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Thread: Top 15 Lies You Were Told As A Kid

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    Top 15 Lies You Were Told As A Kid



    You'll feel so much better after you learn #1 is a lie...

    Read along:

    Number 15: Mother birds will abandon their babies or eggs if a human touched them. Many of you were probably told this misconception by your parents, and were warned to never assist a baby bird or unhatched egg back into its next. However, biologists have confirmed mother birds will not abandon their children if they are touched by human hands. Birds don't have a strong sense of smell, and therefore will not be able to tell the difference. It is actually more harmful for the bird to not touch them, as they will eventually succumb to the elements, hunger or predators they will be exposed to and helpless to save themselves from. If you find a baby bird has fallen from its nest and it's still alive, it is perfectly safe to return the poor thing to its nest, and if anything, the mother bird will be grateful for your altruism as they cannot rescue their child themselves.

    Number 14: The Tongue has different regions to interpret taste. Many of you will probably recognize the diagrams of the tongue defining the different taste regions, such as bitter, sweet, sour, etc. However, these regions do not actually exist, and the tongue can equally identify different tastes along its entire area. The Tongue Map was developed in 1901 by Harvard psychologist Edwin G. Boring, and was presented in his research paper published the same year. People misinterpreted the idea of the different regions being mapped and labelled meant these were where said tastes are transferred to the brain, when in reality is was a representation of minute differences in the threshold of detection levels throughout the tongue, and was simply a diagram of the difference in sensitivity. In other words, certain parts of the tongue can detect certain tastes before others. An investigation by Virginia Collings in 1974 finally put this myth to rest and proved all tastes are equally distributed around the tongue.

    Number 13: Cracking your knuckles will cause arthritis. This myth was rather recently debunked after extensive scientific research. While knuckle cracking may be an ungodly sound to some, the truth is it could actually be beneficial to our joints. In April 2015, researchers from the University of Alberta, Canada, observed volunteers cracking their joints through an MRI scan, and witnessed air bubbles bursting in the cavity of the joints, causing the popping sound we all hear. After the bubbles burst, a white flash was seen in the joints, which is believed to be water rushing to the now clear cavity. This would result in the joints becoming lubricated and thus easier to move and revealing soreness and pain. While sounding unpleasant, this appears to have beneficial effects to the joints and does not cause long term damage.

    Number 12: Chameleons change their colour to camouflage to their surroundings. It is easy to make this mistake, because many animals and insects globally will have colours to help them hide within their surroundings. Chameleons were seen as spectacles of nature, as they change colours with what many believed was a camouflage technique, but this is simply not true, and is generally thought to be the cause due to chameleons managing to match the colour of their surroundings. They actually change colour in order to visibly display their moods, including aggression and mating behaviour. It is similar to various creatures displaying bright colours or making certain sounds to attract a mate, or warn other animals they are entering their territory. Their change in colours is caused by molecular cells known as chromatophores; their skin is actually transparent in order to allow the cells to be visible and for the change to have its full effect. Regardless of the reason, this ability makes the chameleon a majestic spectacle of nature.

    Number 11: The sugar high. People may have noticed that mass consumption of sugary substances will cause the consumer to experience feeling hyper and a sense of increased energy. It is a parental nightmare, having their children jumping off the walls when it should be bedtime, and the sugar high myth is enough for parents to limit or completely cut off their child's sugar intake. Various studies since the 70s have shown the sugar high is nothing more than a placebo effect. This became official when in 1982, the National Institute of Health declared there was no link between sugar and hyperactivity. Explanations for the hyperactivity suggest children being excited during times when candy is much more prevalent, such as Christmas and Halloween, and the correlation surrounding such festivities is causing the mistake for sugar to cause one to become hyper. Sugar, however, is still proven to be a link to weight gain, diabetes and tooth decay, and sugar intake should still be taken in moderation.

    Number 10: Humans have five senses. We all know the common senses: touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing. Sadly, these often overlook other senses the body has people misattribute to belonging one of the five. Your body includes senses of heat, cold, pain, itch and pressure, all of which are usually assumed to be touch, but all have their own nerve endings corresponding to each. The muscles also include senses of motion and tension, which is what leads us to clench our fists and squeeze our eyes shut in times of pain, fear and anger. Two other important, yet overlooked senses are that of thirst and hunger; without these, we would literally allow ourselves to starve or dehydrate were it not for the dryness in the mouth or stomach groans before supper. Funnily enough, doctors also include the urge to urinate or dedicate as separate senses, since both give off distinct feelings for the person to determine which is which. Depending on who you ask, the human body has anywhere between nine and twenty different senses, with a possibility of much more.

    Number 9: Red heads are going extinct. The rapid spreading of this myth is due to news coverage on the subject by reporters and researchers who haven't fully checked their sources. Apart from red heads, the story has expanded to include blondes and people with blue eyes. The reason they're not going extinct is due the complexity of genetics would make it virtually impossible. The genetics behind what makes someone's hair or eyes a certain colour is the same of why some people have detached earlobes, or have a certain skin colour. All genes are a result of our parents carrying and passing on said genes to their children, and each have a dominant gene which will either cause the children to share said gene or have it cancelled out and waiting to be passed on further down. The reality is red heads, blondes and blue eyed people would only go extinct should all people carrying those genes were to stop reproducing.

    Number 8: The Great Wall of China is the only man made object you can see from space. First of all, nothing about this myth is true. The Great Wall of China is a massive structure running along nearly the entire Northern Chinese border, and was built in order to keep the invading Mongols from entering. The earliest mention of this myth is from the 1938 Richard Halliburton book Second Book of Marvels, the Orient, which it states the Great Wall is the only man-made object astronomers say is visible from the moon People have probably seen photos claiming to show the wall from space, but many of them are actually pointing to a river, with the wall being a few miles away and indecipherable from mountain ridges and other rivers. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station have said they are unable to locate the wall without the aid of telescopic lenses. Objects that they are able to spot include the Pyramids of Egypt, and can be observed with the naked eye. Furthermore, the massive cities can be seen in both the daylight and nighttime hours, especially with the massive glow of light they produce.

