35 Common Misconceptions Most People Think Are True – Part 2

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26Goldfish

The notion that goldfish have a memory span of just a few seconds is false. It is much longer, counted in months.


27. Bats are not blind. While about 70% of bat species, mainly in the microbat family, use echolocation to navigate, all bat species have eyes and are capable of sight. In addition, almost all bats in the megabat or fruit bat family cannot echolocate and have excellent night vision.


28. American botanist George Washington Carver did not invent peanut butter, though he reputedly discovered 300 uses for peanuts and hundreds more for soybeans, pecans, and sweet potatoes.


29. Most diamonds are not formed from highly compressed coal. More than 99% of diamonds ever mined have formed in the conditions of extreme heat and pressure about 90 miles (140 km) below the earth's surface. Coal is formed from prehistoric plants buried much closer to the surface, and is unlikely to migrate below 2 miles (3.2 km) through common geological processes. Most diamonds that have been dated are older than the first land plants, and are therefore older than coal. It is possible that diamonds can form from coal in subduction zones and in meteoroid impacts, but diamonds formed in this way are rare and the carbon source is more likely carbonate rocks and organic carbon in sediments, rather than coal.


30. There is no scientific evidence for the existence of "photographic" memory in adults (the ability to remember images with so high a precision as to mimic a camera), but some young children have eidetic memory. Many people have claimed to have a photographic memory, but those people have been shown to have good memories as a result of mnemonic devices rather than a natural capacity for detailed memory encoding. There are rare cases of individuals with exceptional memory, but none of them have a memory that mimics a camera.


31Aircraft

Toilet waste is never intentionally jettisoned from an aircraft. All waste is collected in tanks which are emptied on the ground by toilet waste vehicles. Blue ice is caused by accidental leakage from the waste tank. Passenger trains, on the other hand, have indeed historically flushed onto the tracks; modern trains usually have retention tanks on board and therefore do not dispose of waste in such a manner.


32. In people with eczema, bathing does not dry the skin and may in fact be beneficial.


33. Alcoholic beverages do not make the entire body warmer. The reason that alcoholic drinks create the sensation of warmth is that they cause blood vessels to dilate and stimulate nerve endings near the surface of the skin with an influx of warm blood. This can actually result in making the core body temperature lower, as it allows for easier heat exchange with a cold external environment.


34. Exposure to a vacuum, or experiencing uncontrolled decompression, does not cause the body to explode, or internal fluids to boil. (However, fluids in the mouth or lungs will boil at altitudes above the Armstrong limit.) Instead, it would lead to a loss of consciousness once the body has depleted the supply of oxygen in the blood, followed by death from hypoxia within minutes.


35. Shaving does not cause terminal hair to grow back thicker (more dense) or darker. This belief is due to hair which has never been cut having a tapered end, whereas after cutting the edge is blunt and therefore thicker than the tapered ends; the cut hair appears to be thicker and feels coarser due to the sharper, unworn edges. The shorter hairs being less flexible than longer hairs also contributes to this effect.

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