We are all ruled by illusions, aren't we? And the basic aim of education is to debunk these misconceptions. Have you ever wondered that the popular myths you believe in could simply be a misconception. Well we are here to bring the truth out. Happy reading!!
1. Thunder is caused by lightening: A very logical belief indeed but if we say it is just a scientific illusion!!! Well lightening is nothing but a flow of electrons moving from one cloud to another or sometimes ground to cloud. Due to this the air gets heated into a plasma tube which is three times warmer than the sun. The violent opening out and contractions of the tube close to air creates a furious and muffled sound. It is the not the streaming of electrons itself. So next time you hear a violent sound accompanying lightening, know that it's not thunder.
2. Water is a conductor of electricity: It is a common belief that water conducts electricity and you might get a shock if a wire is left open in contact with water. This is also a misconception as well. Water in its purified or distilled form is not a conductor of electricity at all. The reason why we often get a shock while touching the switches with watery hands or coming in contact with wire in water is due to the impurities or minerals present in water. It is these impurities and minerals which conduct electricity and not water. So hopefully next time you won't blame water for your carelessness.
3. A place is never stricken by lightening twice: This is an utmost wrong notion that most people have. Lightening can strike the same place twice or even more. So if you are outdoors in a storm it is advisable to find a proper shelter rather than searching for a place where lightening has already stricken. This is quite a dangerous myth which can land you in trouble. Hopefully this creates consciousness.
4. Matter is only of three types- solid, liquid and gas: We often forget Plasma but it is also a state of matter. It does not fall under these three states. Plasma comprises of heated ions and electrons. It not something we call gel. On cooling it can turn into gas but it possesses different properties. Fire, sun or anything having flame can be described as Plasma. Any compound can become Plasma when heated even water. So next time you define matter don't forget Plasma.
5. A person on a sidewalk can get killed by a penny dropped from the Empire State Building: According to this myth a penny dropped from the top of Empire State Building would accelerate so much that it would kill a person on the sidewalk. Well it's absolutely not so. If a penny is dropped it might get a velocity up to 30-100 miles per hour depending on the wind but it wouldn't kill anyone. It might hurt a person below. Well it's a very foolish idea to drop a penny from the top, its better that you keep the change with yourself.
1. The Great Wall of China is the only man-made structure visible from space: From international space station 250 many human made structures are visible and not only the Great Wall of China. From moon nothing is visible except a few city lights. So in the near future if you go up in space try to locate a few structures besides the Great Wall of China.
2. The Earth is a perfect sphere: The Earth is neither a perfect sphere nor a circle. It rotates at a speed of 1,040 mph per hour which causes the earth's poles to get flatter and also creates a bulge at the equator. Due to the melting of glaciers and global warming this bulge is growing. So the globe is not the exact replica of the Earth.
3. Mount Everest is the highest peak on Earth: Everest is undoubtedly taller than many other mountains on earth but it is not the tallest. If we measure the height above the sea level, then Mt. Everest is the tallest but if we are mentioning mountain base to peak height then Mauna Kea is the tallest that peaks in the island of Hawaii. It stands 13,796 feet above sea level but 19,700 feet is submerged below the Pacific Ocean. So the total height of Mauna Kea stands 33,500 feet that is above 4000 feet higher than Everest which is 29,035 feet above sea level. So in future if this mountain comes up then perhaps you can have an expedition to Mauna Kea.
4. Sahara is the largest desert in the world: To debunk this popular myth, we should first know the definition of a desert. A desert need not necessarily be vast stretches of sand or warmer. Dryness and lack of sociability are enough to suffice a desert. Antarctica is the name that comes up on the list as it gets only two inches of precipitation a year with very few land animals. It stretches 5.4 million square miles where as Sahara is 3.6 million square miles. So the south pole of the Earth is a vast stretching desert.
5. Closer to the Sun makes summer hotter: It is warm during summer due to the tilting of the earth. While on rotation, the Earth bends towards the sun thus making the atmosphere warmer. Neither the Northern nor the Southern hemispheres are closer to the sun during summer. So you are not precipitating because you are nearer to the sun.
1. Cats and dogs are colorblind: Well the vision of cats and dogs is much better than humans. They have more light-sensing cells in the eye and can see in both blue and green light. Even they have better vision in low light than humans. Their color vision is 1/7th as alive as ours because pink might seem more green to cats and purple might seem bluer to dogs.
2. Sharks are devoid of cancer: A good myth for advertisement indeed. I. William Lane did a good advertisement to sell shark cartilage as a cancer treatment. Reports of huge tumors have been found by researchers and a number of tumors have been reported by scientists in a dozen of Shark species. So it's high time you stop believing in advertisements.