    Number 7: Glass is a slow moving liquid. If one observes an old window, he or she might notice the wavy looking surface to it, causing things on the other side to look distorted, and even thicker at the bottom. The original hypothesis was glass was not a solid, but a super cooled liquid which slowly moves downward over time. Unfortunately for those who belief the myth, the idea is not based on scientific fact and there is actually a much simpler explanation for the occurrence. During the early days, technology was still maturing after the industrial revolution, and machinery did not have the precision of their modern counterparts, resulting in faults in the final product; these flaws would result in the wavy look and thickness at the bottoms we observe today. Another piece of evidence against this is how century old telescope lenses do not have the same flowing look to them as larger windows. The final nail in the coffin is how not all antique windows have this issue, finally putting this myth to rest.

    Number 6: Napoleon was short. The root of this myth is by a pretty understandable error. Napoleon's height was listed as 5'2, which is pretty short for this day. However, what is usually not brought to attention is the fact French inches were longer than English inches, and Napoleon was actually 5'6. Some people would still consider this short for today, but it was average to above average in 19th Century France, meaning Napoleon's conquest was not due to his complex of being a short man. He was noted to being short compared to his Imperial Guard, but this is because the members were above average height, therefore a lot of people would be shorter if they were to stand next to one. Napoleon is also taller than Joseph Stalin, and on par with Benito Mussolini, Winston Churchill and only an inch shorter than Adolf Hitler.

    Number 5: The Earth orbits around the sun. This fact is slightly true, but also misleading. The Earth does in fact revolve around the sun, but this is because the sun is in close proximity to the solar system's baycenter, which is what the Earth and all other planets in our Solar System revolve around. The location of the baycenter is actually within the sun, though slightly off center. The sun has been observed revolving slightly around in a similar fashion to regular orbits. The Baycenter is the same as the gravitational pull of the Earth on the Moon, but with a much greater force powerful enough to attract all nearby objects to circle around it. The mathematical equation for the Baycenter is much to complex and long to explain here, and would deserve a full video of its own, but it certainly is another marvel of our Universe not many people are aware of. With this said, it is simply easier to explain the planets revolve around the sun, because it technically isn't wrong.

    Number 4: Bats are blind. While not so much unknown anymore, many people still believe bats use echolocation because they are blind. Anyone who has seen a bat will notice bats have eyes and will look around at its surroundings during the day. However, a bat's hearing is better than its eyesight, and echolocation is used in order to project a picture of their surroundings in the dark, whether it is within a cavern they inhabit or while they fly in the night sky in search of food. The sound waves bounce back in such a pattern so the bats can determine depth, shape and proximity to objects around them. This myth is so common because people can't seem to fathom why nocturnal creatures would have poor eyesight, and instead of adapting a sort of night vision, they would develop better hearing in order to aid their night time adventures.

    Number 3: Blood deprived of oxygen is blue. Anyone observing the veins in their arms will notice they are blue, therefore the blood must be blue, right? Actually, no, and the veins aren't even blue. Textbooks are further to blame for this misconception, as diagrams present the veins as blue and arteries as red. The reason behind this is the use of colour for the sake of colour and simplicity; since veins appear blue to us to the naked eye, the textbooks do the same, and it also helps show which take blood from the heart to the muscles and which take them back. The reason the veins appear blue is because the red colour is filtered out when trying to pierce through out fat. Also, whenever a person is given a blood test, blood is extracted from the veins into a deoxygenated syringe, and the colour of said blood is red, though darker due to lack of oxygen, a colour that is between dark red and purple. The reason syringes are deoxygenated is to prevent oxygen bubbles entering the blood stream, which can cause heart problems and even an embolism, resulting in death.

    Number 2: Chewing gum takes seven years to digest. Yet another old-wives tale in order to scare children. David Milov of the Nemours Children Clinic in Orlando told Scientific American it is simply not true gum stays in the digestive tract for seven years, and there is no danger in swallowing it. He said were the rumour true, there would be countless x-rays and ultrasounds showing a build up of chewing gum in people's bodies, and no such evidence has ever been presented. What actually happens is the sugar components of the gum are digested normally, though the overall structure is indigestible and will remain partially intact throughout the digestive system. After passing through the intestines, it is expelled from the body like all other foods we consume. So, next time you are chewing on your favourite brand, rest assured you can swallow it without any long term complications. It could actually be more environmentally friendly than spitting it out on the sidewalk.

    Number 1: A person eats spiders in their sleep. Anyone who reads facts from drink bottles or in certain fact books from the 90s will have heard this one, then forever fear falling asleep. It is a true arachnophobes nightmare. Those who fear spiders can sleep easy from now on, because we do not eat an average 3 spiders in our sleep per year. An average North American household is home to between 3 or 4 spiders, and if we encounter them, they are usually tending to their nests or webs in dark corners away from human interaction, such as a storage area or garage. Spiders are terrified of humans, and will stay as far away as possible for their own safety. Furthermore, a sleeping human breaths heavily in their during rest, and the combination of breathing, snoring and heartbeat sounds would drive spiders away as opposed to attracting them. The myth is credited to a publication by Lisa Holst during the early days of email circulation. This creates a bigger mystery, as many internet users, including popular Youtube personality CGP Grey, have attempted to find information on Holst, but only coming across the spider myth; so far, no one has found any credible information on this mysterious woman, but people continue to search.

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