Common myths we all thought to be true.
1. Carrots improve your vision.
Reasoning: The beta carotene in carrots can convert to vitamin A, which can improve your vision. However, once your body has enough beta carotene, it no longer makes that conversion.
2. Toads give you warts.
Reasoning: Toads might have a bumpy, wart-like appearance, but that doesn't mean that they're the culprit behind warts. That dubious distinction goes to the human papillomavirus, or HPV, of which there are more than 170 strains.
3. Going Out With Wet Hair Makes You Sick.
Reasoning: On the contrary, both the common cold and the flu are caused by viruses, not by a damp do.
4. You only use 10% of your brain.
Reasoning: We use virtually every part of the brain, and most of the brain is active almost all the time.
5. Sugar makes you hyper.
Reasoning: When you're kids are running around like lunatics at a birthday party, that's because they're excited, not because they're high off of cupcakes and candy.
6. Coffee stunts your growth.
Reasoning: Though consumption of caffeine has been linked to calcium loss, it's not nearly enough to affect your bones.
5. Swimming after eating will give you major cramps.
Reasoning: There are no known incidents of a person cramping up and drowning all because they swam right after eating.
6. Napoleon was short.
Reasoning: The military leader was measured in French inches, which were longer than English inches. As a result, though Bonaparte is put at 5' 2", he was actually closer to 5' 7".
7. Alcohol kills brain cells.
Reasoning: Alcohol cannot kill brain cells, but it does have the ability to damage dendrites and make it increasingly difficult for the neurons to communicate.
8. You can only get cancer if someone in your family has had it.
Reasoning: Though many people think that they can't get cancer because it doesn't run in their family, that simply isn't the case.
9. Shaved hair grows back thicker.
Reasoning: You can go ahead and shave your hair without worrying about it thickening. The only thing that shaving can do is give hair a blunt tip, which can make it feel coarse or stubbly.
10. Bats are blind.
Reasoning: Not only are bats not blind, but some of the bigger species can see 3 times better than humans.
11. Einstein failed math.
Reasoning: Einstein was actually really good at math. He did fail a college entrance exam for a polytechnic school in Zurich, but funnily enough, the one part of the test that he passed was the math section.
12. The Great Wall of China is visible from space.
Reasoning: NASA disproved this common myth when, back in 2004, they took a photo from the International Space Station and concluded that the wall is invisible to the unaided eye in low Earth orbit.
13. Your Tongue Has Different Taste Regions.
Reasoning: The ability to taste sweet, salty, sour, and bitter isn't sectioned off to different parts of the tongue. Rather, the various receptors that can sense all of the different tastes are dispersed all over the tongue.
14. Toilets flush in different directions in different hemispheres.
Reasoning: The only thing that changes the direction is the shape of the toilet and the angle the water enters it.
15. You shouldn't touch baby birds.
Reasoning: In reality, a mother bird will not even know her baby has been handled by a human.
16. Milk Creates Mucus.
Reasoning: Milk might make your phlegm seem thicker, but it isn't kicking your body into mucus making overdrive.
17. Cracking Knuckles Causes Arthritis.
Reasoning: Cracking knuckles did not cause arthritis.
18. Everyone Died Young in the Middle Ages.
Reasoning: It wasn't uncommon to live to be anywhere from 60 to 80 years old.
19. Poinsettias Are Deadly.
Reasoning: If a child ate five or so leaves, they might throw up, but they wouldn't die. Holly berries, on the other hand, are toxic.
20. Alcohol Warms You Up.
Reasoning: Alcohol might make you feel warm, but it slows down your circulation and actually makes you colder.
21. Sharks Don't Get Cancer.
Reasoning: Scientists have known for over a century that sharks get cancer.
22. Germs Live on Toilet Seats.
Reasoning: Many organisms that cause disease can only live on a toilet seat for a very short time.
23. Coffee Dehydrates You.
Reasoning: The mild dehydrating effect of caffeine is offset by the amount of water in a cup of coffee.
24. It Takes Seven Years to Digest Gum.
Reasoning: Gum actually isn't digestible at all, same as the fiber in popcorn kernels. Like that fiber, it passes through your body without being digested.
25. Frightened Ostriches Stick Their Heads in the Ground.
Reasoning: Ostriches keep their eggs in holes in the sand instead of nests, and they use their beaks to move them around.
26. A Duck's Quack Doesn't Echo.
Reasoning: The quacking of a duck is the same as any other sound. It echoes, although it may do so quietly, since a single duck quacking isn't particularly loud.
27. Mount Everest Is the Tallest Mountain.
Reasoning: Mount Everest is the tallest mountain above sea level, but the tallest mountain from base to peak is actually Mauna Kea in Hawaii, which is nearly a mile taller than Everest when you factor in the 19,700' of it that exist in the Pacific Ocean. .
28. Fortune cookies are associated with Chinese cuisine.
Reasoning: They were actually invented in Japan, and are almost never eaten in China, where they are seen as American.
29. Twinkies can still be eaten after 50 or even 100 years.
Reasoning: Twinkies have a shelf life of approximately 45 days, 25 in their original formulation, far shorter than the common myth that Twinkies are edible for decades or longer. They generally remain on a store shelf for only 7 to 10 days.
30. Searing Steaks Seals In The Juices.
Reasoning: Searing does not seal moisture in meat, in fact, it causes it to lose some moisture. Meat is seared to brown it, improving its color and flavor.
31. You have to wait 24 hours before reporting a missing person to the police.
Reasoning: It is rarely necessary to wait 24 hours before filing a missing person report. In instances where there is evidence of violence or of an unusual absence, law enforcement agencies in the United States often stress the importance of beginning an investigation promptly.
32. Fortune cookies are associated with Chinese cuisine.
Reasoning: Edelweiss" is not the national anthem of Austria, but an original composition created for the musical The Sound of Music. The Austrian national anthem is Land der Berge, Land am Strome, Land of the Mountains, Land on the River.
33. All religions teach that there is a God or Gods.
Reasoning: Not all religions teach that there is a god or gods in the Western sense. For example, Buddhism and Jainism do not have a creator god and Unitarian Universalism has no creed at all.
34. Abner Doubleday invented baseball.
Reasoning: Abner Doubleday did not invent baseball, nor did it originate in Cooperstown, NY. It is believed to have evolved from other bat and ball games such as cricket and rounders and first took its modern form in New York City.
35. Words such as: irregardless, conversate, funnest, mentee, impactful, and thusly, are not real words.
Reasoning: Nonstandard, slang, or colloquial terms used by English speakers are sometimes alleged not to be real words, despite appearing in numerous dictionaries. All words in English became accepted by being commonly used for a certain period of time, thus, there are many vernacular words currently not accepted as part of the standard language, or regarded as inappropriate in formal speech or writing, but the idea that they are somehow not words is a misconception.
36. MSG in Chinese food cause headaches.
Reasoning: Monosodium glutamate, MSG, does not trigger migraine headaches or other symptoms of so called Chinese restaurant syndrome.
37. Rather than serve time in prison or jail, I can enlist in any armed force in the U.S.
The U.S. Armed Forces have generally forbidden military enlistment as a form of deferred adjudication, since the 1980s. U.S. Navy protocols discourage the practice, while the other 4 branches have specific regulations against it.
38. Bob Marley wrote and sang the song: Don't Worry, Be Happy.
Reasoning: Don't Worry, Be Happy, written and sung by Bobby McFerrin, is commonly believed to be sung by Bob Marley instead. A YouTube video entitled Bob Marley - Don't worry be Happy, has over 146 million views. However, the famous reggae musician Marley never recorded a version of Don't Worry, Be Happy, as he died 7 years before the song was written. Three Little Birds, which Marley did write, includes a similar line: Don't worry about a thing, every little thing's gonna be all right.
39. The expiration date on foods is the last date the product can be safely consumed.
Reasoning: Most food is edible long after its expiration date, with the exception of some perishables.
40. A law enforcement officer must always identify himself as such.
Reasoning: The United States does not require police officers to identify themselves as police in the case of a sting or other undercover work, and police officers may lie when engaged in such work. Claiming entrapment as a defense instead focuses on whether the defendant was induced by undue pressure, such as threats, or deception from law enforcement to commit crimes they would not have otherwise committed.
41. The apple was specifically mentioned in the bible, and other texts.
Reasoning: The forbidden fruit mentioned in the Book of Genesis is never identified as an apple, a misconception widely depicted in Western art. The original Hebrew texts mention only tree and fruit. Early Latin translations use the word mali, which can mean either evil or apple depending on if the A is short or long respectively, although the difference in vowel length had already vanished from speech in Latin at the time. In early Germanic languages the word apple and its cognates usually simply meant fruit. German and French artists commonly depict the fruit as an apple from the 12th century onwards, and John Milton's Areopagitica from 1644 explicitly mentions the fruit as an apple. Jewish scholars have suggested that the fruit could have been a grape, a fig, an apricot, or an etrog.
42. The word fuck is an acronym for: For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge.
Reasoning: The word fuck did not originate in Christianized Anglo Saxon England as an acronym for Fornication Under Consent of King, nor did it originate as an acronym for For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, either as a sign posted above adulterers in the stocks, or as a criminal charge against members of the British Armed Forces, nor did it originate during the 15th-century Battle of Agincourt as a corruption of pluck yew, an idiom falsely attributed to the English for drawing a longbow. Modern English was not spoken until the 16th century, and words such as fornication and consent did not exist in any form in English until the influence of Anglo-Norman in the late 12th century. The earliest certain recorded use of fuck in English comes from c. 1475, in the poem Flen flyys, where it is spelled fuccant, conjugated as if a Latin verb meaning they fuck. It is of Proto-Germanic origin, and is related to either Dutch fokken and German ficken or Norwegian fukka.
43. Jane Russell wore a special bra during filming of The Outlaw.
Reasoning: Jane Russell never wore a special bra designed by director Howard Hughes during filming of The Outlaw. She said the ridiculous contraption hurt so much I never wore it in The Outlaw, and he never knew. He wasn't going to take my clothes off to check if I had it on. I just told him I did.
44. The Middle Ages were a time of ignorance, barbarism and superstition.
Reasoning: The Middle Ages were not a time of ignorance, barbarism and superstition, and the Church did not place religious authority over personal experience and rational activity. Historian of science Edward Grant writes that: If revolutionary rational thoughts were expressed in the Age of Reason, they were made possible because of the long medieval tradition that established the use of reason as one of the most important of human activities.
45. Cinco de Mayo is Mexico's Independence Day.
Reasoning: Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's Independence Day, but the celebration of the Mexican Army's victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Mexico's Declaration of Independence from Spain in 1810 is celebrated on September 16..
46. The color of a red cape enrages a bull.
Reasoning: The color of a red cape does not enrage a bull, movement does.
47. The daddy longlegs spider is the most venomous spider in the world.
Reasoning: The daddy longlegs spider is not the most venomous spider in the world, though they can pierce human skin, the tiny amount of venom they carry causes only a mild burning sensation for a few seconds. In addition, there is confusion regarding the use of the name daddy longlegs, because harvestmen, order Opiliones, which are arachnids, but not spiders, crane flies, which are insects, and male mosquitoes, also insects, are also sometimes called daddy longlegs in regional dialects, and may occasionally share the misconception of being venomous.
