25 Things “Everybody Knows” That Are False

Posted by , Updated on March 26, 2024

Are you under the impression that coffee comes from beans or that there’s zero gravity in space? 

Forget everything you thought you knew.

Mount Everest is, in actual fact – not – the tallest mountain in the world, and the Spanish flu did not come from Spain. Twinkies don’t last forever, and dolphins aren’t friendly. 

If none of what I am saying makes any sense to you, you’ve come to the right place. 

Here are 25 Things “Everybody Knows” That Are False.


Bagpipes Are Scottish


We also had a hard time believing this, but they’re not. 

The Scottish national instrument’s origins can actually be traced back to Ancient Egypt. 

The early bagpipes were very close to those we know today. However, the instrument was somewhat more… disturbing. The bag was mostly composed of dog – rather than sheep skin, and the tubes were created out of bone, not wood. The first recorded mention of the instrument in Egypt dates back to 400 BCE when it was used by the pipers of Thebes. Later, the bagpipes became popular in Ancient Rome, which is undoubtedly how they found their way to Europe. The Scottish then perfected the instrument and transformed it into what it is today.


Dogs Sweat Through Their Tongue


If you’re a dog lover like I am, you’ll be familiar with the huff, puff, and panting that comes after a good exercise session. But is that how dogs sweat?

As it turns out, the answer is yes and no. 

Your dog’s panting is a method of evaporative cooling: when your pooch gets hot, it will open its jaws and breathe heavily. As the water evaporates from its nasal passages, tongue, and lungs, its core temperature drops. While dogs typically use panting to stay cool, they also sweat — but not in the way you may imagine. Dogs sweat through their paws. 

The sweat glands in their paws are known as merocrine glands. They also sweat through apocrine glands throughout their body. However, that type of sweat does not help them cool down.


Ben Franklin Wanted the Turkey to Represent America


We all know that the bald eagle symbolizes the United States. However, a pervasive myth keeps going around saying that Benjamin Franklin wanted it to be another bird. The turkey. As funny as that is, given our love for turkeys at Thanksgiving, it’s simply not true.

What Franklin did do was muse about the nobility of the eagle and comment that the design on the seal more closely resembled a turkey than an eagle. But those musings were kept private.

The myth only gained real traction in 1962, when The New Yorker published an edition with the Great Seal reimagined as a turkey as their cover art. And the rest, as they say, is history.


Food Expires At Its “Best Before” Date

expired foodhttps://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/food-use-by-and-best-before-dates

With food prices going through the roof, we all want to make the most of what we have and eliminate waste. 

Reducing food waste also helps to combat climate change; it is estimated that food waste alone accounts for more than 10% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. While fresh fish, meat, poultry meat, fish, and poultry, as well as ready-to-eat meals and fresh pasta, are required to have a “use by” date for food safety reasons, others, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, bread, and some cheeses, yogurts, and juices, do not.

The truth is that “best before” dates are sometimes quite conservative, and food can last considerably longer than stipulated with no appreciable loss in quality. The best way to identify if a food is safe to consume is to look at it, smell it, taste it, and trust your judgment.


Toilet Seats Are Full of Germs

toilet seathttps://www.sterillium.info/en/stories-hub/hygiene-myths-toilet-seat

A perfectly logical conclusion, seeing as toilets are a common feature in the world’s most unsanitary place and process. 

However, according to the University of Arizona’s recent study, toilet seats are actually fairly clean! This is because they are regularly scrubbed, sprayed, and cleaned so as to rid them of all that disgusting butt-essence. 

On the contrary, you’re likely to find ten times more germs on a surface used more and cleaned less regularly – your cellphone screens. How disgusting!


Coffee Comes From Coffee Beans

coffee beanhttps://www.cameronscoffee.com/blog/did-you-know-coffee-isnt-really-a-bean

We’re only five items in, and I’ve already been schooled more than once.

Coffee is not actually made from coffee beans at all! Coffee “beans” might look like beans, but they are really the pit, or the seed, of the fruit that sprouts on coffee trees. Coffee cherries are little, bright red fruits that grow on coffee trees.

I did not know that. Did you know that? Let me know in the comments below.


Twinkies Last Forever

fudge barhttps://www.businessinsider.com/twinkies-not-immortal-according-to-scientific-analysis-2020-10#:~:text=Debunking the myth of Twinkie immortality&text=Contrary to popular belief%2C the,as moldy as Purrington's did

If you’ve been secretly planning on finding the first available Twinkies stash if the zombie apocalypse hits, we’ve got bad news for you. Although they have a reputation for lasting forever, they, like any food containing moisture, begin to spoil quite fast – even while still safely tucked away, wrapped in plastic, and boxed in a container.

In fact, according to Business Insider, they only last about 25 days.


Sharks Can Detect Blood From A Mile Away


We’re not sure if this will make you feel better or worse, but let’s meet the myth halfway. Sharks have an amazing sense of smell. In fact, they can detect as little as a drop at a concentration of 1 part per 10 billion – or roughly a pinpoint size droplet in a pool more or less the size of an Olympic swimming pool.

That’s, at best, a couple of football fields – certainly not a mile. But I still wouldn’t take any chances going into the water with a paper cut.


St Patrick Is Irish

st patrickhttps://edition.cnn.com/2022/03/17/us/st-patricks-day-saint-british-cec

We’re sorry for doing this to you so soon after the Scottish bagpipes entry, but the saint so strongly related to Irish pride and St Patrick’s Day wasn’t even from Ireland.

According to Catholic Online, St. Patrick was born in Roman Britain. As a child, he was kidnapped by Irish pirates and brought to the country to look after sheep. He became a missionary and is credited with bringing Christianity to parts of Ireland. As such, St Patrick’s Day was initially a religious holiday – only becoming the cheeky pint-in-hand festival celebrated across Ireland and other parts of the world today in the 1800s.


Paul Revere Held Up The Lanterns in the Old North Church


Like so many children growing up, I learned about Paul Revere’s midnight ride and the instructions about the lanterns in the Old Church to signal the strategy behind the British invasion – “One, if by land, and two, if by sea….” 

But who was the man behind the signals?

Well, it wasn’t Paul Revere. Although the Newman and Pulling families have argued over the name of the ultimate hero for the past 200 years, many historians have split the difference, pointing out that both men climbed the stairs and hung the lanterns.

But why don’t we know for certain? According to Concord Museum curator David Wood, it’s because no one wanted the credit. Because Newman and Pulling were still British subjects, hanging the lanterns amounted to treason.


Everest Is The Highest Mountain in the World

mount everesthttps://books.google.com.ph/books?id=1Mjd2GCRPmAC&printsec=frontcover&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false

According to the online science journal ScienceNews.org, the number of mountains beneath our oceans has officially doubled. Satellites have discovered nearly 20,000 previously unknown seamounts, according to scientists. Like land-based mountains, underwater mountains are measured from their base to their peak.

This brings us to another doozy: Mount Everest is, in fact, not the tallest mountain on earth. Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano off the coast of Hawaii, holds that honor. To put their height difference into perspective, imagine seeing Mauna Kea out of the water. Mount Everest’s summit is 29,035 above sea level, and Mauna Kea’s total height is 33,500 feet. That makes it almost a mile higher than Mount Everest!

If you thought that was an awesome fact, stick around for the item at number one on today’s list, you’re going to love it!


Glass Is a Slow-Moving Liquid


The concept that stained glass windows in ancient churches were thicker at the bottom due to the slow flow of glass has finally been debunked.

Contrary to popular belief, the increased thickness at the base came from the production process, not any liquid-like glass movements. However, despite this knowledge, the myth persists, fueled by the notion that glass, as a supercooled viscous substance, retains the properties of a flowing liquid. Glass, however, undergoes vitrification during cooling, maintaining a solid-like state without crystallization. 

To eliminate the myth for once and all, researchers examined a 20-million-year-old blob of preserved amber, an organic polymer similar to glass in its dynamics. Through calorimetric and stress relaxation tests, they proved that the amber did not exhibit any diverging relaxation times, conclusively debunking the idea of glass as a flowing substance. 

