Sometimes, things just get stuck in our heads and we don't know how they ended up there. Suddenly, we know that the Chinese wall can be seen from space or that you shouldn't swim right after you've just eaten. We do not recall when we've learned that, somehow we just grow up to know those things and if we don't begin to question them when we grow up, we will pass them on to our children and grandchildren.
The thing is, these are just facts that "everybody knows". They most likely aren't from textbooks. They are part of the pop culture. They're weird and funny enough, that's why they've been universally accepted. But just because "everybody knows", doesn't mean "everybody is right".
Here are 10 facts you always believed to be true, but actually aren't. Prepare to have your world turned upside down!
1. You can sink all the way in quicksand - FALSE
Quicksand is actually a very dense mixture of water and sand; it is actually more dense than water and it wouldn't actually trap you. Because you are less dense that this mixture, you will just float. However, let's say that you want to stick your feet in, you can sink in it for about half of your body and if you lie on your back easily to distribute your weight evenly, you can drag yourself out using your hands. So, don't believe everything you see in the movies!
2. If you eat enough carrots, your eyesight will improve - FALSE
The carrot-super-vision link is a myth that started during World War 2. In 1940, when the Germans were bombarding London, the city would turn off the power to make it harder for the German pilots to see what they were doing. While the Germans were in the dark, the English were using a new secret radar that would enable them to detect the Nazi planes in the dark and counterattack. To keep their method secret, the English claimed that their pilots were eating loads of carrots which helped enhance their night vision.
Now, this is more of a legend. We're not sure how true it is; however, what we do know is that eating loads of carrots does not improve your eyesight beyond normal standards. It's true, carrots contains vitamin A which is important for your eyes. Nevertheless, eating carrots won't give you a supernatural vision and this is settled.
3. You swallow eight spiders a year in your sleep - FALSE
However, this is not true. Spiders don't crawl into your bed because there is no prey in there. Moreover, if we are sleeping with our mouth open, we're most probably snoring which means we create some vibrations that would scare spiders off. So, don't worry! You haven't eaten any spiders without your consent so far!
4. If you swallow your gum, it will take your body 7 years to digest - FALSE
This is one of those universal little lies that parents tell their children. The truth is, gum cannot be digested at all, so it will pass through and leave your body in less than a day.
5. If you crack your knuckles, you will get arthritis - FALSE
They were probably annoyed and could no longer stand the sound of your bones cracking. However, you should know that there is no scientific link between you cracking your knuckles and arthritis. When you crack your hands, you just let nitrogen bubbles burst in your synovial fluid and that's what makes that popping sound. You won't get arthritis because of that. Actually, it hasn't been linked to any serious future condition.
6. You can see The Great Wall of China from space - FALSE
The fact that you can see The Great Wall of China from space has been debunked by astronauts. However, people still believe this. Probably because it makes us feel proud, as humanity, that we've managed to build something so great it can actually be seen by aliens. But it can't. Sorry.
7. If someone drops a penny from the top of the Empire State Building, it could kill you - FALSE
What is more, even if the penny accumulated the speed of sound, it would not kill you, but merely sting a little. Ouch!
8. Birds will reject baby birds if you've picked them up in your hands - FALSE
In facts, birds will not be able to tell if a human handled their babies. You could actually save them by safely returning them to their nests.
9. Vikings wore horned helmets - FALSE
The public imagery was created because of an 1876 production of "Der Ring des Nibelungen".
10. Swimming within an hour of eating causes cramps or drowning - FALSE
This myth is mainly because drinking alcohol has led to drowning.