48. Sunflowers always point to the sun.
Reasoning: Sunflowers do not always point to the sun. Flowering sunflowers face a fixed direction, often east, all day long, but not necessarily the sun.
49. Computers running macOS or Linux are immune to malware such as trojan horses or computer viruses.
Reasoning: Computers running macOS or Linux are not immune to malware such as trojan horses or computer viruses. Specialized malware designed to attack macOS and Linux systems does exist. However, the vast majority of viruses are developed for Microsoft Windows..
50. Income is the only direct factor in determining credit score.
Reasoning: Income is not a direct factor in determining credit score in the United States. Rather, credit score is impacted by the amount of unused available credit, which is in turn affected by income. Income is also considered when evaluating creditworthiness more generally.
51. Waking sleepwalkers is dangerous.
Reasoning: Waking sleepwalkers does not harm them. While it is true that a person may be confused or disoriented for a short time after awakening, this does not cause them further harm. In contrast, sleepwalkers may injure themselves if they trip over objects or lose their balance while sleepwalking.
52. Babies don't experience pain.
Reasoning: Infants can and do feel pain.
53. Shaving causes terminal hair to grow back thicker.
Reasoning: Shaving does not cause terminal hair to grow back thicker, more dense, or darker. This belief is due to hair that has never been cut having a tapered end, whereas, after cutting, the edge is blunt and therefore thicker than the tapered ends; the sharper, unworn edges make the cut hair appear thicker and feel coarser. That short hairs are less flexible than longer hairs also contributes to this effect.
54. People need to drink 8 glasses of water per day.
Reasoning: Drinking 8 glasses, 2–3 liters, of water a day is not needed to maintain health. The amount of water needed varies by persons weight, diet, activity level, clothing, and environment, heat and humidity. Water does not actually need to be drunk in pure form, but can be derived from liquids such as juices, tea, milk, soups, etc., and from foods including fruits and vegetables.
55. An examination of the hymen is an accurate or reliable test of a previous history of sexual activity.
Reasoning: There is no physiological test for virginity, and the condition of the hymen says nothing about a person's sexual experience. Bleeding is not directly associated with first vaginal sexual intercourse, and indicates nothing about sexual experience. Physical virginity tests have no scientific merit.
56. Mental abilities are separated into the left and right cerebral hemispheres of the brain..
Reasoning: Mental abilities are not absolutely separated into the left and right cerebral hemispheres of the brain. Some mental functions, such as speech and language, tend to activate one hemisphere of the brain more than the other in some kinds of tasks. If one hemisphere is damaged or removed at an early age, these functions can often be recovered in part, or even in full, by the other hemisphere. Other abilities, such as motor control, memory, and general reasoning, are served equally by the two hemispheres.
57. Eating nuts, popcorn, or seeds increases the risk of diverticulitis.
Reasoning: Eating nuts, popcorn, or seeds does not increase the risk of diverticulitis. These foods may actually have a protective effect.
58. Al Gore invented the Internet.
Reasoning: Al Gore never said that he had invented the Internet. What Gore actually said was: During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet, in reference to his political work towards developing the Internet for widespread public use. Gore was the original drafter of the High Performance Computing and Communication Act of 1991, which provided significant funding for supercomputing centers, and this in turn led to upgrades of a major part of the already existing early 1990s Internet backbone, the NSFNet,and development of NCSA Mosaic, the browser that popularized the World Wide Web.
59. Diamonds cannot be scratched or damaged.
Reasoning: Diamonds are not infinitely hard, and are subject to wear and scratching, although they are the hardest known material on Mohs Scale, they can be scratched by other diamondsand worn down even by much softer materials, such as vinyl records.
60. Poisoned candy and fruit stories are a serious problem.
Reasoning: Poisoned candy and fruit stories have been thoroughly debunked. No cases of strangers killing or permanently injuring children this way have ever been proven, and there have been no reports of a stranger harming a child with poisoned candy or apples. Anxieties about poisoned candy may have originated from media coverage of Ronald Clark O'Bryan, a father who gave his own son cyanide laced candy on Halloween, and the infamous Chicago Tylenol murders that occurred one month prior to Halloween in 1982 and involved the anonymous and deadly poisoning of over-the-counter drugs.
61. The mob makes regular use of cement shoes.
Reasoning: Neither the mafia nor other criminal organizations have used cemented shoes to drown their victims. This method has only been used in single cases to submerge already dead bodies.
62. Blue ice is jettisoned from an aircraft on a regular basis.
Reasoning: Toilet waste is never intentionally jettisoned from an aircraft. All waste is collected in tanks and emptied into toilet waste vehicles. Blue ice is caused by accidental leakage from the waste tank. Passenger trains, on the other hand, have indeed historically flushed onto the tracks; modern trains usually have retention tanks on board and therefore do not dispose of waste in such a manner.
63. Phil Collins song In the Air Tonight, is about witnessing someone drowning.
Reasoning: Phil Collins did not sing his 1981 hit In the Air Tonight about witnessing someone drowning and then confronting the person in the audience who let it happen.
64. Jesus was born on December 25.
Reasoning: Jesus was most likely not born on any date corresponding to December 25, the date on which his birth is traditionally celebrated as Christmas. It is more likely that his birth was in either the season of spring or perhaps summer, while December 25 in the Northern Hemisphere is at the beginning of winter. Also, although the Common Era ostensibly counts the years since his birth, it is unlikely that he was born in either AD 1 or 1 BC, as such a numbering system would imply. Modern historians estimate a date closer to between 6 BC and 4 BC. .
65. The burqa, is a female garment only worn by Muslims.
Reasoning: The burqa, also spelled burka or burkha, is a female Muslim garment originating in Central Asia that covers the woman's entire body, head and face, including her eyes, with a mesh window or grille for the woman to see. The term is often incorrectly used to refer to other Muslim garments worn by women, such as the niqab, which shows the eyes, and the hijab, which shows the entire face but conceals the rest of the body, including the hair. While the burqa is often light blue or white, the niqab is generally black and the hijab is a veil that can be of any color.
66. A black belt in martial arts indicates an expert.
Reasoning: The black belt in martial arts does not necessarily indicate expert level or mastery. It was introduced for judo in the 1880s to indicate competency at all of the basic techniques of the sport. Promotion beyond 1st dan, the first black belt rank, varies among different martial arts. In judo and derived martial arts such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu, holders of higher master ranks are awarded alternating red and white panels, and the highest grandmasters wear solid red belts. Other arts such as taekwondo use black belts with a number of gold bars to indicate the holder's dan rank. .
67. General Motors had to rename the Nova in Latin American markets.
Reasoning: The Chevrolet Nova sold very well in Latin American markets, General Motors did not need to rename the car. While no va does mean doesn't go in Spanish, nova is understood as new and drivers in Mexico and Venezuela where it was first sold bought it eagerly. There was no need to change the model name, despite claims to the contrary.
68. Jihad means holy war.
Reasoning: The word jihad does not always mean holy war, literally, the word in Arabic means struggle. While there is such a thing as jihad bil saif, or jihad by the sword, many modern Islamic scholars usually say that it implies an effort or struggle of a spiritual kind. Scholar Louay Safi asserts that misconceptions and misunderstandings regarding the nature of war and peace in Islam are widespread in both the Muslim societies and the West, as much following 9/11 as before.
69. The word crap originated as a shortened version of British plumber Thomas Crapper.
Reasoning: The word crap did not originate as a back formation of British plumber Thomas Crapper's surname, nor does his name originate from the word crap, although the surname may have helped popularize the word. The surname Crapper is a variant of Cropper, which originally referred to someone who harvested crops.The word crap ultimately comes from Medieval Latin crappa, meaning chaff.
70. Ancient Greek sculptures have always been grey in color.
Reasoning: Ancient Greek sculptures were originally painted bright colors.
71. The Vikings wore horned helmets.
Reasoning: There is no evidence that Vikings wore horns on their helmets, this would have been highly impractical in battle. In fact, the image of Vikings wearing horned helmets stems from the scenography of an 1876 production of the Der Ring des Nibelungen opera cycle by Richard Wagner. .
72. Plate armor of European soldiers was so heavy they used a crane to mount horses. to get them into a saddle..
Reasoning: The plate armor of European soldiers did not stop soldiers from moving around or necessitate a crane to get them into a saddle. They would as a matter of course fight on foot and could mount and dismount without help. In fact, soldiers equipped with plate armor were more mobile than those with mail armor, chain armor, as mail was heavier and required stiff padding beneath due to its pliable nature. It is true that armor used in tournaments in the late Middle Ages was significantly heavier than that used in warfare, which may have contributed to this misconception.
73. Marco Polo imported pasta from China.
Reasoning: Marco Polo did not import pasta from China, a misconception that originated with the Macaroni Journal, published by an association of food industries with the goal of promoting the use of pasta in the United States. Marco Polo describes a food similar to lasagna in his Travels, but he uses a term with which he was already familiar. Durum wheat, and thus pasta as it is known today, was introduced by Arabs from Libya, during their conquest of Sicily in the late 9th century, according to the newsletter of the National Macaroni Manufacturers Association, thus predating Marco Polo's travels to China by about four centuries.
74. The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 was caused by Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicking over a lantern.
Reasoning: The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 was not caused by Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicking over a lantern. A newspaper reporter later admitted to having invented the story to make colorful copy.
75. Rosa Parks was sitting in the front section of the bus during the event that made her famous and incited the Montgomery bus boycott.
Reasoning: Rosa Parks was not sitting in the front section of the bus during the event that made her famous and incited the Montgomery bus boycott. Rather, she was sitting in the front of the back section of the bus, where African Americans were expected to sit, but refused to give up her seat to a white man who asked for it, which was also the expected action of African Americans at the time.
76. The Fisher Space Pen was commissioned by NASA at a cost of millions of dollars.
Reasoning: The Fisher Space Pen was not commissioned by NASA at a cost of millions of dollars, while the Soviets used pencils. It was independently developed by Paul C. Fisher, founder of the Fisher Pen Company, with $1 million of his own funds. NASA tested and approved the pen for space use, then purchased 400 pens at $6 per pen. The Soviet Union subsequently also purchased the space pen for its Soyuz spaceflights.
77. Old elephants that are near death leave their herd and instinctively travel to the elephants graveyard.
Reasoning: Old elephants that are near death do not leave their herd and instinctively direct themselves toward a specific location known as an elephants graveyard to die.
78. People swallow eight spiders in their sleep yearly.
Reasoning: The widespread urban legend that one swallows a high number of spiders during sleep in one's life has no basis in reality. A sleeping person causes all kinds of noise and vibrations by breathing, their heart's beating, snoring etc., all of which warn spiders of danger. .
79. Humans evolved from one of the living species of chimpanzees.
Reasoning: Humans did not evolve from either of the living species of chimpanzees. Humans and chimpanzees did, however, evolve from a common ancestor. The most recent common ancestor of humans and the living chimpanzees lived between 5 and 8 million years ago.
80. The deep web is primarily full of pornography, illegal drug trade websites and stolen bank details.
Reasoning: The deep web is not primarily full of pornography, illegal drug trade websites and stolen bank details. The area that contains this illegal information is a small portion of the deep web known as the dark web. Much of the deep web consists of academic libraries, databases, and anything that is not indexed by normal search engines.
