20 Facts You’ve Always Believed That Are Actually NOT True!

The world is full of incredible things and phenomena, and there’s so much more we’ve yet to learn. However, it’s also full of myths and misconceptions! Whether you’re young or old, you will surely enjoy and find this list fascinating. Some of the following facts you’ve always believed to be true are actually not, and they might even surprise you! Here are some of the world’s most common misconceptions and myths, debunked!

Number 1 – ONLY 10% OF THE BRAIN IS USED

The 10% brain myth has been around for a long time. It’s not certain how this began, but it has been strengthened over the past century by misinterpretations of neuroscience discoveries, and unsubstantiated quotes by both scientists and laypeople alike. The proportion of the brain “firing” at any one time is task dependent, and the truth is that we use virtually all of our brain every day.

Number 2 – ALCOHOL KEEPS YOU WARM

Alcohol might make your skin feel warm, but this apparent heat-wave is deceptive. A nip or two actually causes your blood vessels to dilate, moving warm blood closer to the surface of your skin, making you feel warmer, temporarily. At the same time, however, those same veins pumping blood closer to the skin’s surface, cause you to actually lose core body heat.

Number 3 – DOGS SWEAT BY SALIVATING

Dogs tend to drool, but contrary to popular belief, they don’t sweat by salivating. Dogs actually do have sweat glands on their tongues, but they sweat mainly through the pads of their feet. That being said, dogs do primarily regulate their body temperature through panting.

Number 4 – SALTY WATER BOILS QUICKER

Salt improves the taste of your cooking, but not the time it takes… In fact, adding salt does the very opposite of making water boil faster! Instead, it takes longer! The salt water requires more exposure to the heat in order to boil, so the boiling point is elevated and as a result, the time it takes to get the water to boil, increases.

Number 5 – OIL STOPS PASTA FROM STICKING

A lot of people are convinced that adding oil while cooking pasta will prevent it from sticking together. This is false. Oil will only make your pasta greasy. However, it can stop your water from boiling over! If you wanna avoid your pasta from sticking together, give it a good stir for 10-20 seconds after adding it to boiling water, and stir it occasionally while it cooks.

Number 6 – THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA IS VISIBLE FROM SPACE

There’s a popular myth that The Great Wall of China is so massive that it can be seen from outer space. This simply isn’t true! The reality is that you can’t easily see The Great Wall with the unaided eye, even from low Earth orbit. And certainly, the Apollo astronauts couldn’t see it from the Moon, even though, the urban legend has been widely circulated.

Number 7 – WATER ROTATION IN THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE

The Coriolis Effect is the observed curved path of moving objects relative to the surface of the Earth – such as Hurricanes. However, the Coriolis force is simply too weak to affect the flow of water down the drain in sinks, bathtubs, or toilet bowls.

Number 8 – EINSTEIN FAILED MATH

While it’s true that Einstein flunked a college entrance exam in Zurich, he DID NOT fail the math portion! He did, however, bomb the botany, zoology and language sections…

Number 9 – BLACK HOLES

Black holes are interesting and mysterious. But they are not really holes. They’re actually the opposite of empty! Black holes have the most matter stuffed into the least space of any object in the universe. Because they are so compact, they have very strong gravitational pull.

Number 10 – DON’T TOUCH BABY BIRDS

Most birds have a limited sense of smell, and no matter how flighty they appear, they do not readily abandon their young – especially not in response to human touch! However, you still shouldn’t touch them.

Number 11 – ALCOHOL KILLS BRAIN CELLS

You almost always feel dumber after a night of heavy drinking… But, despite what you may have heard, you’re not feeling that way because alcohol laid waste to your brain cells. However, do keep in mind that excessive drinking over a long period can damage the white and gray matters of the brain, affecting a person’s judgment and reasoning over time.

Number 12 – MISSING PERSON REPORT WAITING PERIOD

There is no waiting period. Many shows and movies have publicized the 24 or 48 hour waiting period to report missing people, but this is false. If someone goes missing, you should report them immediately.

Number 13 – BANANAS GROW ON TREES

Bananas do not grow on trees. Rather, they grow from a root structure that produces an above ground stem. The plant is classified as a tree-like perennial herb. In fact, it is the largest herbaceous flowering plant!

Number 14 – COFFEE DEHYDRATES YOU

Well, not really. While caffeine is dehydrating, the water in coffee more than makes up for the diuretic effects, ultimately leaving you more hydrated than you were before consuming your cup of Joe!

Number 15 – GOLDFISH HAVE A 3-SECOND MEMORY

While not the smartest of living things on our planet… scientists have proven that goldfish memory spans are nowhere near as short as three seconds. Your goldfish can actually remember things for about five months!

Number 16 – IT TAKES 7 YEARS TO DIGEST GUM

While it will readily stick to your shoes, gum does not stick to your stomach wall or intestinal tract. Instead of hanging around for years, gum simply travels the same path as food and is excreted in the stool.

Number 17 – SUGAR EQUALS HYPERACTIVITY

Studies have disproved this. A sugary diet does not affect the behavior or cognitive skills of children! Of course, there are plenty of good reasons not to feed your kids a bunch of sugar, but fear of “little sugar-crazed monsters” shouldn’t be one of them!

Number 18 – BULLS HATE THE COLOR RED

Turns out, the color red isn’t what causes bulls to attack. In fact, bulls don’t seem to have any color preference at all! They’ll charge whatever object is moving the most. So, this old myth… It can get tossed right out of the ring.

Number 19 – AN AVERAGE PERSON SWALLOWS 8 SPIDERS PER YEAR

This is false! Not even close. Spiders are not going to voluntarily approach the mouth of a large predator – and sleeping, breathing, snoring and rolling humans are most likely viewed as terrifying to spiders. This myth flies in the face of both spider and human biology, which makes it highly unlikely that a spider would ever end up in your mouth while you sleep.

Number 20 – HAIR AND NAILS KEEP GROWING AFTER DEATH

Wrong! Hair and fingernails may appear longer after some time one has died, but not because they are still growing. Instead, a person’s fingernails and hair may appear longer because the skin around them has retracted. After death, dehydration simply causes the skin and other soft tissues to shrink.