Myths and Misconceptions

Life /

When I was younger, I avoided coffee like the PLAGUE in fear that it would stunt my growth. Horror struck my core when I swallowed a piece of gum knowing that it would sit in my stomach for seven whole years.

I can’t be the only one who has fallen prey to the jaws of believable myths. It makes sense that children readily accept these statements as facts simply because they are vulnerable or they were told this information by a trusted adult. Some of these myths wear off when kids develop common sense, but on multiple occasions, I’ve encountered adults that continue to believe these tall tales well into adulthood.

I’m not eliminating myself from this group of gullible grownups because quite honestly, there are some embarrassing lies I’ve believed for 10 years past their due date. Instead, I’m here to pass on my 23-year-old wisdom about a few misconceptions that when debunked, sent me into complete shock. Get ready for your mind to be blown.


Myth: Each section of our tongue has different sensors for different tastes.

Fact: We all have around 8,000 taste buds and each of these taste buds has the ability to taste any of our 5 tastes.

I can distinctly remember one of my girl scout meetings where we used a cotton swab dipped in salt, sugar, lemon, etc. to test the different sections of our tongues. At the time I was convinced that I could keep a Warhead on one side of my mouth and avoid a cringeworthy death by sourness. Turns out that the death by sourness is inevitable. The confusion with this myth comes about because we actually have special receptors for each type of taste with matching neurons to our brains instead of clusters of taste buds in specific regions of our mouths. Some areas of our tongue are more sensitive, but all-in-all this myth is not legitimate.


Myth: It is dangerous to wake a sleepwalker.

Fact: Waking a sleepwalker could prevent harmful injuries to the walker and others.

My aunt used to tell us about our cousin that was notorious for sleepwalking. She would get out of bed, shower and get herself ready for school all while she was ASLEEP. — And I thought this process was hard enough while awake…– Turns out, up to 15% of people struggle with sleepwalking and knowing how to handle the situation from an outsider’s perspective is essential. First off, sleepwalkers have been reported to attack their friends/family upon waking but more often than not, it is far more dangerous to leave a person walking around in a state of deep sleep than sucking it up and trying to wake them. If a sleepwalker is allowed to continue their “adventure” they could injure themselves by falling down the stairs, running into objects or even hopping in a car.


Myth: The 5 second rule.

Fact: Bacteria can latch onto food the moment it hits the floor.

After looking over testing from multiple scientific sources, I hate to tell you that your slice of pizza dropped on the NYC subway floor is not necessarily okay to eat even if it has been on the ground for under 5 seconds. In fact, a slice of pizza dropped on your “clean” kitchen floor will also pick up bacteria in under 5 seconds. Why? Because a surface can look clean and still house germs that have the potential to survive for a long time. But hey, sometimes the pain of tossing away a freshly dropped chocolate bar is more painful than testing your luck by following the 5 second rule. May the odds be ever in your favor.


Myth: If you shave your hair will grow in thicker.

Fact: Shaving does not change the color, thickness or rate of growth of your hair.

Praise the Lord. I can remember the petrifying fear of shaving for the first time and wondering if I was doomed to be a hairy big foot if I neglected to shave in the future. This myth is super deceiving because hair tends to feel thicker and more course after shaving. This deception is a result of cutting the hair at the base and feeling the hair at its thickest point, rather than feeling the hair from the very tip of growth. So push your fear aside and shave to your heart’s content.


Myth: Fish have a 3-second memory span.

Fact: Fish can remember things up to two weeks.

Don’t be rude to your goldfish because he WILL remember it and he WILL plot against you. Studies tested this myth by training a fish to find its food for 3 days, removing it from the environment and reintroducing it to the area after two weeks. Findings showed that the fish swam back to the location where they had been given food during the first three days of the study. Also, on a complete side note, those little goldfish you can win at a fair don’t always die within a week. My friend had her “ring toss goldfish” for 7 years. 7 YEARS. Long live the fish (and apparently its memory too).


Feel betrayed yet? No worries. There are so many myths that took me years to figure out and I ended up in the same shocked state every time the truth was uncovered. To discover more neat myths and misconceptions, follow this link. Enjoy!

All the best

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