These 94 Misconceptions Will Make You Say ‘My Whole Life Was A Lie’


Some people swear by things they picked up at school or university, others rely on the opinions of experts, while there are also some who get their intake of facts from the World Wide Web. And while some of the sources might seem more reliable than others, it’s not uncommon that all of them might be incorrect sometimes.

There are plenty of scientific theories that have been proven wrong, so things that you’ve heard from 3 friends and aunt and your grandma can definitely be wrong. Here’s a list of half-truths and all-lies that many people believe but actually have either been disputed or don’t have any actual substance to them, according to Wikipedia. Scroll down, read through, and see if your own perception of truth and reality is challenged. Oh, and don’t forget to comment and vote on your favorites!

#1 Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism Or Autism Spectrum Disorders

Although fraudulent research by British doctor Andrew Wakefield claimed a connection, repeated attempts to reproduce the results ended in failure, and the research was ultimately shown to have been manipulated.

Image credits: Vaccines Stock Photos

#2 A Common Belief Regarding Self-Harm Is That It Is An Attention-Seeking Behaviour; In Many Cases, This Is Inaccurate

Many self-harmers are very self-conscious of their wounds and scars and feel guilty about their behaviour, leading them to go to great lengths to conceal their behaviour from others. They may offer alternative explanations for their injuries, or conceal their scars with clothing.

Image credits: scott feldstein

#3 Ancient Greek Sculptures Were Originally Painted Bright Colors

They only appear white today because the original pigments have deteriorated. Some well-preserved statues still bear traces of their original coloration.

Image credits: Mitaukano

#4 It Is Rarely Necessary To Wait 24 Hours Before Filing A Missing Person Report

In instances where there is evidence of violence or of an unusual absence, law enforcement agencies in the United States often stress the importance of beginning an investigation promptly. The UK government website says in large type, “You don’t have to wait 24 hours before contacting the police.”

Image credits: Sludge G

#5 There Is No Such Thing As An “Alpha” In A Wolf Pack

An early study that coined the term “alpha wolf” had only observed unrelated adult wolves living in captivity. In the wild, wolf packs operate more like human families: there is no defined sense of rank, parents are in charge until the young grow up and start their own families, younger wolves do not overthrow an “alpha” to become the new leader, and social dominance fights are situational.

Image credits: Brett

#6 Goldfish Don’t Have Short Memory Spans

The notion that goldfish have a memory span of just a few seconds is false. It is much longer, counted in months.

Image credits: Matt Elsberry

#7 Napoleon Bonaparte Was Not Short

He was actually slightly taller than the average Frenchman of his time. After his death in 1821, the French emperor’s height was recorded as 5 feet 2 inches in French feet, which in English measurements is 5 feet 7 inches (1.70 m). He was actually nicknamed le Petit Caporal (The Little Corporal) as a term of endearment. Napoleon was often accompanied by his imperial guard, who were selected for their height—this could have contributed to a perception that he was comparatively short.

Image credits: needpix

#8 Acne Is Mostly Caused By Genetics

Acne is mostly caused by genetics, rather than lack of hygiene, eating fatty food, or other personal habits.

Image credits: Kjerstin_Michaela

#9 Albert Einstein Did Not Fail Mathematics Classes

Albert Einstein did not fail mathematics classes (never “flunked a math exam”) in school. Upon seeing a column making this claim, Einstein said “I never failed in mathematics… Before I was fifteen I had mastered differential and integral calculus.” Einstein did, however, fail his first entrance exam into the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School (ETH) in 1895, when he was two years younger than his fellow students, but scored exceedingly well in the mathematics and science sections, then passed on his second attempt.

Image credits: wiki

#10 The Forbidden Fruit Is Not Apple

The forbidden fruit mentioned in the Book of Genesis is never identified as an apple, a misconception widely depicted in Western art. The original Hebrew texts mention only tree and fruit. Early Latin translations use the word mali, which can be taken to mean both “evil” and “apple”. In early Germanic languages the word “apple” and its cognates usually meant simply “fruit”. German and French artists commonly depict the fruit as an apple from the 12th century onwards, and John Milton’s Areopagitica from 1644 explicitly mentions the fruit as an apple. Jewish scholars have suggested that the fruit could have been a grape, a fig, wheat, an apricot, or an etrog.

