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Myths & facts

Bust some popular myths with mythbusters

myths and facts

Can you tell if the following statements are common science myths or science facts? 

  • The Great Wall of China is the only man made structure visible from space.
  • Lightning never strikes the same place twice.
  • Planes have their nose pointing downwards while landing.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but these are some common misconceptions that have gained traction over time. It’s high time to put an end to such science myths and misunderstandings, that have been passed down over the ages.

In each episode of this weekly podcast “Mythbusters- Myths and facts”, our host, Samarth Chitta, takes on one of the most widely held myths and uses science facts to debunk any long-standing misconceptions.

Explained in the simplest terms possible, you will get to understand the issues at hand from various perspectives and follow the host’s logic. This podcast is created by Kidacity & presented by Chimes Radio. Let’s take a look at some of the most common science myths and explain why they’re false using scientific proof. Bust some myth folks!

Samarth's Description:

Samarth Chitta is a 9 year old podcaster and author from Bengaluru India. One of the few child podcasters from India, he started his journey through a Good News show on Youtube when he was 3 years old. His first book The Talking Walking Tree was published in 2019 and his second book is due for release by August 2021. He loves travelling, playing with his pet Yuki, building structures on Minecraft and spending time with his grandparents. His favourite place is the swing on a jackfruit tree outside his house.

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Mythbusters Podcast- Myths And Facts

Listen to all the popular myths and let's bust them with logic!

Busting Myths with Facts

13. Is the New Year always celebrated on Jan 1st?

It is always exciting to welcome a new year. The date that usually comes to our mind when we think of a New Year is Jan 1st. But, what if the New Year began in Feb, March or even September and was called something totally different? Do you think this is true?

In both the current Gregorian and Julian calendars, New Year’s Day is marked on the first day of the year. While most solar calendars (such as the Gregorian and Julian) start the year at or near the northern winter solstice, civilizations that follow a lunisolar or lunar calendar (such as the Chinese and Islamic New Years) begin the year at less fixed points relative to the solar year.

It was around 45 BCE that January 1 became known as the start of the new year for the first time. Prior to then, the Roman calendar had 355 days and began in the month of March.

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12. Can you safely clean your ears with cotton buds?

Cotton buds/swabs/Q tips are one of the most commonly found items in our homes. They are used for various purposes -from makeup removal to cleaning our ears. What do doctors have to say about this? Is it really safe to do this?

Cotton swabs may appear harmless, but when used to clean your ears, they can be harmful. Although some people swear by using cotton swabs (Q-TipsTM) to clean their ear canals of excess earwax and debris, medical authorities advise against it.

11. Does a watermelon grow inside you if you swallow its seeds?

Have you ever accidentally swallowed a watermelon seed? It is commonly said that if we swallow a watermelon seed, then it can grow into a watermelon inside our stomach. But is this true?

There’s no need to be concerned if you ingest a few watermelon seeds. It’s a misconception that a watermelon can grow from a seed to a full-size fruit within your stomach.

Watermelon seeds — and other fruit seeds, for that matter — will simply pass through your digestive system and be expelled from your body. Watermelon seeds must be put in soil where they can obtain the nutrients they require to grow into a full- fledged fruit. Your stomach, with its acidic digestive secretions, is not an ideal environment for plants to thrive.

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10. Is Dracula a real person?

Dracula is one of the most popular spooky characters of all time. There are numerous television shows and movies based on this character. Come Halloween, Dracula also becomes a favorite character for people to dress up as. Was Dracula a real person or was he fictional?

Despite the fact that Dracula is a completely fictional character, Stoker named him after a real person who had a passion for blood: Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia, or Vlad the Impaler as he is better known.  He was born in Transylvania as the second son of the nobleman Vlad II Dracul, and when he was accepted into the Order of the Dragon, he was given the name Dracula, which means “son of Dracul.” He was recognized for his ruthless tactics against his opponents, which included torture, mutilation, and mass murder.

9. Are Latin and South America the same?

When Christopher Columbus came to the Caribbean, he thought he had found a shortcut to Asia. But after 10 years, Amerigo Vespucci said that the land was not Asia. So Amerigo Vespucci named the land “New World.” Now, when people talk about South America and Latin America, they still use the term “America.”

America is one of the largest continents on earth and we all know of North and South America. But, what and where is Latin America located? Are South America and Latin America the same? 

The difference between Latin America and South America is that Latin America is a linguistic or cultural division of the continent whereas south America is the geographical division of the continent. Latin America is a linguistic and cultural region of the Americas. This region is composed of the countries and people of Latin America and the Caribbean.