81. Global warming is caused by the hole in the ozone layer.
Reasoning: Global warming is not caused by the hole in the ozone layer. Ozone depletion is a separate problem caused by chlorofluorocarbons, CFCs, which have been released into the atmosphere by devices such as refrigerators and aerosol spray cans. CFCs were phased out, beginning with the 1987 Montreal Protocol. In contrast, global warming is caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane. These gases are emitted by a wide variety of man made sources, including cars, coal burning power plants, and meat production. Unlike CFCs, this form of pollution has not been phased out, and the problem is ongoing.
82. Stretching before or after exercise reduces muscle soreness.
Reasoning: Stretching before or after exercise does not reduce muscle soreness.
83. Pulling or cutting a grey hair will cause2 2 grey hairs to grow in its place.
Reasoning: Pulling or cutting a grey hair will not cause two grey hairs to grow in its place. It will only cause the one hair to grow back because only one hair can grow from each follicle.
84. A vegetarian or vegan diet won't provide enough protein for adequate nutrition.
Reasoning: A vegetarian or vegan diet can provide enough protein for adequate nutrition. In fact, typical protein intakes of ovo lacto vegetarians and vegans meet or exceed requirements. However, a vegan diet does require supplementation of vitamin B12 for optimal health.
85. Vitamin C does prevents the common cold.
Reasoning: Vitamin C does not prevent the common cold, although it may have a protective effect during intense cold weather exercise. If taken daily, it may slightly reduce the duration and severity of colds, but it has no effect if taken after the cold starts.
86. Pregnancies from sex between first cousins carry a huge risk of birth defects.
Reasoning: While pregnancies from sex between first cousins do carry a small risk of birth defects, this risk is often exaggerated: The risk is 5% to 6%, similar to that of a 40 year old woman giving birth,[ compared with a baseline risk of 3% to 4%. The effects of inbreeding depression, while still relatively small compared to other factors, and thus difficult to control for in a scientific experiment, become more noticeable if isolated and maintained for several generations.
87. George Washington Carver invented peanut butter.
Reasoning: George Washington Carver did not invent peanut butter. He is credited with compiling hundreds of uses for and products that could be made from peanuts, some of which, like peanut butter, were variants of products that already existed, and hundreds more for soybeans, pecans, and sweet potatoes to promote his system of crop rotation.
88. Most diamonds are formed from highly compressed coal.
Reasoning: Most diamonds are not formed from highly compressed coal. More than 99% of diamonds ever mined have formed in the conditions of extreme heat and pressure about 87 miles below the earth's surface. Coal is formed from prehistoric plants buried much closer to the surface, and is unlikely to migrate below 2 miles through common geological processes. Most diamonds that have been dated are older than the first land plants, and are therefore older than coal. It is possible that diamonds can form from coal in subduction zones and in meteoroid impacts, but diamonds formed in this way are rare and the carbon source is more likely carbonate rocks and organic carbon in sediments, rather than coal.
89. The ancient Greeks deliberately designed the Parthenon to match the golden ratio.
Reasoning: There is no evidence that the ancient Greeks deliberately designed the Parthenon to match the golden ratio. The Parthenon was completed in 438 BCE, more than a century before the first recorded mention of the ratio by Euclid. Similarly, Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man makes no mention of the golden ratio in its text, although it describes many other proportions.
90. Certain peple are gifted with a photographic memory.
Reasoning: There is no scientific evidence for the existence of photographic memory in adults, the ability to remember images with so high a precision as to mimic a camera, but some young children have eidetic memory. Many people have claimed to have a photographic memory, but those people have been shown to have good memories as a result of mnemonic devices rather than a natural capacity for detailed memory encoding. There are rare cases of individuals with exceptional memory, but none of them has a memory that mimics that of a camera.
91. Car batteries godead if placed on a concrete floor.
Reasoning: Automotive batteries stored on a concrete floor do not discharge any faster than they would on other surfaces, in spite of worry among Americans that concrete harms batteries. Early batteries with porous, leaky cases may have been susceptible to moisture from floors, but for many years lead acid car batteries have had impermeable polypropylene cases. While most modern automotive batteries are sealed, and do not leak battery acid when properly stored and maintained, the sulfuric acid in them can leak out and stain, etch, or corrode concrete floors if their cases crack or tip over or their vent holes are breached by floods.
92. Seeds are the spicy part of chili peppers.
Reasoning: Seeds are not the spicy part of chili peppers. In fact, seeds contain a low amount of capsaicin, the component which induces the hot sensation in mammals. The highest concentration of capsaicin is located in the placental tissue, the pith, to which the seeds are attached.
93. Spices were used to mask the flavor of rotting meat before refrigeration.
Reasoning: Spices were not used to mask the flavor of rotting meat before refrigeration. Spices were an expensive luxury item, those who could afford them could afford good meat, and there are no contemporary documents calling for spices to disguise the taste of bad meat.
94. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantee freedom of speech anywhere.
Reasoning: The First Amendment to the United States Constitution generally only prevents government restrictions on the freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly, or petition, not restrictions imposed by private individuals or businesses unless they are acting on behalf of the government. Other laws may restrict the ability of private businesses and individuals to restrict the speech of others.
95. At 5 years old, Mozart composed: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, The Alphabet Song, & Baa, Baa, Black Sheep
Reasoning: The melody of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, The Alphabet Song, & Baa, Baa, Black Sheep was not composed by Mozart when he was 5 years old, it was already a popular French folk tune when he composed a series of variations on the tune, when he was 25 or 26.
96. Mary Magdalene was a prostitute.
Reasoning: The idea that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute before she met Jesus is not found in the Bible or in any of the other earliest Christian writings. The misconception likely arose due to a conflation between Mary Magdalene, Mary of Bethany, who anoints Jesus's feet in John 11:1–12, and the unnamed sinful woman who anoints Jesus's feet in Luke 7:36–50.
97. Atheists don't believe in gods.
Reasoning: Not all atheists believe that no gods exist. Definitions of atheism vary: it is at least the absence of belief in the existence of gods; it may also be the position that gods do not exist.
98. The term 420 is a Police Code used to reference Marijuana use.
Reasoning: 420 did not originate from the Los Angeles police or penal code for marijuana use. In California, Police Code 420 means juvenile disturbance, and California Penal Code section 420 prohibits the obstruction of access to public land. The use of 420 started in 1971 at San Rafael High School, where it indicated the time, 4:20 p.m., when a group of students would go to smoke.
99. Julius Caesar was born via caesarean section..
Reasoning: Contrary to popular belief, Roman dictator Julius Caesar was not born via caesarean section. Such a procedure would have been fatal to the mother at the time, and historical evidence indicates Caesar's mother being alive during his own lifetime. Although the names are similar, the caesarean section was not named after Caesar, as is commonly believed, more likely is that it is derived from the Roman verb caedere, meaning to cut.
100.Chastity belts, devices designed to prevent women from having sexual intercourse.
Reasoning: Whether chastity belts, devices designed to prevent women from having sexual intercourse, were invented in medieval times is disputed by modern historians. Most existing chastity belts are now thought to be deliberate fakes or anti-masturbatory devices from the 19th and early 20th centuries. The latter were made due to the widespread belief that masturbation could lead to insanity, and were mostly bought by parents for their teenage children.
101.Pilgrims always wore black.
Reasoning: Contrary to the popular image of the Pilgrim Fathers, the early settlers of the Plymouth Colony in North America usually did not wear all black, and their capotains hats were shorter and rounder than the widely depicted tall hat with a buckle on it. Instead, their fashion was based on that of the late Elizabethan era, doublets, jerkins and ruffs. Both men and women wore the same style of shoes, stockings, capes, coats and hats in a range of colors including reds, yellows, purples, and greens. According to Plimoth Plantation historian James W. Baker, the traditional image was formed in the 19th century when buckles were a kind of emblem of quaintness. The Puritans, who also settled in Massachusetts near the same time, did frequently wear all black.
102.The Alaska Purchase was generally unpopular in the United States, both among the public and the press.
Reasoning: The Alaska Purchase was generally popular in the United States, both among the public and the press. The opponents of the purchase who characterized it as Seward's Folly, alluding to William H. Seward, the Secretary of State who negotiated it, represented a minority opinion at the time.
103.The Rolling Stones were performing Sympathy for the Devil at the 1969 Altamont Free Concert when Meredith Hunter was stabbed to death.
Reasoning: The Rolling Stones were not performing Sympathy for the Devil at the 1969 Altamont Free Concert when Meredith Hunter was stabbed to death by a member of the local Hells Angels chapter that was serving as security. While the incident that culminated in Hunter's death began while the band was performing the song, prompting a brief interruption before the Stones finished it, it concluded several songs later as the band was performing Under My Thumb. The misconception arose from mistaken reporting in Rolling Stone.
104.Seasons are caused by the entire Earth being closer to the Sun in the summer than in the winter.
Reasoning: Seasons are not caused by the entire Earth being closer to the Sun in the summer than in the winter, but by the Earth's 23.4° axial tilt. Each hemisphere is tilted towards the Sun in its respective summer, July in the Northern Hemisphere and January in the Southern Hemisphere, resulting in longer days and more direct sunlight, with the opposite being true in the winter.
105.Great white sharks mistake human divers for seals.
Reasoning: Great white sharks do not mistake human divers for pinnipeds. Their attack behaviors on humans and pinnipeds are very different, when attacking a seal, a great white shark surfaces quickly and violently attacks it. Attacks on humans, on the other hand, are more relaxed and slow, the shark charges at a normal pace, bites, and swims off. Great white sharks have efficient eyesight and color vision, the bite is not predatory, but rather for identification of an unfamiliar object.
106.Houseflies have an average lifespan of 24 hours.
Reasoning: Houseflies have an average lifespan of 20 to 30 days, not 24 hours. The misconception may arise from confusion with mayflies, which, in some species, have an adult lifespan of as little as 5 minutes. A housefly egg will hatch into a maggot within 24 hours of being laid.
107.Humans and dinosaurs, other than birds, coexisted.
Reasoning: Humans and dinosaurs, other than birds, did not coexist. The last of the non avian dinosaurs died 66 million years ago in the course of the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, whereas the earliest members of genus Homo, humans, evolved between 2.3 and 2.4 million years ago. This places a 63 million year expanse of time between the last no -bird dinosaurs and the earliest humans. Humans did coexist with woolly mammoths and saber-toothed cats, mammals often erroneously depicted alongside dinosaurs.
108.Private browsing makes my online activity completely invisible.
Reasoning: Private browsing, such as incognito mode, does not protect users from being tracked by websites or their internet service provider, ISP. Such entities can still use information such as IP addresses and user accounts to uniquely identify users.
109.In South Korea, it is believed that sleeping in a closed room with an electric fan running results in fan death.
Reasoning: In South Korea, it is commonly, and incorrectly, believed that sleeping in a closed room with an electric fan running results in fan death. According to the Korean government: In some cases, a fan turned on too long can cause death from suffocation, hypothermia, or fire from overheating. The Korea Consumer Protection Board issued a consumer safety alert recommending that electric fans be set on timers, the direction changed, and any doors to the room be left open. According to Yeon Dong-su, dean of Kwandong University's medical school, If it is completely sealed, then in the current of an electric fan, the temperature can drop low enough to cause a person to die of hypothermia. However, leaving a fan running in an unoccupied room will not cool it down; rather, energy losses from the motor and viscous dissipation will together actually cause a fan to slightly heat a room. The cooling effect of a fan is instead a result of wind chill.
