24 Common Misconceptions You've Believed In Since Forever • MetDaan

24 Common Misconceptions You’ve Believed In Since Forever


In the world we live in today it’s very hard to tell truth from lie. With the use of tools like Photoshop or with clever video editing we can make things appear different than what they really are. Or even simpler: you can just write something and post it online and there will be people who will believe it. After all, if it’s on the Internet, it must be true, right?

Us people, we love fun facts, and we tend to remember little tidbits of information we find interesting or strange or funny. It’s not useful or anything, but things sometimes just stick in your mind, especially if you heard them when you were a kid, and we keep believing in them even when we’re all grown up.

But the truth is out now. This list of fake ‘facts’ will clear up any misconceptions you might have about the Universe. Open your eyes and see!

1. Sucking the fun out of everything

Black holes are not actually cosmic vacuum cleaners. They don’t suck things in from a great distance. However, if something, like dust or gases, comes too close to the black hole it will be captured. This is how the existance of black holes was discovered: you can’t actually see them, but you can see the material that falls in them. Some black holes are so massive they can devour whole stars!


2. Divide and conquer

If you cut an earthworm in half, it won’t actually become two worms. It’s hard to distinguish, but earthworms have a head and a tail. While it’s possible that the part with the head will regenerate its tail and survive, the bit with the tail has no chances to live. However, there is a type of flatworm that can regenerate itself from just 1/300th of its body – it can even grow a new head and, according to research published in the July 2013 issue of the Journal of Experimental Biology, they even keep all of their old memories!


Source: DW

3. Fifty shades of dog

Dogs are colorblind. This doesn’t mean that they can only see different shades of grey. We can see color thanks to special light catching cells in our eyes called cones. Different types of cones corresponds to a different wavelength of light, allowing us to see a different color. Dogs’ eyes don’t have the cones that process red light, so everything they see is in hues of yellow, blue, and grey. You might want to pay attention to this when choosing a new toy for your canine friend. If you get him a red toy, for example, it could be difficult for it to distinguish it from the grass!


Source: Dog Vision

4. As clear as glass

Medieval glass panes are thicker on the bottom. This is a fact that has been taken by some people to mean that glass is liquid, and since it’s actually hard, it’s a supercooled liquid. This is false. Glass is neither solid nor liquid, but somewhere in between:  it’s an amorphous solid. This still wouldn’t explain the medieval glass panes phenomenon, because the movement of the glass atoms is so slow, it’s unnoticeable. Also, there are other examples of even older glass from ancient Egypt which don’t exhibit symptoms of ‘melting.’ So there must be another reason for the glass panes to be thicker on the bottom; perhaps the medieval glassblowers placed them in such a way for greater stability.


Source: Mark Interrante

5. Wonderwall

It is a commonly believed fact that the only man-made object clearly visible from space is the Great Wall of China. However, this is false. The wall can barely be seen even from low orbit, because it’s hard to distinguish it from its surroundings. But there are other man-made objects that can be seen from space, like the pyramids in Egypt. And even simpler things, like city lights.


6. The world is your oyster

But it’s not flat. The fact that there are people today who, with all the technology we have at our disposal,  still believe that the Earth is flat is bewildering. Not even in the Middle Ages did people really believe that. Not even in the time of Ancient Greece: by observing the shadow the Earth cast on the Moon during a lunar eclipse, and the fact that the first visible part of the ship as it appeared on the horizon was its mast, the ancient Greeks had concluded that the Earth was indeed round.


Source: Know Your Meme

7. Low expectations

Average life expectancy in the Middle Ages was very low. This is true if you take into account the high mortality rate for newborn babies, and the high percentage of women who died as a result of complications during childbirth. But if they managed to survive their childhood, and then maintained in good health and avoided being killed in a war, it was fairly normal for people to reach their 50s, and even 60-70 year-olds were not uncommon.


8. Everything that glitters

The fact that goldfish memory span is five seconds, at best, is a lie. Studies have been conducted with one of them involving fish being played a certain noise while being fed. The fish remembered that the sound meant food even five months later.


9. To vaccinate or not to vaccinate

Vaccines do not cause autism. The rumors started back in the 1990s, when a study showed that they were linked to autism. However, this study included only 12 children and there were no control subjects. A further investigation into this publication revealed that the lead researcher had conflicts of interest and had even manipulated evidence. The paper was retracted in 2010. There have been many other studies on this subject, and none of them has shown that vaccines are a cause for autism. But there is plenty of proof of them being beneficial, so, yes, vaccinate your children!


