For as long as time has existed, there have been myths and legends. We love to talk about interesting facts but sometimes, things can get a bit jumbled along the way.
Much like a game of Chinese whispers, it seems that some things we’ve believed all of our lives could be the opposite, or not true at all.
Here’s 18 myths that have actually been debunked!
1. You could pick up radio stations and phone calls on an old tooth filling
No, a tooth filling will not act as an antenna! This is one Dad told us but is very false indeed.
2. A goldfish has a memory of only 3 seconds
Strange, but not true. A team actually trained a goldfish to remember an obstacle course a month after it had last swam through it. Other fish studies have shown fish have normal memories – so don’t forget to feed yours!
3. Leave the light on instead of turning it off – it’ll save electricity
The team on popular show MythBusters have debunked this common myth. They calculated that the power surge from turning on a light would only consume as much power as leaving it on for a fraction of a second. Also, the wear and tear of turning a light on and off repeatedly did not reduce the bulb’s total life expectancy enough to offset the increased electricity usage. So…it is better turn a light off rather than leaving it on.
4. A cereal box has more nutritional value than the food inside it
While there’s a lot of sugar and other bad stuff in cereals these days, they do hold at least a little nutritional value. As for cardboard, is has no nutritional value AND it has toxic chemicals.
5. Your eyeballs can be ejected by a sneeze
You might have heard that opening your eyes whilst sneeze would make them pop out but nope, not true. People with eyelid disorders are able to sneeze with their eyes effectively open.
6. Toast will always land butter side down
If you’ve ever dropped toast, this feels like it’s the true but actually, like anything, there is a 50/50 chance that a dropped piece of toast will land on the buttered side.
7. We have different tongue parts used for different tastes
This one was debunked many years ago and scientists have been trying to change peoples’ minds ever since. We don’t just taste sugar in one spot and salt in another.
8. The Great Wall of China is the only monument visible from space
Years ago, astronauts dispelled this myth – you can see several things from space but the Great Wall isn’t one of them.
9. We have only 5 senses
Sight, sound, taste, touch and smell are our senses, right? Actually, we have more like 20 senses, including balance, pain, pleasure, fullness and itching.
10. Shaving thickens hair
This seems like a myth that was perpetuated by waxing companies, because it’s false. Shaving hair does not make it thicker, it just looks like it.
11. Don’t wake a sleep walker
You might have heard that you shouldn’t wake a sleep walker but you can – they’ll be a bit disoriented but it’s worth it as they could harm themselves otherwise.
12. The five-second rule
If you drop food, you can eat it as long as it wasn’t on the floor for more than five seconds, right? Actually, no. Once the food hits the floor, it gets the germs immediately.
13. Vikings wore horned helmets
When we think of Vikings, we often think of horned helmets. But actually the 9th century Oseburg tapestry that myth is based on shows a God performing a ritual with the horned helmet, meaning they weren’t a Viking.
14. Napoleon was short
Everyone’s been convinced Napoleon Bonaparte was short and an angry little man but in fact, at 5 foot 6, he was the average height for his time.
15. You have to drink 8 glasses of water a day
While good advice to drink more water, you do not have to drink 8 glasses to stay hydrated. 2-4 glasses is fine. If you’re thirsty, drink.
16. Chewing gum stays in your stomach for 7 years
It’s true that it doesn’t digest but that doesn’t mean it lingers in your stomach forever. It will come out with everything else!
17. Cracking knuckles gives you arthritis
This is false – so crack away! It’s simply air bubbles releasing and does not present a risk.
18. Fingernails and hair keep growing after you die
Nope – once you die, everything in your body does too, even your hair and fingernails.