We are living in an age where so much knowledge exists that the option of believing what is fact and what is fiction purely depends on the source. If you learned something in school, chances are that you will receive it as gospel truth, because we all believe that teachers never lie to us. Since teachers, in most cases, simply pass down the information in the recommended syllabus without questioning the validity of the conclusions they find therein, it is highly likely that they teach many things that are not necessarily true.
Unless some researchers want to prove that some of the things we believe to be facts are actually misconceptions, people find it easy to continue believing what they already think they know. On the other hand, new information goes through thorough investigations before people accept it – an attitude we ought to adopt, especially when believing the things that affect us directly.
Here is a list of 15 of the most common misconceptions that we have all believed to be true at some point in our lives, with most people still believing them today. It is highly likely that you will not have the resources to prove whether all of these are misconceptions or not, since you will need much more than common sense to reverse most of these. Therefore, let us blindly believe that the researchers who claim that these are not facts but mere misconceptions know what they are doing.
Which of these entries are you having a hard time believing are misconceptions?
15. Chameleons Change Their Color To Match Their Environment
If you have ever seen a chameleon, then you need no convincing that it changes color depending on the color of the surface it is stepping on. However, if that is all you know and think is true about the chameleon’s ability to change its color, you have been misled to believe a lie. The skin of a chameleon does have a layer that has a range of pigments, which overlays cells containing guanine crystals. The alteration in color results from an adjustment in the spaces between the guanine crystals, which result in changing the wavelength of the light bouncing off the chameleon’s skin. The chameleon might use its ability to change its color as a camouflage, but it is most useful in social signaling and as a reaction to changing temperature. Therefore, a chameleon changes its color in response to its exposure to light, the temperature, and its mood. The changes also depend on a chameleon’s species, its psychological condition, and its intentions.
14. Sugar Causes Children To Be Hyperactive
Ask any parent out there who has first-hand experience raising his or her own children and it is likely that they agree that sugar causes children to be hyperactive. However, this is not necessarily the case. Thanks to history and our traditions, we love to blame a child’s hyperactivity on their taking sugar-rich foods or drinks; however, scientists have found no relationship between sugar and hyperactivity. Since most people already believe that sugar causes hyperactivity, they will even claim to have noticed the difference in behavior in children when they have taken sugar rich foods and drinks and when they have not. However, scientists have conducted numerous experiments with groups of preschoolers concerning this subject, with their findings proving that there is hardly any relationship between sugar and hyperactivity. However, this conclusion should not be used as an excuse to feed children too much candy and sugar-rich drinks, because they do have their own negative consequences.
13. Human Beings Have Five Senses
Of course, everyone knows that we all have five senses, which include the sense of smell, touch, taste, sight, and hearing, although there is the occasional sixth sense where we can sense danger. However, this belief in having five or six senses is a misconception that has been around for the longest time now, and people are still holding on to this misconception. The truth is that human beings have way more than five or six senses, with researchers believing that we could have over 20 of them. In addition to the number of senses you think you have, please add senses such as the sense of acceleration, thirst, hunger, stomach fullness, itching, the need to urinate, the need to defecate, and so many other senses. Do you know you can even sense whether your body is in a limb position, time, balance, pain, temperature, pressure, and carbon dioxide levels?
12. Viking Wore Helmets And Drank From A Their Enemies’ Skulls
If you have watched any movie that has Vikings in it, you will realize that this fierce community of raiders and traders from Northern Europe used to wear helmets that had thorns on them. A good idea of what Vikings may have looked like is the Asgardians we watch in any of Thor’s movies, since the Vikings believed in the Norse Religion and focused on Odin and Thor – especially during warfare. Furthermore, these peoples’ idea of a cup is believed to be a human skull that was once an enemy’s head. Although people had good reasons to be afraid of this community, there is hardly any evidence to suggest that they wore helmets that had horns on them. Also, the idea that they used to drink from the skulls of the enemies they had vanquished was as a result of a terrible misinterpretation of the Viking’s use of the phrase ór bjúgviðum hausa, when referring to their drinking horns.