Image credits: Nik

#11 Thomas Edison Did Not Invent The Light Bulb

He did, however, develop the first practical light bulb in 1880 (employing a carbonized bamboo filament), shortly prior to Joseph Swan, who invented an even more efficient bulb in 1881 (which used a cellulose filament).

Image credits: Jacopo

#12 Eight Glasses, Or Two To Three Liters, Of Water A Day Are Not Needed To Maintain Health

The amount of water needed varies by person (weight), diet, activity level, clothing, and environment (heat and humidity). Water does not actually need to be drunk in pure form, but can be derived from liquids such as juices, tea, milk, soups, etc., and from foods including fruits and vegetables.

Image credits: Miss Shari

#13 People Don’t Swallow A High Number Of Spiders While Asleep

The widespread urban legend that one swallows a high number of spiders during sleep in one’s life has no basis in reality. A sleeping person causes all kinds of noise and vibrations by breathing, the beating heart, snoring etc. all of which warn spiders of danger.

Image credits: Pete Birkinshaw

#14 Humans Did Not Evolve From Either Of The Living Species Of Chimpanzees

Humans and chimpanzees did, however, evolve from a common ancestor. The most recent common ancestor of humans and the other living chimpanzees lived between 5 and 8 million years ago.

Image credits: Sergio Morchon

#15 There Is No Evidence That Iron Maidens Were Used For Torture, Or Even Yet Invented, In The Middle Ages

Instead they were pieced together in the 18th century from several artifacts found in museums in order to create spectacular objects intended for (commercial) exhibition.

Image credits: Nathan Rupert

#16 Humans Have More Than The Commonly Cited Five Senses

The number of senses in various categorizations ranges from five to more than 20. In addition to sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing, which were the senses identified by Aristotle, humans can sense balance and acceleration (equilibrioception), pain (nociception), body and limb position (proprioception or kinesthetic sense), and relative temperature (thermoception). Other senses sometimes identified are the sense of time, echolocation, itching, pressure, hunger, thirst, fullness of the stomach, need to urinate, need to defecate, and blood carbon dioxide (CO2) levels.

Image credits: Romain DECKER

#17 The Deep Web Is Not Full Of Porn, Drugs And Stolen Bank Details

The area that contains this illegal information is a small portion of the deep web known as the “dark web.” Much of the deep web consists of academic libraries, databases, and anything that isn’t indexed by normal search engines.

Image credits: Brian Rinker

#18 Fortune Cookies Were Invented In Japan, Not China

Fortune cookies, despite being associated with Chinese cuisine in the United States, were invented in Japan and introduced to the US by the Japanese. The cookies are extremely rare in China, where they are seen as symbols of American cuisine.

Image credits: Ankur Gulati

#19 There Was No Widespread Outbreak Of Panic Across The United States In Response To Orson Welles’s 1938 Radio Adaptation Of H.g. Wells’s The War Of The Worlds

Only a very small share of the radio audience was even listening to it, and isolated reports of scattered incidents and increased call volume to emergency services were played up the next day by newspapers, eager to discredit radio as a competitor for advertising. Both Welles and CBS, which had initially reacted apologetically, later came to realize that the myth benefited them and actively embraced it in later years.

Image credits: Acme News Photos

#20 Sign Languages Are Not The Same Worldwide

Aside from the pidgin International Sign, each country generally has its own native sign language, and some have more than one (although there are also substantial similarities among all sign languages).

Image credits: daveynin

#21 The Great Wall Of China Is Not Visible From Space Or From The Moon

The Great Wall of China is not, as is claimed, the only human-made object visible from space or from the Moon. None of the Apollo astronauts reported seeing any specific human-made object from the Moon, and even Earth-orbiting astronauts can see it only with magnification. City lights, however, are easily visible on the night side of Earth from orbit.

Image credits: Severin.stalder

#22 Vikings Didn’t Have Horns On Their Helmets

There is no evidence that Vikings wore horns on their helmets. In fact, the image of Vikings wearing horned helmets stems from the scenography of an 1876 production of the Der Ring des Nibelungen opera cycle by Richard Wagner.

Image credits: Fr. Gaurav Shroff

#23 Christopher Columbus Was Not The First European To Visit The Americas

Leif Erikson, and possibly other Vikings before him, explored Vinland, which was either the island of Newfoundland, part of modern Canada, or a term for Newfoundland and parts of the North American mainland. Ruins at L’Anse aux Meadows prove that at least one Norse settlement was built in Newfoundland, confirming a narrative in the Saga of Erik the Red. Columbus also never reached any land that now forms part of the mainland United States of America; most of the landings Columbus made on his four voyages, including the initial October 12, 1492 landing (the anniversary of which forms the basis of Columbus Day), were on Caribbean islands that are now independent countries.

