Throughout history, science has changed and developed as people explored and learned more about our world and the universe outside our world. In the process, we have disproven many myths such as the idea that the Earth is flat and the belief that the solar system revolves around us.
However, some myths persist and continue to pervade society like the idea that there is a dark side of the moon or that we only use 10 percent of our brains. Here are some of the most common myths we still believe, and how science has proved them false.
Brain; Dark Side; Sugar; Lightning; Gum; Knuckles; Full Moon
Lauren Leising is a freelance writer based in Athens, Georgia. She was probably dreaming of a trip to Mount Bromo while writing this.
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We only use 10 percent of our brains
While many of us don't take advantage of our brain's full potential, it is simply not true that there is a mysterious 90 percent that goes completely unused. We know through modern science that we use our entire brain for the innumerable functions our bodies perform each day, as evidenced by the fact that the brain requires a great deal of energy to operate. Though it may seem exciting to think that there are entire portions of our brains that we have yet to explore, the simple truth is that our brains were designed to be efficient and good at what they do.
Rev314159, CC BY-ND 2.0
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Lightning never strikes the same place twice
Though a comforting expression used to suggest that something bad can't happen twice, lightning can definitely strike in the same place twice. And it has. Tall trees and buildings are especially vulnerable and are regularly hit by these electrostatic discharges. It all comes down to probability, and some places simply have a higher probability of being struck multiple times.
John Fowler, CC BY 2.0
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Cracking your knuckles gives you arthritis
That loud popping noise made when you crack your knuckles is satisfying to some and incredibly irritating to others. Cracking your knuckles breaks bubbles that have formed in the synovial fluid is a substance that acts as a cushion in synovial joints. Scientists have proven that there are no adverse effects of this habit, though it may annoy someone who hears it.
Jaysin Trevino, CC BY 2.0
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There is a dark side of the moon
Despite what Pink Floyd has to say, there is no dark side of the moon. In reality, we simply cannot see all of the moon from Earth, giving us the illusion that there is a side that is darker than the rest. We can only see about 59 percent of the moon's surface from where we stand, but the remaining 41 percent still sees as much sun as the rest of the moon. The far side of the moon is no darker than the side we see.
Alexey Kljatov, CC BY 2.0
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Sugar makes kids hyper
We all know that familiar buzz that comes after eating way too many cupcakes at a birthday party or after devouring halloween candy on November 1st. However, there is no scientific evidence that consuming large quantities of sugar is really the culprit behind overactive children. It is far more likely that the excitement of being around friends or getting to indulge in a sweet treat creates the surge of energy we have dubbed a "sugar rush."
feel-the-silence, CC BY-SA 2.0
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It takes seven years to digest chewing gum
The terror associated with swallowing a piece of gum when you were little was usually caused by someone telling you that that gum would sit in your stomach for seven years. In reality, we don't digest gum at all, as it is too difficult for our stomachs to handle. Instead, we expel it like other waste. It is still dangerous though, if you swallow large quantities, because that can cause a blockage. So it's still a good rule of thumb to avoid making a meal out of gum.
Jay Thompson, CC BY-SA 2.0
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A full moon affects behavior
Tales of werewolves howling at a full moon have influenced the idea that a large, bright moon can effect someone's behavior. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this idea and statistics show that crime rates stay relatively the same throughout the moon's cycle. It may make your late night walk a bit more creepy, but it won't change the way people act.
Ulrich Peters, CC BY-SA 2.0