110.Humans have just 4 distinct tastes.
Reasoning: There are not 4 primary tastes, but 5, in addition to bitter, sour, salty, and sweet, humans have taste receptors for umami, which is a savory or meaty taste. Fat does interact with specific receptors in taste bud cells, but whether it is a sixth primary taste remains inconclusive.
111.Our fingernails continue growing after we die.
Reasoning: A person's hair and fingernails do not continue to grow after death. Rather, the skin dries and shrinks away from the bases of hairs and nails, giving the appearance of growth.
112.Obesity is related to slower resting metabolism.
Reasoning: Obesity is not related to slower resting metabolism. Resting metabolic rate does not vary much between people. Weight gain and loss are directly attributable to diet and activity. Overweight people tend to underestimate the amount of food they eat, and underweight people tend to overestimate. In fact, overweight people tend to have faster metabolic rates due to the increased energy required by the larger body.
113.Penis size is related to hand size.
Reasoning: Hand size does not predict human penis size, but finger length ratio may.
114.By the age of 2 years, humans have generated all of the brain cells they will ever have
Reasoning: It is not true that by the age of 2 years, humans have generated all of the brain cells they will ever have, a belief held by medical experts until 1998. It is now understood that new neurons can be created in some parts of the postnatal brain. A 2013 study showed that also in old age, about 700 new neurons are produced in the hippocampus daily.
115.Thomas Edison invented the light bulb
Reasoning: Thomas Edison did not invent the light bulb. He did, however, develop the first practical light bulb in 1880, employing a carbonized bamboo filament, shortly prior to Joseph Swan, who invented an even more efficient bulb in 1881, which used a cellulose filament.
116.Lightning never strikes the same place twice.
Reasoning: The idea that lightning never strikes the same place twice is one of the oldest and best-known superstitions about lightning, but has no basis in evidence. Lightning in a thunderstorm in a given area is more likely to strike objects and spots the more prominent or conductive they are. Lightning strikes the Empire State Building in New York City about 100 times per year.
117.Violent video games create negative effects on humans, cause people to become violent.
Reasoning: There is no evidence that violent video games have any negative effects on humans, cause people to become violent. While there are examples of video games influencing the behavior of culprit individuals, such as the perpetrators of the Columbine High School massacre, studies have consistently found no link between aggression and violent video games, and the popularity of gaming has coincided with a decrease in youth violence. Nonetheless, the moral panic surrounding video games in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, alongside isolated incidents and legislation in many countries, likely contributed to proliferating this notion.
118.Eating turkey meat makes us sleepy.
Reasoning: Turkey meat is not particularly high in tryptophan, and does not cause more drowsiness than other foods.
119.Twinkies are the cause of San Francisco mayor George Moscone's and supervisor Harvey Milk's murders
Reasoning: Twinkies were not claimed to be the cause of San Francisco mayor George Moscone's and supervisor Harvey Milk's murders. In the trial of Dan White, the defense successfully argued White's diminished capacity as a result of severe depression. While eating Twinkies was cited as evidence of this depression, it was never claimed to be the cause of the murders.
120.Mozart was poisoned by a friend.
Reasoning: Mozart did not die from poisoning, and was not poisoned by his colleague Antonio Salieri or anyone else. The false rumor originated soon after his death, and was dramatized in the well known 1984 film Amadeus.
121.Whipped cream was invented by François Vatel.
Reasoning: Whipped cream was not invented by François Vatel at the Château de Chantilly in 1671, the recipe is attested at least a century earlier in Italy, but the name crème chantilly only in the 19th century.
122.Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, LDS Church, practice polygamy.
Reasoning: Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, LDS Church, no longer practice polygamy. Currently, the LDS Church excommunicates any members who practice polygamy within the organization. However, some Mormon fundamentalist sects still practice polygamy within their groups.
123.The use of triangular corner flags in English football is a privilege reserved for those teams that have won an FA Cup in the past,
Reasoning: The use of triangular corner flags in English football is not a privilege reserved for those teams that have won an FA Cup in the past, despite a wide belief to the contrary that inspired a scene in the film Twin Town. The Football Association's rules are silent on the subject, and often the decision over what shape flag to use has been up to the individual club's groundskeepers.
124.Sign languages are the same worldwide.
Reasoning: Sign languages are not the same worldwide. Aside from the pidgin International Sign, each country generally has its own native sign language, and some have more than one, although there are also substantial similarities among all sign languages.
125.The word gringo as a term for someone foreign to Latin America originated during the Mexican American War, the Venezuelan War of Independence, the Mexican Revolution, or from the American Old West.
Reasoning: The word gringo as a term for someone foreign to Latin America did not originate during the Mexican American War, the Venezuelan War of Independence, the Mexican Revolution, or from the American Old West as a corruption of the English lyrics green grow in either Green Grow the Lilacs, Irish folk song, or Green Grow the Rushes, O, English folk song, as sung by US soldiers or cowboys, nor did it originate during any of these times as a corruption of Green, go home, falsely said to have been shouted at green clad American troops. The word originally simply meant foreigner, and is probably a corruption of the Spanish word griego for Greek, along the lines of the idiom It's Greek to me.
126.The Roman salute, in which the arm is fully extended forwards or diagonally with fingers touching, was actually used in ancient Rome for greeting or any other purpose.
Reasoning: There is no evidence that the Roman salute, in which the arm is fully extended forwards or diagonally with fingers touching, was actually used in ancient Rome for greeting or any other purpose. The idea that the salute was popular in ancient times originated in the 1784 painting Oath of the Horatii by French artist Jacques-Louis David, which inspired later salutes, most notably the Nazi salute.
127.Iron maidens were used for torture.
Reasoning: There is no evidence that iron maidens were used for torture, or even yet invented, in the Middle Ages. Instead they were pieced together in the 18th century from several artifacts found in museums in order to create spectacular objects intended for commercial exhibition.
128.Christopher Columbus was the first European to visit the Americas.
Reasoning: Christopher Columbus was not the first European to visit the Americas, Leif Erikson, and possibly other Vikings before him, explored Vinland, which was either the island of Newfoundland, part of modern Canada, or a term for Newfoundland and parts of the North American mainland. Ruins at L'Anse aux Meadows prove that at least one Norse settlement was built in Newfoundland, confirming a narrative in the Saga of Erik the Red. Columbus also never reached any land that now forms part of the mainland United States of America; most of the landings Columbus made on his 4 voyages, including the initial October 12, 1492 landing, the anniversary of which forms the basis of Columbus Day, were on Caribbean islands that are now independent countries.
129.Signing of the United States Declaration of Independence occurred on July 4, 1776
Reasoning: The signing of the United States Declaration of Independence did not occur on July 4, 1776. After the Second Continental Congress voted to declare independence on July 2, the final language of the document was approved on July 4, and it was printed and distributed on July 4–5. However, the actual signing occurred on August 2, 1776.
130.There was widespread outbreak of panic across the United States in response to Orson Welles's 1938 radio adaptation of H.G. Wells's The War of the Worlds.
Reasoning: There was no widespread outbreak of panic across the United States in response to Orson Welles's 1938 radio adaptation of H.G. Wells's The War of the Worlds. Only a very small share of the radio audience was even listening to it, and isolated reports of scattered incidents and increased call volume to emergency services were played up the next day by newspapers, eager to discredit radio as a competitor for advertising. Both Welles and CBS, which had initially reacted apologetically, later came to realize that the myth benefited them and actively embraced it in later years.
131.The red telephone, the Moscow/Washington hotline, is a real thing.
Reasoning: Although popularly known as the red telephone, the Moscow/Washington hotline was never a telephone line, nor were red phones used. The first implementation of the hotline used teletype equipment, which was replaced by facsimile, fax, machines in 1988. Since 2008, the hotline has been a secure computer link over which the 2 countries exchange emails. Moreover, the hotline links the Kremlin to the Pentagon, not the White House.
132.Illinois was the first state to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Reasoning: Illinois was not the first state to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day on September 17, 1973, Connecticut had already done so earlier that year, on June 14.
133.Dogs age 7 times faster than humans.
Reasoning: Dogs do not age consistently 7 times as quickly as humans. Aging in dogs varies widely depending on the breed, certain breeds, such as giant dog breeds and English bulldogs, have much shorter lifespans than average. Most dogs age consistently across all breeds in the first year of life, reaching adolescence by one year old, smaller and medium sized breeds begin to age more slowly in adulthood.
134.Mice prefer cheese to anything else.
Reasoning: Mice do not have a special appetite for cheese, and will eat it only for lack of better options. Mice actually favor sweet, sugary foods. It is unclear where the myth came from.
135.Earwigs are named so because they crawl into ears.
Reasoning: Earwigs are not known to purposely climb into external ear canals, though there have been anecdotal reports of earwigs being found in the ear. Entomologists suggest that the origin of the name is actually a reference to the appearance of the hindwings, which are unique and distinctive among insects, and resemble a human ear when unfolded.
136.Petroleum originates from decaying dinosaurs
Reasoning: Petroleum does not originate from dinosaurs but rather bacteria and algae.
137.Human blood in veins is actually blue
Reasoning: Human blood in veins is not actually blue. Hemoglobin gives blood its red color. Deoxygenated blood, in veins, has a deep red color, and oxygenated blood, in arteries, has a light cherry red color. The misconception probably arises for two reasons: 1) Veins below the skin appear blue or green. This is due to a variety of reasons only weakly dependent on the color of the blood, including subsurface scattering of light through the skin, and human color perception. 2) Many diagrams use colors to show the difference between veins, usually shown in blue, and arteries, usually shown in red.
138.The gene for red hair is becoming extinct.
Reasoning: The gene for red hair is not becoming extinct, nor will the gene for blonde hair do so, although both are recessive alleles. Redheads and blondes may become rarer but will not die out unless everyone who carries those alleles dies or fails to reproduce.
139.The existence of the vaginal G-spot is a definite real thing.
Reasoning: There is no definitive proof of the existence of the vaginal G-spot, and the general consensus is that no such spot exists on the female body.
140.Stress causes hypertension.
Reasoning: Stress plays a relatively minor role in hypertension. Specific relaxation therapies are not supported by the evidence. Acute stress has been shown to temporarily increase blood-pressure levels. Evidence from observational studies has shown a possible association between chronic stress and a sustained rise in high blood pressure. From the medical perspective, stress plays a small part in hypertension, whereas a recurring theme in studies of the attitudes of lay people was that stress was by far the most important cause.
141.Joseph-Ignace Guillotin invented and died by the Guillotin.
Reasoning: Although physician Joseph-Ignace Guillotin is famous for the apparatus named after him, he neither invented nor was executed with this device. He died peacefully on his own bed in 1814.
142.Lift force is generated by the air taking the same time to travel above and below an aircraft's wing.
Reasoning: It is not true that lift force is generated by the air taking the same time to travel above and below an aircraft's wing. This misconception, sometimes called the equal transit/time fallacy, is widespread among textbooks and nontechnical reference books, and even appears in pilot training materials. In fact, the air moving over the top of an aerofoil generating lift is always moving much faster than the equal transit theory would imply, as described in the incorrect and correct explanations of lift force.
