At one point or another, your mother probably told you to put a hat on in the winter, since heat escapes through your head.
You probably also believe that Mount Everest is the tallest mountain on Earth, and that if you touch a baby bird, its mother will abandon it forever. By a certain point, these “facts” are drilled so far into our brains that we believe them without question.
But I have some bad news for you, folks. Most of these facts are actually fiction.
1. Mount Everest is not, in fact, the tallest mountain in the world.
If you include bases that are underwater, Mauna Kea rises 33,465 feet into the air (only 13,796 feet are above sea level). Everest is 29,029 feet tall.
2. Deoxygenated blood is not blue.
Some of your veins look blue through the skin, but they’re actually just really dark red. Once blood has circulated throughout your body, it’s less oxygenated, lending it a deeper hue.
3. Chameleons don’t change color to blend in with their surroundings.
It actually occurs when these critters experience physiological and emotional changes.
4. You don’t lose most of your body heat through your head.
Your body loses the same amount of heat per square inch from head to toe.
5. Glass is not a slow-moving liquid.
Although some older window panes appear to be melting, that’s just how they were made. The manufacturing process in the 1800s was kind of shoddy, which explains those imperfections.
6. The Great Wall of China can’t be seen from space.
Despite its length, it can’t be seen with the naked eye from outer space, even in low orbit.
7. Mother birds won’t abandon their babies if you touch them.
Birds actually have terrible senses of smell, so there’s really no risk associated with imparting your scent. That being said, don’t go around grabbing baby birds.
8. Different parts of your tongue don’t detect different tastes.
With very rare exceptions, your tongue is an equal-opportunity taster.
9. Humans don’t have just 5 senses.
The senses we all learned about in elementary school don’t account for things like nociception, which is the ability to feel pain.
10. Columbus didn’t think that the Earth was flat.
Ever since the ancient Greeks slayed the logic game, humans have known that the Earth was round. The idea that some intrepid explorer set off into the sunset believing that the world was flat makes for a great story, but it’s not based in fact. He was just your average genocidal narcissist.
(via How Stuff Works)
Well, thanks for nothing, teachers. It’s one thing to learn this stuff from our parents, but it’s another thing entirely when it’s relayed to us by educators. How many of these not-so-factual “facts” did you learn in school?