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    17 Myths You've Always Believed That Aren't True

    Just thought you should know.

    1. In most cases, you don't need to wait 24 hours before filing a missing persons report.

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    Though this myth has been popularized by movies and TV shows, many law enforcement officials say its best to get the search started sooner rather than later, especially if you notice something is out of the ordinary.

    2. George Washington never chopped down a cherry tree.

    Archive Photos / Getty Images

    The story goes that George Washington, at age six, damaged his father's cherry tree and then came clean about it, demonstrating his impeccable moral character from a young age. This story was actually made up by a minister. The tale spread as a way to teach children about morality.

    3. There's no real reason to believe the forbidden fruit Eve bit into was an apple.

    Skynext / Getty Images

    In original texts, the fruit Eve eats from the tree is only identified by a generic term for fruit. We get the idea that it was an apple from a sly pun by a Latin scholar, since the word malus meant both "evil" and "apple" depending on its usage.

    4. Gum doesn't take seven years to be digested.

    Rawpixel Ltd / Getty Images

    This rumor might come from gum being labeled "indigestible." While gum can't be broken down in the body, it will still make its exit on time.

    5. Usually, cooking food in liquor doesn't remove a dish's alcohol content.

    Rudisill / Getty Images

    It does lower it though. According to the USDA, a dish baked or simmered for 15 minutes will retain 40% of its alcohol content, while a disk baked or simmered for an hour will retain 25% of its alcohol content. Either way, the alcohol content of a cooked dish usually isn't high enough to offer a buzz.

    6. An indigenous tribe did not sell Manhattan for $24 worth of beads.

    Hulton Archive / Getty Images

    It’s a common legend, but there’s no real record of what was involved in the trade. Historians do know that the equivalent was $60 guilders, which would be around $1,000 today. That’s still pretty cheap, but it may have been thought of more as a rent than a sale. THere’s also no confirmation who exactly the Dutch bought Manhattan from.

    7. Marie Antoinette never said, "Let them eat cake."

    Kevin Winter / Getty Images

    Not only was Marie Antoinette typically charitable, this rumor has been circulating in some form or another since before she was born. In the 1660s, a similar phrase was attributed to a Spanish princess, and since then several other monarchs have been rumored to utter variations of this callous remark.

    8. Squirrels are not so forgetful that they accidentally plant thousands of new trees every year by storing food and then forgetting their hiding places.

    Keystone / Getty Images

    There’s a popular fact that says many trees grow every year because squirrels forget where they’ve hidden their nuts, but according to some studies, squirrels are able to recover the majority of their stashes by memory.

    9. Puffins don’t technically mate for life.

    Seventhdayphotography / Getty Images

    It’s true that every summer puffins typically return to the same partner to mate, but it’s unlikely that they stay together all winter, when puffins spend their time swimming in the ocean. If a mate doesn’t return during mating season, the lonesome puffin will move on.

    10. Toy Story characters at Disney theme parks will not stop and drop if someone yells, “Andy’s coming!"

    Bertrand Guay / AFP / Getty Images

    This actually used to be a thing, but unfortunately we ruined it. Too many people were yelling "Andy's coming!" at actors, so the practice had to end for safety reasons.

    11. Donald Duck wasn't banned in Finland because of his lack of pants.

    Vcg / Getty Images

    In fact, there was never any ban on Donald to begin with. For budget reasons, libraries in Helsinki stopped purchasing Donald Duck comics. Another Finnish town, Kemi, also made a similar decision. But politicians in Finland and the international press fanned the flames of this lie for either political gain or their own amusement.

    12. Fingernails will not continue to grow after you die.

    Afp Contributor / AFP / Getty Images

    Instead, what happens is that our severely dehydrated bodies slowly shrink away, while substances like our fingernails and hair remain the same size. It's an optical illusion that makes it seem like they continue to grow.

    13. Thomas Edison didn't invent the lightbulb.

    Shaiith / Getty Images

    He did, however, improve upon the design, making it possible to adapt the electric lightbulb into homes all over.

    14. Witches weren't burned at the stake during the Salem Witch Trials.

    Michal Cizek / AFP / Getty Images

    They were mostly hung, though some died in jails or by other means. Burning witches at the stake was a European invention from medieval times.

    15. Jingle Bells was not created as a Christmas song.

    Tacstef / Getty Images

    Though now heavily associated with Christmas, some believe Jingle Bells was a Thanksgiving song. That's not a confirmed story, but what is known is that it seems to stem from the composer remembering sleigh rides in his youth. In fact, the song was originally called "One Horse Open Sleigh."

    16. Nero didn't fiddle as Rome burned, at least not literally.

    Marco Longari / AFP / Getty Images

    There are several issues with this story, one being that the fiddle hadn't been invented at this point in history. A Roman historian did once recount a scene in which Nero sang while Rome burned, but he noted this was unconfirmed. Historians agree that Nero rushed to Rome to begin relief efforts, though he was, in the end, a pretty terrible ruler.

    17. Monopoly wasn't invented to teach people about managing money.

    Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

    In fact, it was invented by a woman named Elizabeth J. Magie to teach people about the evils of capitalism. When Parker Brothers marketed the game, they invented pro-capitalist tale about a down-on-his-luck man who makes his family rich by inventing Monopoly. Magie was not pleased.

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