12 Common Misconceptions That Have Become Popular Facts

Posted on Jun 27, 2016

Misconceptions are sometimes so appealing to our minds, they become a part of common knowledge and some of them even get to the classrooms in our public schools. Here are some of the most persistent misconceptions that are believed to be right by many teachers even today.

1. We Only Use 10% of Our Brain

We Only Use 10% of Our Brain
Photo: vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net
This is one of the most durable misconceptions that psychologists describe as "laughable." Modern studies, such as FMRI scans of the brain tell us that the brain always uses the full capacity to execute all its tasks.

2. Napoleon Was a Short Man

Napoleon Was a Short Man
Photo: imgur.com
Napoleon Bonaparte was actually slightly taller than an average man of his time. After he had died, his height was 5 feet 2 inches in French feet, which is 5 feet 7 inches in English measurements.

3. Lincoln's Biggest Mission in Life Was to Abolish Slavery in America

Lincoln's Biggest Mission in Life Was to Abolish Slavery in America
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The desire of the Great Emancipator to free the slaves only concerned the Confederate States. He once wrote in 1862: "If I could save the Union without freeing any slaves, I would do it."

4. The Light Bulb Is an Invention of Thomas Edison

The Light Bulb Is an Invention of Thomas Edison
Photo: imgur.com
The truth is that Edison only improved the concept of an incandescent light bulb after he bought a patent to it from an inventor named Heinrich Goebel. At the time, many scientists experimented with the concept of incandescent light bulbs.

5. The Homo Sapiens Evolved from Chimps

The Homo Sapiens Evolved from Chimps
Photo: ichef.bbci.co.uk
This misconception is still believed even by some teachers in public schools, but it is entirely false. Homo sapiens and other great apes, such as chimpanzees and gorillas, shared a common ancestor, but their lines differentiated separately several millions of years ago.

6. Gravity Doesn't Exist in Space

Gravity Doesn't Exist in Space
Photo: imgur.com
While it is intuitive to think that the astronauts float in space because there is no gravity, this isn't the real cause. Gravity is weaker the further away you are from a massive body such as Earth, but only by a fraction. What is actually happening is that everything orbiting around Earth is in a continuous state of freefall, only barely missing Earth.

7. Christopher Columbus with His Discovery of America Proved the Earth Was Round

Christopher Columbus with His Discovery of America Proved the Earth Was Round
Photo: imgur.com
Columbus wasn't the first to discover America, nor was he the first to claim the Earth was round. Greek mathematicians proved the Earth's roundness two millennia before Columbus' time, and by the time he went on his voyage, it was common knowledge. Also, the first to discover America was a Viking named Leif Erikson, in 1000 A.D.

8. Isaac Newton Created His Theory of Gravity after an Apple Fell on His Head

Isaac Newton Created His Theory of Gravity after an Apple Fell on His Head
Photo: imgur.com
It is true that a falling apple observed by Newton led him to start thinking about the problem of gravity, but the apple didn't fall on his head.

9. The Main Purpose of the Chameleon's Changing Colors Is Camouflage

The Main Purpose of the Chameleon's Changing Colors Is Camouflage
Photo: imgur.com
Chameleons actually use the color of their body as a way to regulate body temperature, and to influence other chameleons, for example, to seduce a potential mating partner or to scare off an opponent.

10. The Thanksgiving Legacy

The Thanksgiving Legacy
Photo: imgur.com
The event depicted in this painting didn't take place, nor did the majority of the "history" about Thanksgiving that's taught in American schools. The notion of a celebratory first meal between the Pilgrims and Native Americans was a PR story to increase national pride in the past.

11. The Tongue Has a Designated Part for Every Taste

The Tongue Has a Designated Part for Every Taste
Photo: clker.com
In the past decades, it has been proven several times that the tongue equally tastes every taste on its entire surface, using the chemical reactions between the food and its nodes and sending electrical impulses to the brain.

12. Humans Have Five Senses

Humans Have Five Senses
Photo: imgur.com
One of the most common misconceptions is the notion that humans have only five senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch. While they are rarely talked about, non-traditional senses are crucial for a human body. Some of them are balance and acceleration, temperature, proprioception (which provides the positions of the parts of the body), pain, and other internal senses.
Images source: imgur.com
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12 Common Misconceptions That Have Become Popular Facts
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