Some urban myths are so deeply seated in the psyche of masses that they have given them the status of actual facts. Some arose when facts were wrongly interpreted and while some others became popular because people love rumors.
Here we debunk the popular myths that people consider as facts which are nothing but hogwash.
#1 That people swallow as many as eight spiders per year in their sleep.
This so-called fact was made up as part of an experiment to understand how an urban legend can be established out of nothing.
#2 That vitamin C helps cure a common cold or shortens the duration of a cold.
I just graduated with a degree in food and nutrition and it was always drilled into my head from multiple professors that vitamin C does not cure a common cold like so many believe. It’s a marketing ploy by companies to sell cold products and it a high success rate. Whenever they slap the “vitamin C” on the front of their label they are able to sell more because a lot of consumers are misinformed. If I learned anything over the years, don’t trust the FRONT of the label. They’re trying to sell you something and will say next to anything to get you to buy it. The back of the label (ingredient list) is where they have to be as accurate as possible.
Vitamin C is recommended only if your body is deficient of it. This hardly is the case with the people of developed countries. Vitamin C is water soluble and hence any extra quantity is expelled through urine. Therefore, an extra intake of Vitamin C will just ensure that you have an expensive pee.
Flu can’t be cured. You have to let it finish its course. Rather than popping extra Vitamin pills, you should have plenty of fluids and sleep to ward it off.
#3 That carrots help improve the eyesight.
This was a creative ploy by the British in WWII when they had developed a radar but wanted it to be under wraps. They went on saying that they had improvised by feeding their soldiers a diet filled with carrots. The Germans believed them quickly and so the world.
#4 That Napoleon was short.
The fact is Napoleon was slightly taller than the average Frenchmen of his time. The paintings of Napoleon are to blame. In many of his famous paintings, he is shown surrounded by his bodyguards. Obviously, the bodyguards were much bigger than him so that they could protect him from a threat. Over the time people lost this context and concluded that the leader is short. People failed to realize that the paintings depict an average guy surrounded by huge guys.
#5 That the lady who sued McDonald’s over the spilled coffee was a money monger who did all of it to make big money.
The fact is that McDonald’s was serving their coffee at 190 degrees F, which is enough to inflict 2nd-degree burns almost instantly. They knew that their coffee was way hotter than what is considered safe for human consumption.
The woman’s burns were severe. And for a person of her age, it takes a toll on the body to recover from something like that. Unlike what is believed, she did not make millions. She had to sue McDonald’s because they denied her the medical expenses. Against her ordeal, she was reimbursed only $640,000 in the end.
#6 That Einstein flunked mathematics.
This grapevine was made up by a journalist and it went sort of viral. When Einstein was shown the article, he laughed and said “I never failed in mathematics… Before I was fifteen I had mastered differential and integral calculus.”
#7 That shaved hair grows back thicker.
The hair appears to have grown back thick after shaving as the first growth is the base of the hair. The tapered part grows later at the end.
#8 That schizophrenia is the same as multiple personality disorder.
This is a rare case and not a general phenomenon.
#9 That blood is actually blue when deoxygenated.
This is not the case. The blood looks blue beneath the skin, because of the way your skin reflects the blood’s colour.