Source: Imgur

10. Are you effing kidding me?

The origin of the f-word is still obscure. There was a theory floating around that in the Middle Ages sex was forbidden unless authorized by the king, and the f-word was an abbreviation which meant “Fornication Under Consent of King.” This isn’t true, however. The word, conjugated like a Latin verb, was encountered for the first time in a coded poem from the 15th century. A probable explanation as to why it hadn’t been mentioned in earlier sources is that it was too rude to be written down.


Source: Imgur

11. A million watt smile

President George Washington’s teeth weren’t really made of wood. It’s true that, having only one real tooth, he used to wear dentures in order to look more respectable and presidential, but in the 18th century, there were better materials to use for the construction of false teeth. Instead of wood, they were made of bone, hippo ivory, and even human teeth, along with lead, gold wires, and brass screws.


Source: Snopes

12. Panic attack!

The myth is that when H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds was first broadcasted on the radio on October 30, 1938, New Yorkers fled their homes in panic, fearing a Martian invasion. The truth is that the story was actually inflated by the newspapers, who used the opportunity to censure their new rival: the radio, which was a relatively new, but fast growing medium and a serious competitor in the delivery of news and advertisements.


Source: Snope

13. Braaaains!

The idea that we only use 10% of our brains is just another urban legend. This would mean that there is so much more potential brain power that we could use, but, it isn’t true. We don’t use all of our brains at once, but we use each part of it for different purposes. The origin of this expression is attributed to Harvard psychologist William James, who originally used it in a metaphorical sense in the 1890s.


14. No detox no worries

Our bodies come equipped with a mechanism for detoxing. This function is performed by the kidneys and the liver, and doesn’t actually depend on what we eat or drink: the toxins are flushed out anyway. This means that the detox diets are completely and utterly pointless.



15. The Theory of Everything

Theory is not the same as hypothesis. A hypothesis is a suggestion, a probable explanation for something, and theory is an explanation which has been scientifically tested and verified. So when people talk about the ‘theory of evolution,’ they don’t mean it’s something that still needs to be debated or proved in order to be accepted as true. In fact, it’s close to being a scientific fact.


16. Bluebloods

Blood doesn’t change colour. It’s always red, no matter if it’s oxygenated or not. So why do veins look blue, and not red? It’s because blue is the only light that can penetrate your skin to illuminate the veins, and is then reflected back. The skin absorbs all the other colours before they can reach that deep.


Source: Vein Experts

17. Penny for your thoughts?

A penny dropped from the top of the Empire State Building won’t kill you. Travelling at a speed of 64.4 mph (103 km/h), it could hurt you, but it won’t injure you seriously, and it definitely won’t kill you, as proved by the Mythbusters.


Source: Shutter

18. This sucks

Don’t worry, it’s not true that you will explode if you are stuck in vaccuum. Your internal fluids won’t boil either. However, the lack of oxygen will first make you lose consciousness, and then you will suffocate to death. So, you would still die, but not in a horrifically gruesome manner.


Source: Guess I’ll Die Then

19. Cancel Columbus Day?

Columbus set out on an expedition in 1492 to discover a sea route to India. He failed in this endeavor, however, and instead supposedly discovered America. But, he never actually landed in America either; he went to Barbados, and then to some parts in Central and South America.


20. Monkey see, monkey do

Lemmings don’t actually commit mass suicides. The common belief that they jump off cliffs was spread thanks to the Academy Award winning documentary film White Wilderness. However, the lemmings in the scene didn’t throw themselves from the cliff voluntarily: they were herded to their deaths by the camera crew.


21. Makes me sick

That people don’t know what a vomitorium is. It’s not a special place where the Romans used to go to throw up in order to make room for more food. They were actually passageways under the seats through which people could quickly leave the auditoriums.


22. Karma Chameleon

It’s a well known fact that chameleons change colour. In fact, it’s what they’re most famous for. However, the reason behind this is not what you think. They don’t do it to blend in with their surroundings, but because that’s how they regulate their temperatures. It’s also their way of expressing emotion: they change colour when they are angry or when they want to attract a mate.


Source: Joanne Ramone

23. The graveyard shift

Elephants don’t actually have an instinct which propels them once they are old to direct themselves to an elephant graveyard and die alone. This legend may have come into being thanks to the fact that elephant skeletons have been found together. However, this can be explained by human involvment (killing the elephants for ivory), or natural die-offs. It’s also possible that starving elephant would gather in places where it’s easier to obtain food, and after a while die there.


Source: Lacasamorett

24. There can only be one

People often feel they have to measure themselves by the standard set by their peers. So, it’s difficult to see all your friends getting married and having babies and dream jobs while you feel like a failure for being the only one not to have their life together. Remember that appearances can be deceiving. Their lives aren’t perfect either, they have their own problems. Point is, no-one has it all the way together. Your time will come, but don’t just wait for amazing things to happen to you, go out and get them!


Source: Providr.com Editorial Team
From: providr

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