100 common myths & misconceptions, the world’s most widespread falsehoods – debunked!

The title says it all! There are so many misconceptions out there today that are taken for granted as absolute truths. Take a look at the list below and see if you have believed any of the widespread falsehoods.

  1. Hair Grows After Death – Hair and fingernails do not continue to grow after a person dies. Rather, the skin dries and shrinks away from the bases of hairs and nails, giving the appearance of growth.
  2. Alcohol Warms – Alcoholic drinks create the sensation of warmth by making blood vessels dilate and stimulating nerve endings in the skin. It can actually make your body temperature fall.
  3. George Washington’s Teeth – George Washington did not have wooden teeth. His dentures were made of gold, hippopotamus ivory, lead, and animal teeth (including horse and donkey). Bling, bling.
  4. Carrots Improve Vision – This myth originated in World War 2. While carrots are healthy, they don’t give you supervision. They can help people with vitamin A deficiency see better, though.
  5. Head in the Sand – Ostriches do not stick their heads in the sand to hide from enemies. This misconception was probably incorrectly promulgated by Pliny the Elder (23–79 CE).
  6. Swallowing Spiders – The urban legend that one swallows lots of spiders during sleep in one’s life has no basis in reality. A sleeping person causes noise and vibrations, making spiders flee.
  7. Great Wall of China – The Great Wall of China is not, as is claimed, the only human-made object visible from the Moon or from space. What can be seen are the many city lights at night.
  8. Napoleon Was Short – At 5’7″, Napoleon Bonaparte was actually taller than the average Frenchman of his time. The nickname le Petit Caporal (The Little Corporal) was a term of affection.
  9. Shaving Thickens Hair – Shaving does not cause hair to grow back thicker, denser, or darker. In reality, shaving cuts hair tips and causes them to be more blunt, making them feel coarser.
  10. Spinning Toilet Water – Water does not consistently drain in a counter-clockwise vortex in basins in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern due to the Coriolis effect.

 

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