Things You Think Are True…But Aren’t

Do you think that what you know is always true? Think again! We’ve gathered 13 of the most commonly-believed myths and misconceptions, and are ready to set the record straight. From popular beliefs about history to scientific misunderstandings, join us as we explore 13 things that may surprise you.

1. Cow Tipping Isn’t a Real Thing

Contrary to popular belief, cow tipping isn’t a real thing. Even if one was caught standing up in the dead of night, Modern Farmer points out that the evidence against cow tipping is immense and backed up by both farmers and the laws of physics. According to Nate Wilson, head of research at the University of Oxford’s Centre for Animal Welfare Science, “There’s more cows that have been tipped in people’s imaginations than in the real world”. Wilson further explains that cows sleep lying down and you can’t knock a cow to the ground if it’s already there in the first place. So if you’re considering giving cow tipping a try, you should think again – it’s not worth the risk!

2. Toads Don’t Give You Warts

It’s true that most toad species have dry skin with bumps, which can look like warts but are actually glands. But it’s also true that these bumps and lumps on toads’ and frogs’ skin are not warts at all. Warts are caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which is only carried by humans. So no, handling frogs or toads cannot give you warts. In fact, these glands secrete toxins that help toads defend themselves from predators.

3. Einstein Didn’t Fail Math

You may have heard the popular myth that Albert Einstein failed math in school. Well, the good news is that this is just a myth. In fact, Einstein was an exemplary student and was even an honor student in math. He did not fail math in school, but he did fail the entrance exam to the Zurich Polytechnic when he first took it. However, he did not fail the math portion of it. He was excellent at mathematics throughout school, but he was at heart a physicist and did not do well in the other subjects such as botany, zoology and language. So don’t let the myth fool you into believing Einstein wasn’t good at math; he definitely was!

4. The Moon is Not made of Cheese

Contrary to popular belief, the moon is not made of cheese. This centuries-old belief may have been rooted in the fact that the moon appears round, like a wheel of cheese. But in 2002, NASA released a statement debunking the myth. They stated that for centuries scientists have searched for an explanation for the origin of the Moon, and it certainly wasn’t cheese! It’s easy to understand why this myth has persisted for so long, but we can now all rest assured that our night-time companion is not made of cheese.

5. The Great Wall of China is Visible From Space

Despite a pervasive myth that has been around for over 100 years, the Great Wall of China is not actually visible from space. Although some man-made structures are visible from low earth orbit under certain weather and lighting conditions, the Great Wall of China cannot be seen with the naked eye from space. Astronauts have proven that even in low-earth orbit, the wall is too small to be seen. The truth is that many people have claimed to be able to see it from space, but it simply isn’t true. So before planning a trip to space to get a view of the Great Wall of China, remember that it’s just a myth!

6. The Five Second Rule is a Myth

The five-second rule is a widely accepted notion that food dropped on the floor is still safe to eat as long as it’s retrieved and consumed within five seconds. However, many experts have debunked this myth, claiming that food that has been on the floor for even a few seconds can pick up bacteria. It’s best to discard food that has made contact with a surface, no matter how quickly it was retrieved after its fall. Just as a precaution, it’s best to avoid eating anything that could have been contaminated.

7. Mental Strength Can be Developed

It’s easy to believe that mental strength is something that one is born with and cannot be developed. But this isn’t true – in fact, mental strength can be learned and developed over time. Developing mental strength is about improving your ability to regulate your emotions, manage your thoughts, and behave in a positive manner, despite the circumstances. Mentally strong people can tolerate being alone and they don’t fear silence. They aren’t afraid to be alone with their thoughts and they can use downtime to reflect and work on their personal growth. Avoiding these thirteen habits isn’t just what will help you through grief. Getting rid of them will help you develop mental strength, which is essential for leading a successful life. Mentally strong people have healthy habits. They manage their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in ways that set them up for success in life. No matter how much we want to, we can’t control the weather. And that’s just one of many things outside of our control. Mental strength isn’t often reflected in what you do. It’s usually seen in what you don’t do. The Art of Stoic Living book outlines 13 things that mentally strong people avoid doing in order to remain emotionally resilient and successful.

8. Humans Use Only 10% of Their Brain

One of the most widely accepted myths is that humans use only 10 percent of their brains. This myth has been debunked by scientists, who have proven that we use all of our brain, though not all at the same time. Our brains are incredibly complex, and it’s likely that we just don’t understand everything about how they work yet. Mental professionals, such as Amy Morin, author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do: Take Back Your Power, Embrace Change, Face Your Fears, and Train Your Brain for Happiness and Success, have noted that mental strength can be developed. It’s important to remember that our brains are capable of so much more than we think—we just need to keep exploring them to unlock their full potential.

9. Napoleon was Not Short

It’s a common belief that Napoleon Bonaparte was short in stature, but the truth is he was actually of average height according to pre–metric system French measures. This myth likely arose due to the British propaganda of portraying their enemy as “little Boney.” While Napoleon was no stranger to trying to shape his reputation, there is evidence that even at the time of his death he was still considered short despite being above average height for his era. So the next time you hear someone talking about the Napoleon complex, you can remind them that this myth is just that: a myth.

10. Chocolate Doesn’t Cause Acne

Contrary to popular belief, there is no scientific evidence that chocolate causes acne. While eating too much sugar can aggravate existing pimples, cocoa itself has not been found to be the root cause of breakouts. It’s more likely that sugar or other ingredients in your chocolate bar or cupcake are to blame for new pimples or deeper breakouts than the cocoa itself. If you’re going to indulge, it’s important to be mindful and eat these sweet treats in moderation.

11. Chocolate Milk Comes from Brown Cows

Finally, Believe it or not, 7% of American adults actually think that chocolate milk comes from brown cows. That’s right – a nationwide survey from the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy found that, for some strange reason, people actually believe this. Interestingly enough, 48% of respondents said they don’t know where chocolate milk comes from. The answer should not surprise dietitians, as chocolate milk isn’t chocolaty because it comes from brown cows – just as strawberry milk isn’t obtained from pink cows, in case that also needed clearing up!