Common Misconceptions They Won’t Teach You The Truth About In School

What would you say if you learned that most of the “fun-facts” you’ve grown up hearing are completely untrue? Sometimes rumors and myths are passed around enough until they become taken as common knowledge and true fact. Here are the most common misconceptions you probably still believe are true.

You Only Use 10% Of Your Brain

This common misconception is entirely false, and was apparently made popular by Albert Einstein who used it as a possible way of explaining his superior intellect. In reality, we use virtually every part of our brains, and each part is active most of the time. So there’s no untapped human potential that we can turn on with a special pill. Just gotta learn the old fashioned way.

You Shouldn’t Eat One Hour Before Swimming

Your mom never let you jump in the pool right after lunch, you had to wait an hour before getting wet. Why? To prevent your muscles from cramping up so you don’t drown. Well, it seems like there was no basis for this rule, as scientists have found absolutely no evidence of this correlation. The only food/beverage related correlation to a higher risk of drowning is alcohol, so the rule should have been “don’t get wasted an hour before swimming.”

Twinkies Never Go Bad

If your plan was to survive off of Twinkies when the apocalypse hits, you need to formulate a new one, quick. The idea that Twinkies don’t expire is completely false. In fact, Twinkies have a shelf life of only a meager 25 days. You wouldn’t last a month.

Bulls Hate The Color Red

You’ve seen the Matadors in Spain with the fancy suits with the gold shoulder pads who piss off giants bulls for sport. This (cruel) tradition has led many to believe that the red cape he waves in front of the bull is the thing that gets it riled up. The truth is, it wouldn’t matter what color was on that cape, because bulls cannot see the color red. They would have no idea what color was being waved in their faces. The thing that makes them react is the threat of the matador himself.

Taking Vitamin C Can Fight Off a Cold

Whenever you think you’re coming down with something, it’s often recommended to take some Vitamin C to try and fight it off. Vitamin C actually does nothing against the common cold itself, so once you’ve gotten the virus you’re gonna have to wait it out. It does, however, help to strengthen your immune system so that your body is more able to fight off potential cold and flu viruses, so you have less of a chance of getting one in the first place. 

Touching Toads Will Give You Warts

A warty toad held in a human hand
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We’re pretty sure that this common misconception came from the bumps often located on the back of a toad, which do look reminiscent of the warts humans sometimes get on their bodies. In reality, those froggy bumps are not warts, and humans cannot possibly catch warts from frogs or any other, non-human animal for that matter. 

Vikings Wore Helmets With Horns

A very sad viking costume
German Gift Outlet

The idea of the opera singing blonde with braids and a huge, horned helmet is probably what comes to mind when you hear about vikings. But actually, that famous horned helmet was probably never worn by a Viking. The horned helmets found by archaeologists long predate the Viking era, and went out of fashion long before they came about. Also, they would be entirely impractical for war, so they would have no reason to add them to their armour.

Sunflowers Always Face The Sun

This common misconception has become the basis for many an inspirational poster, but it is unfortunately untrue. What is true is that baby sunflowers (like, before they grow flowerheads) do track the sun during development, but once they are in bloom, they stay in one spot, sun or no sun. 

Shaving Makes Your Hair Grow Back Darker

If you shave your face/legs/pits/etc. once, you’ll have to keep on doing it forever because your hair will grow back thicker and darker from now on, right? Wrong. There is absolutely no evidence that this is what happens, plus it wouldn’t really make sense that all of a sudden your hair changes its color and thickness because it was cut. The blunt edge of newly shaved hair may appear more prickly and dark, but in reality nothing has changed (except maybe puberty).

An Undercover Has to Admit They Are a Cop If You Ask Them 

This is a total and complete myth that is widely accepted as fact purely because Hollywood made it so. How many movies have you seen where the gangster acts “hey, are you a cop?” and when the guy says no, they feel better about committing crimes. An undercover cop doesn’t have to tell you jack about who he is. Hence, undercover.

