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Interesting Things About Common Myths

There are many myths out there that people still believe. Some are harmless and others a very hurtful. Today we will explode some common myths that are still making the rounds in society.

You should wait at least 30 minutes after eating to swim.

It was once believed that blood that would go to the arms and legs would be diverted to the digestive tract after eating, making it hard to do the motions required for swimming. Numerous studies have debunked this belief, yet people still lounge around waiting a half hour to an hour before going swimming after lunch. Think about it. If this were true, why would so many public pools have burger shacks and snack bars? That would be grounds for a lawsuit.

Carrots help you see in the dark.

No... No, they don’t. Carrots are rich in vitamin A, which can help your eyesight, but you are never going to be like an owl in the darkness. This myth actually originated during World War II, when a news article was released claiming that British fighter pilots were so successful with night fighting because they ate excessive carrots and could see in the dark. It was actually a scheme to distract German leaders, but whether it actually worked remains debatable.

Women’s periods sync up in the same household.

Again, numerous studies have debunked this claim. Periods are not affected by pheromones, nor do they follow the cycle of the moon. It’s true that women in the same household may sync up for a month or two, but this usually stops after a while. Scientists say it is simply a matter of mathematics and random chance, not some magical hormone balance.

Dogs and cats see in black and white.

This is not true, either. Both dogs and cats can see colors, though they may not perceive them the same way as humans. Humans have cones in their eyes that are sensitive to red, green, and blue. Dogs and cats only have green and blue. This means they have a hard time seeing reds and have trouble distinguishing between certain colors. It’s more like human colorblindness than black and white vision.

Microwaves irradiate your food.

No, microwave ovens do not make your food radioactive, nor do they cook with radioactive waves. Microwaves and ionizing radiation are on entirely opposite sides of the electromagnetic spectrum. So, yes, people do use the term “nuke your food” but it is highly inaccurate.

Yellowstone has massive explosions.

This is not entirely true. Yes, the Yellowstone caldera has very large eruptions, including at least two that were considered 8 on the Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI). However, they may not have gotten that large. Evidence in the tephra record shows clearly that these eruptions were in pulses of large explosions (probably a series of VEI 6 and 7) over a period of months, years, or even decades, not one big, massive eruption all at once. It can be devastating, yes, but not nearly the end of the world portrayed by the media.

There’s someone out there for everyone.

Just stop with this one! It’s so harmful. People wait around thinking they are destined to find someone and end up alone, and they are taught to believe that being alone is some kind of failure. Other people settle and end up in a toxic or even abusive relationship. And then there are those people who are aromantic or asexual who aren’t interested in a relationship at all, being happy on their own, but are told there is something wrong with them. This is some of the worst advice you can ever give on love.

Put butter on a burn.

No, don’t ever do this! If it is applied before cooling the burn it can actually trap the heat in the wound and cause more damage. Furthermore, the butter (or other similar treatments) can open the pathway to infection in the future. Don’t even think about this treatment!

John F. Kennedy once called himself a jelly donut.

While making a speech to support West Berlin during the Cold War, John F. Kennedy declared, “Ich bin ein Berliner.” Urban legend says that he called himself a jelly donut and that the crowd laughed at him for it. Neither of these is true, so stop saying it!

Cellphones give you brain cancer.

There is no evidence that this is true. Most of the studies that showed this were flawed in one way or another. Though the American Cancer Society hasn’t taken a clear stand on the matter, other organizations have, including federal authorities. They declare that there is no evidence that cellphone use leads to cancer or brain tumors. So don’t waste your money on those radio wave blockers sold by charlatans on late night TV.

There are, of course, way more than ten myths. I just covered some of the basics today. The internet is a breeder of myths, urban legends, and downright lies if you don’t watch it. People actually believe that Mars can be bigger than the Moon in the sky, or that Facebook is going to own all your photographs, or that Elvis died while stuffing his face with sandwiches. None of these are true and they are easy to debunk. All you have to do is look it up. It’s kind of fun, actually.


Duke Health Blog-

Smithsonian Magazine-

Cleveland Clinic-

United States Geological Survey-

Mayo Clinic-

American Cancer Society-

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