We like to think of the future as a light of truth shining before our eyes, whereas the past was filled with darkness and mystery. While it’s true that we’ve come a long way since people were… say… burning those accused of being witches, we’re not entirely off the hook. Here are the top ten myths and misconceptions many of us still may believe.
10. Monosodium Glutamate Triggers Migraines
Delicious. We all love it in our instant noodles or American Chinese food, but not everyone’s stomach is settled by the idea. We’re not quite sure why MSG has a bad rap, invented in Japan in 1909, some people claim they are allergic to it, or that it causes migraines. So far, in careful scientific studies, the migraine effect has not been replicated, so it’s hard to test this theory.
9. Jesus Was born On Christmas Day
Everybody knows that Jesus was born on the 25th of December… despite the lack of historical information to support the claim. The Old Testament even contradicts this: the Bible describes shepherds tending their flocks out in the fields, a fact which suggests he was born in a much warmer month than in winter, when flocks would have been kept in. It’s possible Christmas is celebrated in late December to counter a pagan holiday that was once celebrated at the same time of year, but that one isn’t proven either.
8. Life Expectancy In The Middle Ages
Life in the Medieval Ages could be bad if you were a young child. It was a completely different world where basic sanitation – like rinsing your hands in water – was not at all understood. However, if you were lucky enough to survive your childhood, instead of dying at 30 like the movies say, you’d be more likely to die around 65.
7. The Average Person Does Not Swallow Spiders In Their Sleep
This may be one of the creepiest and least likely. There are only a limited number of spider species that live in our homes, and they’d all rather keep to a corner and help tame your fruit-fly problem than crawl into your open snoring mouth. To a spider, you’re a big noisy predator and survival instincts would never promote such self sacrifice. Remember, they’re much more scared of you than you are of them.
6. Goldfish Have Attention Spans Longer Than A Few Seconds
Maybe it’s anthropocentrism – that is, our tendency to look at everything through the assumption that humans are better or more important than everything else – that leads to us to make untrue assumptions about these little creatures. In reality, research has proven goldfish memory can go back at least as far as 5 whole months. In one study, goldfish were even trained to expect food upon hearing a particular sound. Makes you wonder what other creatures we might be underestimating?
5. Albert Einstein Did Not Fail Mathematics
Isn’t it encouraging to hear that one of the great scientific geniuses of all time was a failure at mathematics as a child? Well, unfortunately that isn’t the case. Albert Einstein actually taught himself geometry and algebra on his own by age 12, and even began learning calculus—a subject commonly taught around age 16.
4. Diet Does Little To Detoxify The Body
You may see products that promise to relieve the toxins, but only your liver and kidney have that ability. Diet has a huge impact on your body, no doubt, with your gut bacteria for example, but it won’t push bad stuff out. We’re not saying make bad choices with the foods you eat, we’re just saying that drinking nothing but carrot juice for a week won’t make up for the beer you drank and the cigarettes you smoked this weekend. Maintain your liver and kidney by drinking your alcohol responsibly.
3. Lightning Can And Does Strike In The Same Place Twice
It might shock you to learn that lightning often hits the same spot many times. If it didn’t, then Benjamin Franklin’s lightning rod, which attracts lightning, couldn’t possibly work. To be honest, we’re not too sure where this one came from, but it sounds good.
2. Columbus Did Not Think The World Was Flat
By the time Christopher Columbus and his soldiers had made their seminal voyage across the ocean, people had a pretty good idea that the world wasn’t flat. We can see a curvature to the Earth when we look ahead at great distances, not only that, ancient Greeks had long before introduced the concept of a spherical world, like the moon and the sun.
1. Shaving Does Not Cause Hair To Grow Back Thicker
This one we’re gonna keep simple. If shaving regrew your hair thicker, then why wouldn’t swimmers who shave their bodies for competition, end up looking like “Cousin It” from the Adams Family? So how many of these did you believe until now? Are you still doubtful about the validity of these statements. Well, lucky for you, all it takes is a web search for you to confirm the results. We hope that at your next party, when someone pulls out one of the erroneous claims on our list, you’ll be able to counter with the proper facts and information.