143.The Bermuda Triangle has more shipwrecks or mysterious disappearances than most other waterways.
Reasoning: The Bermuda Triangle does not have any more shipwrecks or mysterious disappearances than most other waterways.
144.Microwave ovens cook food from the inside out.
Reasoning: Microwave ovens do not cook food from the inside out. 2.45 GHz microwaves can only penetrate approximately ⅜" into most foods. The inside portions of thicker foods are mainly heated by heat conducted from the outer portions.
145.Mozart was Austrian.
Reasoning: Mozart was not Austrian. During his life, Salzburg was not part of the Archduchy of Austria, but an essentially sovereign state called the Prince Archbishopric of Salzburg within the Bavarian Circle of the Holy Roman Empire. It was only in 1805, 14 years after his death, that Salzburg was annexed to the Austrian Empire.
146.St. Peter's Basilica is the mother church of Roman Catholicism
Reasoning: St. Peter's Basilica is not the mother church of Roman Catholicism, nor is it the official seat of the Pope. These equivalent distinctions belong to the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran, which is located in Rome outside of Vatican City but over which the Vatican has extraterritorial jurisdiction. This also means that St. Peter's is not a cathedral in the literal sense of that word. St. Peter's is, however, used as the principal church for many papal functions.
147.The word "the" was pronounced or spelled "ye" in Old or Middle English.
Reasoning: The word "the" was never pronounced or spelled "ye" in Old or Middle English. The confusion, seen in the common stock phrase "ye olde," derives from the use of the character thorn (þ), which in Middle English represented the sound now represented in Modern English by "th." In blackletter, þ and y were difficult to distinguish, meaning that "þe", Middle English the.svg) very closely resembled "ye."
148.The expression, rule of thumb, originated from a law allowing a man to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb.
Reasoning: The expression, rule of thumb, did not originate from a law allowing a man to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb, and there is no evidence that such a law ever existed. The true origin of this phrase remains uncertain, but the false etymology has been broadly reported in media including The Washington Post, CNN (1993), and Time magazine (1983).
149.Vikings named Iceland "Iceland" as a ploy to discourage others from settling it.
Reasoning: Vikings did not name Iceland "Iceland" as a ploy to discourage others from settling it. Naddodd and Hrafna-Flóki Vilgerðarson both saw snow and ice on the island when they traveled there, giving the island its name. Greenland, on the other hand, was named in the hope that it would help attract settlers.
150.Salem witchs were burned at the stake.
Reasoning: The accused at the Salem witch trials in North America were not burned at the stake, about 15 died in prison, 19 were hanged and one was pressed to death.
151.Cowboy hats were always popular in the Western American frontier
Reasoning: Cowboy hats were not initially popular in the Western American frontier, with derby or bowler hats being the typical headgear of choice. Heavy marketing of the Stetson Boss of the Plains model in the years following the American Civil War was the primary driving force behind the cowboy hat's popularity, with its characteristic dented top not becoming standard until near the end of the 19th century.
152.U.S. President John F. Kennedy's words "Ich bin ein Berliner" are standard German for "I am a Berliner." was correct.
Reasoning: U.S. President John F. Kennedy's words "Ich bin ein Berliner" are standard German for "I am a Berliner." There is a widespread belief that by not leaving out the indefinite article "ein," he changed the meaning of the sentence from the intended "I am a citizen of Berlin" to "I am a Berliner", a Berliner being a type of German pastry, similar to a jelly doughnut, amusing Germans throughout the city. Although the word "Berliner" is used for a jelly doughnut in the north, west and southwest of Germany, it is not used in Berlin itself or the surrounding region, where the usual word is "Pfannkuchen", literally "pancake".
153.Female praying mantises eat the males during coitus, especially in their natural environment.
Reasoning: Female praying mantises rarely eat the males during coitus, especially in their natural environment. In a study in a laboratory at the University of Central Arkansas, it was observed that 1 out of 45 times the female ate the male before mating and the male ate the female with that same frequency.
154.Trickle down theory of economics works flawlessly.
Reasoning: Trickle down theory of economics does not work.
155.Urine is sterile.
Reasoning: Urine is not sterile, not even in the bladder.
156.For people with eczema, bathing dries the skin.
Reasoning: In people with eczema, bathing does not dry the skin and may in fact be beneficial.
157.Gunnison, Colorado, avoided the 1918 flu pandemic by using protective sequestration.
Reasoning: Gunnison, Colorado, did not avoid the 1918 flu pandemic by using protective sequestration. The implementation of protective sequestration did prevent the virus from spreading outside a single household after a single carrier came into the town while it was in effect, but the sequestration was not sustainable and had to be lifted in February 1919. A month later, the flu hit the town, killing 5 and infecting dozens of others.
158.Carrots improve your vision.
Reasoning: A penny dropped from the Empire State Building would not kill a person or crack the sidewalk, though it could cause injury.
159.Dyslexia is a cognitive disorder characterized by the reversal of letters or words and mirror writing.
Reasoning: Dyslexia is not a cognitive disorder characterized by the reversal of letters or words and mirror writing. It is a disorder of people who have at least average intelligence and who have difficulty in spelling words, reading quickly, writing words, sounding out words in the head, pronouncing words when reading aloud, or understanding what they read. Although some dyslexics also have problems with letter reversal, it is not a symptom. Letter reversal can be a characteristic in some cases of dyslexia, but dyslexia is not diagnosed on the basis of seeing or writing letters or words backward or in reverse.
160.Legal tender laws in the United States state that a private business, a person, or an organization must accept cash for payment.
Reasoning: Legal tender laws in the United States do not state that a private business, a person, or an organization must accept cash for payment, though it must be regarded as valid payment for debts tendered to a creditor. Violent crime in the United States decreased between 1993 and 2017. The violent crime rate fell 49% in that period, and the number of gun homicides has decreased.
161.The historical Buddha is known to have been obese.
Reasoning: The historical Buddha is not known to have been obese. The chubby Buddha or laughing Buddha is a 10th-century Chinese folk hero by the name of Budai. In Chinese Buddhist culture, Budai came to be revered as an incarnation of Maitreya, the Bodhisattva who will become a Buddha to restore Buddhism after the teachings of the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, have been forgotten.
162.The Quran promisse martyrs 72 virgins in heaven.
Reasoning: The Quran does not promise martyrs 72 virgins in heaven. It does mention companions, houri, to all people martyr or not in heaven, but no number is specified. The source for the 72 virgins is a hadith in Sunan al-Tirmidhi by Imam Tirmidhi. Hadiths are sayings and acts of the prophet Muhammad as reported by others, and as such they are not part of the Quran itself. Muslims are not meant to necessarily believe all hadiths, and that applies particularly to those hadiths that are weakly sourced, such as this one. Furthermore, the correct translation of this particular hadith is a matter of debate. In the same collection of Sunni hadiths, however, the following is judged strong (hasan sahih): There are 6 things with Allah for the martyr. He is forgiven with the first flow of blood, he suffers, he is shown his place in Paradise, he is protected from punishment in the grave, secured from the greatest terror, the crown of dignity is placed upon his head—and its gems are better than the world and what is in it he is married to seventy 2 wives among wide eyed houris (Al-Huril-'Ayn) of Paradise, and he may intercede for seventy of his close relatives.
163.Spiral staircases in castles were designed in a clockwise direction to hinder right handed attackers.
Reasoning: Spiral staircases in castles were not designed in a clockwise direction to hinder right handed attackers. While clockwise spiral staircases are more common in castles than anti-clockwise, they were even more common in medieval structures without a military role such as religious buildings. Studies of spiral stairs in castle have concluded that the role and position of spirals in castles had a much stronger domestic and status role than a military function and that there are sufficient examples of anticlockwise stairs in Britain and France in the 11th and 12th centuries to indicate that the choice must have depended both on physical convenience and architectural practicalities and there was no military ideology that demanded clockwise staircases in the cause of fighting efficiency or advantag.
164.Jerry Lewis was a revered celebrity in France.
Reasoning: Jerry Lewis was not a revered celebrity in France. He was renowned in French filmmakers' and critics' circles for the full control he exerted over his films and the unorthodox techniques he used in them, but this did not extend to the general public. Lewis was held in similarly high esteem among critics in much of continental Europe.
165.The Chinese word for crisis is composed of the symbols for danger and opportunity.
Reasoning: The Chinese word for crisis is not composed of the symbols for danger and opportunity, the first does represent danger, but the second instead means inflection point, the original meaning of the word crisis. The myth was perpetuated mainly by a campaign speech from John F. Kennedy.
166.The anti Italian slur wop originated from an acronym for without papers or without passport.
Reasoning: The anti Italian slur wop did not originate from an acronym for without papers or without passport, as is widely believed, it is actually derived from the term guappo roughly meaning thug, and was in use by 1908, predating modern immigration laws. A variant etymology indicates that the derogatory term is from the Italian dialectal guappo meaning dandy, from Spanish guapo.
167.Adults in the Middle Ages were expected to live to an average of 30 or 40 years old.
Reasoning: While it is true that modern life expectancies are much higher, by any measure, than they were in the Middle Ages and earlier, there is no evidence that adults in the Middle Ages were expected to live to an average of 30 or 40 years old. According to statistics this was the average at birth, as earlier low life expectancies were very strongly influenced by high infant and adolescent mortality. On the other hand, the average life expectancy among people who lived to adulthood was much higher. A 21 year old man in medieval England, for example, could by one estimate expect to live to the age of 64. Age specific forecasts, particularly life expectancy after childhood, can be dramatically different from life expectancy at birth, especially in preindustrial times.
168.Christopher Columbus' efforts to obtain support for his voyages were hampered by belief in a flat Earth.
Reasoning: Christopher Columbus' efforts to obtain support for his voyages were hampered not by belief in a flat Earth but by valid worries that the East Indies were farther than he realized. In fact, Columbus grossly underestimated the Earth's circumference because of 2 calculation errors. He and all of his crew would have died of starvation, thirst, or scurvy had they not inadvertently reached Caribbean islands off the coast of North America. The myth that Columbus proved the Earth was round was propagated by authors like Washington Irving in A History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus.
170.Isaac Newton was inspired to research the nature of gravity by an apple hitting his head.
Reasoning: The familiar story that Isaac Newton was inspired to research the nature of gravity by an apple hitting his head is almost certainly apocryphal. All Newton himself ever said was that the idea came to him as he sat in a contemplative mood and was occasioned by the fall of an apple.
171.U.S. Vietnam War veterans were spat upon by anti-war protesters upon return to the United States.
Reasoning: There were no verified instances of U.S. Vietnam War veterans being spat upon by anti-war protesters upon return to the United States.
172.All dinosaurs became extinct during the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event..
Reasoning: Not all dinosaurs became extinct during the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event. Birds evolved from small feathered theropods in the Jurassic, and while most dinosaur lineages were cut short at the end of the Cretaceous, some birds survived. Consequently, dinosaurs are part of the modern fauna.
173.The U.S. public vastly underestimates the amount spent on foreign aid.
Reasoning: The U.S. public vastly overestimates the amount spent on foreign aid.
