30 Facts You Probably Think To Be True, But Actually Aren’t

Some people vouch for things they picked up at school, others believe the opinions of experts and so-called scientists, while there are also some who get their input of facts from the internet. And while some of the sources might seem more trustworthy than others, it’s not surprising that all of them might be wrong sometimes.

 

Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism Or Autism Spectrum Disorders

Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism Or Autism Spectrum Disorders

Although fraudulent research by British doctor Andrew Wakefield claimed a connection, repeated attempts to reproduce the results ended in failure, and the research was ultimately shown to have been manipulated.

 

A Common Belief Regarding Self-Harm Is That It Is An Attention-Seeking Behaviour; In Many Cases, This Is Inaccurate

A Common Belief Regarding Self-Harm Is That It Is An Attention-Seeking Behaviour; In Many Cases, This Is Inaccurate

Many self-harmers are very self-conscious of their wounds and scars and feel guilty about their behavior, leading them to go to great lengths to conceal their behavior from others. They may offer alternative explanations for their injuries, or conceal their scars with clothing.

 

Ancient Greek Sculptures Were Originally Painted Bright Colors

Ancient Greek Sculptures Were Originally Painted Bright Colors

They only appear white today because the original pigments have deteriorated. Some well-preserved statues still bear traces of their original coloration.

 

There Is No Such Thing As An “Alpha” In A Wolf Pack

There Is No Such Thing As An "Alpha" In A Wolf Pack

An early study that coined the term “alpha wolf” had only observed unrelated adult wolves living in captivity. In the wild, wolf packs operate more like human families: there is no defined sense of rank, parents are in charge until the young grow up and start their own families, younger wolves do not overthrow an “alpha” to become the new leader, and social dominance fights are situational.

 

It Is Rarely Necessary To Wait 24 Hours Before Filing A Missing Person Report

It Is Rarely Necessary To Wait 24 Hours Before Filing A Missing Person Report

In instances where there is evidence of violence or of an unusual absence, law enforcement agencies in the United States often stress the importance of beginning an investigation promptly. The UK government website says in large type, “You don’t have to wait 24 hours before contacting the police.”

The Forbidden Fruit Is Not Apple

The Forbidden Fruit Is Not Apple

The forbidden fruit mentioned in the Book of Genesis is never identified as an apple, a misconception widely depicted in Western art. The original Hebrew texts mention only trees and fruit. Early Latin translations use the word mali, which can be taken to mean both “evil” and “apple”. In early Germanic languages, the word “apple” and its cognates usually meant simply “fruit”. German and French artists commonly depict the fruit as an apple from the 12th century onwards, and John Milton’s Areopagitica from 1644 explicitly mentions the fruit as an apple. Jewish scholars have suggested that the fruit could have been a grape, a fig, wheat, an apricot, or an etrog.

 

Napoleon Bonaparte Was Not Short

Napoleon Bonaparte Was Not Short

He was actually slightly taller than the average Frenchman of his time. After his death in 1821, the French emperor’s height was recorded as 5 feet 2 inches in French feet, which in English measurements is 5 feet 7 inches (1.70 m). He was actually nicknamed le Petit Caporal (The Little Corporal) as a term of endearment. Napoleon was often accompanied by his imperial guard, who were selected for their height—this could have contributed to a perception that he was comparatively short.

 

Albert Einstein Did Not Fail Mathematics Classes

Albert Einstein Did Not Fail Mathematics Classes

Albert Einstein did not fail mathematics classes (never “flunked a math exam”) in school. Upon seeing a column making this claim, Einstein said “I never failed in mathematics… Before I was fifteen I had mastered differential and integral calculus.” Einstein did, however, fail his first entrance exam into the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School (ETH) in 1895, when he was two years younger than his fellow students, but scored exceedingly well in the mathematics and science sections, then passed on his second attempt.

GoldFish Don’t Have Short Memories

Goldfish Don't Have Short Memory Spans

The notion that goldfish have a memory span of just a few seconds is false. It is much longer, counted in months.

