10 Things You Think You Know That Aren’t Actually True

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Nobody has the time to research everything, so people often have to take things that we know are common knowledge. Unfortunately, not every bit of information you pick up along the way is factual. Read on to have 10 of your beliefs disproved.

Chimpanzee in nature

Myth #1 – Chimpanzees have more hair than humans

If you put a photo of a chimpanzee next to a photo of a human, you would think that the chimpanzee is much hairier. However, that is not the case. Humans have between two and five million hair follicles scattered throughout their bodies, which is about the same number as other primates. Our hair is just much less coarse and less visible. While primates are hairy, humans have two types of hair: terminal and vellus hair. Terminal hair forms the hair on our head and in our armpits and pubic area, and vellus hair is found everywhere else. Vellus hair is much finer, shorter and lighter than terminal hair and is not connected to glands under the skin. No one knows for sure why we evolved this way, but it probably is[1] that, when our ancestors moved from the shady forests to the hot savannah, they grew this type of hair as a way to protect their brains while keeping their bodies cool – by sweating – as they hunted and foraged in the sun.

Earth Sun Moon

Myth #2 – The Earth revolves around the sun

Strictly speaking, the Earth revolves around the center of mass of the solar system, also known as the center of gravity.[2]. This is the equilibrium point around which the combined mass of every object in the solar system is evenly distributed. Due to the constant movement of the planets, this point is always shifting. Since the sun has over 99% of the total mass of the solar system, the center of gravity of the solar system is near the surface and sometimes within the sun itself. But when the center of gravity is outside the sun, our planet simply orbits an empty spot in space.

Smartphone Rice

Myth #3 – A wet phone should be put in rice

Believing that rice dries a wet phone is perfectly reasonable – after all, rice is known to absorb moisture. But despite what you may have heard, experiments[3] have shown that rice not only does not help, but is also likely to be slower than fresh air. In fact, rice can actually do more harm than good; grains can get stuck in headphone jacks or charging ports, and the starch in the rice can actually speed up the corrosion process. Instead, just let the phone dry in an area with some airflow, or if you don’t want to wait a week or two, you can try using things[4] such as silica gel packs or vacuum bags.

Busy highway traffic

Myth #4 – Widening highways helps traffic

When you’re stuck in traffic, it’s easy to imagine how much faster you could go if someone had the foresight to add more lanes to the highway you’re on. But research[5] shows that widening a highway often only leads to worse traffic problems, thanks to a phenomenon known as ‘induced demand’, which describes how an increase in supply results in a fall in price and thus an increase in consumption. In the case of roads, adding capacity reduces travel time, which lowers the “price” of driving and results in more mileage because people who don’t currently use a car decide to drive. So the new lanes fill up very quickly and the traffic is suffocating, again.

A good example of this effect is the Katy Freeway in Houston. In 2011, this highway was widened to a whopping 23 lanes, making it the widest in the world, but journey times have increased by 30 percent and 55 percent on morning and evening rides, respectively.[6]

Mount Everest in Nepal

Myth #5 – Mount Everest is the world’s tallest mountain

At 29,035 feet (8,850 meters) from base to summit (plus or minus 6.5 feet/2 meters), Mount Everest is widely regarded as the world’s tallest mountain. But that depends on your definition of “highest.”[7]

If you define the highest as “closest to the moon,” credit must go to Ecuador’s Chimborazo mountain. The thing is, the Earth isn’t a round sphere, it bulges out in the middle, just like one of those ergonomic ball chairs when someone sits on it. From the base to the top, Chimborazo is 20,548 feet (6,263 meters). But it also sits on a hump on a larger part of the Earth’s bulge than Everest, meaning it’s actually 35,826 feet (10,920 meters) from the Earth’s center.

And if you define “tallest” as the tallest mountain from base to summit, then the award for “tallest mountain” has to go to Hawaii’s Mauna Kea: It measures over 32,808 feet (10,000 meters) from its base in the Pacific Ocean. to its summit, which is nearly a mile taller than Everest.

NASA astronaut Drew Feustel ISS Crop

Myth #6 – There is no gravity in space

We all know images of astronauts hovering around the space station, so it’s easy to believe there’s no gravity up there. But gravity exists everywhere in the universe – without gravity everything would just fly apart and cease to exist. The reason astronauts on the space station look weightless is because both the space station and the astronauts are in a continuous state of free fall to Earth. Because objects of any mass fall at the same speed, the space station and the astronauts coincide, creating the illusion that there is no gravity. Fortunately, although they keep falling, they never actually fall to Earth because the space station is traveling at about 27,600 miles per hour, keeping it and the astronauts in orbit.

