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20 Misconceptions You Were Probably Taught

A goldfish has a 3-second memory span, the Great Wall of China can be seen from space, and shaving causes hair to grow thicker, right? Wrong. Actually, our knowledge is full of misconceptions, based on misunderstanding scientific concepts, misrepresented information and sometimes, a downright old pseudoscience that somehow survived.

Here are 20 common misconceptions that we should be aware of:

1. Schizophrenics have multiple personalities

20 Misconceptions
While Schizophrenia means ‘split-mind’, it is not the same as split personality disorder.
 

2. Toilet water rotates the other way in the southern hemisphere

20 Misconceptions
They don’t, the Coriolis Effect does not affect toilets.
 

3. Alcohol kills brain cells

20 Misconceptions
This is only true for alcoholics who rely on alcohol for their caloric intake.
 

4. Vaccines cause autism

20 Misconceptions
This rumor was spread by a British former doctor by the name of Andrew Wakefield, who had his medical license revoked after his research linking autism to vaccinations was proven to be an elaborate fraud.
 

5. Caffeine dehydrates you

20 Misconceptions
While caffeine itself does increase the need to urinate, the amount of water in coffee negates the loss of fluids.
 

6. Never go swimming after eating

20 Misconceptions
You won’t cramp, but swimming with a full stomach might make you short of breath.
 

7. Dogs sweat through their tongues

20 Misconceptions
Nope. Dogs actually sweat through their footpads. They do use their tongues to regulate their body temperature, however.
 

8. Bananas grow on trees

20 Misconceptions
Actually, the banana plant itself is basically a huge herb, which is related to grass, not trees.
 

9. If you touch a baby bird, the mother will abandon it

20 Misconceptions
Simply not true. Birds have a limited sense of smell, so they won’t abandon their offspring just because you touched it. The reason you shouldn’t touch them is because they’re very delicate.
 

10. Different parts of the tongue have different taste buds

20 Misconceptions
Taste buds are distributed all over the tongue, and each part can sense sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami (savory).
 

11. Sharks don’t get cancer

20 Misconceptions
They do get cancer, sorry.
 

12. Black holes are gigantic holes in the fabric of space

20 Misconceptions
Black holes are just immensely dense objects, which causes them to have an incredibly strong gravitational pull.
 

13. Never wake a sleepwalker

20 Misconceptions
If you wake a sleepwalker up, they might be confused, and that’s about it. A sleepwalker is more likely to hurt themselves during an episode.
 

14. Bats are blind

20 Misconceptions
No, they’re not. They can see pretty well, and also use echolocation.
 

15. Bulls hate the color red

20 Misconceptions
Bulls are colorblind. It is actually the movement of the cloth that makes them feel threatened. (The red color is for the human spectators)
 

16. MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) causes headaches

20 Misconceptions
While a small percentage of people may suffer short-term symptoms after consuming MSG, there is no proof that it causes any symptoms in the greater majority of the population.
 

17. Chastity belts were meant to save women’s virginity

20 Misconceptions
Never happened. They were actually invented to prevent masturbation.
 

18. Sugar causes hyperactivity

20 Misconceptions
Research has disproven that and has shown that ADHD and hyper behavior occurs also with children on a sugar-free diet.
 

19. Alcohol warms you up

20 Misconceptions
Alcohol causes blood vessels near the skin to dilate, creating a false sensation of warmth. Meanwhile, alcohol causes the core temperature to drop, increasing the risk of hypothermia.
 

20. Black belts are martial arts masters

20 Misconceptions
The concept of the black belt only came about in 1880, as a way to show competence level in basic moves of judo fighters. It has nothing to do with being a “master” of a martial art.
 
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