South America is a continent that includes many countries. Latin America is a part of that continent. The difference between the two is that Latin America is a language or culture, but South America is a place.

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8. Why can't we tickle ourselves?

Have you ever burst out into laughter when tickled? Most of us have a sensitive part in our body where we feel the most tickled. What happens when you try to tickle yourself? Find out if it works and the reasons behind it.

Ticklishness can appear anywhere on the body, although the ribs, armpit, and sole of the foot are the most prevalent locations. Because when you move a part of your body, a part of your brain analyses the movement and predicts the sensations it will generate, you can’t tickle yourself.

7. Do camels store water in their humps?

Did you know that a camel can survive for 7 days without water!? Some camels such as Bactrian camels have 2 humps and can survive for almost 7 months without water. Many people believe it is because the camels store water in their humps, but is this really true? 

The hump of a camel does not store water, but rather fat. When there isn’t enough food for the camel, he eats it. When a camel eats the fat inside its hump, the hump becomes limp and sags.

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6. Are Bananas Fruits?

What are the most common fruits that you can think of? Apple, mango, banana? Scientifically, bananas are not fruits. Do you want to know why?

Berries are a type of fruit that are delicious, fleshy, and have seed-bearing structures on a flowering plant.  Bananas feature a smooth exterior, fleshy core, and little seeds that originate from a single ovary flower. As a result, they match all of the botanical criteria for a berry and can be classified as both a fruit and a berry.

5. Are Bats Blind?

Think of a creature that makes an appearance mostly in the night, one that is known for sleeping upside down and staying up all night- Bats. It is commonly believed that bats are blind. But, is it true? 

Bats’ nocturnal habit and improved hearing abilities have led to the belief that they are blind. But no, bats are not blind. Bats have small eyes with very sensitive vision, which helps them see in conditions we might consider pitch black.

Listen to the podcast to know more about bats and its characteristics.

4. What color is the sun?

We generally draw the sun in yellow, orange or red in colour but what really is the color of the sun? We all have different opinions on this but scientifically, the Sun is all colors blended that seem white to our eyes. Did you know that?

Science Fact: When we gaze at the sun with our naked eyes, we see yellow rays with a white center. When we see the Sun at sunrise or sunset, it is lower in the sky and may appear yellow, orange, or red. However, this is only because its short-wavelength colors (green, blue, and violet) are scattered by the Earth’s atmosphere, whereas its longer wavelength colors penetrate through the dense atmosphere and are visible to the eyes. Our eyes can detect only a small amount of this energy, that portion we call “visible light.”

Listen to this episode and understand the entire phenomenon more vividly.

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3. Do vaccinations make us sick?

Do vaccinations make you sick?

Most of us must have received vaccinations when we were kids as these are supposed to protect us from some deadly diseases. Vaccinations use our body’s natural defense system to specific diseases and make our immune system stronger. Some people believe that vaccinations make a person sick. And with the development of the Covid-19 vaccine, this myth is now spreading even faster. But is this true?

Science Facts: Vaccines contains killed and weakened forms of germs but it does not cause the disease or put us at risk of getting it. Often right after you are vaccinated, fever, fatigue, body ache are some common side-effects observed for 2-3 days. But one must wear a mask and maintain all effective protocols even after they are vaccinated. Vaccination just reduces the risk of getting infected. 

2. Do planes land with their nose pointing downwards?

Do planes land with their nose pointing downwards? Well, let’s find out the facts in this episode.

The nose of an airplane is like the tip of an arrow, that determines where the plane goes. In fact, keeping the nose in the right direction and position is vital to the aircraft’s overall performance. The nose-up posture helps the plane to land on the runway more smoothly and minimizes the risk of the nose wheel making the first contact with the ground. Hence in reality, the nose of the plane is pointing upwards when it lands.

Listen to the complete episode to know more about pointed-nose aircraft and rounded-nose aircraft.

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1. Can lightning strike the same place twice?

“Lightning never strikes the same place twice” is a common phrase you’ve probably heard before. For a long time, lightning was also considered as a flash of supernatural origins – the great weapon of the gods. But scientifically, are these just myths, or is there some truth in these?

Clouds are composed of water droplets and ice crystals. Cool air has ice crystals while warm air has water droplets. During a storm, the droplets and crystals collide and drift away in the air forming static electricity. This results in the release of electric energy. Lightning takes about only 30 milliseconds to reach Earth and right after it strikes, it resonates in rapid succession. So, in this short period, several strikes can occur at the same location.
 
Listen to the complete episode to know about the places that receive the most and the least amount of lightning strikes per year and also why we don’t feel it in the airplanes and high-rise buildings.

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