Consider it DEBUNKED. The folks over at Geek Wrapped have put together a list of 100 of the most common myths and misconceptions. Here are but a few:
- “I’m a cop.” Entrapment law in the U.S. does not require police officers to identify themselves as police during stings or undercover work. Plus, police officers may lie during such work. It would make undercover work pretty difficult if they immediately had to tell criminals that they’re cops.
- Chastity Belts: Modern historians have found no evidence that chastity belts were invented in the middle ages. Most artifacts turned out to be 20th century fakes to discourage masturbation. Because every time you touch yourself, a kitten dies.
- Earth’s First Continent: Pangaea wasn’t the original super-continent. It was the last in a series of seven, which joined and split at regular intervals. The first was Vaalbara, 3.6 billion years ago. It’s also thought that the earth was completely covered in snow (the Snowball Earth Hypothesis) well before Pangaea even existed (but well after Vaalbara).
- Salt Water Boils Quicker: It doesn’t, and it’s actually the opposite! In reality, so called “Boiling Point Elevation” happens, making the salt water mixture take even longer to heat (but you have to use a lot of salt)
- Glass Slowly Flows: Glass does not flow at room temperature. Old glass looks like it has flowed over the centuries, however, this unevenness is due to the manufacturing processes at the time.
- Seeing Red: Bulls are not enraged by the color red, used in the capes of matadors. Cattle are dichromats so red does not stand out to them. Instead, the matador looks like a threat. Also, the fact that they’re trapped in a stadium with thousands of people screaming – that probably ticks them off too.
- Toads Cause Warts: Humans cannot catch warts from toads or other animals. In fact, the bumps on a toad are not even warts. Human warts are caused by the papillomavirus.
- Shaving Thickens Hair: Shaving does not cause hair to grow back thicker, denser, or darker. In reality, shaving cuts hair tips (usually at an angle), causing them to be more blunt, and making them feel coarser.
- 10% of Your Brain: We don’t only use ten percent of our brain. In reality, a minority of neurons in the brain are fired at a given time, but the others have important functions too. It’s easily disproved: observing the effects of head injury reveals that there does not seem to be any area of the brain that can be destroyed by strokes, head trauma, or other manner, without leaving the patient with some kind of functional deficit.
- Diet Detoxification: There is a common (and popular money making) myth that specific diets aid “detoxification” and can remove substances from your body. In reality, your liver and kidneys do this automatically, all the time. For free. You can help them out by eating a variety of healthy foods, exercising, and getting enough sleep.
- Sugar Makes Kids Hyper: It doesn’t affect hyperactivity. Several studies have shown no difference in behavior between children given a sugar-full or sugar-free diets, even for sensitive kids.
All these myths and misconceptions, and more, in the infographic below (click to see a larger, more legible version)