still high, the mass is still greater when you add salt to the same water. This contradict the myth that salt water boils faster.

18. The Great Wall of China is the only man-made structure visible from space.

Many of have been  told that the Great Wall Of China is the only man made structure visible from the space, but this is not the case. This is false fact, actually a myth. NASA images proves that You can see highways, airports, bridges, dams and components of Kennedy Space Centre from space. But the wall can only be recognized in radar images and can’t be seen with human eyes or even a photograph.

19. Goldfish only have memory of three seconds.

These orange creatures have a reputation of having bad memory. But it turns out to be a complete myth. They remember things for long. Not only has this fact has been debunked, but also studies have shown that the gold fishes have a memory of about five months. So never time when someone lower their reputation down, tell them about the fact!

20. A penny dropped from top of the Empire State Building could kill someone.

We have all heard this one before, but this is just another fake fact. According to science, a penny is too small and flat to gain natural momentum to make any fatal impact. And if you were hit, it will not be that much hard to be fatal. Hence one more fact proved myth.

21. Albert Einstein failed maths class.

It’s fun to think of Albert Einstein failed his grade school math class. Well it’s again a myth. This is just a rumor spread widely. Einstein himself claimed in an interview that he was at the top of his class in primary school.  Also he added that before he was 15, he mastered differential and integral calculus!

22. You have to wait for 24 hours to file a missing person’s report.

It’s actually a disconcerting myth which has been created by countless police dramas and crime thrillers that you have to wait for 24 hours to File a missing person’s report. According to child find of America, there is no time period in which someone must wait before reporting a person missing. In fact, acting within 48 hours is crucial to successfully locating the missing person.

23. Eating carrots when you have a week eyesight can help improving.

The one among the most prevailing myths all over. Carrots help in improving muscle degeneration but not in case of week eyesight. This is just another fake fact to the list. Carrots are helpful in Hair remedies due to presence of carotene pigments.

24. Hair and fingernails  continue to grow after the death.

It’s true that a person’s nails and hair may appear longer after death. But, according to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, that it’s only because the skin around a person nails and hair retracts over time due to dehydration of the body, not because their nails and hair are growing actually after death!

 25. Our brains shut off during sleep.

Our body relaxes during sleep but the fact about the brain turning off is nothing but a myth. We go through four or five cycles of changing brain activity a typical night. The brain is more  conscious during sleep than during the day. The activity of brain is quite high during dreaming.

26. If you can’t feel asleep, keep trying.

There is nothing worse than waking up at 2 a.m. and doing nothing but just staring at the ceiling. Next thing you realize is that half the night has passed, and you’re just getting frustrated more and more. So it’s better to wake up and do some sort of work or any pending assignment until you feel sleepy again. This then allows your  brain to better associate going to bed with actually going to sleep. Hence just waiting for sleep to come again is really just another fake fact.

27. A mother bird rejects a baby if it’s been touched by a human.

Most birds have a poor sense of smell  and won’t know the difference. So the mother bird wouldn’t know if their baby was handled by a human anyway. If you find a baby bird on the ground, it is probably learning to fly and shouldn’t be touched anyway. Overall, mother birds are more loyal towards their babies and this contradict the myth of rejection of a baby bird touched by human by a mother bird.

28. Drinking alcohol raises your body temperature.

While you may feel warmer when you drink alcohol, that’s the booze and your brain playing tricks on the rest of the body. Actually alcohol dilates your blood vessels decreasing the blood flow. In reality, alcohol lowers your core body temperature,  according to studies. This is again a fake fact or myth added to your list!

 29. Chameleons change colors to blend in with their surroundings.

We all are familiar with the ability of chameleons to change their colors, but contradiction lies in why they do so. They change Colors to blend in with their surroundings is completely a myth! Actually chameleons change Colors to regulate their body temperature and to communicate with other chameleons, and not to camouflage themselves.

30. The sun is yellow.

It is a common  misconception that the sun is yellow or orange or even red. In reality, the sun is essentially all colors mixed together, which appear to our eyes as white. The reason we see the sun yellow or orange or red is fine to the wavelengths which make it to our eyes being longer.

31. Peanuts are a type of a nut.

Well, well well…..add another fake fact to your list. This is a prevailing myth. Despite the misleading name, peanuts are actually a type of legume. Though they are commonly served with nuts like walnuts and almonds, they are more closely related to clovers and chickpeas.

32. Every living  thing dies.

Well yes, most living things do die eventually, but not everything which is living dies. There is one species of jellyfish that doesn’t technically perish. Know as Turritopsis dohrnii, this essentially immortal sea creature reverts back into a juvenile state after adulthood – so it can live out yet another life alongside its offspring. Isn’t it interesting!!

33. Snoring is common and nothing to worry about.

Snoring is an annoyance to your partner, but it can be more serious too. According to National Sleep Foundation, snoring maybe a symptom of sleep apnea!  It can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and can also cause daytime sleepiness and impaired performance. So next time when your partner complains you about your snoring don’t ignore that.

34. Birds die from eating wedding rice.

Well let us have a look at the theory first. It is that when a wedded couple walks the gauntlet of tossed rice, the ground is left covered in dry rice. Birds come by and eat the rice, later drink water and the rice expands in the birds stomachs. Boom!!! The birds explode or rupture internally. This theory doesn’t work. The temperature inside the bird never gets hot enough to cook and swell the rice.

35. Pressing snooze will help you get more rest.

What an incredible feeling it is to press the snooze button!  But to think that it helps you gain a quality sleep is just a myth. It is a popular disbelief.  The snooze button will actually make you feel tired. It wakes you from deep part of your sleep cycle each time you doze off, causing you feel groggy.

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