Science History

Famous Scientific Theories that Turned Out to be Wrong

Famous-Scientific-Theories-that-Turned-Out-to-be-Wrong

We’ve been taught a lot of scientific facts, or “old wives’ tale.” But do you know that these things that we know all along turn out to be untrue at all? Here are some of the popular scientific “facts” that are debunked by real facts:

Goldie-the-fish-has-a-memory-of-5-seconds

Goldfish have better memories than you think; they would even last up to a few months!

Gum-takes-7-years-to-digest

Gum is like an insoluble fiber — indigestible. So both will pass through your digestive system in practically the same manner.

Heavy-drinking-kills-brain-cells

Not only through overdrinking that alcohol kills brain cells. Alcohol can also kill brain cells through a deficiency in thiamine and also through excitoxicity (wherein the nerve cells are killed by overabundance in neurotransmitter presence, such as those found in glutathione). It’s true that too much of everything can kill you, even when it comes to detox.

Lightning-doesnt-strike-the-same-place-twice

Lightning can and does strike the same place twice (or even more than twice!). Lightnings usually look for the fastest way to get to the ground, so it tends to hit tall and high objects such as buildings and trees.

Overloading-on-Vitamin-C-keeps-you-from-getting-sick

Since a common cold is caused by virus, a bunch of Vitamin C won’t cure it. However, supplementation of Vitamin C does seem to protect one from getting a cold.

Sunflowers-follow-the-sun-across-the-sky

Not so, especially the wild varities. They may point to varying directions but their leaves may exhibit solar tracking. Some species follow the sun’s direction across the sky from east to west.

The-tongue-has-specific-taste-zones

It has always been taught since elementary school days that the tongue has specific taste zones (such as the tip of the tongue tends to taste sweet objects). However, scientists reveal that the “tongue taste map” is wrong! They conclude that our brain cells, and not our tongue, decides the taste. Our thousands of taste buds can detect all flavors, not just in specific areas of our tongues.

Your-fingers-swell-up-from-water

The swelling of our fingers after a soak in the water doesn’t mean they have absorbed water. Rather, it means that our body has narrowed its blood vessels by shrinking its muscle walls. It is believed that our fingers wrinkle to help us grab things.

Bats-cant-see

The idiom “blind as a bat” is a plain myth. Although bats use sound waves to find their way around as well as to locate prey even in the dark, they do have a good eyesight.

Being-in-a-vacuum-causes-our-eyes-to-pop-out

You might probably have seen it in the movies. Rather, if you’re into a vacuum you will gradually lose consciousness and die within a few minutes.

Blood-in-your-veins-is-blue

Blood is always red. After the heart pumps blood to the lungs to get oxygen, blood becomes rich with oxygen, so it is bright red at this point. When blood goes back to the veins it loses much oxygen, resulting into darker red. Still, why does blood in our veins look blue?

It has something more to do with light. If a person has deeper veins, the blood doesn’t absorb as much red or blue light. However, since de-oxygenated blood absorbs more red light than blue light, the blue light tends to be reflected back to our eyes, making our veins look blue.

Bulls-are-driven-mad-by-redActually, the bull sees red as gray. The real reason why bulls are driven mad is the matador’s taunting and flag-waving.

Dont-go-swimming-for-30-minutes-after-eating

The fact: even if you have a full stomach, you don’t have to wait for 30 minutes before you’re allowed to swim!

Your body directs blood to your stomach to enable it to digest the food you eat. As in many other forms of exercise, swimming does divert blood from your digestive system and flow back to the muscles. As a result, your stomach experiences cramps. This happens especially if you’re swimming too vigorously. But if you’re not swimming ala Michael Phelps, you don’t have to worry because not enough blood is diverted to compromise your muscles. So go on, eat and swim! You won’t drown because of a full belly.

Drink-8-glasses-of-water-a-day

We’ve been taught since childhood to drink eight glasses of water a day. Actually, your need for water intake depends on the temperature of your surroundings, your activity level, etc. If you’re not thirsty and dehydrated, you don’t have to drink that much water. Besides, we also get enough water from the foods we eat.

Drinking-alcohol-warms-you-up

Sad news for those drinking vodka a lot in the icy north: alcohol may make you feel warm, but this apparent heat is otherwise deceiving.

Alcohol, in fact, defeats your body’s defenses against cold weather. When you’re out in the cold temperature, you blood vessels tend to constrict. Thus, they reduce blood flow to your skin in order to keep your body temperature warm. Alcohol causes the blood vessels to dilate, especially the capillaries that lie closer under the surface of your skin. This will cause blood to rush to the skin’s surface which makes you feel warm (and even your face red). But not for long! Plus, the temporary heat also causes sweating, which will be cooled off by the prevailing thin air.

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