Image credits: Metropolitan Museum of Art

#24 The Redhead Gene Is Not Becoming Extinct Due To The Gene For Red Hair Being Recessive, Nor Will The Gene For Blond Hair Disappear

Although redheads and blonds may become more rare, they will not die out unless everyone who carries those genes (strictly speaking, alleles) dies or fails to reproduce.

Image credits: Derek Gavey

#25 Sugar Does Not Cause Hyperactivity In Children

Double-blind trials have shown no difference in behavior between children given sugar-full or sugar-free diets, even in studies specifically looking at children with Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or those considered sensitive to sugar.

Image credits: Ryan O'Connell

#26 The Historical Buddha Was Not Obese

The “chubby Buddha” or “laughing Buddha” is a 10th-century Chinese folk hero by the name of Budai. In Chinese Buddhist culture, Budai came to be revered as an incarnation of Maitreya, the Bodhisattva who will become a Buddha to restore Buddhism after the teachings of the historical Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama, have been forgotten.

Image credits: Hornbeam Arts

#27 There Is No Truth To The Claim That The Fisher Space Pen Was Devised As The Result Of Millions Of Dollars Of Unnecessary Spending On Nasa’s Part When The Soviets Used Pencils

Pencils cannot be used in space because the graphite dust and particles they generate pose fire, puncture and inhalation hazards in a low-gravity, high-oxygen environment, something even the Soviets acknowledged. The space pen was independently developed by Paul C. Fisher, founder of the Fisher Pen Company, with $1 million of his own funds. NASA tested and approved the pen for space use, then purchased 400 pens at $6 per pen. The Soviet Union subsequently also purchased the space pen for its Soyuz space flights.

Image credits: Cpg100

#28 Hair Care Products Cannot Actually “Repair” Split Ends And Damaged Hair

They can prevent damage from occurring in the first place, and they can also smooth down the cuticle in a glue-like fashion so that it appears repaired, and generally make hair appear in better condition.

Image credits: Mike Mozart

#29 Vomiting Was Not A Regular Part Of Roman Dining Customs

In ancient Rome, the architectural feature called a vomitorium was the entranceway through which crowds entered and exited a stadium, not a special room used for purging food during meals.

Image credits: Escarlati

#30 George Washington Did Not Have Wooden Teeth

His dentures were made of gold, hippopotamus ivory, lead, animal teeth (including horse and donkey teeth), and probably human teeth purchased from slaves.

Image credits: Glen Stubbe

#31 Bulls Are Not Enraged By The Color Red

Bulls are not enraged by the color red, used in capes by professional matadors. Cattle are dichromats, so red does not stand out as a bright color. It is not the color of the cape, but the perceived threat by the matador that incites it to charge.

Image credits: Nathan Rupert

#32 Hair And Fingernails Do Not Continue To Grow After A Person Dies

Rather, the skin dries and shrinks away from the bases of hairs and nails, giving the appearance of growth.

Image credits: Zeborah

#33 Drowning Is Often Inconspicuous To Onlookers

In most cases, raising the arms and vocalising are impossible due to the instinctive drowning response. Waving and yelling (known as “aquatic distress”) is a sign of trouble, but not a dependable one: most victims demonstrating the instinctive drowning response do not show prior evidence of distress.

Image credits: doublecompile

#34 The Melody Used In “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” Was Not Composed By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart When He Was 5

The melody used in “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”, the “Alphabet Song”, and “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep” was not composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart when he was 5 years old; it was already a popular French folk tune which existed for decades before Mozart composed a series of variations on the tune, when he was 25 or 26.

Image credits: Otto Erich

#35 Mental Abilities Are Not Absolutely Separated Into The Left And Right Cerebral Hemispheres Of The Brain

Some mental functions, such as speech and language (such as Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area), tend to activate one hemisphere of the brain more than the other in some kinds of tasks. If one hemisphere is damaged or removed at an early age, these functions can often be recovered in part, or even in full, by the other hemisphere (see neuroplasticity). Other abilities, such as motor control, memory, and general reasoning, are served equally by the two hemispheres.

