Before the internet, most of us just believed whatever cool science facts we were told. Why wouldn’t we? When someone said shaving thickens hair or alcohol kills brain cells, it made sense, so we took their word for it.
After all, looking up simple facts was a lot of work back then. Can you even imagine going to the library to leaf through book after book in order to find out how long a Twinkie takes to go bad?
These days, that’s hard to imagine.
In fact, now that we have mini computers in our pockets, we can look up anything. That means, we must be really smart, right?
Well, not exactly…
Truth is, many of us still believe a lot of the ‘facts’ below, even though science has thoroughly debunked them.
However, not to worry. We’re here for you. Prepare to dazzle your friends with these fun facts. Just be ready for the eye-rolls…
1. Albert Einstein Flunked Math and Science
Let’s start with the science genius and master of the universe himself: Albert Einstein. People love the story about how Einstein flunked all of his classes in school and then went on to become a genius.
However, in all actuality, Einstein’s grades were very good in school, although some of his teachers did famously say he didn’t have much potential.
2. A Coin Thrown from the Empire State Building Can Kill Someone
Speaking of gravity, the myth is that a coin dropped from the Empire State Building will build up so much velocity that, by the time it reaches the ground, it will bore a hole through someone’s skull.
Truth is, a coin is way too small to do this. It might sting a little, but it won’t kill you. For that, you’ll need a brick.
3. We Only Use 10% of Our Brains
Want to hear one of our cool science facts? We only use 10% of our brains. Imagine if we could, through the wonders of science, access the other 90%. How smart would we be then?
Okay, okay – this isn’t really true. Turns out, we need our entire brains to function properly. Without the whole thing… Well, you know the type.
4. Alcohol Kills Brain Cells
This is a myth? Oh, joy of joys! Drink up, people!
Alcohol does not kill brain cells. Well, in heavy users who get most of their calories from alcohol it does, but for everyone else it’s okay. At least for our brains. For our livers, however, that’s a different story…
5. Waking a Sleepwalker Can Cause Psychological Damage
There is this idea that if you wake a sleepwalker, you might cause some sort of permanent, psychological harm to that person. Fortunately, this isn’t true.
Of course, they might be a little confused and not sure where they are, but you don’t have to worry about harming them. Which means, the next time you catch your roommate or spouse trying to use a sharp knife to chop vegetables in their sleep, wake them! You’ll be glad you did.
6. Twinkies Last Forever
There is a longstanding belief that Twinkies never go bad. For this reason, they are often considered the snack food of choice should the apocalypse bring about the end of civilization.
Truth is, like any food with moisture in it, it goes bad pretty fast. Unfortunately, most Twinkies wouldn’t last the apocalypse much longer than a month.
7. Swimming After Eating is Dangerous
Parents all over the world have forced their kids to wait at least thirty minutes after eating before they could jump back in the pool. If you don’t wait, we were told, your muscles will seize up and you’ll drown.
This is not really true. It is true that our bodies need extra blood to digest food, but not so much that they can’t still supply it to other places.
8. The Color Red Makes Bulls Angry
At the bullfights in Spain, the matadors traditionally wave red capes to get the bulls to charge. This has led to the belief that bulls hate the color red.
Actually, bulls are color blind. The cape could be mahogany jade and the bull wouldn’t know the difference. It could be magenta puce swirl or malachite razzmatazz and still the bull is going to charge.
Turns out, it’s those annoying matadors prancing around that really bring the bulls to their boiling point.
9. Sharks Can Smell Blood from a Mile Away
Many a scary movie has relied on this fact. When someone gets the tiniest cut, they’re doomed, drawing the hungry shark to the kill.
While it’s true sharks can detect blood at one part per million, that’s not really very far, and certainly not across an entire ocean. Unfortunately, this cool science fact is false.
10. Penguins Mate for Life
We want to believe, don’t we? If penguins can do it, why can’t we?
Penguins are often used as an example of a species that mates for life. This is meant to prove the existence of such a relationship in nature.
While it is true penguins are monogamous, the relationship really only lasts for a single season. Once the chicks are hatched and grown enough to be independent, many penguins seek out new partners and start the process all over again.
11. Chameleons Change Color to Match Their Surroundings
Of all the cool science facts, this one must be true, right? Wrong.
Chameleons actually change color based on temperature, their mood, and the light hitting them. Then, when it’s mating season, they display every possible color they can as a way to broadcast to the world it’s time to get down.
12. Shaving Makes Your Hair Grow Back Thicker
It is a common belief among many that when you shave, your hair grows in thicker. However, this is not really true.
What’s actually happening is that when it first starts to grow back, your hair may appear thicker, but only for a short time. This is because each hair tapers at the end like a pencil tip, so that when you cut it, you’re see the thicker part of the hair.
As such, shaving your nose hairs will not make them grow out twice as thick. Sorry. That’s just the way your nose hairs grow.
13. Salty Water Boils Faster
Technically, this is one of our true cool science facts. However, adding a little salt to your water when cooking is not going to make a measurable difference.
For that, you would have to add A LOT of salt to make any amount of water boil faster and that would just ruin your dinner.
14. It Takes Seven Years for Gum to Digest
Some say when you swallow a piece of gum it sits in your stomach for years. This just isn’t true.
Most if it digests like anything else and the rest passes through your digestive system and comes out the other end. Although, we wouldn’t recommend looking for it. That’s just disgusting.
15. We Only Have Five Senses
Ever hear someone say they have a sixth sense, claiming they can see ghosts or read people’s minds or something? Well, it turns out we all do. Not that we can see ghosts and read people’s minds, but that we all have six senses.
In fact, we actually have no fewer than twenty-five different senses, including nociception (the ability to feel pain), chronoception (the ability to feel the passing of time), and equilibrioception (our sense of balance).
Maybe the twenty-sixth sense is the one we need to be able to see those ghosts…
16. The Great Wall of China Is Visible from Space
Yes, it’s big – but not that big. You can’t really see it from space.
It is, after all, just a wall, even if it stretches for many miles. If you could see the Great Wall of China from space, there would be countless other things you could see as well.
17. Toilet Seats Are Covered in Germs
We all know that bathrooms are not the most sanitary of places. However, these days, we clean our toilets so often that they are actually safer to eat off of than those dubiously washed plates from the lounge.
How often, for example, do you clean your cellphone? Imagine all of the germs that thing has next time you push it up against your face. You’re welcome.
18. Coffee Stunts Your Growth
There are certainly valid reasons you may not want to give your kids caffeinated drinks. Some of those include rising hyperactivity or the astronomical sugar content of your average Starbucks Frappuccino.
The good news is, stunting their growth is not one of them. In fact, there is no scientific evidence that points to coffee having any effect on growth.
19. Sugar Is as Addictive as Heroin
Finally, we come to the last of our cool science facts that are just not true: sugar is as addictive as heroin. Well, is it?
When we eat sugar, our brains light up with pleasure and our bodies say, “I want more!” This does not, however, mean we’re all addicted to sugar.
Sugar is pleasurable and we like it, but if you want to quit eating it, you can without physical withdrawal effects. It’s just hard to resist with all the donuts and cookies around us every day.Next