 

Albert Einstein Did Not Fail Mathematics Classes

Albert Einstein Did Not Fail Mathematics Classes

Albert Einstein did not fail mathematics classes (never “flunked a math exam”) in school. Upon seeing a column making this claim, Einstein said “I never failed in mathematics… Before I was fifteen I had mastered differential and integral calculus.” Einstein did, however, fail his first entrance exam into the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School (ETH) in 1895, when he was two years younger than his fellow students, but scored exceedingly well in the mathematics and science sections, then passed on his second attempt.

 

Acne Is Mostly Caused By Genetics

Acne Is Mostly Caused By Genetics

Acne is mostly caused by genetics, rather than lack of hygiene, eating fatty food, or other personal habits.

 

Humans Have More Than The Commonly Cited Five Senses

Humans Have More Than The Commonly Cited Five Senses

The number of senses in various categorizations ranges from five to more than 20. In addition to sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing, which were the senses identified by Aristotle, humans can sense balance and acceleration (equilibrioception), pain (nociception), body and limb position (proprioception or kinesthetic sense), and relative temperature (thermoception). Other senses sometimes identified are the sense of time, echolocation, itching, pressure, hunger, thirst, the fullness of the stomach, need to urinate, need to defecate, and blood carbon dioxide (CO2) levels.

 

Eight Glasses, Or Two To Three Liters, Of Water A Day Are Not Needed To Maintain Health

Eight Glasses, Or Two To Three Liters, Of Water A Day Are Not Needed To Maintain Health

The amount of water needed varies by the person (weight), diet, activity level, clothing, and environment (heat and humidity). Water does not actually need to be drunk in pure form, but can be derived from liquids such as juices, tea, milk, soups, etc., and from foods including fruits and vegetables.

People Don’t Swallow A High Number Of Spiders While Asleep

People Don't Swallow A High Number Of Spiders While Asleep

The widespread urban legend that one swallows a high number of spiders during sleep in one’s life has no basis in reality. A sleeping person causes all kinds of noise and vibrations by breathing, the beating heart, snoring, etc. all of which warn spiders of danger.

Thomas Edison Did Not Invent The Light Bulb

Thomas Edison Did Not Invent The Light Bulb

He did, however, develop the first practical light bulb in 1880 (employing a carbonized bamboo filament), shortly prior to Joseph Swan, who invented an even more efficient bulb in 1881.

 

There Is No Evidence That Iron Maidens Were Used For Torture, Or Even Yet Invented, In The Middle Ages

There Is No Evidence That Iron Maidens Were Used For Torture, Or Even Yet Invented, In The Middle Ages

Instead, they were joined together in the 18th century from various artifacts found in museums in order to produce spectacular objects intended for (commercial) exhibition.

Sign Languages Are Not The Same All Over The World

Sign Languages Are Not The Same Worldwide

Aside from the pidgin International Sign, each country generally has its own native sign language, and some have more than one.

Hair Care Products Cannot Actually “Repair” Split Ends And Damaged Hair

Hair Care Products Cannot Actually "Repair" Split Ends And Damaged Hair

They can stop the damage from happening in the first place, and they can also soften down the cuticle in a glue-like fashion so that it appears fixed, and generally make the hair appear in better condition.

Fortune Cookies Were Invented In Japan, Not China

Fortune Cookies Were Invented In Japan, Not China

Fortune cookies, despite being linked with Chinese cuisine in the United States, were born in Japan and introduced to the US by the Japanese. The cookies are very rare in China, where they are seen as symbols of American food.

Vikings Didn’t Have Horns On Their Helmets

Vikings Didn't Have Horns On Their Helmets

There is no proof that Vikings wore horns on their headgears. In fact, the concept of Vikings wearing horned helmets stems from the scenography of an 1876 production of the Der Ring des Nibelungen opera cycle by Richard Wagner.

The Deep Web Is Not Full Of Porn, Drugs, And Stolen Bank Details

The Deep Web Is Not Full Of Porn, Drugs And Stolen Bank Details

The area that contains this illegal information is a small portion of the deep web known as the “dark web.” Much of the deep web consists of academic libraries, databases, and anything that isn’t indexed by normal search engines.