Image credits: GreenFlames09

#36 Microwave Ovens Do Not Cook Food From The Inside Out

2.45 GHz microwaves can only penetrate approximately 1 centimeter (0.39 in) into most foods. The inside portions of thicker foods are mainly heated by heat conducted from the outer portions.

Image credits: Bryan Ochalla

#37 Great White Sharks Do Not Mistake Human Divers For Pinnipeds

Their attack behaviors on humans and pinnipeds are very different: when attacking a seal, a great white shark surfaces quickly and violently attacks it. Attacks on humans, on the other hand, are more relaxed and slow: the shark charges at a normal pace, bites, and swims off. Great white sharks have efficient eyesight and color vision; the bite is not predatory, but rather for identification of an unfamiliar object.

Image credits: Elias Levy

#38 Most Diamonds Are Not Formed From Highly Compressed Coal

More than 99 percent of diamonds ever mined have formed in the conditions of extreme heat and pressure about 140 kilometres (87 mi) below the earth’s surface. Coal is formed from prehistoric plants buried much closer to the surface, and is unlikely to migrate below 3.2 kilometres (2.0 mi) through common geological processes. Most diamonds that have been dated are older than the first land plants, and are therefore older than coal. It is possible that diamonds can form from coal in subduction zones and in meteoroid impacts, but diamonds formed in this way are rare and the carbon source is more likely carbonate rocks and organic carbon in sediments, rather than coal.

Image credits: Géry Parent

#39 There Is No Evidence That Jesus Was Born On December 25

The Bible never claims a date of December 25 (he and his followers primarily used the Hebrew calendar, which as a lunisolar calendar does not have a day-to-day correspondence to the fully solar Roman calendar nor its modern-day descendant Gregorian calendar); contextual clues may imply a date in or around September. The fixed date is attributed to Pope Julius the First because in the year 350 AD he declared the twenty-fifth of December the official date of celebration. The date may have initially been chosen to correspond with either the day exactly nine months after Christians believe Jesus to have been conceived, the date of the Roman winter solstice, or one of various ancient winter festivals.

Image credits: Rafa Merelo Guervós

#40 Humans And Dinosaurs (Other Than Birds) Did Not Coexist

The last of the non-avian dinosaurs died 66 million years ago in the course of the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, whereas the earliest members of genus Homo (humans) evolved between 2.3 and 2.4 million years ago. This places a 63-million-year expanse of time between the last non-bird dinosaurs and the earliest humans. Humans did coexist with woolly mammoths and saber-toothed cats—mammals often erroneously depicted alongside humans and dinosaurs.

Image credits: ScottRobertAnselmo

#41 Private Browsing, Such As Incognito Mode, Does Not Protect Users From Being Tracked By Websites Or Their Internet Service Provider

Such entities can still use information such as IP addresses and user accounts to uniquely identify users.

Image credits: Mozilla Foundation

#42 Eskimo Tribes, Such As The Inuit And Aleut, Do Not Have A Disproportionate Number Of Words Representing Snow In Their Languages

The myth comes from a misconstruction of Franz Boas’s original statement noting that Eskimos had a variety of words for various snow-related concepts; Boas noted that the same was true of English.

Image credits: Anna

#43 Ostriches Do Not Stick Their Heads In The Sand To Hide From Enemies

This misconception was probably promulgated by Pliny the Elder (23–79 CE), who wrote that ostriches “imagine, when they have thrust their head and neck into a bush, that the whole of their body is concealed.”

Image credits: Faris Algosaibi

#44 Diet Has Little Influence On The Body’s Detoxification

Detoxification diets “have no scientific basis”, and are a “waste of time and money”. Despite this, there is a common misconception that specific diets aid this process or could remove substances that the body is unable to remove by itself. Toxins are removed from the body by the liver and kidneys.

Image credits: Toni Girl

#45 The Order In Which Different Types Of Alcoholic Beverages Are Consumed Does Not Affect Intoxication Or Create Adverse Side Effects

The order in which different types of alcoholic beverages are consumed (“Grape or grain but never the twain” and “Beer before wine and you’ll feel fine; wine before beer and you’ll feel queer”) does not affect intoxication or create adverse side effects.

Image credits: eltpics

#46 Earthworms Do Not Become Two Worms When Cut In Half

Only a limited number of earthworm species are capable of anterior regeneration. When such earthworms are bisected, only the front half of the worm (where the mouth is located) can feed and survive, while the other half dies. Some species of planarian flatworms, however, actually do become two new planarians when bisected or split down the middle.

