8 Commonly Believed “Facts” That Are Actually Myths

Myths are contagious. They can travel faster than any other mode of transportation. Some myths are so believable that they have actually established themselves among human race as facts. Myths have been prevalent among human beings for a long time. In recent years, due to improvement in science, people have started questioning each and every fact that their forefathers used to follow blindly. This has brought forward the real truth behind some of the previously believed facts proving that they are actually bogus. 

In this article, we have compiled a list of some commonly believed facts that are actually myths.

Myth #1: To stop a nosebleed, we must lean our head backwards.

The most commonly known first aid tip for nosebleed is to tilt our head backward. But according to medical experts, this technique can create complication as it causes the blood to flow into the esophagus. This can cause choking. If the blood travels to stomach, it can cause stomach irritation and vomiting.
According to American Academy of Family Physicians, the best way to treat nosebleed is to sit down, lean forward, and keep the head above the heart. This will lessen the bleeding. Patients can also lean forward so that the blood drains out from the nose and does not enter the esophagus. According to a report in British Journal BMJ, the nosebleed can be stopped by squeezing the soft tissue below the bridge of your nose for 5 to 10 minutes using your thumb and index finger. Placing an ice pack or cold compress on the bridge of the nose can also help.(source)
Myth #2 : Shaving makes your hair grow back in thicker, faster, and fuller.

A paper published in 1970 examined the effect of shaving the hair on five men. Each of them shaved only one of their legs weekly for several months. Comparison between the hair of both the shaven and unshaven legs of each man showed that there was no difference in the rate of hair growth or the hair texture.

When hair grows naturally, their end starts tapering at a sharp point. This makes them look thinner. But when we shave our hair, the hair is cut at a blunt angle. Hence, when the hair regrows after shaving, instead of the sharp end, the hair end is blunt which makes them appear thicker and coarser. It can also appear darker against the skin as the blunt end is more noticeable.(source)

Myth #3: We wear wedding/engagement rings on our left “ring” finger because that finger contains a vein that goes directly to the heart.

The tradition of placing a ring on the fourth finger of the left hand dates back to the ancient Egyptians. They believed that a vein in this finger is connected directly to the heart, and thus, placing a ring on it will ensure everlasting affection. This belief traveled through many generations and then passed on the Romans who called this vein “Vena Amoris” or the Vein of Love. In 1549, King Edward VI of England declared this finger as the official ring finger, and since then the myth has prevailed.
The truth is that there is no such vein in the ring finger because all fingers of our hands have similar vein structure.(source)
Myth #4: Reading in the dark or in low light damages your eyes.

Fact: Reading in the dark is not actually bad for your eyesight.Studies show that reading in the dark does not inevitably cause long-term damage to the eyes, although it may end up straining them. What was conclusive, however, is that exposure to daylight and engaging in outdoor activities has a significantly more positive effect on the eyes. In other words, it’s not bad per se, but there are better ways to treat your eyes.(source)

Myth #5: The colour red makes bulls angry.

Fact: Bulls are not enraged by the colour red. They are actually colour-blind.Bulls are angered by the threat posed by the matadors, and not the colour itself. As experiments demonstrate, bulls seem to charge at anything that moves fast and erratically, regardless of what colour it is. This myth was perpetuated when Spanish matadors in the 1700s began using red capes in bullfighting.(sources)

Myth #6: Drinking eight glasses of water a day is good for the body.

Fact: Drinking eight glasses of water a day is not required to maintain good health.On the contrary, doctors warn that one could risk diluting the body’s sodium levels due to over-hydration if this is taken to the extreme. As the old maxim goes, too much a good thing can be bad too. As current research stands, drinking only when thirsty is just fine. In recent years, it was also revealed that the study that first published these results was funded by a major mineral water manufacturing company which provided the authors with medical writing assistance and a considerable payment. Science, you say? More like sneaky marketing.(source)

Myth #7: We only use 10% of our brains.

Fact: Although we are only aware of 10% of how the brain functions, we use the entire brain in everyday life.The brain is a complex thing, and it comes as no surprise that it is subjected to all kinds of myths regarding its nature. We may only be aware of 10% of how the brain functions, owing to the fact that 90% of brain cells are not neuron-like, but studies conclusively show that we exercise most of the brain in everyday life. Clusters of neurons that correspond to certain functions do exist, but they do not work in isolation. Essentially, all areas of the brain are engaged and used depending on the nature of the task.(source)

Myth #8: Chameleons change their colour to blend in with their surroundings.

Fact: Chameleons do not change their colour to blend in with the surroundings. They do it to control their body temperature and communicate with others of their kind.Chameleons are already pros at camouflaging themselves; evolution took care of that. This colour-changing phenomenon is actually triggered by physical, physiological and emotional changes in the animal, including the stimuli that it receives from the environment (like light and temperature). By changing its colour a chameleon can also signal its state of mind to other chameleons, serving as a way of visual inter-personal communication.(source)

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