7 myths and legends that are total bulls**t
You swallow about 8 spiders a year when sleeping. Wait, no, that’s a myth made-up on the internet by the columnist Lisa Holst back in the 90s and written about in a magazine to show how people will believe just about anything.
But wait, is that a myth too? There are no remaining records of the columnist or the magazine, and yet it adds a unique flavour to the spider-swallowing tale. Which makes you wonder, what other urban legends do people believe that are total nonsense?
1. WE ONLY USE 10% OF OUR BRAINS
If only we could harness that other 90% and become even more intelligent and move things with our minds! Sadly, it’s never going to happen because a person actually uses all of their brain every day. In fact, imaging techniques have shown that each part of the brain performs a specific function, and it even remains active at night, which means it’s so long to the hope of generating near-superhero talents.
2. HAIR AND NAILS GROW AFTER DEATH
This one doesn’t even count if you’re a zombie and eating brains on a daily basis, and yet it’s one of those myths that keep on going. What actually happens, and the reason why this legend started in the first place, is that your body becomes dehydrated after death and the skin around the hair and the nails recedes, giving the impression that they’ve grown.
3. UNSANITARY WOODEN CUTTING BOARDS
For all you foodies out there who believe the myth that wooden cutting boards are unhygienic and germ-infested, let’s clear this up once and for all: this is not true. Studies have actually shown that their plastic counterparts are less hygienic. Why? Because when you regularly cut on a plastic board, it gradually slices into the surface and creates thin ridges in which bacteria multiply, whereas the wooden variety has a solid, porous surface that allows water to flow better for a deeper clean.
4. HORNET BITES ARE TOXIC
As long as you’re not allergic, the sting from a hornet is not going to hurt any more than one from a bee or a wasp. It’s a myth born from exaggerated stories and most likely because the insect can be quite aggressive. Hornet venom is in fact less strong than its brethren, but if you get stung, it’s still going to hurt like a bitch.
5. GOLDFISH HAVE THREE SECOND MEMORIES
This has been debunked by people like Jamie Hyneman from Mythbusters. He trained his goldfish to run underwater obstacle courses and showed that after a month they had learned to complete it without prompt or aid.
6. YOU GET A COLD BECAUSE IT’S COLD
You’ve got so say, it does sound like it makes sense, but this one isn’t true either. Colds are primarily caused by viruses, and if you are already carrying the virus and go out in the cold, it’s normal to think this is what caused it – however studies have actually shown that cold weather stimulates the immune system.
7. DROPPING A PENNY FROM THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING CAN KILL
Not when air resistance has something to say about it.