Image credits: Dan Brekke

#47 Computers Running Macos Or Linux Are Not Immune To Malware Such As Trojan Horses Or Computer Viruses

Specialized malware designed to attack macOS and Linux systems do exist.

Image credits: Derek Gavey

#48 Shaving Does Not Cause Terminal Hair To Grow Back Thicker (More Dense) Or Darker

This belief is due to hair that has never been cut having a tapered end, whereas after cutting the edge is blunt and therefore thicker than the tapered ends; the cut hair appears to be thicker and feels coarser due to the sharper, unworn edges. The shorter hairs being less flexible than longer hairs also contributes to this effect.

Image credits: Gemma Anne

#49 A Vegetarian Or Vegan Diet Can Provide Enough Protein For Adequate Nutrition

In fact, typical protein intakes of ovo-lacto vegetarians and vegans meet and exceed requirements. However, a vegan diet does require supplementation of vitamin B12 for optimal health.

Image credits: toyohara

#50 Black Holes Have The Same Gravitational Effects As Any Other Equal Mass In Their Place

They will draw objects nearby towards them, just as any other planetary body does, except at very close distances to the black hole. If, for example, the Sun were replaced by a black hole of equal mass, the orbits of the planets would be essentially unaffected. A black hole can act like a “cosmic vacuum cleaner” and pull a substantial inflow of matter, but only if the star from which it formed was already having a similar effect on surrounding matter.

Image credits: Event Horizon Telescope

#51 Female Praying Mantises Rarely Eat The Males During Coitus, Especially In Their Natural Environment

In a study in a laboratory at the University of Central Arkansas, it was observed that 1 out of 45 times the female ate the male before mating and the male ate the female with that same frequency.

Image credits: Reigh LeBlanc

#52 Twinkies Have A Shelf Life Of Approximately 45 Days (25 In Their Original Formulation)

It’s far shorter than the common (and somewhat jocular) myth that Twinkies are edible for decades or longer. They generally remain on a store shelf for only 7 to 10 days

Image credits: Vegan Feast Catering

#53 The Flight Mechanism And Aerodynamics Of The Bumblebee (As Well As Other Insects) Are Actually Quite Well Understood

Despite the urban legend that calculations show that they should not be able to fly, the flight mechanism and aerodynamics of the bumblebee (as well as other insects) are actually quite well understood. In the 1930s, the French entomologist Antoine Magnan indeed postulated that bumblebees theoretically should not be able to fly in his book Le Vol des Insectes (The Flight of Insects). Magnan later realized his error and retracted the suggestion. However, the hypothesis became generalized to the false notion that “scientists think that bumblebees should not be able to fly”.

Image credits: bramblejungle

#54 Toilet Waste Is Never Intentionally Jettisoned From An Aircraft

All waste is collected in tanks and emptied into toilet waste vehicles. Blue ice is caused by accidental leakage from the waste tank. Passenger trains, on the other hand, have indeed historically flushed onto the tracks; modern trains usually have retention tanks on board and therefore do not dispose of waste in such a manner.

Image credits: Kristoferb

#55 Bats Are Not Blind

While about 70 percent of bat species, mainly in the microbat family, use echolocation to navigate, all bat species have eyes and are capable of sight. In addition, almost all bats in the megabat or fruit bat family cannot echolocate and have excellent night vision.

Image credits: Darrell Rudmann

#56 The Word Theory In “The Theory Of Evolution” Does Not Imply Scientific Doubt Regarding Its Validity

The concepts of theory and hypothesis have specific meanings in a scientific context. While theory in colloquial usage may denote a hunch or conjecture, a scientific theory is a set of principles that explains observable phenomena in natural terms. “Scientific fact and theory are not categorically separable”, and evolution is a theory in the same sense as germ theory or the theory of gravitation.

Image credits: Alexas_Fotos

#57 Nonstandard, Slang Or Colloquial Terms Used By English Speakers Are Sometimes Alleged Not To Be Real Words, Despite Appearing In Numerous Dictionaries

All words in English became accepted by being commonly used for a certain period of time; thus, there are many vernacular words currently not accepted as part of the standard language, or regarded as infelicitous in formal speech or writing, but the idea that they are somehow not words is a misconception. Examples of words that are sometimes alleged not to be words include “irregardless”, “conversate”, “funnest”, “mentee”, “impactful”, and “thusly”, all of which appear in numerous dictionaries as English words.

