We know a lot about the world nowadays. But how many things have we been told that we don”t question? (Answer: Lots.)
Luckily for us, some people questioned some of the world”s most commonly held beliefs. The found out these facts were simply and categorically wrong. There is either no evidence to support them or they have been proven false. So, the next time someone tells you these things, tell them they are wrong and to read a book.
1. Columbus never reached any of the areas now known as The United States of America. He mainly visited the Caribbean Islands, which are their own independent countries.
2. Waking a sleepwalker will not cause them any harm. They may wake up confused, but it actually is more dangerous to leave them sleepwalking, where they can trip and fall over something.
3. Houseflies actually have a lifespan of 20-30 days and not 24 hours.
4. George Washington did not have wooden teeth. His dentures were made of gold, hippopotamus ivory, lead, animal teeth (including horse and donkey teeth), and probably human teeth from slaves.
5. Goldfish have memories much longer than a few seconds, some have memories that last months.
6. Bats are not blind. While majority of bats use echolocation to navigate themselves, they all have eyes and have sight.
7. Eating less than an hour before swimming does not increase the risk of experiencing muscle cramps or drowning.
8. The signing of the United States Declaration of Independence did not occur on July 4, 1776. The final language of the document was approved by the Second Continental Congress on that date and it was printed and distributed on July 4 and 5, but the actual signing occurred on August 2, 1776.
9. Medieval Europeans did not believe Earth was flat; in fact, from the time of the ancient Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle on, belief in a spherical Earth remained almost universal among European intellectuals. As a result, Christopher Columbus”s efforts to obtain support for his voyages were hampered not by belief in a flat Earth but by correct worries that the East Indies were farther than he realized.
10. Eggs can actually be balanced on any day of the year, not just the equinoxes.
11. The Great Wall of China is actually very hard to see from space. Shuttle astronaut Jay Apt has been quoted as saying that “the Great Wall is almost invisible from only 180 miles up.
12. Fortune cookies actually were invented in and came to the U.S. from Japan, not China.
13. There is no evidence that vikings wore horns on their helmets.
14. Women accused of being witches in the Salem Witch Trials were never burned at the stake. They either received life in prison or were hanged.
15. The architectural feature called a vomitorium was the entranceway through which crowds entered and exited a stadium, not a special room used for purging food during meals.
16. When Orson Welles read The War Of The Worlds over the radio, there was no widespread panic. Relatively few people were even listening to the broadcast. Newspapers reported that it cause panic to discredit radio as advertising competition.
Make sure you know all of these the next time you find yourself in an argument with a cocky smarty pants. You”ll then take the smarty pants crown from them.