The Great Wall Of China Is Not Visible From Space Or From The Moon

The Great Wall Of China Is Not Visible From Space Or From The Moon

The Great Wall of China is not, as is declared, the only human-made object seen from space or from the Moon. None of the Apollo astronauts reported seeing any specific human-made object from the Moon, and even Earth-orbiting astronauts can see it only with magnification. City lights, however, are clearly visible on the night side of Earth from orbit.

Sugar Does Not Cause Hyperactivity In Children

Sugar Does Not Cause Hyperactivity In Children

Double-blind trials have shown no difference in behavior between children given sugar-full or sugar-free diets, even in studies specifically looking at children with Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or those considered sensitive to sugar.

Christopher Columbus Was Not The First European To Visit The Americas

Christopher Columbus Was Not The First European To Visit The Americas

Leif Erikson, and likely other Vikings before him traveled Vinland, which was either the island of Newfoundland, part of modern Canada, or a term for Newfoundland and parts of the North American mainland. Ruins at L’Anse aux Meadows prove that at least one Norse village was built in Newfoundland, confirming a narrative in the Saga of Erik the Red. Columbus also never reached any land that now forms part of the mainland United States of America; most of the landings Columbus made on his four voyages, including the initial October 12, 1492 landing (the anniversary of which forms the basis of Columbus Day), were on Caribbean islands that are now independent countries.

Humans Did Not Evolve From Either Of The Living Species Of Chimpanzees

Humans Did Not Evolve From Either Of The Living Species Of Chimpanzees

Humans and chimpanzees did, however, emerge from a common ancestor. The most recent common ancestor of humans and the other living chimpanzees existed between 5 and 8 million years ago.

There Was No Widespread Outbreak Of Panic Across The United States In Response To Orson Welles’s 1938 Radio Adaptation Of H.g. Wells’s The War Of The Worlds

There Was No Widespread Outbreak Of Panic Across The United States In Response To Orson Welles's 1938 Radio Adaptation Of H.g. Wells's The War Of The Worlds

Only a very small share of the radio audience was even listening to it, and isolated reports of scattered incidents and increased call volume to emergency services were played up the next day by newspapers, eager to discredit radio as a competitor for advertising. Both Welles and CBS, which had initially reacted apologetically, later came to realize that the myth benefited them and actively embraced it in later years.

 

The Redhead Gene Is Not Becoming Extinct Due To The Gene For Red Hair Being Recessive, Nor Will The Gene For Blond Hair Disappear

The Redhead Gene Is Not Becoming Extinct Due To The Gene For Red Hair Being Recessive, Nor Will The Gene For Blond Hair Disappear

Although redheads and blonds may become rarer, they will not fall out unless everyone who carries those genes dies or fails to reproduce.

 

The Historical Buddha Was Not Obese

The Historical Buddha Was Not Obese

The “chubby Buddha” or “laughing Buddha” is a 10th-century Chinese folk hero by the name of Budai. In Chinese Buddhist culture, Budai came to be respected as an incarnation of Maitreya, the Bodhisattva who will become a Buddha to restore Buddhism after the teachings of the historical Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama, have been forgotten.

George Washington Did Not Have Wooden Teeth

George Washington Did Not Have Wooden Teeth

His dentures were made of gold, hippopotamus ivory, lead, animal teeth, and probably human teeth obtained from slaves.

 

Hair And Fingernails Do Not Continue To Grow After A Person Dies

Hair And Fingernails Do Not Continue To Grow After A Person Dies

Rather, the skin dries and shrinks away from the bases of hairs and nails, giving the appearance of growth.

Vomiting Was Not A Regular Part Of Roman Dining Customs

Vomiting Was Not A Regular Part Of Roman Dining Customs

In ancient Rome, the architectural feature called a vomitorium was the entranceway through which people entered and exited a stadium, not a special room used for vomiting food during meals.
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