8 myths we need to stop believing…

Jean-Luc Picard Face Palm High Res

There are a lot of myths out there that are commonly accepted as fact.

If you believe one or all of these I’m not calling you idiot. I blame your parents, teachers and friends for feeding you lies!

Here are 8 urban myths you should stop believing. Feel free to argue with me in the comments.

Albert Einstein Failed Mathematics in School

Someone asked Einstein about this before he died in 1955, to which he responded, “I never failed in mathematics… before I was fifteen I had mastered differential and integral calculus.”

Einstein did however fail several subjects in his entrance exam for the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School, but he got exceptional grades in physics and math.

We Only Use 10% Of Our Brain

Recent studies using magnetic brain mapping technology show that we use well over 10% of our brain during ordinary function.

Furthermore, acclaimed neurologist Barry Gordon describes the 10% myth as laughably false in the book Mind Myths: “We use virtually every part of the brain, and that [most of] the brain is active almost all the time.”

Chewing Gum Will Stay in Your Stomach for 7 Years

Gum is comprised largely of indigestible synthetic elastomers (rubber like material), softeners, preservatives, and sweeteners.

According to Gastroenterologist David Milov, chewing gum may take longer to digest than regular food, but still gets processed all the same. “It probably passes through slower than most foodstuffs, but eventually the normal housekeeping waves in the digestive tract will sort of push it through.”

The Great Wall of China is the Only Man-Made Structure Visible From Space

The visibility of the Great Wall of China depends on your definition of where space starts. Lets be generous and use the International Space Station which is a measly 370 kilometers above sea level. That’s considered low Earth orbit and barely “space.”  From the Space Station, the wall is only visible under perfect weather conditions and using special photographic equipment.

Former NASA astronaut Jeffrey Hoffman claims, “I have spent a lot of time looking at the Earth from space, including numerous flights over China, and I never saw the wall.”

Cracking Your Knuckles Will Give You Arthritis

No matter how annoying the sound of knuckle cracking is, the chances of getting arthritis from it are slim to none. Countless studies have disproved this popular myth – most recently, researchers from the Uniformed Services University examined radiographs of 215 people and compared the joints of those who regularly crack and those who don’t.

This study and many others have concluded that knuckle cracking does not cause arthritis, though it can in rare cases cause minor damage to ligaments that surround the joint.

You Swallow 8 Spiders a Year in Your Sleep

Spiders don’t want anything to do with your mouth, and the set of highly unlikely circumstances that would need to occur to swallow any insect big enough to creep you out is enough to debunk this myth.

The origin of this urban legend comes from Lisa Holst, a magazine columnist who decided to prove that she could make people believe anything on the Internet. Lisa put together a massive chain email of ridiculous facts and watched as almost everyone in the world began to believe her lies.

A Penny Falling from the CN Tower Will Kill Someone Below

Like anything that falls, a penny will eventually reach terminal velocity – the maximum speed an object can travel while falling. A Canadian penny weighs 2.3 grams and falling the CN Tower’s height of 553 meters, it would quickly reach a maximum speed of 105 km/h.

If by chance a penny managed to land directly on your head, it would impact with about 1 foot-pound of energy – likely not enough to puncture skin, let alone your skull.

Same goes for a penny falling from The Empire State Building and all the other sky scrapers I’ve heard this myth involve.

Lightning Never Strikes The Same Place Twice

The idea that lightning never strikes the same place twice is absolutely false, in fact, lightning strikes Toronto’s CN Tower an average of 75 times a year.

Lightning is an electrostatic discharge that can reach up to 54,000 degrees Fahrenheit – four times hotter than the surface of the sun. When a storm comes, it will always be most likely to hit the tallest buildings and objects that are highly conductive – whether they’ve been hit before or not.