20 Myths About Everyday Stuff You Probably Still Believe

Misconceptions quickly become modern-day facts. Incorrect factoids which we believe to be true, like Napoleon Bonaparte being short, Albert Einstein flunking math as a kid, Vitamin C as an effective treatment for colds, and water swirling down the drain changing direction depending on which side of the equator it's on, can quickly take on a life of their own. Perhaps the worst thing about popular myths is that they are easy to spread, but almost impossible to get rid of once they're released in the world. Scare articles and urban legends may get enormous media attention when they first break; retractions and refutations rarely get the same treatment.

Myths, old wives’ tales and urban legends are told as fantastical stories and sometimes interesting trivia, and let’s face it: they feel good to tell, because the teller thinks they are in on something most people don’t know, even if the factoid itself is completely false. But how entertaining a myth is doesn’t change objective reality: a penny dropped from a skyscraper won’t kill a person below, alcohol doesn’t keep you warm, sharks do get cancer, and vaccines will still not cause autism.

False “facts” are typically ones that everyone knows. You probably hear them from people in your everyday lives, from folklore, from books and movies, perhaps even from your teachers who don’t know any better. Here are some of the world’s most well-known myths and misconceptions about everyday things, compiled and debunked. This will likely be the first list of several.

20 The Tongue Map

19 Flight of the Bumblebee

18 “Left Brain” vs. “Right Brain”

17 Wait an Hour After Eating Before Swimming

16 Hide Under Highway Overpasses During a Tornado

15 Swallowing Your Own Tongue

14 Alcohol Kills Brain Cells

13 Mid-Life Crisis

12 Five Senses

11 Waking Sleepwalkers

10 Waiting 24 Hours Before Filing A Missing Persons Report

9 Undercover Cops Have to Identify Themselves if Asked

8 Glass is Really a Very Viscous Liquid

7 Polygraphs as Lie Detectors

6 Sugar Causes Hyperactivity in Children

5 Plants ‘Convert’ Carbon Dioxide into Oxygen

4 The Great Wall of China Visible From Space


3 High Fructose Corn Syrup Is Worse Than Sugar

2 Eight Glasses of Water Needed Per Day

1 Humans Only Use 10% of Our Brain

This urban legend is still so widespread that it's the basis for Hollywood movies. The story goes that most humans only use a tiny portion of their brain, usually given as about 10% or some other small percentage. The (rather anti-social) implication is that most people are stupid, and some "special people" might be able to tap into this unused super-intelligence. Unfortunately for those who might want telekinetic superpowers like the movie version of Roald Dahl's Matilda, this notion is completely false. Humans use virtually all of their brains, all of the time. In brain scans like MRI imaging, all parts of the brain are almost always active, including during deep sleep. It's long overdue this pseudoscientific folklore was put to rest, though it is still used in advertisements and cited in media as though it were a fact.

Give TheRichest a Thumbs up!

Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheRichest?

Get Your Free Access Now!

More in Most Shocking

20 Myths About Everyday Stuff You Probably Still Believe