Myths that people think are true but actually aren’t

Back to Article
Back to Article

Myths that people think are true but actually aren’t

Madison Twomey, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

People believe things they are told for a number of reasons, and they may or may not be true. If something is presented with confidence as a fact, it is hard to question the validity of it. Many times, people accept things as fact because a parent, teacher, or person of authority presented it as such. This is why people begin to believe things that seem completely logical, but are untrue. Here’s a list of myths that you may believe to be true, but actually aren’t.


  1. Blood on the inside of the body is blue because it doesn’t have oxygen

Deoxygenated blood on the inside of skin isn’t blue; it’s actually red. According to, “Blood is always red, actually. Veins look blue because light has to penetrate the skin to illuminate them, blue and red light (being of different wavelengths) penetrate with different degrees of success. What makes it back to your eye is the blue light.”


  1. Humans have five senses

Humans don’t have five senses; we actually have a lot more, including balance, itchiness, temperature, pain, thirst, hunger, and many more. I guess it makes SENSE because if we couldn’t sense when to eat we would die.


  1. Water circles the drain in the opposite way depending on what hemisphere you are in

This is called the Coriolis effect and it does exist, but it is not strong enough to affect water going down a drain. It affects storms, though, and is the reason why storms in the northern hemisphere swing counterclockwise and in the southern hemisphere they go clockwise.


  1. You should never wake a sleepwalker because you could hurt them

Waking a sleepwalker will not do them any harm, but they might be a little confused. Maybe someone who sleepwalks told you that so you wouldn’t wake them up in the middle of their dream.


  1. Bulls hate the color red

Bulls, like most animals, are actually color blind. The thing that makes bulls charge at the red cloth that the spanish matadors wave is the movement. The matadors probably use red because it’s fabulous and flashy.


  1. You have to wait 24 hours before filing a missing persons report

You may have seen this on your favorite crime show, but that was probably for dramatic effect. You can and should actually file it immediately if you believe that someone is in danger.


  1. Goldfish have a three second memory

Actually, goldfish can remember things for up to five months.


  1. You should wait thirty minutes to an hour after eating to swim, or else you will get cramps and drown

This is false. Although swimming soon after eating may cause you to experience minor fatigue, it will not cause you to get severe muscle cramps to the extent that they would stop working and you will drown.


  1. Shaving makes your hair grow back thicker

It may appear thicker because it has a blunt end, instead of gradually getting thinner. If this were true, balding people would shave their heads and magically have thicker hair.


  1. The five second rule

If you drop food on the floor, it does not take more than five seconds for bacteria to reach it. It actually only takes milliseconds, so if your food touches the floor bacteria will get on it.


  1. Coffee stunts your growth

Your mom probably told you this when you were ten and wanted to order a latte from Starbucks, but research has been done and there is no correlation between coffee and growth.


  1. Consuming dairy products when you have a cold will make it worse

Having milk or ice cream will not increase mucus production, so feel free to eat as much ice cream as you want if you’re sick.


  1. Bats are blind

Bats are not blind, but they still use echolocation to locate their prey. That means the phrase “blind as a bat” doesn’t mean what you think it means!


  1. Sugar highs

There is actually no evidence that says eating sugar makes you more hyperactive; it is most likely a placebo effect. Although, you might just be excited about eating sugar because it’s delicious.


  1. Cracking your knuckles causes arthritis

This is completely untrue. The sound of cracking your knuckles actually comes from air pockets popping, which is completely harmless. You were probably told this because the sound is annoying and your parents wanted you to stop.