Myth-Shattering Fun Facts


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Human beings pride themselves on their extensive and diverse knowledge of the world, but sometimes information gets confused along the way. Misunderstandings, urban legends, and flat out lies can infiltrate what we believe is common knowledge. We at the Union University Library have put together some of the most myth shattering facts to bring to you. Prepare to find out that everything you thought you knew is wrong!


Myth: Sugar Makes Kids Hyper

Fact: Sugar doesn’t actually make children hyper. Studies have found no discernible difference in hyperactivity dependent on sugar consumption.


Myth: The Chinese Invented Fortune Cookies

Fact: Fortune cookies were invented in San Francisco by Japanese Immigrant Suyeichi Okamura. They became associated with China when America entered WWII and Japanese people were shipped to internment camps. Businesses began making fortune cookies like Okamura did and shipped them to Chinese restaurants.


Myth: Cracking Knuckles Causes Arthritis

Fact: Since the cracking sound in one’s joints is only caused by gas bubbles, it’s not going to hurt your knuckles or cause Arthritis.


Myth: Twinkies Never Expire

Fact: They do expire, actually. Their shelf life is a minuscule 45 days, only 10 of which they spend on the shelf. It’s probably best for you doomsday preppers out there to nix this particular pastry from your end of the world food supply.


Myth: We Don’t Know How Bumblebees Can Fly

Fact: Sorry folks, the Bee Movie lied to you. The mechanics of bee flight are well understood from both biological and physics standpoints. The fuzzy little pollinators know what they’re doing.


Myth: You Have Swallowed Spiders In Your Sleep

Fact: No need to scream, you don’t actually ingest spiders in your sleep. People make too much noise and cause too many vibrations for spiders to want to be anywhere near your mouth.


Myth: Iron Maidens Were Used as Medieval Torture Devices

Fact: Iron maidens were not an invention of the Middle Ages, but rather a scam. They were pieced together in the 1700’s to sell tickets to them as an attraction.


Myth: Meteorites Are Very Hot After Entering The Atmosphere

Fact: While friction from entering the atmosphere can raise the temperature of a meteorite, they aren’t red hot. Many meteorites are, in fact, found with frost on them.


Myth: George Washington Had Wooden Teeth

Fact: While he did have dentures, they were not made of wood. They were made of animal teeth, hippopotamus ivory, lead, and even gold.


Myth: Ancient People Believed in a Flat Earth

Fact: Pythagoras proposed the idea of a spherical earth some time around 500 B.C.. This idea was commonly held by intellectuals such as Aristotle and Plato.


Myth: Chameleons Change Color to Blend in to Their Surroundings

Fact: While Chameleons do change color, it is as a response to temperature, communication, light, and even their mood. However, certain species of octopi use color changing to blend into their surroundings.


Myth: Napoleon Was Short

Fact: Napoleon was 5’7″, which was above average height during his time. He was, however, called le Petit Caporal as an endearing nickname.


Myth: Touching A Baby Bird Will Make Its Mother Abandon it

Fact: Most species of birds don’t have a great sense of smell so in all likelihood, they probably wouldn’t notice.


Myth: Bats Are Blind

Fact: While they are nocturnal, echolocators, and have small eyes, none of the species of bat are blind.


Myth: The Capital of Australia is Sydney

Fact: Australia’s capital is Canberra. Go ahead and pick your brain up off the floor.


*Post written by Ruth Duncan

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