Electricity spark conduction concept

Myth #7 – Water conducts electricity

While it may be true that dropping a toaster in your tub isn’t good for you, the fact is that pure, distilled water is a poor conductor.[9] of electricity because the molecules have no free electrons to transfer electric current. Pure water consists of an oxygen molecule chemically bonded to two hydrogen molecules. Oxygen has six electrons in its outer reactive shell and room for two more, and hydrogen atoms have one electron each, meaning a perfect chemical bond is formed.

However, water is a superlative solvent; the free ions of impurities such as salts and minerals dissolved in the water allow it to conduct electricity. Interestingly, when water contains a large amount of these ions, it conducts electricity so well that the electricity ignores less efficient conductors – such as human bodies – and sticks to the better path; the multitude of ions in the water.

Double rainbow in nature

Myth #8 – There are seven colors in the rainbow

ROY G BIV is a lie that goes back to Sir Isaac Newton and his superstitious beliefs. Unlike his contemporaries, Newton believed that bright, white sunlight consisted of all colors of the spectrum. He proved this in the 1660s in a series of experiments in which sunlight was refracted through a prism and broken into smaller wavelengths. Initially, Newton saw only five colors. But he believed in the ancient Greek mathematician Pythagoras’ vision of a harmonious universe in which the number 7 was a magical number connecting all kinds of natural phenomena, from the celestial bodies (of which seven were known at the time) to the musical scale. . Therefore, when Newton published his original color wheel in 1704, he added orange and indigo to the colors he had already identified.

That said, what we call color is perceived by our mind. The light spectrum contains a continuous distribution — and thus an infinite number — of colors, and the colors we see depend on how much each of the cone-shaped photoreceptors in our eyes, which see red, green, and blue, are stimulated. The colors of the rainbow can therefore be different for everyone.

Typewriter with Qwerty keyboard

Myth #9 – The QWERTY keyboard is designed to prevent keys from jamming

Contrary to what you may have heard, the QWERTY keyboard probably didn’t get its current layout because the inventor tried to keep his typewriter’s mechanical keys from jamming by spacing the most frequently used letters as far apart as possible. Instead, according to Kyoto University historians Koichi Yasuoka and Motoko Yasuoka, it owes its current layout to 19th-century American Morse code.[11] This is because, when the keyboard layout was designed, the main users of typewriters were telegraph operators who had to transcribe messages written in Morse code as quickly as possible, so the letters they used most were placed where they belonged. them easiest.

Palying bagpipes

Myth #10 – Bagpipes are Scottish

No they are not. While the bagpipes may now be synonymous with the Scottish Highlands, they probably originated much further east.[12] Ancient references to bagpipes have been found in both Turkey and Egypt. A possible image of bagpipes, dated to 1000 BC, was found on a Hittite plate at Euyuk in Anatolia. A more substantial link pointing to early Egyptian bagpipes made of dog skin and bone is documented by the fifth century BC Greek playwright Aristophanes. Pipes blowing the back of a dog.”

The first notable enthusiast, however, was the Roman Emperor Nero, who even minted a coin on which he played bagpipes. He always played them to inspire his troops for battle. There are several theories as to how the bagpipe reached Scotland from its original birthplace, but one of the most popular (and plausible) is that the Romans brought it with them when they conquered Britain.

Mind blown!

References:

  1. Discovermagazine.com/planet-earth/why-people-lost-their-hair-and-naked-and-sweaty-
  2. businessinsider.nl/animation-reveals-invisible-center-of-solar-system-not-sun-2020-7/
  3. protectyourgadget.com/blog/myths-debunked-using-rice-to-dry-a-wet-phone/
  4. bestlifeonline.com/wet-phone/
  5. gizmodo.com/why-expanding-highways-makes-traffic-erger-1842220595
  6. cityobservatory.org/reducing-congestion-katy-didnt/
  7. npr.org/2007/04/07/9428163/the-highest-place-on-earth
  8. sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2018/free-falling-the-science-of-weightlessness/
  9. usgs.gov/special-topics/water-science-school/science/conductivity-electrical-conductance-and-water
  10. nl.99designs.nl/blog/tips/Why-zijn-er-7-kleur-regenboog/
  11. hackaday.com/2016/03/15/the-origin-of-qwerty/
  12. hendersongroupltd.com/resources/history-of-bagpipes/


The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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