If You Drop a Penny From The Empire State Building It Can Kill Someone

A penny weighs about a gram (.0022 lbs) and hits terminal velocity at around 25 mph, which means it will not continue gaining speed and will stay at this velocity until it hits the ground. Something so small travelling so relatively slowly will most certainly not be able to kill anyone, even a direct hit to the head. It will probably hurt though, and it could do some damage on the eyes.

Albert Einstein Failed Math

This one’s probably gonna hurt all you dreamers out there who are terrible at math but still want to become mathematical geniuses. Albert Einstein failed one entrance exam in school, but he actually did quite well in the math section. Also, he ended up studying a bit more and retaking the exam, which he ultimately passed. Sorry to let your hopes down.

Never Wake a Sleepwalking Person

This is actually kind of a dangerous misconception because doing so could potentially put the sleepwalker’s life in danger. Waking a sleepwalking person will not cause a heart attack or any medical issue. The worst that can happen is the sleepwalker will be groggy and confused for a few moments until he fully awakens. If you let him go off on his sleepy adventure, however, he could end up falling out a window or trying to operate a vehicle. Wake them up.

You Cannot File a Missing Persons Report Until 24 Hours Have Passed

There is in no way, shape, or form a rule like this, and if you have any knowledge whatsoever of a person going missing you should tell the police ASAP. Acting quickly in these situations will make the odds of relocating that missing person a lot higher. Don’t wait.

A Goldfish Has a 3-Second Memory Span

“You have the memory of a goldfish” is actually not as insulting as you might think. Goldfish have one of the better memories of fish, and studies have shown that they remember music, voices, and locations. Their memory span has been proven to be around 5 months, not 3 seconds.

Going Out In The Cold With Wet Hair Will Make You Sick

Nope, it’s not true. Colds and flus come from viruses that you are more likely to catch if you go outside at all, but there is zero connection to the state of your hair. While having wet hair outside won’t get you sick, having wet hair and not wearing enough clothing to stay warm could potentially give you hypothermia. Which is much more severe than a cold, so dress up properly!

Adam And Eve Ate An Apple In The Garden Of Eden

Adam and Eve at the Tree of Knowledge
Holy Trinity Roehampton

In the Judeo-Christian Bible in the book of Genesis, Adam and Eve get tempted by a talking snake who convinces them to eat from the Tree of Knowledge, which God had forbidden them to do. While the Bible refers to this fruit as “the forbidden fruit”, most modern interpretations show the fruit as an apple. However there was never an apple mentioned at all, it could have been anything.

The Great Wall of China Can Be Seen From Space

Despite many rumors of this being true, and despite the enormous size of the wall, this World Wonder cannot be seen from space, especially by the human eye alone looking out the window of a rocketship. Eventually, astronauts were able to use a super-zoom lens camera to spot tiny sections of the wall from the International Space Station, but we think that’s pushing it. 

Satan Is The Ruler Of Hell

God is in charge up top, and Satan rules the underworld with a fiery fist. At least according to the Bible, right? Actually, nowhere in the Bible does it say that Satan rules Hell. In fact, God is said to have cast Satan, the fallen angel, to walk the Earth. So if Satan does happen to be in hell, it’s God who put him there. If you end up going there too, you could be roommates.

Different Parts Of Your Tongue Detect Different Tastes 

You’ve probably heard that different sections of your tongue are there to pick up on different types of tastes like sweet, salty, and sour. You might have even done that thing where you try putting sugar and salt on different parts of your tongue to see if it was true. Although it’s a cool thought, it’s entirely untrue. All parts of your tongue pick up all types of tastes.Certain parts of your tongue can be more sensitive to certain tastes, though it’s definitely not split up into a neat little chart like you thought. 

1 Comment
  1. Another myth perpetuated above. Vitamin C does nothing to boost or strengthen the immune system. The immune system is hugely complicated and complex and even now not fully understood. The only thing that can benefit or boost the immune system is vaccination, which gives the immune system the chance to combat pathogens that have not yet naturally entered the body, hence a sort of forward preparation for an assault, rather than a reaction to an assault.

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