Will this finally get rid of the myth? Let’s wait and see. Knowledge is power, after all.


Chimps Have More Hair Than Humans


If you photograph a chimp next to any of us, it wouldn’t be strange to assume that the chimp is much hairier. However, that is not the case.

Like other primates, humans have between two and five million hair follicles spread across their bodies. However, our hair is less coarse and noticeable. 

You see, unlike apes, humans have two types of hair: terminal and vellus. Terminal hair can be found on our heads, armpits, and pubic areas, whereas vellus hair can be found everywhere else. Vellus hair is finer, shorter, and lighter in texture than terminal hair, and it is not connected to any glands beneath the skin. Exactly why we have these differences remains a mystery.


You Can Fix A Wet Phone By Putting It In Rice

wet phonehttps://www.kcra.com/article/how-to-fix-wet-phone/44508626#:~:text=You're actually doing more,more damage down the line

Having a phone end up in water has probably happened to all of us. If it hasn’t happened to you, you know of someone it’s happened to. Annoyingly, most of us have to get rid of the device after something wet happens.

Unfortunately, rice is not the answer. Trust me, it will not help your phone to dry out faster or more effectively. 

In fact, it will only cause more damage down the line as the dust and starch will get into the ports, blocking it. The best idea is to put the phone in a container along with a few silica gel sachets. They absorb moisture more effectively than rice. Allow at least 48 hours for the device to dry out completely before switching it on again. If you’ve got any other tips, please let us know in the comments!


There Is Zero Gravity In Space


We’ve all watched the footage of the astronauts floating around the ISS (International Space Station), so it’s easy to believe there’s no gravity up there. However, gravity exists everywhere in the universe; without it, everything would fall apart and cease to exist. 

The astronauts appear weightless because both the space station and the crew are constantly falling toward Earth. Because all objects of the same mass drop at the same speed, the space station and the crew members fall simultaneously – giving the appearance of zero gravity. Fortunately, even if they continue to fall, they are unlikely to reach the Earth because the space station is flying at approximately 17,150 miles (27,600 km) per hour, keeping both it and the occupants in orbit.


There Are 7 Colors In The Rainbow


Actually, it’s more like a million!

The ones we can clearly see, red, yellow, orange, green, indigo, blue, and violet, all fall into what is known as the visible spectrum. The corals, pinks, browns, aquas, and so forth are all there – they’re just invisible to the naked eye.

We also think of rainbows in an arc form – but they are complete circles. We don’t see the entire circle because we can only observe the light reflected over the horizon from our earthly vantage point.


Quicksand Will Suck You Under

sandhttps://www.nature.com/news/2005/050926/full/news050926-9.html#:~:text=People cannot fully sink into,unable to support any weight

It’s a famous Hollywood staple. Someone gets stuck in quicksand and disappears under the sand. Fortunately, the truth is far gentler. People can only partially sink into this type of soil, and laboratory simulations have confirmed this little-known fact.

Quicksand is nothing more than ordinary sand that has been saturated with water to the point where the friction between sand particles has been reduced, rendering them incapable of supporting any weight. The mixture is most commonly seen near the deltas of large rivers. It can also form when an earthquake causes water to be released from subsurface reservoirs. The greatest risk of quicksand lies in the fact you can get trapped in it right when the high tides come in. It would be a horrible way to go.


The Spanish Influenza Came From Spain


Because it’s known as the “Spanish flu,” many people believe it originated in Spain. However, nobody knows where the flu came from. It definitely wasn’t from Spain. In fact, Spain had fewer cases than many other countries.

It only became known as the Spanish flu since Spain was one of the first (if not the first) to widely report on it. Because they were neutral during World War I (and had their own thing going), their press was more unrestrained than other countries. Countries involved in the war, such as the United Kingdom, the United States, and Russia, suppressed knowledge of the flu to a minimum to maintain morale. It’s a classic case of blaming the messenger, as people attributed the illness to Spain, even though it only reported it honestly.


