Most of us have heard at least about one of those below. The so-called ‘facts’. But be careful – this short article might ruin your way of thinking.
It’s just a bunch of beliefs that are completely untrue.
#1 The Great Wall of China can be seen from space
According to astronaut you can see it only from the so-called low orbit. As long as the weather conditions are favorable. One of the reasons is that the wall is very difficult to be recognized as it was built of materials of similar color to those prevailing in the landscape. As the contrast is very small, spotting the wall form even a very low altitude is really hard.
#2 Listening to Mozart will make your child smarter
This theory, often referred to as ‘the Mozart effect’, was put forward as a result of research conducted by Frances Rauscher, a psychologist, who claimed that students listening to Mozart performed better in tasks requiring spatial intelligence and abstract thinking. According to a number of studies conducted worldwide listening to music as such is key to improving cognitive skills and abstract thinking. However, it is not just Mozart’s music that has got such properties, but music as such. There are several reports of cognitive skills being boosted due to exposure to music.
#3 Ostriches hide their heads in sand
These birds are not that shy. When they are in danger they know how to defend themselves. They never put their heads in the sand but there are situations when the birds lie down and press their bodies close to the ground.
#4 A small coin dropped from a skyscraper could kill you
This myth has been with us for decades – a penny dropped from the top of a skyscraper reaches a velocity that makes it a lethal weapon against a person it hits. This theory was debunked by Louis Bloomfield, a professor of physics. He designed a helium balloon dropping coins from a substantial altitude. According to the professor, the coins are too aerodynamically unstable which prevents them from reaching high speeds and therefore they do not pose a big threat, no matter the height they are dropped from. The scientist warns, however, that more aerodynamic objects like pens could be really dangerous.
#5 Touching a toad results in warts
Toad warts are nothing but venom organs that release a dangerous substance. Touching them can cause health issues but it will not directly give you a wart.
#6 Diamonds are made of coal
Some people are taught that diamonds are made of coal. It is not true. Coal was formed as a result decomposition of plants that grew much later than diamonds formed.
#7 Urine neutralizes jellyfish stings
According to scientists, using urine might make the jellyfish stings stuck in your skin release even more venom giving you even more pain. What you need to apply is white vinegar, not urine. Then, using tweezers, remove all the jellyfish ‘souvenirs’.
#8 Opossums sleep upside down
Although this would definitely look very cute, adult opossums are too heavy to hold the weight of their body using their tail. The tail is flexible enough to wrap it round a branch which lets them keep balance when they are on a tree. Although useless while they sleep, the tail is used for carrying building materials for nests as well as food.
#9 Human blood can be blue
Blood running in our veins might look blue when the skin is illuminated. Still, this is nothing but an optical illusion. In fact human blood is always red because of the hemoglobin content.
#10 An earthworm cut in two that’s two new earthworms (and in fact this is quite possible!)
If the earthworm’s tail gets cut off, the earthworm can recreate it. If the front part is cut of, the worm dies as it contains the critical parts of the body. Flatworms, however, can regenerate from any part of their body. The tail can recreate the head so from a worm cut into three you can get three new ones. In practice, however, only one part of three will be able to reduplicate and it’s also likely that all the three parts will die just as well.