Some people swear by things they picked up at school or university, others rely on the opinions of experts, while there are also some who get their intake of facts from the World Wide Web. And while some of the sources might seem more reliable than others, it’s not uncommon that all of them might be incorrect sometimes.
There are plenty of scientific theories that have been proven wrong, so things that you’ve heard from 3 friends and aunt and your grandma can definitely be wrong. Here’s a list of half-truths and all-lies that many people believe but actually have either been disputed or don’t have any actual substance to them, according to Wikipedia. Scroll down, read through, and see if your own perception of truth and reality is challenged. Oh, and don’t forget to comment and vote on your favorites!
Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism Or Autism Spectrum Disorders
Although fraudulent research by British doctor Andrew Wakefield claimed a connection, repeated attempts to reproduce the results ended in failure, and the research was ultimately shown to have been manipulated.
A Common Belief Regarding Self-Harm Is That It Is An Attention-Seeking Behaviour; In Many Cases, This Is Inaccurate
Many self-harmers are very self-conscious of their wounds and scars and feel guilty about their behaviour, leading them to go to great lengths to conceal their behaviour from others. They may offer alternative explanations for their injuries, or conceal their scars with clothing.
Ancient Greek Sculptures Were Originally Painted Bright Colors
They only appear white today because the original pigments have deteriorated. Some well-preserved statues still bear traces of their original coloration.
There Is No Such Thing As An “Alpha” In A Wolf Pack
An early study that coined the term “alpha wolf” had only observed unrelated adult wolves living in captivity. In the wild, wolf packs operate more like human families: there is no defined sense of rank, parents are in charge until the young grow up and start their own families, younger wolves do not overthrow an “alpha” to become the new leader, and social dominance fights are situational.
It Is Rarely Necessary To Wait 24 Hours Before Filing A Missing Person Report
In instances where there is evidence of violence or of an unusual absence, law enforcement agencies in the United States often stress the importance of beginning an investigation promptly. The UK government website says in large type, “You don’t have to wait 24 hours before contacting the police.”
Goldfish Don’t Have Short Memory Spans
The notion that goldfish have a memory span of just a few seconds is false. It is much longer, counted in months.
Humans Have More Than The Commonly Cited Five Senses
The number of senses in various categorizations ranges from five to more than 20. In addition to sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing, which were the senses identified by Aristotle, humans can sense balance and acceleration (equilibrioception), pain (nociception), body and limb position (proprioception or kinesthetic sense), and relative temperature (thermoception). Other senses sometimes identified are the sense of time, echolocation, itching, pressure, hunger, thirst, fullness of the stomach, need to urinate, need to defecate, and blood carbon dioxide (CO2) levels.
Napoleon Bonaparte Was Not Short
He was actually slightly taller than the average Frenchman of his time. After his death in 1821, the French emperor’s height was recorded as 5 feet 2 inches in French feet, which in English measurements is 5 feet 7 inches (1.70 m). He was actually nicknamed le Petit Caporal (The Little Corporal) as a term of endearment. Napoleon was often accompanied by his imperial guard, who were selected for their height—this could have contributed to a perception that he was comparatively short.
The Forbidden Fruit Is Not Apple
The forbidden fruit mentioned in the Book of Genesis is never identified as an apple, a misconception widely depicted in Western art. The original Hebrew texts mention only tree and fruit. Early Latin translations use the word mali, which can be taken to mean both “evil” and “apple”. In early Germanic languages the word “apple” and its cognates usually meant simply “fruit”. German and French artists commonly depict the fruit as an apple from the 12th century onwards, and John Milton’s Areopagitica from 1644 explicitly mentions the fruit as an apple. Jewish scholars have suggested that the fruit could have been a grape, a fig, wheat, an apricot, or an etrog.
Albert Einstein Did Not Fail Mathematics Classes
Albert Einstein did not fail mathematics classes (never “flunked a math exam”) in school. Upon seeing a column making this claim, Einstein said “I never failed in mathematics… Before I was fifteen I had mastered differential and integral calculus.” Einstein did, however, fail his first entrance exam into the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School (ETH) in 1895, when he was two years younger than his fellow students, but scored exceedingly well in the mathematics and science sections, then passed on his second attempt.
Acne Is Mostly Caused By Genetics
Acne is mostly caused by genetics, rather than lack of hygiene, eating fatty food, or other personal habits.
Eight Glasses, Or Two To Three Liters, Of Water A Day Are Not Needed To Maintain Health
The amount of water needed varies by person (weight), diet, activity level, clothing, and environment (heat and humidity). Water does not actually need to be drunk in pure form, but can be derived from liquids such as juices, tea, milk, soups, etc., and from foods including fruits and vegetables.
People Don’t Swallow A High Number Of Spiders While Asleep
The widespread urban legend that one swallows a high number of spiders during sleep in one’s life has no basis in reality. A sleeping person causes all kinds of noise and vibrations by breathing, the beating heart, snoring etc. all of which warn spiders of danger.
