Here’s some “common knowledge” we’ve taken for granted that really isn’t the case at all.

I was really surprised to find out that these beliefs, which I had assumed were true as well, were really just well-circulated untruths and myths.

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Sit back…, relax…, and allow me to share this enlightenment with you!

What we have come to believe: Humans Only Use 10% Of Their Brains.

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The truth: According to neurologist, Barry Gordon, in the journal “Scientific American,” “We use virtually every part of the brain, and… [most of] the brain is active almost all the time.  Let’s put it this way: The brain represents three percent of the body’s weight and uses 20 percent of the body’s energy.”

Of course, we don’t use every part of our brains simultaneously at all times, but researchers, using brain-imaging technology, have found that most areas of the brain are active throughout the day.

 

What we have come to believe: Alcohol Kills Brain Cells.

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The truth: According to the journal “Scientific American,” “Indulging in alcohol, even heavy drinking, cannot kill brain cells.”

The bad news is drinking alcohol can damage dendrites and make it difficult for neurons to relay messages to one another. If this happens, essentially the “wiring” in your brain doesn’t function as well as it’s meant to.

 

What we have come to believe: Eating carrots helps you see better.

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The truth: It’s a fact that carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which can convert to vitamin A, and this is the right vitamin to help improve your vision. But it’s not that simple.

The reality is that once your body has enough beta-carotene, it no longer converts beta-carotene to vitamin A, according to the journal “Scientific American.”  The truth, therefore, is that your eyesight can still worsen even if you eat a ton of carrots.

 

What we have come to believe: Our tongues have different sections that taste different things.

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The truth: Along the way we have been taught that our tongue has separate sections for tasting sweet, salty, sour, and bitter.  You might have even been shown a “tongue map.”  Sweet in the front, salty and sour on the sides and bitter at the back.

However, the University of Florida Center for Smell and Taste has revealed this to be a myth. And they’re not the only ones who have known for a while that the various receptors to pick up all the different tastes are spread all over the tongue.

 

What we have come to believe: There is zero gravity in Space.

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The truth: No matter where we may be in the universe, we are being affected by the gravitational pull of some object or objects.  We could never be in a state of true “zero gravity.”

We’ve all seen footage of astronauts floating in space, so it’s easy to believe that there’s “zero gravity” in up there.  Astronauts actually feel weightless because their shuttle or vehicle is in a state of continuous free fall to the earth.

According to Yale Scientist, Chidi Akusobi, “It is important to distinguish [the feeling of] ‘weightlessness’ from ‘zero-gravity.’ The space shuttle never falls to the earth because it is traveling horizontally at about 18,000 km/hr [11,185 mph], opposing the force of gravity.  If the spacecraft was not moving quickly enough, it would fall prey to the effects of earth’s gravitational field and fall to the earth.”

 

What we have come to believe: You can see The Great Wall Of China from Space.

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The truth: Contrary to popular belief, no one can see The Great Wall of China from outer space.  NASA took a photo from the International Space Station in 2004 and concluded that “the wall is invisible to the unaided eye in low Earth orbit.”

 

What we have come to believe: Mount Everest is the world’s tallest mountain.

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The truth: Well…, yes and no.  You can’t get any higher on Earth than the top of Mount Everest, but there is a mountain on Earth that is taller than from its base to its peak than Mount Everest.  Mount Everest, to be precise, is the tallest mountain above sea level.

The tallest mountain in the world is actually the island Mauna Kea in Hawaii, which is nearly a mile taller than Everest when you factor in the 19,700 feet of it that exists down in the Pacific Ocean.

Measuring from the ocean floor to the peak, Mauna Kea is over 32,808 feet (10,000 meters) tall compared to Mount Everest’s 29,035 feet (8,850 meters)!

 

What we have come to believe: Applying urine to a jellyfish sting neutralizes it.

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The truth: We’ve always been told, in the event a jellyfish stings you, urinating on the sting will soothe the agony. Researchers have actually found that applying urine, ammonia or alcohol on a jellyfish sting creates an effect that’s the opposite of what you want when you’re in pain.  Urinating on a sting will actually irritate the active cells and make the reaction to the sting worse.

What should we do instead?  Scientists say household vinegar gives the best relief.

 

What we have come to believe: Some people are right-brained, while others are left-brained.

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The truth: If we’re to believe this theory, then one side of our brain is dominant.  Individuals who are mainly analytical and methodical in their thinking are said to be left-brained, while those who are inclined to be creative or artistic are said to be right-brained.

The most reliable assessments have come from various brain studies.  These studies have found there are different areas of activity in certain parts of the brain for different body functions, but that typically people use both sides of their brain equally.

 

What we have come to believe: Napoleon was a very short man.

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Napoleon Bonaparte is rumored to have been only 5′ 2″, but according to “Ripley’s Believe It or Not,” he was measured in French inches, which were longer than English inches at the time.

The term Napoleon complex is so named because most people believe the French military leader was an angry, little man who took out his frustration on other nations simply because he was vertically-challenged. Our image of Napoleon may be far from the truth because when we convert the French measurement to our inches, he was actually closer to 5’ 7”.

The average height of an American male today is 5’ 9”.

The average height of a Mexican male today is 5’ 6.5”.

The average height of an Indian male today is 5’ 4.9”.

The average height of a French male today is 5’ 7.8”.

We also have to take into consideration that our average heights have been increasing over that past couple of centuries.

Sooo…, Napoleon Bonaparte may actually have been a little taller than average during the time he lived.

 

Well, there you have it.  My contribution to the never ending pursuit of the truth.

“…and the truth will set you free.” – Jesus, taken from the book of John, verse 8:32.

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I would like to thank Sandra Murphy for Brainy Penny for contributing to this article.

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Thank you, MrEricksonRules.

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