We sometimes hear things so often that we mistake myth for fact.
For example, you may have heard not to swallow gum because it takes several years for it to digest.
Not true. It will never be completely digested or broken down by your stomach. Instead, it will be (ahem) “passed” through.
Click below for some more unexpected myths.
Myth# 1: Christopher Columbus discovered America
Christopher Columbus was a man after fame and fortune at extreme costs. As you may have learned, he set sail many times to find lands rich with treasure.
When he did arrive in the Americas, there were already millions of people living there peacefully.
Therefore, he never discovered any location, he simply arrived and stole the homes of others.
In fact, his documented, unfavorable behavior, which included theft, slavery, and murder, resulted in him being arrested and sent back to Spain.
Leaves us wondering why we still have a day celebrating this guy.
source: History.com, Britannica.com
Myth #2: Bats are blind
Big bats can actually see quite well. In fact, they can see three times better than humans!
This myth most likely came about because of a cool trick that bats use.
When in dark places, where seeing can be difficult, bats echolocate. Echolocation is a technique which allows a bat to hear sounds to determine it’s location.
So, although bats sometimes depend on their hearing for maneuvering their way around, they can still see just fine.
Myth #3: You can develop a cold virus simply from cold weather
Myth #4: Sushi means raw fish
Sushi means “sour rice”. The Japanese dish is prepared by cooking rice in vinegar.
In addition to the the rice, sushi can include other ingredients such as vegetables, fruits, and seafood.
Raw fish can be included with sushi. However, raw fish or other meat served without rice is actually called sashimi.
Myth #5: Humans only have five senses
Seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, and tasting are the main senses that are taught at an early age.
But did you know there are anywhere from nine to twenty other human senses?
Some that you may recognize include:
Sense of time (being able to have an “idea” of the time or time that has past without actually looking at a clock)
Sense of temperature (your body being able to generally recognize heat and cold)
Balance/Equilibrioception (the body’s ability to keep you stable and sense movement like acceleration)
Sense of limb position/Nociception (knowing where your body parts are without looking at them)(ex: closing your eyes and being able to touch your nose with an outstretched hand)
And the list goes on.
Myth #6: Napoleon was short
Napoleon Bonaparte was a french military leader and eventually Emperor of France. He is infamously known as a short man.
In fact, having a “Napoleon Complex”, which is named after him, describes a person who is driven to better themselves simply to hide parts of themselves that they do not like. This is also improperly known as “Short Man Syndrome”.
The funny thing is that Napoleon was not a short man by his time’s standards. At about 5’6″ or 5’7″, he was actually taller than the average man.
To give you a better idea, here is a few men that are very close to Napoleon’s height:
Kanye West: 5’8″
Josh Hutcherson/Petta from Hunger Games Series: 5’7
Bruno Mars: 5’5″
Today’s average male height is roughly 5’9″. Because the average height of human beings has steadily increased over the years, if Napoleon lived today his height would be perceived as someone who is approximately 5’10” – taller than all those guys listed.
Myth #7: The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776
Although we celebrate July 4th, The Declaration of Independence was signed August 2, 1776.
The forefathers responsible actually declared our country’s Independence on July 2, 1776. This led John Adams to believe that July 2nd would be the date that would be celebrated and remembered forever.
July 4, 1776 was simply the date when the Declaration of Independence was approved.