Hair Care Products Cannot Actually “Repair” Split Ends And Damaged Hair
They can prevent damage from occurring in the first place, and they can also smooth down the cuticle in a glue-like fashion so that it appears repaired, and generally make hair appear in better condition.
Thomas Edison Did Not Invent The Light Bulb
He did, however, develop the first practical light bulb in 1880 (employing a carbonized bamboo filament), shortly prior to Joseph Swan, who invented an even more efficient bulb in 1881 (which used a cellulose filament).
There Is No Evidence That Iron Maidens Were Used For Torture, Or Even Yet Invented, In The Middle Ages
Instead they were pieced together in the 18th century from several artifacts found in museums in order to create spectacular objects intended for (commercial) exhibition.
The Deep Web Is Not Full Of Porn, Drugs And Stolen Bank Details
The area that contains this illegal information is a small portion of the deep web known as the “dark web.” Much of the deep web consists of academic libraries, databases, and anything that isn’t indexed by normal search engines.
Sign Languages Are Not The Same Worldwide
Aside from the pidgin International Sign, each country generally has its own native sign language, and some have more than one (although there are also substantial similarities among all sign languages).
Fortune Cookies Were Invented In Japan, Not China
Fortune cookies, despite being associated with Chinese cuisine in the United States, were invented in Japan and introduced to the US by the Japanese. The cookies are extremely rare in China, where they are seen as symbols of American cuisine.
Vikings Didn’t Have Horns On Their Helmets
There is no evidence that Vikings wore horns on their helmets. In fact, the image of Vikings wearing horned helmets stems from the scenography of an 1876 production of the Der Ring des Nibelungen opera cycle by Richard Wagner.
Christopher Columbus Was Not The First European To Visit The Americas
Leif Erikson, and possibly other Vikings before him, explored Vinland, which was either the island of Newfoundland, part of modern Canada, or a term for Newfoundland and parts of the North American mainland. Ruins at L’Anse aux Meadows prove that at least one Norse settlement was built in Newfoundland, confirming a narrative in the Saga of Erik the Red. Columbus also never reached any land that now forms part of the mainland United States of America; most of the landings Columbus made on his four voyages, including the initial October 12, 1492 landing (the anniversary of which forms the basis of Columbus Day), were on Caribbean islands that are now independent countries.
The Great Wall Of China Is Not Visible From Space Or From The Moon
The Great Wall of China is not, as is claimed, the only human-made object visible from space or from the Moon. None of the Apollo astronauts reported seeing any specific human-made object from the Moon, and even Earth-orbiting astronauts can see it only with magnification. City lights, however, are easily visible on the night side of Earth from orbit.
Humans Did Not Evolve From Either Of The Living Species Of Chimpanzees
Humans and chimpanzees did, however, evolve from a common ancestor. The most recent common ancestor of humans and the other living chimpanzees lived between 5 and 8 million years ago.
The Historical Buddha Was Not Obese
The “chubby Buddha” or “laughing Buddha” is a 10th-century Chinese folk hero by the name of Budai. In Chinese Buddhist culture, Budai came to be revered as an incarnation of Maitreya, the Bodhisattva who will become a Buddha to restore Buddhism after the teachings of the historical Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama, have been forgotten.
Sugar Does Not Cause Hyperactivity In Children
Double-blind trials have shown no difference in behavior between children given sugar-full or sugar-free diets, even in studies specifically looking at children with Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or those considered sensitive to sugar.
The Redhead Gene Is Not Becoming Extinct Due To The Gene For Red Hair Being Recessive, Nor Will The Gene For Blond Hair Disappear
Although redheads and blonds may become more rare, they will not die out unless everyone who carries those genes (strictly speaking, alleles) dies or fails to reproduce.
There Was No Widespread Outbreak Of Panic Across The United States In Response To Orson Welles’s 1938 Radio Adaptation Of H.g. Wells’s The War Of The Worlds
Only a very small share of the radio audience was even listening to it, and isolated reports of scattered incidents and increased call volume to emergency services were played up the next day by newspapers, eager to discredit radio as a competitor for advertising. Both Wells and CBS, which had initially reacted apologetically, later came to realize that the myth benefited them and actively embraced it in later years.
Hair And Fingernails Do Not Continue To Grow After A Person Dies
Rather, the skin dries and shrinks away from the bases of hairs and nails, giving the appearance of growth.
George Washington Did Not Have Wooden Teeth
His dentures were made of gold, hippopotamus ivory, lead, animal teeth (including horse and donkey teeth), and probably human teeth purchased from slaves.
Vomiting Was Not A Regular Part Of Roman Dining Customs
In ancient Rome, the architectural feature called a vomitorium was the entranceway through which crowds entered and exited a stadium, not a special room used for purging food during meals.
Note: this post originally had 94 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.