History

Why Do People Think The Moon Is Made Of Cheese?

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In 1902, plenty of children believed the moon was made out of cheese. Other moon materials, according to kids? "Yellow paper, dead people, and rags." While it's hard to know who started the idea that the moon is made of cheese, the myth gained popularity in the mid-16th century. It's often attributed to English writer John Heywood or French monk and scholar François Rabelais. When Heywood mentioned it in 1564, he was referring to something so ludicrous that only the extremely gullible would believe it.

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. In 1902, the most common theory as to what the moon was made of according to children was cheese. 00:36

  2. Around 240 BC, Eratosthenes became the first known person to accurately measure the Earth's circumference. 03:16

  3. The moon has a surface area of about 14.6 million square miles—about 92.6% less surface area than Earth. 05:58

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