12 Common Myths That Are Not True

It is likely that myths get started for a variety of reasons. Perhaps someone thought they had figured something out and started spreading their “knowledge” around. Maybe some of them were more devious and just made stuff up hoping people would believe it and pass it along to others. These common myths have been completely busted, so cross them off your list if you happened to have been taken in by any of them.

1. Brainless


If this myth were true, we could probably all be considered brainless, for all intents and purposes. The myth that claims that humans only use 10 percent of their brain has been proven false many times over. Other percentages have also been bandied about including one percent, five percent and probably more. All false.

2. Deadly Daddy

The common “daddy long-legs” spider is often rumored to have the most deadly venom of all spiders. “Rumored” might be lending more credibility to this myth than it deserves. This particular spider can bite a person, but the worst that is likely to happen is a mild burning sensation. The spiders you really need to watch out for are varieties such as the brown recluse, whose bite can result in a gaping wound that is difficult to heal.

3. Rapid Eye Movement

Where anyone ever got the idea that your eyeballs could be ejected from your head when you sneeze we cannot imagine. The fact that is very difficult to keep your eyes open when you sneeze would offer a measure of protection even if this foolish myth had any truth to it.

4. Raging Bull


Perhaps the fact that matadors will most often use a red cape to provoke a bull gave birth to the idea that bulls hate the color red. Bulls, like many other animals, are color blind, making the world more like black-and-white in their eyes. This myth is pure rubbish.

5. Foil Foiled

Maybe it’s the fact that aluminum foil seems like kind of a magical material that makes it the object of numerous silly myths. One claims that a covering your car with it will cause a speed radar to go haywire or fail to detect the car at all. Actually, since radar uses radio waves to calculate speed the highly-reflective foil is more likely to make a car an even “bigger” radar target and therefore easier to detect.

6. Deadly Penny

This very common myth was probably believed by just about everyone at some point in their life. The myth claims that a coin (most commonly a penny) dropped from the Empire State Building will gain enough velocity to kill someone at ground level if it struck them. The reality of terminal velocity makes that impossible. A falling object, whether it is falling from the top of a skyscraper or from an airplane at 40,000 feet, is capable of reaching a certain speed and no more than that. That’s terminal velocity. Although a coin dropped on your head from atop the Empire State Building might hurt more than one dropped from the roof of a house, neither will kill you. Now if you want to talk about bowling balls, that’s a whole different story!

7. Jewelry Jolt

At some point, someone came up with the ridiculous notion that body piercings would make a person more likely to be struck by lightning. In fact, lightning will most often seek the most expeditious path to the ground which normally means it will strike a tall object like a tree. Having a little extra metal attached to one’s body will not have any effect on where lightning will strike.

8. One-track Mind

How many times have you heard that men think about sex every seven seconds? Or perhaps every 20 seconds? Or how about every minute? This myth has many variations and all of them are complete bunk. Men may think more about sex than women do, but by no means do they think of it as frequently as these myths claim. If any of them were true, how would we ever get any work done?

9. Tattoo Torture

Here’s one that’s likely from the “somebody just made it up” category. The claim that getting an MRI will cause a tattoo to explode is ridiculous. Patients are instructed to remove metal objects like jewelry, but only old-style tattoos that may contain a bit of iron have any chance of causing problems, and even when they do, it’s most often characterized as minor discomfort. There were certainly be no explosions.

10. All Gummed Up

It’s often said that if someone swallows chewing gum, it will end up lodged in their digestive tract forever or take years to pass through. Chewing gum is nearly as digestible as most other food items and will pass through the digestive tract like any other food.

11. Population Explosion

The myth states that there are more people alive today than there are people who have ever died. People who study stuff like this estimate that at least 100 billion people have lived and died throughout human history. Considering that there are roughly 7 billion people currently living on planet earth, it’s obvious that this myth is way off track.

12. Trouble With Tanning

Perhaps the people who came up with the idea that a tanning bed can cook your internal organs “from the inside out” was thinking of a microwave oven, and somehow confused the two. Tanning beds use ultraviolet light like the kind we get from the sun. If a tanning bed was capable of cooking a person, we would have all been burned to a crisp by the sun by now.

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