Abner Doubleday Invented Baseball


According to this popular myth, the game of baseball was invented in 1839 in a cow pasture near Cooperstown, New York, by a man called Abner Doubleday. The story gained credibility in 1905 when a committee was appointed to investigate the game’s origins and decided to go with the testimony of one man. However, the man’s credibility was later questioned. 

Jeff Idelson, the former president of the US Baseball Hall of Fame, confirmed that the game was never invented in just one place. 

As far as baseball history is concerned, the first rules were officially authored by Alexander Joy Cartwright, who devised them for none other than the “The Knickerbockers” baseball club.


An Earthworm Split In Half Becomes Two Worms


We really do hope you only tried this out a few times as a kid.

Though it might not look like it, earthworms have distinct heads and tails. The head of a worm is always positioned on the end closest to the swelling band that encircles the animal, known as the clitellum. When an earthworm is split in half, it does not grow into two new worms. However, if the animal is sliced behind the clitellum, the head may survive and regrow its tail. The worm’s original tail will not be able to produce a new head and will die off. 

There is another worm, however, that puts the earthworm’s regenerating abilities to shame. The planarium flatworm belongs to a different phylum than earthworms and can rebuild its complete body from slivers just a fraction of its original size.


Camels Store Water In Their Humps

camelhttps://www.loc.gov/everyday-mysteries/zoology/item/how-much-water-does-a-camels-hump-hold/#:~:text=A camel's hump does not,hump will return to normal

In not water, what do they store in their humps?

The answer is fat – not water. 

The fat accumulated in camel humps serves as an energy reserve. Water is stored primarily in their bloodstream, making them excellent at avoiding dehydration. Camels can go up to seven days without drinking, but when they do, they go all out: up to 225 liters (50 gallons) at a time! Enough to keep a family of four sated on the driest, summer afternoons.


Snakes Hear And React To Music


Snakes are able to hear, but they do so less through external ears(which they obviously lack) and through low-frequency vibrations they pick up through their jawbones.

Despite appearances, snakes are, unfortunately, deaf to regular airborne sounds like music. 

So, despite the common misconception of snake charmers lulling their snakes through their music, this lulling is done through the snake charmer’s movements and other cues, such as the charmer’s swaying motion, drawing the snake’s attention to the moving object rather than the funky tune.


Dolphins Are Our Friends


We’ve made it down to our final three, and we’re sorry to break this to you. But dolphins, often viewed as our friendly ocean guardians, are vicious killers.

Recent scientific discoveries have highlighted some of their more disturbing behaviors. For instance, they’ve been found to torture baby porpoises and have even taken to harming their own kind. 

The experts are baffled, and some have suggested there might be a possible sexual motive behind these actions. It could also hint at a growing intelligence in dolphins, as (as disturbing as it might be) only a few animals derive pleasure from killing, a trait shared, perhaps, only with humans.


Pilgrims and Native Americans Celebrated Thanksgiving In Peace


Most of what we’re taught about Thanksgiving as children is probably wrong, but that’s because the truth might put us off Thanksgiving forever.

Thanksgiving was far more than just a harvest celebration between the Wampanoag Indians and the colonists. More settlers had arrived in the New World, carrying a plague that took over fifty percent of the original population. As a result, there was a land dispute and strained ties between the two cultures. Even though there was a three-day feast, it’s unclear whether the Wampanoags were invited or simply turned up. Several narratives and theories about Thanksgiving’s origins exist, but none are pleasant.


Soft Water Is Healthier Than Hard Water

Everybody Knowshttps://www.aquatell.ca/blogs/aquatell/what-is-healthier-hard-or-soft-water

Initially, one might be confused about hard and soft water’s existence. Water is water, isn’t it? 

Turns out, there is a clear difference between the two. Hard water is generally your regular, run-of-the-mill water, with no sodium and all its natural minerals intact, whereas soft water is water that has all its minerals removed and includes sodium.

Experts agree that hard water is the healthier choice between the two, as hard water includes benefits such as better heart function, blood sugar regulation, better digestion, and even cancer prevention. 

As it turns out, hard results are better than soft processed promises.

Enjoyed this list? Check out 25 Mind-Boggling Examples Of The Mandela Effect.

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