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    25 "Facts" Everyone Agrees Are True That Are...Wait A Minute...Completely False

    Jesus was born WHEN?!?

    1. I'm sure you've heard the warning that if you dropped a penny from the top of the Empire State Building, it could kill someone on the street below.

    empire state building
    Jamesharrison / Getty Images/RooM RF

    This is simply false. It would not be able to gain enough velocity.

    hand holding two pennies
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    2. If your dog has ever been sprayed by a skunk, you probably washed them in a bath of tomato juice.

    puppy staring at skunk
    Globalp/iStockphoto via Getty Images

    However, tomato juice does nothing to counteract the smell, and it is as ineffective as using any other strongly scented item.

    tomato juice
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    3. Many ships and planes have ~mysteriously~ vanished in the Bermuda Triangle...

    ship in Bermuda triangle storm
    S_bachstroem / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    ...but not significantly more than any other well-traveled waterways and oceans, as it turns out.

    bermuda triangle
    James Gass / Getty Images/EyeEm

    The disappearances can be linked to storms, issues with the ships/planes, and likely human error.

    4. Has your mom ever told you to stock up on vitamin C during cold or flu season?

    vitamin C tablets
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    Well, tell your mom she was wrong, because vitamin C supplements have little to no effect on preventing or shortening a cold.

    woman sneezing into a tissue
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    They do slightly better at the shortening colds than preventing them (though this is still a very small effect) — and any vitamin C you take after the cold begins will not help shorten it.

    5. If you're Christian, you probably celebrate Christmas, aka Jesus' birthday.

    man lifting his daughter to the top of the christmas tree to place a star there
    Rebecca Nelson / Getty Images

    Except it's not. The Bible references shepherds watching over their flocks during Jesus' birth, suggesting it was summertime (or at the very least not winter). There is no reference to any date — and certainly not December 25. In fact, no historical sources confirm that Christmas was celebrated then until 336 AD. It seems the date was chosen to appropriate the winter solstice — a pagan holiday — for Christian purposes, as it was around that time.

    painting of Jesus' birth
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    6. Also, Jesus would not have been white, nor is there any evidence that he had long hair.

    painting of Jesus with rams
    GraphicaArtis / Getty Images

    There are very few references to Jesus' appearance in the Bible, but one suggests he had darker skin. Moreover, he was a Palestinian Jewish man and would've looked like one. Early art depicted him with short hair — the image of a long-haired Jesus started popping up in the fourth century and was influenced by art done of Greek and Roman gods.

    7. You've probably heard the belief that dogs and cats age seven years for each human year...

    a kitten on a dog's heda
    Getty Images

    ...which may be somewhat true for cats, but is pretty inaccurate for dogs.

    different dog breeds
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    For dogs, it's super dependent on size and breed, as different breeds have very different life expectancies. Also, for both dogs and cats, a lot of aging happens in the first two years — more than the "14 human years" the seven-year rule would suggest.

    8. Someone has likely told you that the volcano in Yellowstone is overdue for an eruption.

    Grand prismatic spring in Yellowstone national park
    Surangaw / Getty Images

    If you're counting the average years between explosions, we still have 100,000 years to go — however, these numbers are largely meaningless, as volcanic eruptions are unpredictable.

    yellowstone thermal springs
    Marie-louise Mandl / Getty Images/EyeEm

    Scientists are not even sure if there's enough magma for an eruption.

    9. Another common belief is that worms become two worms when they're cut in half.

    worm in dirt
    Cody White / Getty Images/EyeEm

    The half with the head may be able to grow back its tail and survive, but the half with the tail can't grow into a new worm and will die.


    However, flatworms can regenerate into two worms when cut in half.

    10. I'm sure you know the hit song "Don't Worry, Be Happy" by Bob Marley.

    Bob Marley
    Pete Still/Redferns via Getty Images

    Except...he didn't sing the song. Bobby McFerrin did. In fact, it was written seven years after Marley's death.

    Bobby McFerrin
    David Redfern/Redferns via Getty Images

    Marley does have a song "Three Little Birds" with some similar words, themes, and phrases, likely causing the confusion.

    11. Sticking with music, you've probably heard Phil Collins was inspired to write the song "In the Air Tonight" after witnessing someone drown and wanting to confront an onlooker who could've stopped it.

