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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

5 Common misconceptions

Lollipop. Perhaps there's a chewing gum inside.
1. Chewing Gum Takes Seven Years To Digest! - Goodness gracious is this wrong. It's the perfect storm of misconception, because chewing gum IS less digestible than normal food, the number 7 is naturally very appealing, and people love pseudo-scientific "Told you so" warnings.

2. Eating Carrots Helps You See In The Dark! - Wrong, but this misconception helped the Allies win World War II. The British came up with a type of radar that helped them see Nazi planes at night, but didn't want the Nazi's to figure out how they were suddenly shooting down bombers. So they ran a disinformation campaign about how carrot-heavy diets were helping their soldiers see better at night.

3. Put Urine On A Jellyfish Or Stingray Sting To Ease The Pain! - Do not do this unless you want it to hurt more. It's unclear how a rumor like this gets started, likely a disaffected oceanography student or vicious pro-urine propaganda from the jellyfish lobby. Either way, don't do it

4. Blood Is Blue When It's In Your Veins! - Incorrect, no matter what someone claims about it being "deoxygenated." Our blood is always red, according to doctors and horror movies. It just sometimes looks blue through our skin because of light scattering.

5. A Penny Dropped From The Empire State Building Could Kill Someone! - A penny never killed anyone. It's got a terminal velocity of about 40 miles per hour, so while it would likely hurt, it would not shatter your skull.

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