Older People Share Lessons They Learned In School That Are Now Completely Irrelevant Or Proven False

The world is moving at an incredibly fast pace. Sometimes, it's hard for our education to keep up. Sometimes, teachers teach things that are just plain wrong. Here, Redditors shared their favorite "lesson" that they learned in school that is no longer true, or completely irrelevant. If you want to see more, check out the source at the bottom of the page. 

1. But it's in the food guide!

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Nope. Just a slogan paid for by Kellogg's.



2. This is an oddly specific one

I always heard that the komodo dragon, the largest living lizard on Earth, was such a successful predator because its mouth was so filthy and septic that the microbes in the saliva would cause fatal infections on its prey. The dragon would track the wounded animal until it eventually collapsed and would eat it. This, as it turns out, is not true or at the very least not the whole story.

It takes days for microbial infections to begin to show symptoms in an animal as large as, say, a water buffalo, but animals were collapsing hours after being bitten, not days. Microbial infections from their saliva couldn't explain how rapidly these large mammals were being killed.

This lie was repeated throughout my childhood, and I even heard it repeated at the San Diego zoo as recently as last year. As it turns out, komodo dragons are able to hunt so successfully because they their saliva contains venom that they produce from their venom glands.



3. That's not how I learned it!

In psychology class we learned about the bystander effect in the Kitty Genovese story where apparently she was assaulted and killed. She cried for help but her neighbors in the building apparently assumed someone else was going to help her. Turns out the story was embellished by a reporter so that it sounded like no one did help her but her neighbors actually helped and she died on the way to the hospital.



4. Still waiting...

I was taught in grade school that we had to know the metric system because the United States was going to adopt it like, any day now. For sure.

That was about 30 years ago.



5. An oldie but a goodie

That there are only 3 states of matter.



6. Ahh the good old days

You're only allowed to use ONE source from the internet in your paper. The rest needs to come from books. And god forbid someone else beat you to that book you needed, you might not see it for TWO weeks.



7. "Right..."

Christopher Columbus was the first dude to discover America, and tried to bargain with the Indigenous peoples but couldn't work it out because of "cultural differences". 



8. Fibre optic fur

Polar bears stayed warm because their fur was fibre optic and absorbed heat from the sun. It IS true that they stay warm from their fur (along with their fat), but it's not fibre optic. 


9. Cursive is the gateway drug

You HAVE to learn in cursive writing. Higher schooling will not accept anything that isn't cursive.



10. We would all be dead if this were true

I don't know how much common is it but I learned that "If the earth were 1cm closer to the sun, we would be burned; 1cm further from the Sun we would be frozen" thing.

No, we wouldn't. The distance is changing all the time, during a year. That's how it works.



11. How wrong they were

You're not gonna have a calculator every where you go.



12. This is actually a really good point about how education systems fail us

Negative numbers. For 4 years of elementary school I'm told that you can't subtract 8 from 7 and so the problem is unsolvable. In 5th grade the answer is suddenly -1. Why wait 5 years to reveal that? Can students under 5th grade not handle the concept of negative numbers? I hated math after that and wondered what else would just suddenly be changed on me.



13. Outdated health classes

We weren't taught about the female pleasure system, and were taught that the only way to "truly" have sex was with a penis inside a vagina. They didn't even touch on gay / lesbian sex or other forms of pleasure. 



14. Lemmings aren't actually, well, lemmings

I learned in school that lemmings (the small rodents) follow each other robotically, even to the point where they'll walk off cliffs to their deaths. Wrong! This "fact" was actually staged for a Walt Disney documentary back in the 60s or so.



15. Huh, hadn't thought about that

When I was a kid we were taught that penguins feet didn't freeze because of their circulation. Turns out they have antifreeze proteins in their blood that bind to ice crystals and stop them from growing so their blood stays liquid well below 0 degrees.



16. Dinosaur lies

A brontosaurus is no longer a thing (now called apatosaurus)



17. I can't even imagine how this went down at home...

That two blue-eyed parents can't have a brown-eyed child. Apparently not only is this pure crap - the genetics of eye colour is more complex than that - it led to a lot of kids being rejected by their real fathers before DNA testing became available.


18. I'm pretty sure that she should have known that without Googling it

My 8th grade biology teacher told us that only identical twins were possible and that there was no scientific possibility for identical triplets, quints, etc.

Imagine my surprise many years later when I discovered this was a blatant lie. I'm still confused as to how she could have possibly believed that but then I remember that was before the internet.



19. This one never made sense to me

The tongue has different "taste zones". No. No it doesn't. 


20. Feathers?!

Most tyrannosaurs were completely feathered and their posture was really long and sprinty. At least that is what we can believe now after more study. At the time I was to believe that they were like upright iguanas with big teeth.



21. Don't trust everything you read!

I learned that fat is the biggest cause of heart disease, which isn't true. Turns out, sugar companies paid off scientist to focus the blame off sugar and push it onto fat.

I'm not saying go out and eat bacon, sausage, and steak for every meal. I'm not saying you can never eat sugar. I'm just saying we used to demonize all fats saying they lead to heart disease when we know now there are good heart healthy fats. We also went through a period where "reduced fat" foods where considered healthier even though they had extra sugar to compensate for the lack of taste. I'm not your dietician nor your cardiologist. I'm just noting there seems to be a shift in the tide on our views of sugars and fats.



22. A structure built on lies

The food pyramid.



23. Eight glasses a day.

I was told to drink 8 glasses of water a day. Turns out, most of the water our body gets is through our food, and that much water isn't necessary. 


24. Blood lies

I remember being told that deoxygenated blood is blue. Liars.


25. Rest in peace, little buddy

Pluto was a planet while I was at school.


26. In case you didn't know, this happened just in the past year

There is a country called Czechoslovakia.



27. Where's Snopes when you need it?

My dumb biology teacher in grade 8 told us "AIDS happened because a man had sex with a monkey."

I did not go to the best school.



28. News flash: you are always growing

You're born with a set number of brain cells and that number can only diminish throughout your life. Not true. 



29. *quickly runs to Google Maps*

The rain forest, at current rate of consumption, will be gone by 1996.



30. The great wall of LIES

The Great Wall Of China is the only man-made structure visible from space.




Comments have been edited for clarity.

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