I am sure that at some point in your existence, you have been deceived. You have learned many things about the world around you, and many of those things are likely a complete lie. When I was little, my father told me that my nose would grow if I lied, like Pinocchio. BS! Today we are going to comment on the Ten Biggest Lies In History. And tell me, have you ever believed them?
1. “Watching television from too close damages your vision.”
We grew up thinking that if we sat in the front row of the theater or that if we were very close to the TV, it would affect our eyesight. We even thought that it could make us blind! They said the same with computers and smartphones. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, watching television closely does not impair vision in any way. There is no relationship between loss of vision and viewing distance from a device’s screen. The worst that can happen to you is that you feel eye fatigue, dryness, or in extreme cases, headaches. All these symptoms disappear if you take a five-minute break for every hour that you spend watching a screen.
2. How many pieces of chewing gum did you swallow as a child?
I did it all the time. I think we’ve all swallowed chewing gum, either by accident or because we were too lazy to throw it away. Well, once upon a time, someone invented that swallowing chewing gum would cause serious stomach problems. One of the most common beliefs was that chewing gum could stay in your stomach for months or even years. Some said 5, 7, or even ten years. The reality is that everything is a lie. Chewing gum moves through your digestive tract like any other food or drink, and it only takes 30 to 120 minutes to digest.
3. Ostriches hide their head in the ground.
One of the most widespread lies is that ostriches hide their head in the ground in the face of danger because they supposedly believe that this is how they will hide from their prey. This is another false belief. If you ever see an ostrich with its head close to the ground, it is because it is digging a hole where it will later lay its eggs.
4. Don’t watch the microwave.
As a child, my mother used to tell me that I shouldn’t look closely at the microwave when I was heating something inside because that could leave me sterile or make my children have congenital disabilities. I would turn on the microwave and run into the next room. But the truth is, there is no evidence to suggest that a close stare at the microwave will burn your eyes. The myth originated from the false belief that microwave radiation can escape and cause health problems. Well, you have nothing to worry about. You can see how your food is heated without any fear.
5. Disney was in charge of showing us that the life of medieval princesses was idyllic.
They lived in palaces, they had many luxuries, a charming prince came to their rescue, and then they lived happily ever after in a castle. Your vision of princesses is distorted. The truth is that the princesses of the Middle Ages also had a tough life. Prestige and wealth did not make these women fully happy. Their parents, that is, the kings, used them as bargaining chips through marriages with other princes. To be more exact, princesses served to seal strategic and political pacts and were relegated to the background in every aspect of life.
6. I recommend that you be careful when you eat watermelon, because if you swallow the seeds… what will happen?
Exactly, a watermelon will grow on your stomach. This is another urban legend that we all hear as children. All of us have accidentally or willingly swallowed a watermelon seed. Therefore we should all have a watermelon plant inside our body. If you want a more detailed explanation of why this is an urban legend, I don’t have it. I’m kidding. There is not enough oxygen for any seed to germinate in the gastrointestinal tract. Scientifically, it is impossible for a watermelon plant to grow inside you from swallowing a seed.
7. The Earth is perfectly round.
In most schools, they have a terrestrial sphere. What very few know is that our planet does not have that perfect round shape. The satellite of the European space agency that is dedicated to the measurement of the Earth’s gravitational field managed to capture our planet’s true shape. The official name for the Earth’s shape is an oblate spheroid, but for me, the Earth is shaped like an ugly potato. All that deformity is thanks to the force of gravity and the different geographical features.
8. Christopher Columbus discovered America.
Surely they also told you this lie at school, and that is why many still think that Christopher Columbus was the one who discovered America. However, archaeologists from the University of Michigan have shown that this continent was visited much earlier by Vikings, of which there are remains of their civilization in the arctic area of Canada. Thanks to this, experts consider that Columbus was only a genocidal fraud and slave trader.
9. Days do not last 24 hours on our planet.
One day is the time it takes for the Earth to rotate on its axis. A complete turn, if the stars are taken as a reference, it lasts 23 hours 56 minutes and 4.1 seconds, not 24 hours as your teachers told you.
10. Having hiccups makes you taller.
When I was little and had hiccups, my mother used to tell me that hiccups helped me grow. I remember standing on the wall and marking my height with a pencil, and when the hiccups went away, I would mark a line on the wall again to see if I was taller. Well, obviously not. I never grew taller from having hiccups.