9 Facts We Were Taught in School That Turned Out to Be Complete Lies
We believe that every fact we hear from our teachers is the absolute truth. But quite often it turns out that we can't believe everything we hear, especially when it concerns some historical events.
Bright Side gathered the most widespread delusions we still consider as real facts that actually weren't proved by anybody.
9. Humpty Dumpty was an egg.
We all know the classic nursery rhyme about the tragic fall of poor Humpty Dumpty. But this character was not, in fact, an egg at all. The very word "egg" was never mentioned in this short poem.
Humpty Dumpty is the name of the cannon used by the English Royalists during the English Civil War. At that time, militants placed cannons on walls, and when these weapons fell on the ground, they couldn't be recovered.
8. Blackboard chalk is made of chalk.
Most modern chalk is actually made from mineral gypsum and isn't comprised of chalk at all. The difference between these 2 chemical substances is that chalk is calcium carbonate and gypsum is a kind of salt.
7. Napoleon was very short.
Napoleon Bonaparte is often depicted as being a man of small stature. In 1821, at the time of his death, his height was 5 feet 2 inches in French units.
However, in modern measurements, that would make him 5 feet 7 inches tall. That's a bit more than the standard Frenchman's height in the 1800s (5 feet 5 inches). This means that Napoleon was rather tall for his time.
6. Humans descended from chimpanzees.
This theory is so widespread that nobody calls it into question. However, in reality, both humans and monkeys evolved from a common ancestor who lived about 25 million years ago. So we did not evolve from monkeys or apes, but we share over 90% of our DNA with our primate cousins.
5. Thomas Edison invented the light bulb.
The famous inventor Thomas Edison is credited with giving us electric light in the form of a light bulb in 1879. Although he was undoubtedly a great scientist, there's a little misunderstanding about his invention.
25 years before, in 1854, the German mechanic Henry Goebel created an almost identical version of a light bulb. Unfortunately, he never got a patent for his work, and that's why he could never successfully challenge Edison. But it doesn't prevent him from being the original pioneer in the creation of electric light.
4. We use only 10% of our brains.
This myth is supported by many Hollywood movies where the main character manages to activate 100% of their brain, becoming a genius.
However, neurologists have proved that it's just a common misunderstanding. Their study has shown that we use almost all of our brain, and every part of it is active almost all the time. Moreover, if only 1% of our brain was severely damaged, the effect would be disastrous!
3. The blood in our veins is blue because of fresh oxygen.
When you look at your wrist, you can see that the veins are blue, but it's not because blue blood runs through them.
Most of us were taught that deoxygenated blood is blue and the blood leaving the heart is red because it is filled with fresh oxygen. But the true reason your veins are blue is that it's simply a trick of the light in the way your eyes perceive color. So you can be totally sure that all your blood is red!
2. Newton discovered gravity after an apple fell on his head.
Although Isaac Newton was certainly near an apple tree when he was trying to formulate his theory of gravitation, he wasn't actually hit on his head by a fallen apple as there's no evidence of the "apple incident" in his notes.
1. Van Gogh cut off his ear because he suffered from a mental disease.
Most people still think that this famous artist chopped off his own ear because of his mental illness. But in 2009, art historians argued that his injury was the result of a fight with his fellow painter Paul Gauguin. The artists agreed not to tell anybody about the incident in order to save their friendship.
Do you know any other unproved school facts? Share your stories with us in the comments!