30 Things You Always Believed That Aren’t True

It's time to lay these "facts" to rest.

30 Things You Always Believed That Aren’t True

There are some bits of information you pick up along the way in life that are easily accepted as fact. In many cases, they’re so seemingly insignificant, it seems wild that anyone would make them up. Unfortunately, if you get enough people hearing and repeating the same piece of misinformation, it’s bound to go from idle gossip to indisputable fact in some of their minds. But it’s time to set the record straight.

Have a look at these supposed facts that actually aren’t true and find out just how far astray you’ve been led by friends, family, and teachers over the course of your life. And for some amazing—and accurate—information about the world around you, check out these 100 Awesome Facts About Everything!

carrots health myths

Carrots Improve Your Vision

The beta-carotene in carrots can convert to vitamin A, which can improve your vision, but once your body has enough beta-carotene, it no longer makes that conversion. Carrots have, however, been linked to increased collagen consumption. That’s why they’re on the list of 50 Foods That Make You Look Younger.

A toad outdated life lessons

Toads Give You Warts

Toads might have a bumpy, warty appearance, but they’re not the culprit behind warts. That dubious distinction goes to the human papillomavirus, of which there are more than 170 strains. You’ll have to do more than avoid amphibians if you want a nice complexion, however: here are the 30 Best Ways to Have Your Best Skin.

top Hollywood hair tips

Going Out With Wet Hair Makes You Sick

Colds and flu are caused by a virus, not by wet hair. If you want to avoid getting sick, take up 20 Habits That Slash Your Flu Risk.

Brain synapses

You Only Use 10% of Your Brain

You use basically all of your brain, but maybe not all at once. If you feel like you’re only using 10% of your brain, Boost Your Brain With This Science-Proven Trick.

Brown Sugar Worst Food Myths

Sugar Makes You Hyper

Children running around like lunatics at a birthday party are just excited, not high off frosting. But that doesn’t mean sugar is good for you. It’s still linked to obesity, diabetes, and cavities, for starters. Need help reducing your own intake of the sweet stuff? This Is the Safest Way to Cut Sugar Out of Your Diet.

Girl sipping coffee outdated life lessons

Coffee Stunts Your Growth

Good news, coffee lovers! Consumption of caffeine has been linked to a negligible amount of calcium loss, but not nearly enough to affect growth. In fact, here are 75 Amazing Benefits of Coffee.

kid swimming outdated life lessons

Swimming After Eating Will Give You Cramps

There are no known incidents of a person drowning because they went for a dip after a big lunch. Now that that excuse is gone, here are 40 Ways to Get a Great Beach Body After 40.

Napoleon insulting politicians

Napoleon Was Short

That Napoleon was only 5’2″ is both true and false. Napoleon was measured in French inches, which were longer than English inches. Napoleon was actually closer to 5’7″.

habits after 40

Alcohol Kills Brain Cells

Regular drinking doesn’t kill brain cells, and the damage caused by heavy drinking isn’t caused by cell death, just damage. But that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. Here’s Why One Drink a Day Can Shorten Your Lifespan.

Gold Fish in Bowl Dad Jokes

Goldfish Have a Short Memory

A goldfish can actually remember things for at least five months, and even their notoriously short attention spans are now better than the average humans, since the advent of smartphones. That’s just one of The 30 Best Reasons to Take a Digital Detox.

bad beauty products

Shaved Hair Grows Back Thicker

Shaving would have to create more follicles for hair to grow back thicker. It can give hair a blunt tip, which can make it feel coarse, though.

Bat things you thought were true

Bats Are Blind

Bats use echolocation to find things in the dark, but that doesn’t mean they’re blind. Some bats even have excellent vision.

commonly misspelled words

Bananas Are a Fruit

Bananas are technically berries, which is handy information if you want to be that guy at a cocktail party.

albert einstein success quotes

Einstein Failed Math

Einstein was actually (obviously) good at math. He did fail a college entrance exam, which seems to have spawned this rumor. He actually passed the math section of this test, too.

Great Wall of China things you thought were true

The Great Wall of China Is Visible From Space

Without a little help, the Great Wall isn’t visible to the human eye from low Earth orbit. It is definitely not visible from the moon.

woman eating dark chocolate

Your Tongue Has Different Taste Regions

The entire tongue can taste all types of tastes pretty much equally.

Toilet with lid up

Toilets Flush in Different Directions in Different Hemispheres

Toilets flush the same direction in Australia as they do in Austria. The only thing that changes the direction is the shape of the toilet and the angle the water enters it.

birds feeding each other, celebrities not like us

You Shouldn’t Touch Baby Birds

Birds have a terrible sense of smell. It’s perfectly fine to be a good Samaritan and help a baby bird.

soy milk heart healthy diet

Milk Creates Mucus

If you’re sick, milk might make your phlegm seem thicker, but it isn’t kicking your body into mucus-making overdrive.

Hands with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Cracking Knuckles Causes Arthritis

Cracking your knuckles will not cause arthritis, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

funniest facts

Everyone Died Young in the Middle Ages

The average life expectancy in the Middle Ages is skewed young because there was so much infant mortality. If a person lived to adulthood, it wasn’t uncommon to live to be anywhere from 60 to 80 years old.

christmas decor

Poinsettias Are Deadly

If a child ate five or so leaves, they might throw up, but they wouldn’t die. Holly berries, on the other hand, are toxic.

Nightcaps, hot toddy

Alcohol Warms You Up

Alcohol might make you feel warm, but it slows down your circulation and actually makes you colder.

Shark in ocean

Sharks Don’t Get Cancer

Scientists have known for over a century that sharks get cancer. This is just a myth spread to promote sales of shark cartilage.

Man wearing mask false facts

Germs Live on Toilet Seats

Many organisms that cause disease can only live on a toilet seat for a very short time, and unless you’re doing something pretty weird in the bathroom, odds are your bodily fluids aren’t actually coming in contact with the top of the seat. In fact, research suggests that your average cell phone has about 10 times the amount of bacteria as you’ll find on a toilet seat.

Businessman Drinking Coffee Anti-Aging

Coffee Dehydrates You

The mild dehydrating effect of caffeine is offset by the amount of water in a cup of coffee.

chewing gum, stress relief, controlling cravings

It Takes Seven Years to Digest Gum

Gum actually isn’t digestible at all, same as the fiber in popcorn kernels. Like that fiber, it passes through your body without being digested.

Ostrich head

Frightened Ostriches Stick Their Heads in the Ground

Ostriches keep their eggs in holes in the sand instead of nests, and they use their beaks to move them around, but they don’t try to hide by sticking their heads in the sand.

Duck Swimming Animal Jokes

A Duck’s Quack Doesn’t Echo

The quacking of a duck is the same as any other sound. It echoes, although it may do so quietly, since a single duck quacking isn’t particularly loud.

superhuman feats mount everest

Mount Everest Is the Tallest Mountain

Mount Everest is the tallest mountain above sea level, but the tallest mountain from base to peak is actually Mauna Kea in Hawaii, which is nearly a mile taller than Everest when you factor in the 19,700 feet of it that exist in the Pacific Ocean. Have these facts got you feeling like you don’t know what’s what? Here are 40 Facts You Learned in the 20th Century That Are Totally Bogus Today.

To discover more amazing secrets about living your best life, click here to sign up for our FREE daily newsletter!

Filed Under
Best Life
Live smarter, look better,​ and live your life to the absolute fullest.
Get Our Newsletter Every Day!
Enter your email address to get the best tips and advice.
close modal
close modal