11. We Only Use 10 Per Cent Of Our Brains
Well, this makes a lot of sense because the brain is so complex, and no one really knows much about it, right? Those people who believe we only use 10% of our brains claim that if we could access the other 90%, people would have super memories and even telekinetic powers. Have you watched the 2014 movie, Lucy? The movie claims that human beings would become gods, if only they had the ability to use 100% of their brains. Neurologists laugh at such beliefs since they know for a fact that human beings use far more than 10% of their brains, and they understand so much more about the brain than people give them credit for. The brain’s complexity stems from its ability to perform millions of acts in an instance, including being the origin of feelings, experiences, behaviors, and self-awareness. The brain is an amazing organ and neurologists are still in the process of uncovering more mysteries, but we can be sure that in addition to using almost all of the brain; it is always working around the clock.
10. Hair And Fingernails Continue To Grow After Someone Dies
It is highly likely that most of the people reading this have never had the opportunity to exhume the body of an individual that died a while back. We are told or made to believe, that even after an individual dies, the hair and the fingernails continue to grow. Apart from the horror movies which make us believe that this growth is possible, this common belief goes back to as far back as we can remember, but like everything else on this list, this belief is false. Immediately a person’s heart stops, the flow of blood to the brain ceases, the limbs stiffen, and all body functions grind to a halt within seven minutes. For hair and fingernails to grow, the production of new cells has to take place, meaning that there is no way they can grow when someone is dead. However, after death, the hair and nails may appear longer after a while because the skin retracts and reveal a bit more of them.
9. A Goldfish Has A Memory That Lasts Only Three Seconds
Has someone ever told you that you have the memory of a goldfish? That was a terrible insult because we all know that a goldfish forgets everything after three seconds. This belief in the short length of a goldfish’s memory is nothing but a terrible misconception. Possibly this myth came about to make people feel better about keeping fish in a tank all day every day. Contrary to what most people believe, it is possible to train goldfish to respond to different kinds of music, colors, and sensory cues, which they will remember for a very long time. People all over the world have conducted experiments with different kinds of fish in order to test their memories, with finding showing that a fish can remember things for more than three seconds. Scientists at the Israeli Technion Institute of Technology, trained fish to respond to a sound when it was feeding time, an experiment that went on throughout the period they were on their farms. They released the fish into the wild and after five months, the fish responded to the sound in an almost identical fashion as they were a few months before that.
8. Microwave Ovens Can Cause Cancer
You must have heard that microwave ovens produce radiation that is responsible for causing cancer, and that they heat food from inside out. Someone can argue that until the invention of the microwave oven we did not have as many cancer cases as we have today and that some food straight from the microwave seems hotter inside than it is on the outside. However, regardless of how much someone argues, these two claims are just misconceptions. First, microwaves do not cause food to be radioactive, and the energy they give off is not enough to damage a cell’s DNA to result in cancer. In addition, the composition of the food you put in the microwave will determine how it heats up since these ovens work by heating the water molecules, which in turn heat up the food. Furthermore, the microwave frequency in use will affect how far the microwave will penetrate.
7. Men Think About Sex Every Seven Seconds
Do men really think about sex every seven seconds? If this were the case, men would hardly ever get anything done in school or even at work, because the amount of mental thought that dedicated to sex would be too much. Whoever came up with this figure was vague, because he or she would have also indicated the time men spend thinking about sex on each episode for us to understand it better. If the thoughts were to last five seconds every time, which we would all assume are supposed to last a bit longer, would men be able to function in society? Although it is a fact that men thinking about sex more often than women do, the frequency and amount of mental energy dedicated to this activity is extremely hard to calculate. Therefore, women should not believe this dumb misconception, and men should not try to live up to it either.
6. Houseflies Live For Only 24 Hours
Those people who say that life is short should know that there are other living beings out there that have it far much worse than us human beings. We all know that a housefly lives for only 24 hours right? We know this because we have heard it so many times and besides, the housefly in the animation A Bug’s Life confirmed it. However, the truth is that a housefly can live up to a month and in special circumstances up to two months, which is if it does not cross paths with a human being wielding a swatter. Like other bugs, when the female lays its eggs, the larvae hatch into worm-like creatures that get larger and become pupae. The pupae develop hard shells where they remain dormant while developing the features of adult houseflies. The full-grown flies make their way out of the hard shells and immediately begin their search for food and a mate. That whole process can take anywhere between seven to ten days, and the adult can live for a month or so.