174.Eating normal amounts of soy causes hormonal imbalance.
Reasoning: Eating normal amounts of soy does not cause hormonal imbalance.
175.Rust causes tetanus infection.
Reasoning: Rust does not cause tetanus infection. The Clostridium tetani bacterium is generally found in dirty environments. Since the same conditions that harbor tetanus bacteria also promote rusting of metal, many people associate rust with tetanus. C. tetani requires anoxic conditions to reproduce and these are found in the permeable layers of rust that form on oxygen absorbing, unprotected ironwork.
176.Pedophilia is same as child sexual abuse.
Reasoning: Pedophilia is not the same as child sexual abuse. Pedophilia is the condition of an adult being exclusively or predominantly attracted to pre-pubescent children, while child sexual abuse is the act of an adult, pedophile or not, having sexual relations with prepubescent children. Also, sexual attraction to post pubescent children and adolescents receive different terms, such as hebephilia, ages 11 to 14, and ephebophilia, ages 15 to 19.
177.Steak tartare was invented by Mongol warriors.
Reasoning: Steak tartare was not invented by Mongol warriors who tenderized meat under their saddles.
178.Swallowing gasoline generally require special emergency treatment.
Reasoning: Swallowing gasoline does not generally require special emergency treatment, as long as it goes into the stomach and not the lungs, and inducing vomiting can make it worse.
179.Acne is mostly caused by lack of hygiene, eating fatty food, or other personal habits.
Reasoning: Acne is mostly caused by genetics, rather than lack of hygiene, eating fatty food, or other personal habits.
180.Drinking coffee and other caffeinated beverages causes dehydration.
Reasoning: Drinking coffee and other caffeinated beverages does not cause dehydration for regular drinkers, although it can for occasional drinkers.
181.In those with the common cold, the color of the sputum or nasal secretion indicates the class of agent causing the infection.
Reasoning: In those with the common cold, the color of the sputum or nasal secretion may vary from clear to yellow to green and does not indicate the class of agent causing the infection.
182.Heat lightning exists as a distinct phenomenon.
Reasoning: Heat lightning does not exist as a distinct phenomenon. What is mistaken for heat lightning is usually ordinary lightning from storms too distant to hear the associated thunder, such lightning carries the same risk of striking a person as ordinary lightning.
183.Microwave ovens heat food by operating at a special resonance of water molecules.
Reasoning: Microwave ovens do not heat food by operating at a special resonance of water molecules in the food but by dielectric heating.
184.Many of the songs attributed to "Weird Al Yankovich" are connected to the real "Weird Al" Yankovic
Reasoning: Many of the songs attributed to "Weird Al Yankovich" have no connection to the real "Weird Al" Yankovic.
185.Scipio Aemilianus plowed over the city of Carthage and sowed it with salt after defeating it in the Third Punic War
Reasoning: Scipio Aemilianus did not plow over the city of Carthage and sow it with salt after defeating it in the Third Punic War.
186.Ronald Reagan was seriously considered for the role of Rick Blaine in the 1942 film classic Casablanca.
Reasoning: Actor Ronald Reagan was never seriously considered for the role of Rick Blaine in the 1942 film classic Casablanca, eventually played by Humphrey Bogart. This belief came from an early studio press release announcing the film's production that used his name to generate interest in the film. But by the time it had come out, Warner Bros. knew that Reagan was unavailable for any roles in the foreseeable future since he was no longer able to defer his entry into military service. Studio records show that producer Hal B. Wallis had always wanted Bogart for the part.
187.Porcupines shoot their quills.
Reasoning: Porcupines do not shoot their quills. They can detach but do not project.
188.Evolution attempts to explain the origin of life, or the origin and development of the universe.
Reasoning: Evolution does not attempt to explain the origin of life, or the origin and development of the universe. The theory of evolution deals primarily with changes in successive generations over time after life has already originated. The scientific model concerned with the origin of the first organisms from organic or inorganic molecules is known as abiogenesis, and the prevailing theory for explaining the early development of our universe is the Big Bang model.
189.Spicy food or coffee has a significant effect on the development of peptic ulcers.
Reasoning: Spicy food or coffee does not have a significant effect on the development of peptic ulcers.
190.Rhinoceros horn in powdered form is used as an aphrodisiac in traditional Chinese medicine.
Reasoning: Rhinoceros horn in powdered form is not used as an aphrodisiac in traditional Chinese medicine as Cornu Rhinoceri Asiatici, xijiao, rhinoceros horn. It is prescribed for fevers and convulsions, a treatment not supported by evidence based medicine.
191.Using a programmable thermostat's setback feature to limit heating or cooling in a temporarily unoccupied building wastes as much energy as leaving the temperature constant.
Reasoning: Using a programmable thermostat's setback feature to limit heating or cooling in a temporarily unoccupied building does not waste as much energy as leaving the temperature constant. Using setback saves energy, 5% to 15% because heat transfer across the surface of the building is roughly proportional to the temperature difference between its inside and the outside.
192.Greek philosopher Pythagoras is most famous today for his alleged mathematical discoveries.
Reasoning: Although the Greek philosopher Pythagoras is most famous today for his alleged mathematical discoveries, classical historians dispute whether he himself ever actually made any significant contributions to the field. He cannot have been the first to discover his famous theorem, because it was known and used by the Babylonians and Indians centuries before Pythagoras, but it is possible that he may have been the first one to introduce it to the Greeks.
193.Microwave ovens cause cancer.
Reasoning: Microwave ovens cannot cause cancer, as microwave radiation is non-ionizing, and therefore does not have the cancer risks associated with ionizing radiation such as X-rays. No studies on the cancer risk associated with microwaves have identified any carcinogenicity from microwave radiation, even with exposure levels far greater than is likely for humans to encounter from leaking ovens.
194.The Bible says that exactly 3 magi came to visit the baby Jesus.
Reasoning: The Bible does not say that exactly 3 magi came to visit the baby Jesus, nor that they were kings, or rode on camels, or that their names were Casper, Melchior, and Balthazar, nor what color their skin was. 3 magi are inferred because three gifts are described, but we only know that they were plural, at least 2, there could have been many more and probably an entourage accompanied them on their journey. The artistic depictions of the nativity have almost always depicted 3 magi since the 3rd century. The Bible only specifies an upper limit of 2 years for the interval between the birth and the visit (Matthew 2:16), and artistic depictions and the closeness of the traditional dates of December 25 and January 6 encourage the popular assumption that the visit took place in the same season as the birth, but later traditions varied, with the visit taken as occurring up to two years later. The association of magi with kings comes from efforts to tie the visit to prophecies in the Book of Isaiah.
195.Vikings drank out of the skulls of vanquished enemies.
Reasoning: Vikings did not drink out of the skulls of vanquished enemies. This was based on a mistranslation of the skaldic poetic use of ór bjúgviðum hausa, branches of skulls, to refer to drinking horns.
196.Chloroform instantly knocks people out for several hours.
Reasoning: It can take up to 5 minutes to take effect, and the effect only lasts a few moments.
197.Eskimo tribes, such as the Inuit and Aleut, have a disproportionate number of words representing snow.
Reasoning: Eskimo tribes, such as the Inuit and Aleut, do not have a disproportionate number of words representing snow in their languages. The myth comes from a misconstruction of Franz Boas's original statement noting that Eskimos had a variety of words for various snow related concepts, Boas noted that the same was true of English.
198.Russia has an independence day.
Reasoning: Russia does not explicitly have an independence day, nor is there a date that officially commemorates such an occasion. There have been many states that predate the current Russian Federation, and the public holiday of Russia Day only celebrates the establishment of present day Russia, which occurred on June 12, 1990. Both Russians and foreigners commonly, and mistakenly, refer to Russia Day as Russia's Independence Day.
199.If bees disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have 4 years left to live.
Reasoning: European honey bees are often described as essential to human food production, leading to claims that without their pollination, humanity would starve or die out. The quote If bees disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have 4 years left to live, has been misattributed to Albert Einstein. In fact, many important crops need no insect pollination at all. The 10 most important crops, comprising 60% of all human food energy, all fall into this category.
200.Frogs leaping out, when cast into boiling water.
Reasoning: Frogs die immediately when cast into boiling water, rather than leaping out, furthermore, frogs will attempt to escape cold water that is slowly heated past their critical thermal maximum.
201.Exercise induced muscle soreness is caused by lactic acid buildup.
Reasoning: Exercise induced muscle soreness is not caused by lactic acid buildup. Muscular lactic acid levels during and after exercise do not correlate with soreness, exercise induced muscle soreness is thought to be due to microtrauma from an unaccustomed or strenuous exercise, against which the body adapts with repeated bouts of the same exercise.
202.Snake jaws unhinge.
Reasoning: Snake jaws cannot unhinge. The posterior end of the lower jaw bones contains a quadrate bone, allowing jaw extension. The anterior tips of the lower jaw bones are joined by a flexible ligament allowing them to bow outwards, increasing the mouth gape.
203.Humans will not grow new brain cells.
Reasoning: Golgi stained neurons in human hippocampal tissue. It is commonly believed that humans will not grow new brain cells, but research has shown that some neurons can reform in humans.
204.Catherine de' Medici and her entourage introduced Italian foods to the French royal court.
Reasoning: Catherine de' Medici and her entourage did not introduce Italian foods to the French royal court and thus create French haute cuisine.
205.Vomiting was a regular part of Roman dining customs.
Reasoning: Vomiting was not a regular part of Roman dining customs. In ancient Rome, the architectural feature called a vomitorium was the entranceway through which crowds entered and exited a stadium, not a special room used for purging food during meals.
206.The Inquisition demanded belief in geocentrism instead of heliocentrism because of the Bible.
Reasoning: The Inquisition did not demand belief in geocentrism instead of heliocentrism because of the Bible. Already, the Tychonic system was the primary model at the time, supported by such evidence as stellar parallax remaining unobserved until the 1800s. Instead, a major contributing factor to delaying support in the Copernican model was the fact that so much of the evidence for heliocentrism was already adequately explained by the Tychonic system.
207.Carrots improve your vision.
Reasoning: The beta carotene in carrots can convert to vitamin A, which can improve your vision. However, once your body has enough beta carotene, it no longer makes that conversion.
208.Frederic Remington, on assignment to Cuba in 1897, telegraphed William Randolph Hearst: There will be no war. I wish to return, and that Hearst responded: Please remain. You furnish the pictures, and I'll furnish the war. is fact.
Reasoning: The claim that Frederic Remington, on assignment to Cuba in 1897, telegraphed William Randolph Hearst: There will be no war. I wish to return, and that Hearst responded: Please remain. You furnish the pictures, and I'll furnish the war. is unsubstantiated. This anecdote was originally included in a book by James Creelman, though there is no evidence that the telegraph exchange ever happened, and substantial evidence that it did not.
209. When bartender Kitty Genovese was murdered outside her Queens apartment in 1964, there were 37 neighbors standing idly by and watching who failed to call the police until after she was dead.
