5 Science Myths You’ve Been Hearing Since Childhood

Human beings are wired in very strange ways creatures. Along with being the most advanced species, they are also one of the most gullible. We tend to believe most of the stuff that we read on the Internet or from other forms of media – even the most ridiculous claims and “facts”.

There was a time when we used to believe that bulls would go into a wild frenzy at the color red (it’s actually the movement of the cape that makes them mad) or that ostriches bury their head in the ground when they see an enemy (in reality, they just play dead). Essentially, we have been taught many things throughout our lives that have no basis in reality, yet we believe them nonetheless.

Here are some facts that are completely false and need to be busted!

1. Lightning never strikes the same place twice.

lightning

Lightning strikes the statue of ‘Christ the Redeemer’ in Rio (and it wasn’t the first time!)

One has to be truly gullible to believe this one. There is absolutely no meteorological, geographical or physical reason for why lightning can’t strike one place more than once. During a thunderstorm, lightning will look for the nearest possible conductors and any metallic objects at the top of the tallest building in the vicinity are the obvious choices. Lightning is said to strike conductors atop buildings and towers such as the Empire State Building in New York City, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Toronto’s CN Tower, The Sydney Tower, and Auckland’s Sky Tower 50-100 times each year.

2. The Great wall of China is the only man-made structure that is visible from space.

Great Wall Of China Meets the Sea 002

This is where it ends. Now you’ve seen everything.

This doesn’t seem remotely credible. First of all, if you’re inside the range of distance from which you can see the Great Wall, you can also see other large man-made structures, such as highways and buildings. There’s no distance from Earth from which you can see only the Great Wall. This fact is so overly used, however, that even the wisest among us believe that it’s true.

3. You are born with all the brain cells you’ll ever have.

Brain Image

Credits:Kasza/Shutterstock

False. Yes, a neurologist somewhere has just questioned his existence after reading this fact.

Most of the cells in our body’s organs, such as the skin, kidney, and liver are renewed many different times in our lifetime. However, the majority of the approximately 100 billion nerve cells in our brain and spinal cord are present right from birth, through a process known as neurogenesis. These cells will last a lifetime. However, a few brain structures do add new nerve cells during infancy and a single region adds new cells throughout our lifespan.

4. Egg yolks contain cholesterol that is bad for your heart.

Egg Yolk

Credits:2creative/Shutterstock

This is a common myth that exists among many people, especially health nuts who spend more time at the gym than their office. One large egg has 186 milligrams of cholesterol and almost all of it is present in the yolk. When egg yolks were believed to cause severely increased cholesterol levels, they were almost treated as outcasts by health nuts!

There are two kinds of cholesterol: (1) Dietary cholesterol and (2) Blood cholesterol. Eggs contain dietary cholesterol.

Blood cholesterol is further split into two types: High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) and Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL). LDL is the bad one, because it sticks to artery walls and has the potential to lead to heart troubles. This is not the type of cholesterol found in eggs though, so don’t worry next time you have that delicious omelette for breakfast.

5. People in the Middle Ages (5th to 15th century) believed that the Earth was flat.

Earth

Credits:xtock/Shutterstock

‘Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean in 1492 and discovered that the Earth was round.’ This was what most children believe while  growing up (myself included). As it turns out, however, people living hundreds of years before his time knew this fact and this myth was actually never true.  It was a myth that was started in the 1940s by the Members of the Historical Association.  There wouldn’t have been a single man on his crew who had any fears about dropping off the side of the world at any point. Sailors had been exploring the Atlantic Ocean for hundreds of years by that point. It was Pythogoras who first suggested that the Earth was round, and that was back in the 6th century.

My whole life has been a lie…

Now that you have all these valuable insights, the next time your friend tries to sound witty by quoting such “facts”, you can straighten him out with some hard and fast truth!

References:

  1. Lightning Never Strikes The Same Place Twice. – Newton, Massachusetts
  2. Man-Made Structures Visible From Space – Wikipedia
  3. Development And Brain Plasticity – Foothill Community College
The short URL of the present article is: http://sciabc.us/2zMXV
Help us make this article better
About the Author:

Ishan is a Mechanical Engineer from Mumbai University, India and is obsessed with science, food and all things football. He is a self proclaimed cyclist, runner and a professional procrastinator.

.
Science ABC YouTube Videos

  1. Why Do You Hear A Rumbling Sound When You Close Your Eyes Too Hard?
  2. Hawking Radiation Explained: What Exactly Was Stephen Hawking Famous For?
  3. Current Vs Voltage: How Much Current Can Kill You?
  4. Coefficient Of Restitution: Why Certain Objects Are More Bouncy Than Others?
  5. Jump From Space: What Happens If You Do A Space Jump?
  6. Does Earth Come To The Same Spot Every Year On Your Birthday?
  7. Bird Strike: What Happens When A Bird Strikes An Aircraft?
  8. Google Maps Secrets: How Exactly Does Google Maps Work?

Get more stuff like this
in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.