Image credits: Kalliop3

#58 Alcohol Does Not Necessarily Kill Brain Cells

Alcohol can, however, lead indirectly to the death of brain cells in two ways: (1) In chronic, heavy alcohol users whose brains have adapted to the effects of alcohol, abrupt cessation following heavy use can cause excitotoxicity leading to cellular death in multiple areas of the brain. (2) In alcoholics who get most of their daily calories from alcohol, a deficiency of thiamine can produce Korsakoff’s syndrome, which is associated with serious brain damage.

Image credits: raymondclarkeimages

#59 Swallowed Chewing Gum Does Not Take Seven Years To Digest

In fact, chewing gum is mostly indigestible, and passes through the digestive system at the same rate as other matter.

Image credits: waldopepper

#60 Humans Cannot Catch Warts From Toads Or Other Animals

The bumps on a toad are not warts. Warts on human skin are caused by human papillomavirus, which is unique to humans.

Image credits: plizzba

#61 The Accused At The Salem Witch Trials In North America Were Not Burned At The Stake

About 15 died in prison, 19 were hanged and one was pressed to death.

Image credits: HBO

#62 Marie Antoinette Did Not Say “Let Them Eat Cake” When She Heard That The French Peasantry Were Starving Due To A Shortage Of Bread

The phrase was first published in Rousseau’s Confessions when Marie was only nine years old and most scholars believe that Rousseau coined it himself, or that it was said by Maria-Theresa, the wife of Louis XIV. Even Rousseau (or Maria-Theresa) did not use the exact words but actually Qu’ils mangent de la brioche, “Let them eat brioche” (a rich type of bread). Marie Antoinette was an unpopular ruler; therefore, people attribute the phrase “let them eat cake” to her, in keeping with her reputation as being hard-hearted and disconnected from her subjects.

Image credits: wiki

#63 Houseflies Have An Average Lifespan Of 20 To 30 Days, Not 24 Hours

The misconception may arise from confusion with mayflies, which, in some species, have an adult lifespan of as little as 5 minutes. A housefly egg will hatch into a maggot within 24 hours of being laid.

Image credits: How I See Life

#64 The Moscow–Washington Hotline Was Never A Telephone Line, Nor Were Red Phones Used

Although popularly known as the “red telephone”, the Moscow–Washington hotline was never a telephone line, nor were red phones used. The first implementation of the hotline used teletype equipment, which was replaced by facsimile (fax) machines in 1988. Since 2008, the hotline has been a secure computer link over which the two countries exchange emails. Moreover, the hotline links the Kremlin to the Pentagon, not the White House.

Image credits: Dennis van Zuijlekom

#65 In South Korea, It Is Commonly, And Incorrectly, Believed That Sleeping In A Closed Room With An Electric Fan Running Results In “Fan Death”

According to the Korean government: “In some cases, a fan turned on too long can cause death from suffocation, hypothermia, or fire from overheating.” The Korea Consumer Protection Board issued a consumer safety alert recommending that electric fans be set on timers, the direction changed, and any doors to the room be left open. According to Yeon Dong-su, dean of Kwandong University’s medical school, “If it is completely sealed, then in the current of an electric fan, the temperature can drop low enough to cause a person to die of hypothermia.” However, leaving a fan running in an unoccupied room will not cool it down; rather, due to energy losses from the motor and viscous dissipation, a fan will actually slightly heat a room

Image credits: Toshiyuki IMAI

#66 Waking Sleepwalkers Does Not Harm Them

While it is true that a person may be confused or disoriented for a short time after awakening, this does not cause them further harm. In contrast, sleepwalkers may injure themselves if they trip over objects or lose their balance while sleepwalking.

Image credits: Engin_Akyurt

#67 Eating Less Than An Hour Before Swimming Does Not Increase The Risk Of Experiencing Muscle Cramps Or Drowning

One study shows a correlation between alcohol consumption and drowning, but there is no evidence cited regarding the consumption of food or stomach cramps.

