Classic Scientific Myths. Throughout the history of mankind, several scientific myths have been told and reproduced as absolute truths, passing through generations and reaching the present day. Check out below a list of 10 facts you’ve probably heard that are just myths.
10 Classic Scientific Myths
- We only use 10% of our brain
The truth is that we use every area of our brain, even when we are resting. It is true that the brain is very flexible (we can live with half of it) and that we do not use it all at once, as some areas are specialized: when we walk, for example, the parts focused on motor-motor activity are more active than others. But there isn’t a part of the brain that does nothing and is waiting to be activated for us to gain superpowers.
- Each part of the tongue is specialized for a specific flavor
While this is something that many learn as children, taste receptors are distributed throughout the tongue.
- Nails and hair continue to grow after death
A corpse cannot produce new cells. The BBC explained that the skin around the nails dehydrates and that’s why they appear longer. The same occurs with the skin of the chin, which makes it appear that the beard has grown.
- Never wake a sleepwalker
The person can be uncomfortable and disoriented. Kind of like when you wake up from a deep sleep. It is unpleasant, but there is no danger of a heart attack or coma, and, in case of risk, it may even be advisable (so that you do not trip and fall).
- Einstein failed math
The scientist was never a bad student and began studying calculus three years before the rest of his peers. He indeed received help from other mathematicians when developing his work, including Mileva Maric, his first wife, a possible origin of the myth.
- If we went out into space without a special outfit we would explode
The way to die in this case is far less exciting: the lack of oxygen would make us lose consciousness in just 15 seconds. You cannot take in air and hold your breath: there is no atmospheric pressure and if the lungs had air they would expand and collapse.
- The Sun is yellow
We see this yellow star because of our atmosphere, but in reality, it is white. As IFL Science explains, photos of astronauts are often retouched to make them look like we’re used to.
- The Great Wall of China can be seen from space
Although there is controversy about it, the truth is that the great wall is only a few meters wide, just like a road or an airport. In addition, it is of a similar color to the soil that surrounds it. Other human constructions can be seen from space, such as the greenhouses of Almería, the Romanian Parliament, and the Kennecott copper mine.
- Water conducts electricity
Pure water is a good insulator. What conducts electricity are impurities, such as different salts. As we usually find it like this (with other elements mixed in), we should continue to behave in the same way about this myth.
- A man came from apes
Darwin never said such a thing. What he said is that apes and humans have a common ancestor, which, as explained in ABC Science, was a primate. Saying that we came from the ape is like saying that we are the children of our cousins, as reported by The Guardian newspaper.
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