Many times the things we think of as common knowledge are little more than myths and urban legends. So, while there may be some experienced myth busters among you, we know that others of you will probably have to face some hard facts by the time you reach the bottom. At any rate, this list is by no means exhaustive so if you have any other myths or urban legends on your mind go ahead and leave a comment.
Vikings had horns on their helmets
There is some truth to this. Archeological finds have discovered helmets with horns and wings, but these have always been designated for the priests to wear during ceremonies. Vikings warriors did not wear them into battle. In fact, it is debatable whether Viking warriors wore helmets at all. So where did this myth come from? It most likely started with the ancient Roman and Greek writers like Plutarch, who vividly described the northern tribes as wearing all manner of strange things on their heads.
Bananas grow on trees
Although we all call it a “banana tree” the stem doesn’t contain true woody tissue. In reality it is a herbaceous plant, or “herb”. Spread the word.
Irregardless is not a word
Oh but it is. You might not like it, and your English teacher might not like it, but just don’t make any bets that it’s not in the dictionary. Of course, it’s considered non-standard and most people would probably prefer “regardless” or “irrespective”, but that is a matter of preference.
Poinsettias are lethal
Poor Poinsettias, everyone steers clear of them. The myth was started sometime in the 20th century shortly after they were brought over from Mexico. The child of a military officer allegedly died upon consuming a poinsettia leaf. As a result of this rumor the toxic properties of this plant have been highly exaggerated. Of course, you may want to keep it away from your pets because consumption can result in an upset stomach, but trust us, they’ll live.
Humans have 5 senses
This is common knowledge right? Well, in the realm of academia a dispute rages and it has yet to be settled. There is no doubt that we have 5 primary senses. This has been known since the time of Aristotle. But go ahead and ask a Harvard Medical School researcher and you’ll get a wide variety of answers. Depending on their stance they may include any of the following: equilibrioception, nociception, proprioception, thermoception, interoception, the list goes on…
David is the editor-in-chief of List25. He has a Masters degree in International Business from University of Florida. He loves to break dance, do flips, play guitar, and everything else that is fun. Follow him on Twitter @iamdpegg