18 myths everyone believes that are actually false 21



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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.

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. thank you, some of those things I had never heard of but I did think you see the great wall of China from space until the other day when I was I told in here I was wrong..thanks Kerry..you live and learn.

  2. Here’s a debunked myth. Not all alleged News/Media outlets/sites, will apologise when they’ve done something wrong. So long, Starts at 60, I’m about to unlike you! 🙁 Such a shame, I actually used to enjoy this page and your site.

    1 REPLY
    • We are very sorry for offending anyone. It is never our intent to offend anyone. We have completely removed the post and apologise profusely for any misinterpretation. We understand if you feel that way.

  3. An excellent read. Very interesting stuff.
    Now can we do a similar bible list? That should get the comments flowing.

  4. I would question #1 “You could pick up radio stations and phone calls on an old tooth filling”
    There have been documented instances of people living in close proximity to powerful transmitters such as AM broadcast stations having their mercury amalgam fillings act as a rectifier.
    This hasn’t been “debunked”, in fact the popular Myth Busters show tested this very thing.
    Their conclusion was that it was plausible but not very likely.

  5. Very interesting
    I use to be a nanny by trade and yes we used no 12 if we were in their house, after all they crawl and sit on that floor then put their hands in the mouths

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