Image credits: Tim Pierce

#68 The Black Belt In Martial Arts Does Not Necessarily Indicate Expert Level Or Mastery

It was introduced for judo in the 1880s to indicate competency at all of the basic techniques of the sport. Promotion beyond 1st dan (the first black belt rank) varies among different martial arts. In judo and some other Asian martial arts, holders of higher ranks are awarded alternating red and white panels, and the highest ranks with solid red belts. Other styles’ belts have a number of gold bars to indicate the holder’s dan (rank).

Image credits: Ko Martial Arts

#69 Seasons Are Not Caused By The Earth Being Closer To The Sun In The Summer Than In The Winter, But By The Earth’s 23.4-Degree Axial Tilt

Each Hemisphere is tilted towards the Sun in its respective summer (July in the Northern Hemisphere and January in the Southern Hemisphere), resulting in longer days and more direct sunlight, with the opposite being true in the winter.

Image credits: David Mican

#70 The Daddy Longlegs Spider Is Not The Most Venomous Spider In The World

Though they can indeed pierce human skin, the tiny amount of venom they carry causes only a mild burning sensation for a few seconds.

Image credits: Chris

#71 Earwigs Are Not Known To Purposefully Climb Into External Ear Canals

Though there have been anecdotal reports of earwigs being found in the ear. Entomologists suggest that the origin of the name is actually a reference to the appearance of the hindwings, which are unique and distinctive among insects, and resemble a human ear when unfolded.

Image credits: budak

#72 Neither Cracking One’s Knuckles Nor Exercising While In Good Health Causes Osteoarthritis

Image credits: Graeme Paterson

#73 When Kitty Genovese Was Murdered, 37 Neighbors Did Not Stand Idly By And Watch, Not Calling The Police Until After She Was Dead

When bartender Kitty Genovese was murdered outside her Queens apartment in 1964, 37 neighbors did not stand idly by and watch, not calling the police until after she was dead, as The New York Times initially reported to widespread public outrage that persisted for years. Later reporting established that the police report the Times had initially relied on was inaccurate, that Genovese had been attacked twice in different locations, and while the many witnesses heard the attack they only heard brief portions and did not realize what was occurring, with only six or seven actually reporting seeing anything. Some called police; one said “I didn’t want to get involved”, an attitude later attributed to all the residents who saw or heard part of the attack.

Image credits: nadbasher

#74 Frogs Die Immediately When Cast Into Boiling Water, Rather Than Leaping Out

Furthermore, frogs will attempt to escape cold water that is slowly heated past their critical thermal maximum, as opposed to the belief that a frog would leap out of boiling water, but would stay and boil to death if heated gradually.

Image credits: James Lee

#75 Poinsettias Are Not Highly Toxic To Humans Or Cats

While it is true that they are mildly irritating to the skin or stomach, and may sometimes cause diarrhea and vomiting if eaten, an American Journal of Emergency Medicine study of 22,793 cases reported to the American Association of Poison Control Centers showed no fatalities and few cases requiring medical treatment. According to the ASPCA, poinsettias may cause light to mid-range gastrointestinal discomfort in felines, with diarrhea and vomiting as the most severe consequences of ingestion.

Image credits: AgriLife Today

#76 Egg Balancing Is Possible On Every Day Of The Year, Not Just The Vernal Equinox

There is no relationship between astronomical phenomena and the ability to balance an egg.

Image credits: Darryl E. Clarke

#77 Dogs Do Not Sweat By Salivating

Dogs actually do have sweat glands and not only on their tongues; they sweat mainly through their footpads. However, dogs do primarily regulate their body temperature through panting.

Image credits: Kevin

#78 Snake Jaws Cannot Unhinge

The posterior end of the lower jaw bones contain a quadrate bone, allowing jaw extension. The anterior tips of the lower jaw bones are joined by a flexible ligament allowing them to bow outwards, increasing the mouth gape.

Image credits: Valerie

#79 Flowering Sunflowers Point In A Fixed Direction (Often East) All Day Long

However, in an earlier developmental stage, before the appearance of flower heads, the immature buds do track the sun (a phenomenon called heliotropism) and the fixed alignment of the mature flowers toward a certain direction is often the result.

Image credits: CameliaTWU

#80 It Is Not True That By The Age Of Two Years, Humans Have Generated All Of The Brain Cells They Will Ever Have

This belief was held by medical experts until 1998. It is now understood that new neurons can be created in some parts of the postnatal brain. A 2013 study showed that also in old age, about 700 new neurons are produced in the hippocampus daily.