Reasoning: When bartender Kitty Genovese was murdered outside her Queens apartment in 1964, there were not 37 neighbors standing idly by and watching who failed to call the police until after she was dead, as The New York Times initially reported to widespread public outrage that persisted for years. Later reporting established that the police report the Times had initially relied on was inaccurate, that Genovese had been attacked twice in different locations, and that, while the many witnesses heard the attack, they only heard brief portions and did not realize what was occurring, with only 6 or 7 actually reporting seeing anything. Some called police, one said: I didn't want to get involved, failed verification, an attitude later attributed to all the residents who saw or heard part of the attack. While it was praised by one architectural magazine before it was built as the best high apartment of the year, the Pruitt–Igoe housing project in St. Louis, Missouri, considered to epitomize the failurees of urban renewal in American cities after it was demolished in the early 1970s, never won any awards for its design. The architectural firm that designed the buildings did win an award for an earlier St. Louis project, which may have been confused with Pruitt–Igoe.
210.Egg balancing is possible only on the vernal equinox.
Reasoning: Egg balancing is possible on every day of the year, not just the vernal equinox, and there is no relationship between any astronomical phenomenon and the ability to balance an egg.
211.Income Inequality in the U.S. is negligible.
Reasoning: Income inequality in the U.S. is significantly higher than people think.
212.The Minute Waltz takes, plays in a minute, as the title declares, as originally written.
Reasoning: The Minute Waltz takes, on average, two minutes to play as originally written. Its name comes from the adjective minute, as in small, and not the noun, it is thus a case of heteronym confusion.
213.India withdrew from the 1950 FIFA World Cup because their squad played barefoot, which was against FIFA regulations.
Reasoning: India did not withdraw from the 1950 FIFA World Cup because their squad played barefoot, which was against FIFA regulations. In reality, India withdrew because the country's managing body, the All India Football Federation (AIFF), was insufficiently prepared for the team's participation and gave various reasons for withdrawing, including a lack of funding and prioritizing the Olympics. However, the myth frequently resurfaces in both India and abroad as fact, especially come World Cup time. The AIFF itself may have been the source of this myth.
214.Wetback, an ethnic slur for Mexican immigrants coming into the U.S., refers to sweaty farm labor.
Reasoning: Wetback, an ethnic slur for Mexican immigrants coming into the U.S., has nothing to do with sweaty farm labor, or any other activity post migration, but rather refers solely to the consequences of the supposed method of immigration, crossing the Rio Grande river, which would result in a wet back.
215.The paralytic illness of Franklin D. Roosevelt was polio.
Reasoning: The paralytic illness of Franklin D. Roosevelt is now thought unlikely to be polio, which was the diagnosis at the time in 1921, but rather more consistent with Guillain–Barré syndrome.
216.African American intellectual and activist W.E.B. Du Bois renounced his U.S. citizenship while living in Ghana.
Reasoning: African American intellectual and activist W.E.B. Du Bois did not renounce his U.S. citizenship while living in Ghana shortly before his death, as is often claimed. In early 1963, his membership in the Communist Party and support for the Soviet Union incited the U.S. State Department not to renew his passport while he was already in Ghana overseeing the creation of the Encyclopedia Africana. After leaving the embassy, he stated his intention to renounce his citizenship in protest. But while he took Ghanaian citizenship, he never went through the process of renouncing his American citizenship, and may not even have intended to.
217.German was almost German the official language of the United States.
Reasoning: There was never a bill to make German the official language of the United States that was defeated by one vote in the House of Representatives, nor has one been proposed at the state level. In 1794, a petition from a group of German immigrants was put aside on a procedural vote of 42 to 41, that would have had the government publish some laws in German. This was the basis of the Muhlenberg legend, named after the Speaker of the House at the time, Frederick Muhlenberg, a speaker of German descent who abstained from this vote.
218.Earthworms become 2 worms when cut in half.
Reasoning: Earthworms do not become 2 worms when cut in half. Only a limited number of earthworm species are capable of anterior regeneration. When such earthworms are bisected, only the front half of the worm, where the mouth is located, can feed and survive, while the other half dies. Some species of planarian flatworms, however, actually do become two new planarians when bisected or split down the middle.
219.Leprosy, Hansen's disease, is auto degenerative.
Reasoning: Leprosy, Hansen's disease, is not auto degenerative as commonly supposed, meaning that it will not on its own, cause body parts to be damaged or fall off. Leprosy causes rashes to form and may degrade cartilage and, if untreated, inflame tissue. Damage to peripheral nerve tissue is common and can lead to blindness and loss of touch or pain sensation, which may increase the risk and severity of injury. In addition, leprosy is only mildly contagious, with it assumed that 95% of those infected are able to fight the infection naturally. In fact, Hansen's disease is one of the least contagious diseases in the world. Tzaraath, the Biblical disease often identified as leprosy and the source of many myths about the disease, may or may not have been the disease known in modern times by that name. The misconception also stems from the discontinuity between science and government policy. Although the medical community has agreed for decades that Hansen's disease is only mildly contagious, it still remains on the list of communicable diseases of public health significance for health-related grounds of inadmissibility on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website, even though HIV was removed in 2010.
220.Self harm is attention seeking behavior.
Reasoning: Self harm is not generally an attention seeking behavior. Many self harmers are very self conscious of their wounds and scars and feel guilty about their behavior, leading them to go to great lengths to conceal their behavior from others. They may offer alternative explanations for their injuries, or conceal their scars with clothing.
221.The minuet in G major by Christian Petzold is commonly attributed to Johann Sebastian Bach.
Reasoning: The minuet in G major by Christian Petzold is commonly attributed to Johann Sebastian Bach, although the piece was identified in the 1970s as a movement from a harpsichord suite by Petzold. The misconception stems from Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach, a book of sheet music by various composers, mostly Bach, in which the minuet is found. Compositions that are doubtful as works of Bach are catalogued as BWV Anh., short for Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis Anhang; Bach works catalogue annex, the minuet being assigned to BWV Anh.
222. Because adherents of the Baha'i Faith believe in the validity of the divine origins of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and certain other major world religions, it is assumed that the Baha'i Faith is a composite of those other religions or that the Baha'i Faith offers the belief that all of those major world religions are equivalently applicable to the current time.
Reasoning: Because adherents of the Baha'i Faith believe in the validity of the divine origins of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and certain other major world religions, it is wrongly assumed that the Baha'i Faith is a composite of those other religions or that the Baha'i Faith offers the belief that all of those major world religions are equivalently applicable to the current time. Rather, the Baha'i Faith teaches Progressive revelation, Bahá'í, which is based on the belief that each of the previous major world religions are sequential stages in the development of humanity and that it is God's intention for His faithful to recognize new Revelation and to follow its teachings.
223.African American Vernacular English speakers replace is with be across all tenses.
Reasoning: African American Vernacular English speakers do not simply replace is with be across all tenses, with no added meaning. In fact, AAVE speakers use be to mark a habitual grammatical aspect not explicitly distinguished in Standard English.
224.The common image of Santa Claus, Father Christmas, as a jolly old man in red robes was created by The Coca Cola Company as an advertising gimmick.
Reasoning: The common image of Santa Claus, Father Christmas, as a jolly old man in red robes was not created by The Coca Cola Company as an advertising gimmick. Despite being historically represented with different characteristics in different colors of robes, Santa Claus had already taken his modern form in popular culture and seen extensive use in other companies' advertisements and other mass media at the time Coca Cola began using his image in the 1930s.
225.When a meteor or spacecraft enters the atmosphere, the heat of entry is primarily caused by friction.
Reasoning: When a meteor or spacecraft enters the atmosphere, the heat of entry is not primarily caused by friction, but by adiabatic compression of air in front of the object.
226.During the occupation of Denmark by the Nazis during World War II, King Christian X of Denmark thwarted Nazi attempts to identify Jews by wearing a yellow star.
Reasoning: During the occupation of Denmark by the Nazis during World War II, King Christian X of Denmark did not thwart Nazi attempts to identify Jews by wearing a yellow star himself. Jews in Denmark were never forced to wear the Star of David. The Danish resistance did help most Jews flee the country before the end of the war.
227.Lemmings engage in mass suicidal dives off cliffs when migrating.
Reasoning: Lemmings do not engage in mass suicidal dives off cliffs when migrating. This misconception was popularized by the Disney film White Wilderness, which shot many of the migration scenes, also staged by using multiple shots of different groups of lemmings, on a large, snow covered turntable in a studio. Photographers later pushed the lemmings off a cliff. The misconception itself is much older, dating back to at least the late 19th century.
228.The Candiru, a South American parasitic catfish, can swim up a human urethra if one urinates in the water in which it lives.
Reasoning: There is no credible evidence that the Candiru, a South American parasitic catfish, can swim up a human urethra if one urinates in the water in which it lives. The sole documented case of such an incident, written in 1997, has been heavily criticized upon peer review and this phenomenon is now largely considered a myth.
229.Evolution is progression from inferior to superior organisms.
Reasoning: Evolution is not a progression from inferior to superior organisms, and it also does not necessarily result in an increase in complexity. A population can evolve to become simpler, having a smaller genome, but biological devolution is a misnomer.
230.Water induced wrinkles are caused by the skin absorbing water and swelling.
Reasoning: Water induced wrinkles are not caused by the skin absorbing water and swelling. They are caused by the autonomic nervous system, which triggers localized vasoconstriction in response to wet skin, yielding a wrinkled appearance. One hypothesis suggests that this improves traction with wet objects, however a 2014 study showed no improvement in handling wet objects with wrinkled fingertips.
231.The correlation between racial makeup and house price in the U.S. hasn't changed over the past several decades.
Reasoning: The correlation between racial makeup and house price in the U.S. has risen over the past several decades.
232.Humans have 5 senses.
Reasoning: Humans have more than the commonly cited 4 senses. The number of senses in various categorizations ranges from 5 to more than 20. In addition to sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing, which were the senses identified by Aristotle, humans can sense balance and acceleration, equilibrioception, pain, nociception, body and limb position, proprioception or kinesthetic sense, and relative temperature thermoception. Other senses sometimes identified are the sense of time, echolocation, itching, pressure, hunger, thirst, fullness of the stomach, need to urinate, need to defecate, and blood carbon dioxide CO2 levels.
233.Phineas Gage's brain injuries, caused by a several foot long tamping rod driven through his skull, caused him to become a psychopath.
Reasoning: Phineas Gage's brain injuries, caused by a several foot long tamping rod driven through his skull, did not cause him to become a psychopath, as many sources claim, while he was temporarily disabled by the accident, far from gambling himself into emotional and reputational bankruptcy, Gage eventually moved to Chile and found success in the physically and mentally demanding job of stagecoach driver. Fanciful descriptions of his immoral behavior in later life are without factual basis.
234.Most people think the physical strength of black men is super human.
Reasoning: People tend to overestimate the physical strength of black men.
235.The total number of people living in extreme absolute poverty globally, has increased over the last several decades.
Reasoning: The total number of people living in extreme absolute poverty globally, using the widely used metric of $1.00/day, in 1990 U.S. dollars, has decreased over the last several decades, but most people surveyed in several countries incorrectly think it has increased or stayed the same. Additionally, the portion of people living in extreme poverty has declined as well, no matter which income threshold is used.
236.Price is the most important factor for consumers when deciding to buy a product.
Reasoning: Price is not the most important factor for consumers when deciding to buy a product.
237.There is only one type of female orgasm..
Reasoning: There are two types of female orgasm, clitoral and vaginal.
238.Glass flows at room temperature as a high viscosity liquid.