3. Sharks have senses to smell blood from miles away: Well it seems sharks are subjected to quite a number of myths. Sharks do have enlarged brain sensing neurons which helps them to smell a drop of blood but an Ocean is much bigger in size. They are capable of smelling 1 drop of blood per 10 billion parts of water probably the size of an Olympic swimming pool. So you are not at risk of getting eaten by a shark if you bleed in an ocean miles away.
4. Bats are blind: Another misconception. Bats do not have color receptors so they see in black and white. At night they have better vision than us. They use sonar navigators and can locate without sight but this doesn't mean that they are blind. They can fly with sound waves and can see as well perhaps much better than the umpires in cricket.
5. Giraffes only have 30 minutes sleep a day: Giraffes have a similar sleeping pattern than most of us. After being closely monitored for 152 days scientists found that giraffes sleep about 4.6 hours per day. During the survey they found that most of them enjoyed overnight naps and slept all through the afternoon. Quite familiar, Isn't it?
6. Bulls are offensive at the color red: Bulls or similar animals are color blind so won't understand the color red. They attack when they sense danger. They get angry at tyrants or signs challenging them. Bulls fight at receiving offensive signs and they won't care about the color red. So if you are wearing the color red when going out, you are at no risk of getting attacked by a bull.
7. Elephants fear mice: Well let us remind you that we do not live in fairy tales. Elephant is a big giant and they are having no fear of mice. They have poor sight and might get startled by small creatures but they do not fear mice. So fairy tales should perhaps improve their scientific basics.
1. Humans have five senses: Can you just live with the five basic senses (eyes, ear, nose, tongue and touch) without balance, time, consciousness and temperature? No you need all these senses to live a normal life. So the concept of sixth sense is perhaps not always philosophical.
2. Carrots improve night vision: Carrots are rich in vitamin A which is good for eyes but eating a lot of carrots won't give you superhuman powers or night vision. This myth originated during World War II as the British government wanted to hide the radar technology which the pilots used for attacking during the night. So definitely eat carrots but without any expectations of getting super powers of night vision.
3. Hair and nails grow even after death: When a person dies cells ceases to grow. So nails and hair won't grow after death. The skin becomes dry and shrinks showing signs of further growth. So the ghosts we see in films had their hairs before death and it did not somehow grow after death.
4. Humans evolved from apes: This topic has undergone a number of researches. Scientists argue on the point that Apes, Chimpanzees or other higher apes and humans might share a common origin. Our ancestors looked more like apes but humans did not evolve from apes. These are two different species. They might share a common origin but evolving from apes is a far matter. So maybe we can think of Apes as our siblings.
5. Only 10% of the human brain is used: The human brain is quite active till death and it never sleeps. It uses 20% of the body's resources and works all day even in your unconscious state. So if you suddenly start memorizing more or some person has better memory than you, it does not mean that your brain was sleeping. All the parts of the brain are equally active. So if you suddenly start remembering things more it's the active parts of your brain being used for a fresh purpose and not because it was only working 10%.
PLANT AND TREE MYTHS:
1. Banana grows on tree: Bananas are actually earth's biggest perennial herb growing up to 25 feet. So the banana tree is not a tree. It does not contain woody fibers which is an essential part of trees. It does not have the trunk though have sturdy leaves and stalks. Bananas don't produce seeds thus falling in the category of berries. So always size doesn't suffice for a tree.
2. Blue whale/ Redwood forest/ Titanosaur/ etc. are the largest living organisms on Earth: If we are talking about ocean, Blue Whale is the biggest. If we are talking about trees, Redwood forest has the tallest among them. When speaking of dinosaurs, Titanosaur might be the largest but the biggest species alive on earth are the humongous honey fungus in the Oregon Blue Mountains containing thousands of mushrooms about 2.4 miles long. They are slowly expanding but no need to worry as these mushrooms are edible so we will find some tasty stuff.
3. The Mustard seed is the smallest: Don't forget the duckweed, water meal and poppy seeds which are much smaller than the mustard seeds. Orchid seed is the smallest till date. This myth arises from a saying in Bible where Jesus compares faith to a mustard seed, though small in size but grows as the biggest garden plant. So you should start interpreting hyperboles more minutely.
These are 25 science myths debunked. Surprised? Well sometimes truth is rare than fiction. Keep following us for more jaw dropping facts. We will soon be back with more interesting truths. Till then stay safe. Have a nice day.
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