10 Science Myths That People Still Believe



Even with an infinite amount of knowledge available just a few clicks away, there are still plenty of misconceptions and myths about science that people still believe. In the modern age of the internet you might think it would be easier to refute rumors and find the correct information but social media sites like Facebook and Twitter make it far simpler than it has ever been to quickly spread misinformation and wrong facts. While many of these myths originated years ago as old wives’ tales, they have continued to be just as prevalent today despite being completely false.

Hair And Fingernails Grow After Death

Hair and fingernails do not grow after death even though that they may appear to do so. This is because after someone has died, their skin begins to shrink and pull back, giving the appearance that hair and fingernails have grown. It is not possible for them to grow as they require nutrients to produce keratin, something the body can’t do when it is deceased.

Humans Blow Up If Exposed To Space

Hollywood movies and television shows have led to millions of people believing that if a human was exposed to the vacuum of space, they would expand and blow up. When a real person is in a vacuum they don’t get any bigger and can actually survive for as long as they can hold their breath. It is possible for the lungs to burst if a person has not exhaled quickly enough when exposed, which can cause air to enter the bloodstream. Otherwise, a person in space would simply die a far more understated death from asphyxiation.

Lightning Never Strikes In The Same Place Twice

This often quotes idiom is a way to say that bad things won’t happen to the same person twice. It is also a commonly believed scientific fact that many people see as true. In reality though, lightning can strike anywhere at any time and whether an object has been hit before does not affect whether it will be hit again. Some people have actually been struck by lightning several times while tall buildings can be hit hundreds of times a year.

A Full Moon Causes Erratic Behavior

The belief that a full moon can cause strange and erratic behavior has been around for hundreds of years. In modern times, some even claim that the full moon may have an effect on the water inside the brain, causing some people to act differently. Despite claims that crime and accident rates go up during a full moon, many studies have shown that there is actually no link between them.

Cracking Knuckles Causes Arthritis

Although it might make sense that continuously cracking knuckles could cause them damage and stop joints from working correctly, there is in fact no evidence to support the idea that it can cause arthritis. Studies show that cracking knuckles and other joints does not do any damage to the joints as the crack is not coming from the bones themselves but rather pockets of air that have become trapped.

Cutting A Worm In Half Creates Two Worms

The idea that cutting a worm into two separate pieces would create two individual worms is a commonly held belief by many people. It probably arises from the fact that both parts of the worm will continue to wriggle for some time after the injury. In most cases, cutting a worm will cause it to die, however in some cases it will be possible for the half with the mouth and brain to survive and heal itself.

Sugar Makes Children Hyperactive

Parents will often claim that any sugar will make their children hyperactive, causing unruly behavior and excess levels of excitement. However, there has never been any proven link between the two despite what mothers may say. In fact, studies have shown that when children are given a sugar free treat but their parents think it contains sugar, they will still claim their kids became hyperactive.

You Only Use 10% Of Your Brain

This myth has often been spread by those claiming to have paranormal or extrasensory powers, claiming they are able to tap into the true potential of the brain while normal people make do with just 10%. The truth is that the brain is incredibly energetic and requires around 20% of all the energy produced by the body. It is in constant use and although not all parts may be in use at the same time, every part of it is essential to being able to live your life.

Chewing Gum Takes Seven Years To Digest

The claim that it takes the body seven years to digest chewing gum is just another old wives’ tale that many parents have told their children. It probably arises from the fact that gum seems to stick to the ground for years at a time without degrading. The truth of the matter though is that gum is actually not digested at all in the human body and it is simply passed through the digestive system and expelled as waste.

Dropping A Penny Can Kill Someone

Perhaps this myth began as a way to stop people from throwing things of tall buildings like the Empire State Building but it has now become a commonly spouted scientific fact. It claims that a penny thrown from a great height will reach speeds high enough to kill anyone it hits. The circular shape of the coin and its light weight mean that it can only achieve a terminal velocity of 65 mph. While this might hurt, it is certainly not enough force to cause any serious damage.