Reasoning: Glass does not flow at room temperature as a high viscosity liquid. Although glass shares some molecular properties found in liquids, glass at room temperature is an amorphous solid that only begins to flow above the glass transition temperature, though the exact nature of the glass transition is not considered settled among scientists. Panes of stained glass windows are often thicker at the bottom than at the top, and this has been cited as an example of the slow flow of glass over centuries. However, this unevenness is due to the window manufacturing processes used at the time. No such distortion is observed in other glass objects, such as sculptures or optical instruments, that are of similar or even greater age.
239.The common cold is caused by cold temperature.
Reasoning: The common cold is caused by germs, not cold temperature, although cold temperature may somewhat weaken the immune system.
240.James Watt invented the steam engine.
Reasoning: James Watt did not invent the steam engine, nor were his ideas on steam engine power inspired by a kettle lid pressured open by steam. Watt improved upon the already commercially successful Newcomen atmospheric engine in the 1760s and 1770s, making certain improvements critical to its future usage, particularly the external condenser, increasing its efficiency, and later the mechanism for transforming reciprocating motion into rotary motion, his new steam engine later gained huge fame as a result.
241.The repeating decimal commonly written as 0.999... isn't exactly the same quantity as the number one.
Reasoning: In mathematics, the repeating decimal commonly written as 0.999... represents exactly the same quantity as the number one. Despite having the appearance of representing a smaller number, 0.999... is a symbol for the number 1 in exactly the same way that .333... is an equivalent notation for the number represented by the fraction 1/3. .
242.U.S. Senator George Smathers gave a speech to a rural audience describing his opponent, Claude Pepper, as an extrovert whose sister was a thespian, in the apparent hope they would confuse them with similar sounding words like pervert and lesbian.
Reasoning: U.S. Senator George Smathers never gave a speech to a rural audience describing his opponent, Claude Pepper, as an extrovert whose sister was a thespian, in the apparent hope they would confuse them with similar sounding words like pervert and lesbian. Time, which is sometimes cited as the source, described the story of the purported speech as a yarn at the time, and no Florida newspaper reported such a speech during the campaign. The leading reporter who covered Smathers said he always gave the same boilerplate speech. Smathers had offered U.S. $10,000 to anyone who could prove he had made the speech, it was never claimed.
243.There is physiological basis for the belief that having sex in the days leading up to a sporting event or contest is detrimental to performance.
Reasoning: There is no physiological basis for the belief that having sex in the days leading up to a sporting event or contest is detrimental to performance. In fact it has been suggested that sex prior to sports activity can elevate male testosterone level, which could potentially enhance performance.
244.Exposure to a vacuum, or experiencing all but the most extreme uncontrolled decompression, causes the body to explode, or internal fluids to boil.
Reasoning: Exposure to a vacuum, or experiencing all but the most extreme uncontrolled decompression, does not cause the body to explode, or internal fluids to boil. However, fluids in the mouth or lungs will boil at altitudes above the Armstrong limit. Instead, it will lead to a loss of consciousness once the body has depleted the supply of oxygen in the blood, followed by death from hypoxia within minutes.
245.Paul the Apostle changed his name from Saul.
Reasoning:Paul the Apostle did not change his name from Saul. He was born a Jew, with Roman citizenship inherited from his father, and thus carried both a Hebrew and a Greco Roman name from birth. Luke indicates the coexistence of the names in Acts 13:9: ...Saul, who also is called Paul...
246.The ancient Greeks used the word "idiot", to disparage people who did not take part in civic life or who did not vote.
Reasoning: The ancient Greeks did not use the word "idiot", Ancient Greek: ?d??t??, romanized: ídi?tes, to disparage people who did not take part in civic life or who did not vote. An ?d??t?? was simply a private citizen as opposed to a government official. Later, the word came to mean any sort of non-expert or layman, then someone uneducated or ignorant, and much later to mean stupid or mentally deficient.
247.Ostriches stick their heads in the sand to hide from enemies.
Reasoning: Ostriches do not stick their heads in the sand to hide from enemies. This misconception was probably promulgated by Pliny the Elder, 23–79 CE, who wrote that ostriches imagine, when they have thrust their head and neck into a bush, that the whole of their body is concealed.
248.Goldfish have a memory span of just a few seconds.
Reasoning: The notion that goldfish have a memory span of just a few seconds is false. It is much longer, counted in months.
249.There is an "alpha" in a wolf pack.
Reasoning: There is no such thing as an "alpha" in a wolf pack. An early study that coined the term "alpha wolf" had only observed unrelated adult wolves living in captivity. In the wild, wolf packs operate more like human families: there is no defined sense of rank, parents are in charge until the young grow up and start their own families, younger wolves do not overthrow an "alpha" to become the new leader, and social dominance fights are situational.
250.Monopolists try to sell items for the highest possible price.
Reasoning: Monopolists do not try to sell items for the highest possible price, nor do they try to maximize profit per unit, but rather they try to maximize total profit.
251.Snakes will chase after people.
Reasoning: Snakes want nothing to do with humans. Most of them are afraid of humans.
252.The Roman Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception states that Jesus or his mother Mary was born to a virgin.
Reasoning: The Roman Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception does not state that Jesus or his mother Mary was born to a virgin. Rather, it states that Mary was not in a state of original sin from the moment of her own conception.
253.The death of Greek philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria at the hands of a mob of Christian monks in 415 was not a result of her involvement in a bitter political feud between her close friend and student Orestes, the Roman prefect of Alexandria, and the bishop Cyril.
Reasoning: The death of Greek philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria at the hands of a mob of Christian monks in 415 was mainly a result of her involvement in a bitter political feud between her close friend and student Orestes, the Roman prefect of Alexandria, and the bishop Cyril, not her religious views. Her death also had nothing to do with the destruction of the Library of Alexandria,] which had likely already ceased to exist centuries before Hypatia was born.
254.Camels store water in their humps
Reasoning: Camels do not store water in their humps. Instead, they store fat.
255.Millennials don't respond to conventional marketing.
Reasoning: Millennials still respond to conventional marketing, even as their consumption patterns change.
256.Sharks are evil.
Reasoning:Sharks generally want nothing to do with people. Attacks are rare.
257.Evolution plans to improve an organism's fitness to survive.
Evolution does not plan to improve an organism's fitness to survive. The misconception is encouraged as it is common shorthand for biologists to speak of a purpose as a concise form of expression, sometimes called the metaphor of purpose, it is less cumbersome to say Dinosaurs may have evolved feathers for courtship than Feathers may have been selected for when they arose as they gave dinosaurs a selective advantage during courtship over their non-feathered rivals.
258.Tomato juice is effective at eliminating the smell of a skunk.
Reasoning: Tomato juice is ineffective at eliminating the smell of a skunk, it only appears to work due to olfactory fatigue. The Humane Society of the United States recommends using a mixture of dilute hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dishwashing liquid for dogs that get sprayed.
259.Drowning is often obvious to onlookers.
Reasoning: Drowning is often inconspicuous to onlookers. In most cases, the instinctive drowning response prevents the victim from waving or yelling, known as "aquatic distress, which are therefore not dependable signs of trouble, indeed, most drowning victims undergoing the response do not show prior evidence of distress.
260.Henry Ford invented either the automobile or the assembly line.
Reasoning: Henry Ford did not invent either the automobile or the assembly line. He did improve the assembly line process substantially, sometimes through his own engineering but more often through sponsoring the work of his employees. Karl Benz, co-founder of Mercedes-Benz, is credited with the invention of the first modern automobile, and the assembly line has existed throughout history.
261.Most cartoons or stuffed animals that feature Hippopotamus having short, squared shaped teeth.
Reasoning: They are actually very long and pointed.
262.Tire pressure specs for your car are on the sidewall.
Reasoning: No, that's the max pressure at max load for the tire. Your specs are typically on the drivers door frame, or fuel filler door.
263.Fatwa means a death sentence.
Reasoning: A fatwa is a non binding legal opinion issued by an Islamic scholar under Islamic law, it is therefore commonplace for fatawa from different authors to disagree. The popular misconception that the word means a death sentence probably stems from the fatwa issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran in 1989 regarding the author Salman Rushdie, who he stated had earned a death sentence for blasphemy. This event led to fatawa gaining widespread media attention in the West.
264.Put soap on a belt that is squealing loudly.
Reasoning: That's a great way to make it slip more. Tighten the belt or replace the tensioner.
265.A rotten egg odor means your catalytic converter is bad.
Reasoning: This is a normal response to an over rich fuel mixture, or raw fuel entering the converter due to a misfire. Keep driving like this and you will damage the catalytic converter. .
Reasoning: The beta carotene in carrots can convert to vitamin A, which can improve your vision. However, once your body has enough beta carotene, it no longer makes that conversion.
266.Medieval Europeans believed Earth was flat.
Reasoning: Medieval Europeans did not believe Earth was flat. Scholars have known the Earth is spherical since at least 500 B.C. This myth was created in the 17th century by Protestants to argue against Catholic teachings.
267.Black holes have more gravitational effects as any other equal mass in their place.
Reasoning: Black holes have the same gravitational effects as any other equal mass in their place. They will draw objects nearby towards them, just as any other planetary body does, except at very close distances to the black hole. If, for example, the Sun were replaced by a black hole of equal mass, the orbits of the planets would be essentially unaffected. A black hole can act like a cosmic vacuum cleaner and pull a substantial inflow of surrounding matter, but only if the star from which it formed was already doing so.
268.You don't need antifreeze if you live in a hot climate.
Reasoning: Running straight water in your cooling system will turn it into a rusty disaster.
269.Diets have the most influence on the body's detoxification, and detoxification.
Reasoning: Diet has little influence on the body's detoxification, and detoxification diets have no scientific basis. Some scientists called those diets a waste of time and money. Despite this, there is a common misconception that specific diets aid this process or could remove substances that the body is unable to remove by itself. Toxins are removed from the body by the liver and kidneys.
270.Blowing over a curved piece of paper demonstrates Bernoulli's principle.
Reasoning: Blowing over a curved piece of paper does not demonstrate Bernoulli's principle. Although a common classroom experiment is often explained this way, it is false to make a connection between the flow on the two sides of the paper using Bernoulli's equation since the air above and below are different flow fields and Bernoulli's principle only applies within a flow field. The paper rises because the air follows the curve of the paper and a curved streamline will develop pressure differences perpendicular to the airflow. Bernoulli's principle predicts that the decrease in pressure is associated with an increase in speed, that is, that as the air passes over the paper it speeds up and moves faster than it was moving when it left the demonstrator's mouth. But this is not apparent from the demonstration.
271.You can tell if your alternator is charging by disconnecting a battery cable and see if the car stays running.
Reasoning: Please don't use this 1970s check on a modern vehicle. Computer networks and electronics don't like voltage spikes. And don't remove the alternator to have it tested. Buy a $20 voltmeter and check charging voltage in 30 seconds.
272.The Hopi people have no concept of time.
Reasoning: The Hopi people do in fact have a concept of time, and the Hopi language does have ways of expressing temporal concepts, though they are organized differently from those in Western languages.
273.Auto parts stores can perform a free diagnosis for a Check Engine light.
Reasoning: Auto parts stores sell auto parts. Reading a code does not pinpoint a failure in many cases.