Image credits: Bev Sykes

#81 Tomato Juice Is Ineffective At Eliminating The Smell Of A Skunk

It only appears to work due to olfactory fatigue. The Humane Society of the United States recommends using a mixture of dilute hydrogen peroxide (3%), baking soda, and dishwashing liquid for dogs that get sprayed.

Image credits: Smithsonian's National Zoo

#82 There Is No Scientific Evidence For The Existence Of “Photographic” Memory In Adults

“Photographic” memory is explained as the ability to remember images with so high a precision as to mimic a camera. The is no evidence that adults have it, but some young children have eidetic memory. Many people have claimed to have a photographic memory, but those people have been shown to have good memories as a result of mnemonic devices rather than a natural capacity for detailed memory encoding. There are rare cases of individuals with exceptional memory, but none of them has a memory that mimics that of a camera.

Image credits: Dark Dwarf

#83 There Are Not Four Primary Tastes, But Five

There are not four primary tastes, but five: in addition to bitter, sour, salty, and sweet, humans have taste receptors for umami, which is a “savory” or “meaty” taste. Fat does interact with specific receptors in taste bud cells, but whether it is a sixth primary taste remains inconclusive.

Image credits: kgroovy

#84 Alcoholic Beverages Do Not Make The Entire Body Warmer

The reason that alcoholic drinks create the sensation of warmth is that they cause blood vessels to dilate and stimulate nerve endings near the surface of the skin with an influx of warm blood. This can actually result in making the core body temperature lower, as it allows for easier heat exchange with a cold external environment.

Image credits: Jeremy Brooks

#85 Stretching Before Or After Exercise Does Not Reduce Muscle Soreness

One research conducted by Herbert, de Noronha, and Kamper examined how stretching affects exercising. Their review of the data gathered concluded that “stretching pre or postexercise did not have important effects on muscle soreness”.

Image credits: pedro alves

#86 Swallowing Gasoline Does Not Generally Require Special Emergency Treatment

As long as it goes into the stomach and not the lungs, and inducing vomiting can make it worse.

Image credits: Alpha

#87 Pulling Or Cutting A Grey Hair Will Not Cause Two Grey Hairs To Grow In Its Place

It will only cause the one hair to grow back because only one hair can grow from each follicle.

Image credits: George Wesley & Bonita Dannells

#88 While Bees Are Important, 60% Of All Human Energy Sources, Such As Crops, Don’t Need Pollination

European honey bees are often described as essential to human food production, leading to claims that without their pollination, humanity would starve or die out. The quote “If bees disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live” has been misattributed to Albert Einstein. In fact, many important crops need no insect pollination at all. The ten most important crops, comprising 60% of all human food energy, all fall into this category.

Image credits: Luc Viatour

#89 All Different Tastes Can Be Detected On All Parts Of The Tongue By Taste Buds

There are slightly increased sensitivities in different locations depending on the person, contrary to the popular belief that specific tastes only correspond to specific mapped sites on the tongue.

Image credits: eltpics

#90 Carrots Do Not Enhance Vision Beyond Normal Levels In Those Receiving An Adequate Amount

While the beta carotene in carrots can help improve night vision in those suffering from a deficiency of vitamin A, it does not enhance it beyond normal levels in those receiving an adequate amount. The belief that it does may have originated from World War II British disinformation meant to explain the Royal Air Force’s improved success in night battles, which was actually due to radar and the use of red lights on instrument panels.

Image credits: Harlan Harris

#91 Searing Meat May Actually Cause It To Lose Moisture In Comparison To An Equivalent Piece Of Meat Cooked Without Searing

There is a common misconception that searing seals in moisture; it does not. Generally, the value in searing meat is that it produces a brown crust with a rich flavor via the Maillard reaction

Image credits: Naotake Murayama

#92 Drinking Milk Or Consuming Other Dairy Products Does Not Increase Mucus Production

As a result, they do not need to be avoided by those with the flu or cold congestion.

Image credits: Julie Jablonski

#93 No Human Genome (Or Any Mammalian Genome For That Matter) Has Ever Been Completely Sequenced

As of 2017, by some estimates, between 4% to 9% of the human genome had not been sequenced.

Image credits: Виталий Смолыгин

#94 All Humans Learn In Fundamentally Similar Ways

In particular, there is no evidence that people have different learning styles, nor that catering teaching styles to purported learning styles improves information retention.

Image credits: elinerijpers



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