There are lots of "facts" you learn as a kid — some you might even learn in school from teachers — that later turn out to be completely, utterly false.
So this week, Reddit user u/threedotsguy posed a question to the internet: "What widely accepted fact do you know is wrong?"
The thread quickly went viral, as thousands of users started debunking common "facts" that are actually total bullshit. Check out some of the top-voted responses:
2. "That 'if you touch a baby bird, the parents will abandon/kill it.' In reality, most birds don't do that. If you help a baby bird back into its nest, as long as you try not to touch the nest a lot, then everything should be fine."
4. "Goldfish do not really have a memory span of five seconds. They actually remember things for months, recognize their owners, and are able to distinguish them from other people."
6. "The idea that chloroform quickly knocks you out. In the real world, it takes several minutes to knock you out, not the seconds you see in TV and movies."
7. "I always see those 'pro tips' that say you should know your blood type in case of an emergency, so the hospital can get you the right type. This is 100% incorrect. We NEVER take the blood type a person says they are. A patient remembering incorrectly = a dead patient, and the hospital gets sued. We ALWAYS perform a blood test first. The only exception is in a true emergency, and then we only give O negative blood."
9. "That you have to wait 24 hours to report someone missing in the USA. There is no law about waiting, you don’t have to. Push to make the police cooperate and list the person missing immediately when you suspect something isn’t right. Don’t lose precious time; it’s extremely important if the person truly is missing."
11. “The idea that there are 'left-brained' and 'right-brained' people who are either more artistic or more numbers-based. So inaccurate."
12. "That medieval/ancient people only lived to be ~32 years old, and at that age, they were considered ancient. That estimate is an average, which means it accounts for high infant/child mortality. Lots of ancient people lived to their 80s and older. If you made it to 30, chances were good you would make it another 30+ years."
19. "That if you have a cold, you should get lots of Vitamin C. This is completely down to one scientist named Linus Pauling who had a theory that massive doses of Vitamin C would cure colds. Subsequent studies have shown he was wrong and any benefits are minimal at best. Yet I still get everyone telling me to drink orange juice whenever I get a sniffle."
20. "The myth that glass is actually an extremely viscous, slow-flowing liquid, and that's why old windows are thicker on the bottom. No it isn't. It's very clearly a solid. It's a disordered, non-crystalline solid, but still solid. Old windows are thicker on the bottom because they were designed that way."
21. "That if you swallow gum, it stays in your stomach for seven years. Not true. Your body processes it, and you poop it out just like anything else."
You can check out the full thread of responses here.
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.