6 Popular Science Myths – Busted

Science myths have been around for a long time. With modern technology meaning that we can exchange information so fast, it is surprising that many of them still circulate today when it so easy to check the facts. It is a testament to human nature that we are so willing to believe random tit-bits shared on social media sites.

So, here are 10 of the most believed science myths, and the truth behind them.

1. The ‘taste map’ on the tongue

The leading science myth; ‘the taste map’. Shockingly, this has been taught in schools and found in science text books around the world for decades. It has since been proved that all parts of the tongue sense all tastes.

Source: (http://www.yalescientific.org/2012/11/on-the-road-to-sweetness-a-clear-cut-destination)

2. Sugar makes children hyperactive

This one is quite surprising. Aside from a few children with psychiatric or insulin disorders, there is actually no evidence to suggest that children will display hyperactive behaviour due to sugar. Over-stimulating environments or food containing caffeine is much more likely to blame than sugar.

Source: http://www.yalescientific.org/2010/09/mythbusters-does-sugar-really-make-children-hyper/

3. Daddy long legs are the most venomous spider in the world

Nope, Daddy Long Legs wouldn’t be able to kill you even if they could penetrate your skin. Opiliones do not have fangs, or venom glands, or poison.

Credit: Sydkab.com


Source: http://spiders.ucr.edu/daddylonglegs.html

4. Urine helps relieve a jelly fish sting

Contrary to popularly belief, urinating on a jelly fish sting can stimulate the barbs to produce more venom, so can make the situation a lot more painful. It is recommended to wash the injury with salt water to deactivate nematocysts which is possibly where this myth comes from. This myth was popularized by the TV programme ‘Friends’.

Source: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fact-or-fiction-urinating/

5. Humans only use 10% of the brain

This myth is the perfect example of the dangers caused by companies selling fad pills; in this case, pills boasting ‘brain boosting’ powers. Humans regularly use 100% of their brain capacity.

Source: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/do-people-only-use-10-percent-of-their-brains/

6. Only cockroaches would survive an extreme nuclear fallout

Although cockroaches can survive exposure to 10 times the amount of ionizing radiation a human can, they are not the most impressive of the insect world when it comes to this death-defying feat. Exposure to 6,400 rads will kill approximately 94% of cockroaches, whereas the Habrobracon wasp can survive up to 180, 000 rads.

Source: http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/mythbusters/mythbusters-database/cockroaches-survive-nuclear-explosion


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