13 Science Myths You Probably Believe [BUZZFEED]

1. Water drains down sinks anticlockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.

Water drains down sinks anticlockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.

Flickr: stevemac

Nope, it doesn’t. The Coriolis effect does make cyclones spin different ways on each side of the equator, but in something the size of a sink it has no effect whatsoever. Instead, it’s all about which way you pour the water in.

2. There’s no gravity on the International Space Station.

13 Science Myths You Probably Believe

Make RubbableEarth’s gravity is actually only a tiny bit weaker up on the ISS than it is down on the ground. It’s the constant state of freefall caused by the space station being in orbit that gives astronauts (and everything else) their weightlessness.

3. Humans have stopped evolving by natural selection.

Sir David Attenborough

Charles Darwin

“We stopped natural selection as soon as we started being able to rear 95–99% of our babies that are born,” Sir David Attenborough told the Radio Times recently. But it’s not that clear cut. In fact, human evolution might have even sped up over the last few thousand years.

4. Lightning never strikes the same place twice.

13 Science Myths You Probably Believe

Make RubbableIf you need proof, click here to watch a video of lightning hitting the Empire State Building three times.

5. Water conducts electricity.

Water conducts electricity.

Water itself doesn’t conduct electricity. It’s the impurities in the water, like salt, that do. But no water you come across is likely to be completely pure, so keep your hairdryer out of the bathroom to be on the safe side.

6. Bumblebee flight violates the laws of physics.

Bumblebee flight violates the laws of physics.

Flickr: anastasyar / Creative Commons

If you assume bumblebees are like airplanes, they shouldn’t be able to fly. But (you’ve probably noticed) bees are not like tiny airplanes, so they take advantage of different physical effects to get their lift. When they flap their wings they create mini vortexes, pulling their wings upwards and helping them stay in the air.

7. Dolphins are much smarter than other animals.

13 Science Myths You Probably Believe

Make RubbableTurns out, dolphins might not be so clever after all. Scientists have spent a lot of time looking for, but never found, a dolphin language. And many other animals beat dolphins in intelligence tests. Sorry, Flipper.

8. Whether you can roll your tongue or not depends on your genes.

Whether you can roll your tongue or not depends on your genes.

Flickr: 34323101@N00 / Creative Commons

In a 1940 study some children managed to learn the skill. Eleven years later, some scientists showed that the number of tongue rollers among Japanese school children increased by 20% between the ages of 6–7 and 12. So it can’t be purely genetic.

9. Astronauts would explode without their spacesuits.

Astronauts would explode without their spacesuits.

You wouldn’t survive long in space without a suit, but you wouldn’t explode. The vacuum would make your blood boil, and you’d lose so much heat you’d probably end up freezing to death. But look on the bright side: You’d probably have lost consciousness thanks to a lack of oxygen by then.

10. 95% of the ocean is unexplored.

Well, that all depends on your definition of unexplored. If you mean not seen by human eyes, technically you’d be correct. But we still know something about what’s out there.

11. Skipping breakfast will make you gain weight.

Skipping breakfast will make you gain weight.

Flickr: jonolist / Creative Commons

Only a handful of studies have tested this claim rigorously, and those studiesgenerally conclude that skipping breakfast has little or no effect on weight gain.

12. We only use 10% of our brains.

We only use 10% of our brains.

While you might be only using a small percentage of your brain while you’re sitting around not doing much, in a 24-hour period you actually use most of it.

13. Earth is closer to the sun during summer.

Earth is closer to the sun during summer.

Earth is actually closest to the sun in January. Our planet’s tilt on its axis is what causes seasons. In summer, we’re tilted toward the sun.

Advertisements
This entry was published on September 13, 2013 at 10:05 am. It’s filed under Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: