myths and facts

25 Fun Myths And Facts You’ve
Heard Dozens Of Times

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.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but these are some common misconceptions that have gained traction over time and it’s time to put an end to such science myths.

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

Mythbusters Podcast- Myths And Facts

This podcast is created by Kidacity & presented by Chimes Radio. Let’s take a look at some most common myths and explain why they’re false using scientific proof. Listen to all the popular myths and let’s bust them with logic!

List of myths and facts

Water is wet?- Myth or Fact?

When water touches anything, it becomes wet. It could be the palm of your hand, a towel, a paper, or even a dry pool. Does this happen because water is wet or is there any other reason behind this? Are there any substances or things that water cannot make wet?

Water isn’t wet because it is a liquid that wets things. Once you come into contact with water you become wet. Until then water is liquid and you are dry.

We must wait after eating to swim- Myth or Fact?

Do you remember wanting to go for a swim right after a meal? Were you asked not to? It is commonly believed that going for a swim soon after a meal can cause cramps and in some cases also affect our ability to float easily on the water. Waiting for 30 minutes to 2 hours is usually recommended. Is swimming after a meal, not a good idea?

Waiting a certain amount of time after eating before swimming in a pool or the ocean isn’t a real necessary precaution. There is no confirmed data to prove the hazards related to the statement.

Cracking knuckles is bad for you- Myth or Fact?

Cracking knuckles is a satisfactory activity and most of us love doing it. But, how does the popping sound get produced? Is it the sound of some joints cracking? Most of us have been told that cracking knuckles can deplete some fluid or even cause arthritis when we grow up? But, is cracking knuckles really harmful?

According to research, cracking your knuckles isn’t harmful. It doesn’t cause arthritis or make your knuckles larger, but it can be distracting or loud to people around you.

The Great Wall of China visible from space- Myth or Fact?

Have you seen a photo of how India looks from space on the day of Diwali? Space travel has progressed over time but it is commonly believed that there are very few, in fact only one man-made structure that is visible from space. What do astronauts have to say about this?

The Great Wall of China, which is frequently cited as the only human-made structure visible from space. The truth is that it is not visible without magnification from low Earth orbit, and even then only under ideal conditions. It’s turned into a space-based myth.

Albert Einstein used to fail his math class- Myth or Fact?

Albert Einstein is considered to be a genius. His contribution to the world of physics is historic and most of how we live today is influenced by his discoveries. Was Einstein always a brilliant student or did he fail a few math classes while he was in school? 

Einstein excelled in math throughout his childhood education, consistently ranking first in his class. Einstein laughed and replied when a rabbi showed him a newspaper article in 1935 claiming that he had been terrible at math as a student. To which Eintsten replied “I never failed in mathematics. Before I was fifteen I had mastered differential and integral calculus.”

You can eat dropped food using 5 seconds rule- Myth or Fact?

If a food item falls out of your hand, do you pick it up and use it again or toss it out? Some people believe that it is alright to use the food item again if it is picked up within 5 seconds or even 3 seconds. What happens to germs in this time frame?

The 5-second rule states that if you quickly grab the dropped food from a contaminated surface, it will not be contaminated. Before making up your mind, remember that any food item that comes into contact with a surface will pick up bacteria. And much, there’s no way for us to know what kind of bacteria can be lurking in your dropped biscuit, or how much of it there is.

You can always recover lost sleep- Myth or Fact?

How do you feel if you have not had a good night of sleep? Tired, groggy and always yawning? It is commonly believed that you can recover lost sleep by sleeping more the next day or during the course of a few days. But is this true?

People can make up for lost sleep the next day. However, the amount of sleep lost and recovered may not be equal. Most of the first few hours of sleep can be recovered, but if you’ve lost more than a few hours, you won’t be able to get it all back. For example, if you have lost five hours of sleep during the week, you’ll most likely be able to make up the difference on the weekend. If you lose more than 20 hours of sleep, you may not be able to make up the difference.

