We don't realize how much about the world we don't know. There's a million "facts" we're told from the moment we enter school we live our whole lives thinking to be true. Honestly, a quick peek at the super computer we all carry in our pockets can teach us a thing or two about well-known "facts" and "truths" regarding yawning, Christopher Columbus, and goldfish.
Time to educate ourselves.
Reddit user, u/Fred_the_human_1, wanted to know what isn't true when they asked:
You're All Going To Do It In 3...2...1...tired homer simpson GIFGiphy
That yawning simply indicates that you're tired.
Sometimes you do yawn as your body is preparing for sleep, but it's more likely that's because we react with a yawn when changing our physical state. This could also be when you become more alert and awake or when you're breathing differently.
That's definitely not the only reason we yawn. It could be for getting extra oxygen into our blood, a reaction to being bored and not getting much stimulation or for cooling down our brain.
It's Dead. Sorry.
That the Megladon may still be out there. No. The skeletons found stop at a certain period of time thousands and thousands of years ago. If they were still alive in some "great underground ocean" we would have found skeletal evidence by now.
Sometimes The Lie Is More Important Than The Truth
Albert Einstein was:bad at math in school, a dunce, learned to read late, et al.
Albert Einstein was an above average student from day 1 and by 6th grade was reading college level physics books. He learned to read at an exceptionally early age, most historians believe he did not have a learning disorder but like Isaac Newton did display some signs of mild Aspergers and the believed origin of the "dunce" story is his entrance exam to Zurich Polytechnic. He was 16 at the time, did not know a lot of French which was the language of the test and he aced the math portion. Math is the same in every language. He however bombed the botany, zoology and language sections most likely due to the language barrier.
However I can say, as a disinterested elementary student who had little interest to apply myself, being told those lies did help. I became very interested in Einstein and wanted to "succeed" too. I graduated just shy of valedictorian and that's from being nearly held back in 4th grade for not learning or doing my work.
Longer Than You Thought
That people used to often die in their 20s. The average age for people in the Middle Ages was around 25, but that's not because people died when they were 25. Most people lived to about 50, but there were a ton of deaths at birth, and that brought down the "average" lifespan.
Protect Your Digital Neck
That you need anti-virus software on your PC.
Modern operating systems and web browsers are perfectly capable of defending you against most threats, assuming you're not doing anything egregiously risky.
A lot of anti-virus software is more likely to be the way viruses get in to your system than the reason they can't.
Turns Out Everything Your Parents Know Is Wrong
Blood is not blue inside the body. (Mother insists this is true because her college professor told her that in the 80s.)
Bring her to the blood donation centre. Blood is clearly red in the bags, and it should not be mixing with air.
Just Another Reason To Hate Columbus
That people in the Middle Ages believed the Earth was flat. It was a rather common knowledge since the Ancient Greece that the Earth is round. Hence Columbus argued that he can find a way to India by sailing the other way.
Settle Down, Tesla Fanboys
Edison didn't invent the lightbulb, he just invented the filament that makes it last longer. Joseph Swan invented the bulb years before.
Canadians Henry Woodward and Matthew Evans also invented an electric lightbulb, and they sold the patent of that lightbulb to Edison. Edison may have made the lightbulb more practical but a big part of his legacy comes from the fact that he was pretty good at credit stealing too.
Everyone! Stop Eating Carrots!
Carrots improve your eyesight.
It was British WW2 propaganda to cover up the fact that radar had been invented
For people into conspiracy theories, this is what actual conspiracies look like
And notice that it didn't stay hidden because conspiracies are impossible to keep quiet.
Eat How You Want, When You Wanthomer simpson eating GIFGiphy
Breakfast is not the most important meal of the day.
Cooking vegetables in the microwave is not bad for them.
The food pyramid is not the most health way to eat.
We do not need three meals a day.
Breakfast is somewhat of a social construct sold to people by marketing campaigns. I get flac sometimes for not eating "breakfast food" when I wake up in the morning but it honestly doesn't matter. I'll often eat leftovers for breakfast as well, which was apparently the most common form of breakfast before the "breakfast food" marketing took hold.
Flip Flops. Those Are Flip Flops.
It's illegal to drive without shoes.
This is false.
Without shoes is better than with thongs
Pumped Up For A Different Reason
That children eating too much sugar makes them hyperactive.
Kids especially eat it at birthday parties, Halloween, Christmas, other candy filled holidays/events. They're not bouncing off the walls because they're on a crazed sugar high, they're bouncing off the walls because they're happy and excited. Chances are if you eat something with lots of sugar when blood sugar levels are already regulated, it will just store the sugar as fat rather than use it for energy. If the body really needs to use the energy, it will.
Maybe Change The Name To A Shapiro
That Napoleon was short. He was 5'6 which was average height by the standards of the day. People believed it because of differences in French units which made him 5'2. It was likely also partly because he was always surrounded by grenadiers, who were typically big strong dudes. British propaganda undoubtedly played a huuuge part in perpetuating the myth too.
Accepted Fact that is wrong: Cow's consistently produce milk, and if they don't get milked they become ill.
Cow's only produce milk when they become pregnant, and that milk would normally be fed to their babies, but we take that milk for our own consumption until she stops producing it, at this point we force her to become pregnant again.
The male baby cow's get killed on there first day of life, the females grow up to become pregnant and milked...and then killed.
Bonus accepted fact that is wrong: Milk is good for you.
"You can't sneeze with your eyes open"
I can and have!
The Scent Of A Woman
That a mother bird will abandon her young if she smells the scent of humans on them.
This is not true. Find a baby on the ground beneath its nest? Gently scoop it up and return it to its nest and the parents will continue to care for it.
Edit...As it has been pointed out in several responses, if you ever find yourself in a position in which you feel the need to put a baby bird back in its nest, be certain that said baby bird is not a fledgling trying to learn to fly (although I imagine it would simply just hop right back out of its nest).
Ah, So They Died Another Way?
Dutch sailors didn't hunt dodos to extinction.
Their meat was so rubbery they left it alone. They imported pigs and dogs which ate their eggs which it lays on ground and they had a very slow reproduction cycle.
Every Parent Of A 5-Year Old Has Some Explaining To Do
Goldfish only grow to the size of their bowls.
An average household goldfish will only grow a small amount because the vast majority are malnourished and living in poor conditions. In the wild, a goldfish can grow up to 30cm long and live to around 20 years.
The common picture most people have of goldfish is essentially the same as if you'd only ever seen malnourished children and assumed that's just what all humans looked like.
Do We Just Not Understand Goldfish At All?
That goldfish have a five second memory. It's simply not true. Fish intelligence is vastly underestimated. Some fish can solve complex problems and many can recognize individual human faces.
Got It? GOT IT?angry homer simpson GIFGiphy
The hymen is not a paper-thin layer of skin that breaks with penetration, nor is that the reason why some women, (or in some people's minds, all women) bleed when losing their virginity. This one is more a myth, but its still widely accepted as a fact from what I can tell.
For real, I have been told by multiple doctors that I simply don't have a hymen. I'm not born with one. Not sure if being a man has something to do with it?