    Phil Collins performing
    Archivio Elena Di Vincenzo/Mondadori via Getty Images

    You may have heard the story, like me, from Eminem's song "Stan."

    This is nothing more than an urban legend. Collins himself has stated that he wrote the song about his divorce.

    Collins performing the song
    Hard Force / YouTube / Via

    12. Ah, the beautiful yellow sun...oh, wait a minute. It's not yellow at all.

    sunrise over clouds
    Vlad Georgescu / Getty Images

    It's actually white, which you can tell from space. It only appears yellow because we're looking at it through the atmosphere.

    the sun
    Nora Carol Photography / Getty Images

    13. One of my favorite creepy facts is that people's hair and fingernails continue to grow after they die.

    pale hand in grass
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    Which is why I was pretty saddened to find out it wasn't a fact at all! In actuality, skin around fingernails and hair follicles dry up and retract, which can make stubble and nails appear to have grown, even though they have not.


    14. One of the coolest things about snakes is that their jaws can unhinge.

    snake with open mouth
    Timo Paschke / Getty Images/EyeEm

    Except...they can't, actually. The lower bones of their jaws do not connect and are attached with a stretchy ligament that allows them to open their mouths super wide — but they aren't unhinging their jaws.

    snake about to strike
    Peter Schaefer / Getty Images/EyeEm

    15. Did your mom ever tell you to eat carrots to improve your vision?

    Joyful girl laying on her back in a field of carrots
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    'Cause that's totally false! In fact, the idea was actively invented by the British government to spread misinformation that would hide the existence of their radar systems during World War II.

    Gay Media

    16. Cremating is a nice way to turn bodies into ashes, right?

    Small funeral ceremony and cremation service
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    Wrong! It leaves behind bone fragments, which are basically put into a blender until they fit in with the other ashes.

    Funeral urn
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    17. You may have been told you were a "left brain" person or a "right brain person."

    Left and right side of the human brain illustration listing abilities on either side
    Victor Habbick Visions / Getty Images/Science Photo Library RF

    However, abilities are not actually separated in this way. There are not "left brain dominant" or "right brain dominant" people, and most cognitive skills — like math, and even language (though dominant on the left) — rely on both sides of the brain.


    18. You've probably heard that female praying mantises eat their male partner after mating.

    praying mantis mating with another
    George D. Lepp / Getty Images

    This does happen, but not every time, and not with every species. In the species where this does happen, up to 28% of males are eaten by their partner.

    Facebook / Red Table Talk

    19. You've probably heard of a "beer blanket" — aka the belief that you get warmer after drinking.

    woman walking in the snow with a scarf, hat, and jacket
    Paulo Amorim / Getty Images

    However, beer doesn't make you any warmer. You might feel like you're warmer — or you're at least distracted from the cold — but if anything, it's actually making you colder.

    person pouring beer into a glass
    Kevin Trimmer / Getty Images

    Drinking could mess with your body's reflexes to keep it warm.

    20. What's also false? That alcohol kills brain cells.

    System of neurons with glowing connections
    Andriy Onufriyenko / Getty Images

    However, it can damage the ends of neurons.

    21. And that drinking liquor before beer prevents nausea/a hangover. That's right, folks: "Beer before liquor, never sicker; liquor before beer, in the clear" has no basis in reality.


    Your hangover will be just as bad either way!

    22. Babies used to not be given any sort of pain-relieving drugs during surgery because people were taught that babies couldn't feel pain, and you may have been led to believe this, too.

    baby in ICU
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    But, uh...they definitely do. Now, there are ways to provide pain relief for infants, although some surgeries do proceed without it.

    View of baby's feet with a hospital security tag on
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    23. If you're babysitting or around any kids, their parents might've told you not to give them sugar because they get hyper.

    boy shouting with his arms out in living room
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    However, sugar doesn't actually increase hyperactivity in kids!

    Mitch Diamond / Getty Images

    24. You also might've heard parents talking about keeping their kids away from violent video games.

    kid playing video games
    Eduardo Toro / Getty Images

    However, numerous studies have shown that violent video games don't make kids violent.

    video game character shooting guns
    Colin Anderson Productions Pty L / Getty Images

    25. And finally, we've all heard about the G-spot...but there is no solid proof that the G-spot even exists.