We have more than 5 senses- Myth or Fact?

Our 5 senses are well known- sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste. But how does the body know the sensation of pain, of hot and cold temperature, hunger, and more? This topic is also behind the Nobel Prize in medicine for 2021.

We think of eyesight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell when we talk of human senses. We have always known, however, that we are capable of much more sensing. Recent discoveries suggest that we may possess abilities that we were previously unaware of. Humans have a tendency to take their five basic senses for granted.

Continue busting common myths and facts

You can catch a cold if you get wet in the rain- Myth or Fact?

We have all been told by our parents or elders to not get wet in the rain. And the reason? We might catch a cold. What is it about the rains that make it easy to catch a cold? Is this a myth or reality?

A virus causes cold, and rain has no effect on this virus. Certain cold viruses, on the other hand, spread more easily in the winter because they thrive in the cold. Colds are associated with cold weather, but rain cannot cause a cold.

Black cats are really unlucky- Myth or Fact?

Almost every culture has a superstition associated with black cats. Some people hesitate to cross the road if a black cat crosses it before them as they believe that cats will bring them ill luck. At the same time, in some cultures, black cats are worshipped. 

Who hasn’t encountered a black cat? How many of you have been cursed with bad fortune? Black cats should not be stereotyped because of its look. In fact, they’re thought to bring good fortune in many cultures. If a strange black cat appears on your doorstep in Scotland, consider yourself lucky. Black cats are thought to aid single women in finding potential partners in Japan. There are many silly superstitions out there, but the majority of the world considers black cats to be cute rather than creepy.

Gum can stay in your stomach for 7 years if swallowed- Myth or Fact?

Chewing gum or bubble gum is a very popular candy amongst children and adults. Think of all the times when you were told that swallowing gum is not good for you. What happens to the gum if we accidentally swallow it? Does it stay in your stomach for 7 years as is commonly told?

Despite the fact that chewing gum is intended to be chewed rather than swallowed, it is generally not harmful if swallowed. According to myth, chewed gum sits in your stomach for seven years before being digested. This, however, is not the case. It’s true that if you swallow gum, your body won’t be able to digest it. However, the gum does not remain in your stomach. It passes through your digestive system and is excreted in your faeces.

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The Olympic flame is always lit- Myth or Fact?

Have you ever caught a glimpse of the Olympic Games? Is there a particular event that you enjoy watching? One of the most popular aspects of the Olympics isn’t even a sport. It’s time for the opening ceremony to begin! If you’ve ever watched this event, you’ve seen the Olympic flame being lit.

One of the most important symbols of the Olympic Games is the flame. It symbolizes the fire that Prometheus stole from Zeus, the Greek god. The practise of lighting a flame dates back to ancient Greece.

The Olympics are one of the greatest sporting events in the world and the opening ceremony is one of the most-watched around the world. The Olympic flame is lit by a renowned athlete from the host country and the torch-carrying the flame is carried through a relay. What happens to the flame once the games are over? Does it stay lit till the next Olympics?

New Year is always celebrated on Jan 1st- Myth or Fact?

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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Cotton buds are safe for cleaning your ear- Myth or Fact?

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.

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Watermelon can grow inside you if you swallow its seed- Myth or Fact?

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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Dracula is a real person- Myth or Fact?

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.

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Latin and South America are the same- Myth or Fact?

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.

Continue busting common myths and facts

We can never tickle ourselves- Myth or Fact?

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.

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Camels can store water in their humps- Myth or Fact?

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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Bananas are real fruits- Myth or Fact?

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.

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Bats are blind- Myth or Fact?

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.

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Sun is yellow in color- Myth or Fact?

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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Vaccinations makes us sick- Myth or Fact?

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. 

Planes land with their nose pointing downwards- Myth or Fact?

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.

Continue busting common myths and facts

Lightning strikes the same place twice- Myth or Fact?

“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.

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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