10 LIES You Were Taught In SCIENCE CLASS
Through the course of the growth of humanity, science has worked to debunk things once considered factual. Despite the evidence against, there are still dated and fantastical scientific myths out there that people refuse to let go of. For various reasons, these top 10 myths are among the more unbelievable that people cling to.
The Earth is Flat
For years, it was believed that when Columbus sailed across the Atlantic from Spain, the people of that time thought the Earth was flat. Long before the Italian explorer sailed, however, writers like the Greco-Egyptian scribe Claudius Ptolemy, wrote about a rounded planet. Columbus even owned a copy of Ptolemy’s “Geography,” which stated as fact that the Earth was round. Considering it was known as early as the 6th century, it may come as a shock that people today still believe the Earth is flat. Among several arguments for Flat Earth, there’s the belief that satellite imagery of a rounded Earth is fake, the concept of an ice wall keeping the oceans from spilling over the “sides” of Earth, and a rather skewed theory that states the sun and moon are spherical objects moving in circles above the Earth’s flattened plane. Throwing out decades of research and millennium of knowledge, flat Earthers hold true to the ultimate myth.
We Only Use 10% of Our Brain
Seeing as how the brain is the most complex organ in the human body, it’s strange to think that people still believe we only use 10% of it. In reality, we make use of virtually every part of the brain, which, at any given time, always shows some form of activity. From higher cognitive functions to the more basic routines our bodies go through, the brain uses up approximately 20% of our body’s energy. To show just how active the brain is, neurologists like John Henley at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota used imaging technology to record brain activity over 24-hour periods. Findings pointed to the fact that, over the course of a day, 100% of the brain winds up being utilized.
A Dark Side of the Moon
Since we only see one side of the moon here on Earth, it became a pretty popular notion that the side we don’t see is engulfed in darkness year round. Science and reality disagree with this notion, however, and show that there isn’t a constantly dark side of the moon. That side we don’t see from Earth is commonly referred to as the “far side” and is actually sunlit for a portion of the month. Since the moon orbits Earth and Earth orbits the sun, different parts of the moon are engulfed in darkness at different parts of the month. The mystery behind the “Dark Side of the Moon” was revealed in 1959 with the USSR Luna 3 mission.
Blood Without Oxygen is Blue
If at any point you ever find out that your blood is blue-ish in color, it may be time to start tracing the lineage of your family. Truth of the matter is, regardless of what myths you may have heard about the color of your blood, it is always red. Even when it’s not heavily oxygenated, it’s still a deep shade of red. What trips up people that believe their blood is blue is the color of their veins, which actually has to do with the penetration of blue and red light wavelengths. Though the blood that flows through your veins is red, the blue light travels quicker, giving the appearance of blue veins and blue blood.
Lightning Never Strikes the Same Place Twice
It most certainly does. In fact, if you keep a close watch on cloud-to-ground lightning in your area over a long period of time, chances are you’ll find that lightning doesn’t go out of its way to avoid somewhere it already struck. After the initial strike, no change is made to the storm or the area hit that would make a follow-up strike impossible. There have been spots hit as many as 50 times, such as the WVAH TV tower in West Virginia, or 10 times in one night, such as at the Sears Tower in Chicago.
Water is a Natural Conductor
Watch enough movies and you may start to believe that water is the perfect conductor of electricity, but scientifically speaking that’s not really accurate. In fact, pure water is a much better insulator than conductor. So, is Hollywood lying to us? Kind of, but not intentionally. You see, it’s not the water itself that conducts electricity so easily but the minerals and particles found in water that hasn’t been purified. Since it’s unlikely that you’ll find puddles of completely pure water, that is, water completely free of charged ions, it’s just much safer to assume that any body of water you encounter would be a fantastic conductor.
Antibiotics are Great for Viral Infections
If your doctor is quick to toss an antibiotic your way after claiming you’re suffering a viral infection, it’s time to switch doctors. Why? Because any medical professional should know that an antibiotic can only hinder recovery of a viral infection. Despite how whiny a patient gets for quick relief, treating a virus with an antibiotic is not going to provide any medical benefits. In fact, taking an antibiotic with no bacterial infection present can increase the chances of developing an infection that resists antibiotics. So, the next time you’re feeling a bit under the weather, don’t start demanding antibiotics. They’re not the cure-all that many people think.
A Full Moon Affects Behavior
Unless you’re a werewolf or some other form of shape-shifter, the likelihood that a full moon affects you on any physical or mental level is incredibly low. Since it is such a common belief that a lunar cycle can have a physiological effect on people, researchers over time have employed the scientific method to debunk the fantastical claim. In 1985, psychologists James Rotten and Ivan Kelly combed through 37 different studies on the effects of lunar cycles and concluded that there is no correlation between a full moon and an increase in murders, suicides, or other drastic behaviors. Seven years later, an additional 20 studies were reviewed, this time focusing on suicide contemplation. Again, researchers found no link.
The Coriolis Force and Drains
As children, a fun little rumor circulated that regions on the opposite end of the Earth’s hemisphere experienced a reverse rotation of water going down the drain. It sounded plausible enough, especially when scientific terms like “Coriolis Effect” started to get thrown around. The more you dig into this harmless myth, however, the quicker you realize how the myth was created. The Coriolis Force, which is responsible for the deflection of objects to the right in the northern hemisphere and to the left in the southern, has no bearing on what happens to water as it drains in the sink of your bathtub. The force is more responsible for altering the course of air masses while the design of the toilet basin and force of the water determines the direction of drainage flow.
Men Are Sex-Obsessed
Despite popular belief, men don’t actually think about sex every 7 seconds. In a study performed by the Kinsey Institute, only 54% of men in the study only thought about sex several times a day. Further supporting the debunking of this somewhat insulting myth is Terri Fisher and a team of researchers at Ohio State University. Providing 283 college students with clickers - 120 males and 163 females - the study had students press each time they thought of sex, food, or sleep. At the end of the study, it was found that the average male student thought of sex 19 times a day, while females about 10. So, ladies, you’re not as piggish as you may think!