5. Jesus Christ Was Born On Christmas Day
Towards the end of the year, everyone around the world gets into the holiday spirit. Although different people have different reasons for celebrating, Christmas is usually the highlight of the end of the year celebrations, closely followed by the New Year. Judging from the name of the holiday on 25th of December, Christmas is ideally a celebration of Christ’s birth, the son of God who came to earth in order to save mankind from the consequences of sin. However, most people have no idea that Christ was not born on December 25, let alone in the month of December. The Bible makes no mention of the date or the year, but the account of Jesus’ birth in the gospels points to a period between March and May, according to some Theologians. Since the early Christians did not find the need to celebrate Christ’s birthday, it was not until Pope Julius declared 25th of December, as the day for the official celebration.
4. The New “Alpha Wolf” Overthrows “The Old Alpha” To Become Leader Of The Wolf Pack
Thanks to movies and amazing books written by animal behaviorists, we know that wolves have a very interesting social structure. When a wolf feels that it is ready to lead the pack, it challenges the current alpha to a fight, and if it wins, it takes over, right? Although that is what most people believe, it is not accurate on any level. Just like human beings, wolves live in families consisting of the parents and children. Naturally, the parents will lead the pack because they are stronger, have more experience, and they are naturally deserving of the respect of their offspring. Occasionally, the parents will discipline their cubs, whether they appear to be the same size or not, a perfectly normal family situation. When the cubs are grown, they leave their parents, find mates and begin their own packs. So the next time someone gives you a speech about becoming the alpha wolf, just smile at him or her politely because he or she knows nothing about wolves.
3. Computers Using MacOS Will Never Get Viruses Unlike Those Using Windows OS
No one needs to tell you that as long as your computer is running on any Windows operating system, you cannot do without antivirus software. However, users of computers running on the MacOS need not worry about Trojan horses or any other frustrating viruses out there, or should they? If you believe that mac products cannot catch viruses, you could not be further from the truth. All computers, including those running on Linux/GNU or MacOS, are susceptible to viruses, and people using these operating systems can lose so much data or suffer the consequences of having malware if they are not careful. However, since someone has to design malware and release it to the masses, designing such for MacOS is not easy and they are not many in circulation anyway. Since the viruses out there targeting Windows operating systems are so many, Microsoft has been on the forefront in battling malware, but Apple seems to be content with their operating systems.
2. “Irregardless” Is Not A Word
If you love and respect the English language, then you have to be those people who get offended when people use words such as “irregardless”, “conversate”, “thusly” and so on, because these are not real words. As right as you would be in the claims that the use of such words is unacceptable and unprofessional, they are real words. This is almost like the case of hearing a lie so often that it becomes the truth, since people have used these and many other words so often and for such a long time that even the dictionaries have decided to include them in their contents. Unlike most of these entries, it is right to support this supposed misconception because the words are grammatically incorrect. However, since language is all about communication and it is ever evolving, most of the slang and perhaps incorrect words in use today might eventually find their way into the dictionary and become real words. “Irregardless” might be incorrect grammar, but there is no denying that it is a real word.
1. The Sun Is Yellow, Of Course
Are you a fan of watching the sun set? The sunset is one of the most beautiful events that happen literally every day. One thing you know and can observe even without looking for sources to confirm your claims is that the sun is yellow, or is it? People often believe that the sun is yellow, red, or orange, which is not necessarily the case. At certain times of the day, the sun might appear yellow, which is the result of atmospheric scattering. Images from space clearly show that, in layman terms, the sun is white. However, the sun is a combination of all the colors, which is the reason it appears white to our eyes. Furthermore, the sun’s CIE color-space index places it at (0.3, 0.3), which is essentially white. The easiest way to explain this is to look at the rainbow since it is the separation of the sun’s light according to wavelengths.