Things We Have Been Taught in School that are Not True (Part One)


Primary education in most parts of the world is the same; it follows a well-known pattern: the alphabet, counting, math, some general knowledge about nature, the human body, very basic chemistry and physics. As much as we do need a lot of the skills we are taught in school, I believe that the system is just too outdated for modern times. For once, there are misleading facts that have been passed down to us without anybody ever thinking about their origin or truth.

You Have Five Senses

We have been told that we have five senses—touch, smell, taste, sight, and hearing—so anything else is considered a sixth sense! The actual truth, however, is far from that.

You see, there are so many things we, humans, can feel that do not fall into the five aforementioned categories we were taught. For instance, we can feel whether we are balanced or not, which is a sense that can sometimes be distorted when we get vertigo. We can tell if we are hungry or thirsty even if our stomachs are not rumbling and our mouths are not dry because our brains can process the feelings of hunger and thirst in completely different ways.

There are many more senses that humans have and scientists cannot even list them all; they are definitely not five.

Your Tongue is divided into Taste Sections

This is a primary education classic: “Hey kids! Did you know that your tongue has taste regions? Yes, that is true! There are different parts that taste the bitter, the sweet, the sour, and the salty!”

Wrong! Just try placing a sweet thing on any part other than the tip of your tongue; do you still taste it? Yes, you do. There is no such thing as taste regions; there may be parts of your tongue that are more sensitive to some tastes more than others, but that is about it.

Carrots Strengthen Your Vision

Okay, that cannot be untrue; can it? I mean vitamin A, we all know is essential for good vision. While that is true, and while you do need vitamin A for good vision, there is no proof that an excess of it or that regular ingestion of carrots will make you have super-vision. However, that is not what the British military had people believe during World War II.

British fighters had begun to use radar technology to detect German planes during the War and became very good at gunning them down. The British Food Ministry then started a propaganda campaign claiming that the reason for that was a diet of carrots. It was thought, at the time, that this was a ploy to fool Germany into not discovering that the British were using radars.

Spinach is Full of Iron

We have been brought up to appreciate the importance of spinach, whether or not we like it. I personally could never palate the taste of spinach, but was forced many times to eat it because of its supposed benefits for my health, all because of a calculation mistake!

The reason why until today some people still believe that spinach has a lot of iron is a mistake by German chemist Erich von Wolf in 1870. He had calculated that in 100 grams of spinach there are 3.5 milligrams of iron. He accidentally moved the decimal point in this number one place to the right, and the myth was born; 35 milligrams is a lot in terms of iron content! Come Popeye in 1929 and this information became entrenched in society, forever perpetuated by pop culture.

You Only use 10% of Your Brain

“Hey kids! Did you know that you only use a very small part of your brain? Wow, imagine what would happen if someone were to unlock all of their brain power! That would be awesome wouldn’t it?” It is a myth that has been around for a while now, further popularized by online accounts that claim to post facts, and by movies such as Lucy and Limitless. So how much of it is true, and how much of it is not?

Well, it is true that we never use all of the brain at the same instant; some parts of the brain work more actively at times and some parts do not. However, the truth is much larger than 10%; actually, most of the brain is active all the time, but not all of it. Nevertheless, no part of the brain is just dispensable; just losing a small part of our brain—like from a stroke—could lead to serious disabilities. Furthermore, there is not a part of the brain that is “never used” as the myth states; so there is no way you can “activate” missing parts of your brain and gain superpowers.

In this day and age, any post, link, or photo we see we have to play Sherlock Holmes with, because a lot of the stuff out there is fake. The same applies to what we have been taught in school.


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