15 Urban Legends Disproved

Bananas do not grow on trees, Vikings did not have horned helmets, and other “facts” prove false.

photo courtesy of www.wheretheghostsgo.wordpress.com

When is a “fact” not a “fact?” When a “truth” becomes so commonly believed, despite the fact that it is actually incorrect, that “truth” can be labeled as an “urban legend.” Sometimes these legends take the form of commonly believed stories or commonly believed “truisims.” Forttunately, the internet provides resources for “debunking” these myths, including,  http://www.list25.com/25-popular-myths-debunked/.

  1. Viking helmets have horns-Although there have been findings of Viking helms with horns, these were worn as a ceremonial feature, and Viking helmets used in battle did not have horns.
  2. Bananas grow on trees-Actually, banana “trees” don’t contain wood-like features, so therefore it resembles a plant more than a tree.
  3. Humans have only five senses-Although we have five primary senses, we also have secondary senses like equilibrioception, nociception, proprioception, thermoception, and so on.
  4. Hydrogen peroxide heals wounds-It doesn’t heal wounds at all. The bubbling effect is just the hydrogen peroxide attacking the skin.
  5. Tomatoes Are Legally Vegetables-They are still fruit. The supreme court never ruled that tomatoes are vegetables.
  6. All bats are blind-Many people believe all bats are blind, but they are just colorblind. They see much better than humans at night. It is still true that some bats are blind and use echolocation, but not all bats.
  7. Chameleons blend in to their surroundings-They can change color to their surroundings, but the soul purposes of this trait is to regulate their temperature or for mating purposes.
  8. Seasons are caused by the distance of earth from the sun-Seasons are caused by the 23.45 degree tilt of the earth, not the distance from the sun.
  9. Goldfish have a three second memory-Goldfish have a fairly decent memory, especially when they can be taught to react to different sensory clues.
  10. Chewing gum will stay in stomachs for seven years-Gum may not digest, but it does “leave the system”.
  11. A duck’s quack doesn’t echo-On the contrary, ducks’ quacks do echo, just bring one under a bridge or in a tunnel to find out.
  12. Dropping a penny off the Empire State Building can kill someone-Pennies weigh about one gram and when dropped, the air resistance is greater. The terminal velocity would be about 100mph and its force would be that of a pound. It would hurt.
  13. 0.999… does not equal 100-1/3 is equal to 0.333… and 2/3 is equal to 0.666… 3/3 as a fraction should equal 1, just as 4/4 or 5/5 would equal 1. When the decimals 0.333… and 0.666… are added, it equals 0.999…
  1. The Great Wall of China can be seen from space-This is false, considering that it cannot be seen from the International Space Station. The ISS is at 133 above sea level, which is considered a low Earth orbit. However, the Great Pyramid of Giza can be seen.
  2. Irregardless is not a word-As much as everyone says it is not, it is on Google’s dictionary entry, just search “what does irregardless mean” on Google and the definition will come up as regardless.