#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 8°C Wednesday 28 October 2020

7 so-called facts everyone thinks are right - but are totally wrong

Mind. Blown.

THERE ARE CERTAIN things you know to be true in this life. Certain facts that you would swear on a stack of Bibles to be true.

And yet… Are you sure they’re true? Really sure?

We have seven ‘facts’ that are doing the rounds that we can categorically debunk – and you will look like an all-knowing genius from now on when you do the same in future.

You’re welcome.

1. You can’t see the Great Wall of China from space

Source: Keith Roper via Flickr/CC

It’s long been mooted that you can see the Great Wall of China from space and that it’s the only manmade object that can be seen from there.

Sadly, that’s just not true. Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield explained on Twitter:

It’s too narrow, and it follows the natural contours and colours [of the landscape].

So there now.

2. You definitely use more than 10% of your brain

Source: Giphy

It’s long been said that humans only use 10% of our brain capacity and just imagine what we could be doing if we used the whole 100%? It’s not certain where the 10% figure came from – possibly Albert Einstein being misquoted or even this from William James:

We are making use of only a small part of our possible mental and physical resources.

The truth is that most of the brain is active almost all the time making complex decisions just to get through the day. So give your poor brain a break – it’s doing just grand.

3. Bats aren’t blind

Giant Madagascan fruit bat Source: nilsrinaldi via Flickr/CC

As if bats don’t have it hard enough with the myth that they’re only dying to nest in ladies’ hair, they’re also victims of the rumour that they’re blind.

They’re not blind, ok, guys?

They can’t see perfectly in pitch black (no animal can) so they use their echolocation to help navigate and find food.

But they’re not blind.

4. Sugar doesn’t make you hyper

Source: RedGlow82 via Flickr/CC

If you’re a parent or any adult who spends time around children you probably try and keep the kids’ sugar levels to a minimum, right?

While that’s never a bad thing to do for general health reasons, but if the other reason you were doing it was so they wouldn’t get hyper, well, you have one less reason to keep them off the white stuff.

Turns out that scientists gave a lot of sugar  to children in playschool (brave), and they weren’t able to discern any significant differences in behaviour.

5. NASA didn’t spend millions to develop a pen to write in space

Source: Giphy

And not only that – that the Russians just gave their astronauts pencils to use, which worked grand.

Well, yes and no. Originally, NASA also gave their astronauts pencils to use but pencils had their own problems – they broke and bits flying by could possibly harm equipment or other astronauts. Plus they are flammable – not good in space.

What happened is that NASA originally ordered 34 mechanical pencils for the crew at a cost of $4,382.50 and there was public outcry for spending $128.89 per pencil, so they needed an alternative. Enter Fisher Space pens, which were developed to write in space at the cost of $1 million – but not using NASA money.

6. Dogs do sweat…

dog panting Source: Giphy

They’d like you to think they don’t sweat, they glow, thank you very much, but you just can’t see it under all that fur.

Actually the truth is they do sweat but through their feet - the only place that they have sweat glands. They use panting to cool down additionally, though so you’re not too far wrong.

7. Daddy longlegs’ poison can’t kill you

Source: alvaroreguly via Flickr/CC

So, you’ve probably heard about how daddy longlegs are the most poisonous spider in the world, but their teeny-tiny teeth couldn’t break your skin to deliver all that poison?

Well, it’s just not true – apparently they don’t even have venom glands or fangs or any other way of ‘chemically subduing their food’ according to University of California scientists.

So, you’re safe. Phew.

Do you know any other commonly-believed ‘facts’ you’d like to debunk? Let us know in the comments below.

Do you know how much you pay in bank fees? With Ulster Bank’s Current Account  you just pay a €4 monthly fee for all your everyday banking – so you always know what you’re paying. 

Find out more about an Ulster Bank Current Account.

Source: Ulster Bank Republic of Ireland/YouTube

Additional charges may apply, e.g. ATM usage abroad*.  Over 18s and Republic of Ireland residents only. Annual Government Stamp Duty applies to debit card.

Important information

*Please see our brochure ‘A Guide to Personal Accounts Fees and Interest’ at ulsterbank.ie. If you maintain a minimum cleared balance of €3,000 or more in your Ulster Bank Current Account during the fee period or are aged 60 or over you will not pay the monthly maintenance fee of €4. Terms and conditions apply. ATM means Automated Teller Machine.

Ulster Bank Ireland DAC is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Sponsored by:

Ulster Bank

Read next:

COMMENTS (57)