10 favourite facts you’ve always believed that are actually false
Here, the world’s most contagious myths and misconceptions – debunked.
1. Napoleon was short
A tall tale. At five six, he was actually slightly above average height for a Frenchman of the time.
Just as his military genius has been studied throughout the years, we've also been fascinated with the life – and quirks – of the first emperor of France.
2. Don’t eat and swim
This doesn’t increase the risk of cramps; alcohol is the biggest risk increaser. But a full stomach will make you short of breath.
3. Salty water boils quicker
Adding a sprinkle of salt to water makes no difference.
It can actually make boiling take longer.
It is important for dishes that need to cook for a long time, that your pot or pan has a good-quality heavy base to distribute the heat evenly.
4. Oil stops stuck pasta
Nope. It’ll only make it greasy. Stirring prevents sticking.
5. Left and right brain
There’s no solid division between the talents of each hemisphere; the left brain can learn “right-brain skills” and vice versa.
6. Dropped coins kill
Terminal velocity of a standard penny is 18 to 30 kilometres per hour. Not fast enough to kill – but it sure would sting.
Back in the day, putting a coin or other hard, flat object on a baby’s belly to help to heal an umbilical hernia was a common practice.
7. Three wise men
Nowhere in the Bible does it specify that there were three.
Want to know something freaky? In the Bible, it is significant that Noah led seven pairs of all clean animals, one pair of every unclean animal and seven pairs of birds into the ark.
When the flood subsided, God, who had created the world in seven days, sent a redeeming rainbow with seven colours.
8. MSG = Headaches
There’s no scientific proof—just anecdotal evidence implicating monosodium glutamate.
9. Dogs sweat by salivating
No—they regulate temperature through panting. They actually sweat through their footpads.
10 Great Wall of China
It’s not visible from space. No single human structure is visible from orbit, but you can see cities at night.