11 of the Most Ridiculous Common Science Myths

1 Lightning Never Strikes Twice

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We’ve all heard the saying, “Lightning never strikes twice in the same place.” In fact, we’ve heard it so often, the majority of us believe it’s true. But, this is false. Lighting can strike anywhere twice. While the probability is low for just any random place, it is still scientifically possible. The Empire State Building is struck at least 25 times per year.

2 Cracking Your Knuckles Causes Arthritis

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Cracking your knuckles will not give you arthritis. It may annoy those around you who cannot stand the popping sound, but countless studies have shown that it’s pretty harmless. One doctor went as far as to crack the knuckles on only his left hand, and not his right, for 60 years. There was no sign of arthritis in either hand after the long experiment.

3 Different Parts of the Tongue Detect Different Flavors

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Different parts of your tongue do not detect different tastes. Forget everything you know about the “tongue map,” which claims that sweet tastes are for the tip of your tongue, salty flavors are tasted by the sides and bitter towards the back. This myth has been debunked. Different taste receptors are distributed throughout the entire tongue.

4 Blue Blood

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It’s a common misconception that the deoxygenated blood running through your veins is blue. However, human blood is never blue, nor are the veins it runs through. Deoxygenated blood is more of a dark maroon color. Veins just appear blue because of the way light interacts with the skin and our perception of color.

5 Vaccines are the Cause of Autism

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Vaccines do not cause autism. Andrew Wakefield claimed this in a fraudulent paper, which was retracted, thoroughly debunked by countless scientists and Wakefield lost his license to practice medicine. Despite this, some still believe that the MMR vaccine causes autism.
Measle cases have increased in children in recent years because of the pseudo-scientific belief that vaccines cause autism, although there is no correlation.

6 The Short Life of a Housefly

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It is a common belief that houseflies have a lifespan of only 24 hours. They usually live anywhere between 15 and 25 days, and some flies can even live for up to two months. Female flies can lay 500 eggs in a lifetime, and it takes about ten days for a fly to grow from a larva to an adult.

Although they have pretty short lifespans, it’s still much longer than 24 hours.

7 Daddy Longlegs Are Highly Venomous

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Daddy Longlegs are not the most venomous of all spiders. The urban legend that they are the most venomous spider, but are incapable of biting human skin is false.

Scientists say the spiders have never actually harmed a human and there has been no evidence to show that it would be dangerous if they did. The Brazilian Wandering Spider is said to bethe most venomous spider in the world.

8 Diamonds From Coal

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Despite what many people believe, diamonds do not form from coal. Diamonds are crystals of pure carbon that require extremely high pressure and temperatures to form. Scientists say they are predominately formed in the earth’s mantle, or deep beneath the surface layer. They are then mined closer to the surface.

9 Microwaves and Cancer

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It is a fairly common misconception that standing in front of a microwave for too long can cause cancer. Household microwaves emit a very low-frequency radiation which does not have enough power to do damage to your body. The microwave also doesn’t make your food radioactive. So, the microwave won’t give you cancer, it really just cooks your food.

10 Albert Einstein Was a Horrible Student

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You may have heard the legend that Albert Einstein was a terrible student and failed at math. This rumor was likely spread as a means of reassuring people who weren’t doing so well in school. It was so widespread that it even made it into an edition of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.

Einstein was, unsurprisingly, a brilliant student who mastered differential and integral calculus before the age of fifteen.

11 Listening to Mozart Improves IQ

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Will listening to Mozart really increase your child’s IQ? Probably not. While studies have shown that kids will perform better while listening to classical music than in a silent room, this is because of the stimulus, and not because of the complex classical pieces.

A large study was conducted on 8,000 children in which they listened to either Mozart or current pop music, and the study showed that the children listening to pop music performed even better.

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