The Truth Behind Myths and Misconceptions

There are tons of everyday science myths we allow to dictate our behavior without even knowing it. News flash: Toilets don't flush differently depending on what hemisphere you're in. Nor will you catch a cold just because you left the house in dead winter with a head of wet hair. These common myths, often staunchly defended, are the rules many have been taught to live by. And they've all been debunked.

How much crueler can fate be, you ask? Well, cats don't really have nine lives, and there is no actual stairway to heaven. But in all seriousness, how did these pervasive myths rise in popularity? How did they withstand the test of time, and why can't we stop believing them? Most start as facts that get slightly twisted over time (for example, carrots are great for eye health, but don't actually improve vision). Get ready to have your world shattered as this playlist puts the science behind common misconceptions.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. It is a myth that the tryptophan in turkey is what makes people drowsy after Thanksgiving dinner. 00:21

  2. Tryptophan levels in turkey are actually lower than those found in chicken. 01:06

  3. Drowsiness after eating Thanksgiving dinner is caused by an overload of carbohydrates. 01:26

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Swimming right after eating does not necessarily cause cramps. 00:30

  2. Cracking your knuckles does not cause arthritis. 04:08

  3. Most of your heat is not lost through your head—this myth began because your head is the least often covered by clothing. 05:03

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Alcohol suppresses the antidiuretic hormone vasopressin. 00:45

  2. For many people, alcohol is a bladder irritant. 01:08

  3. While drinking alcohol, urinating frequently would release the same amount of waste as waiting to urinate and "breaking the seal." 01:45

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Hear the Japanese urban tale of "The Shadowy Figure": 01:44

  2. The Caputo Effect occurs because of sensory deprivation, which causes us to see illusions in low-light. 04:13

  3. There were 219 documented cases of people being buried alive during the late 19th century. 07:26

Written by Curiosity Staff June 5, 2014

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