Popular Myths in Science
Status: Urban Legends
LiveScience.com has a list of the 20 Most Popular Myths in Science
. Included in the list are classics such as these:
It takes seven years to digest gum.
Hair and fingernails continue growing after death.
A penny dropped from the top of a tall building could kill a pedestrian.
Humans use only 10 percent of their brains.
You get less wet by running in the rain.
Eating a poppy seed bagel mimics opium use.
Oddly enough, they also throw a few strange-but-true items into this list of myths, such as these:
Chickens can live without a head.
Yawning is "contagious".
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Some people might think it's a little silly to fall out over something so trivial - but I still stand by what I said at the time - how can people hang on to such a silly assertion when they presumably use sinks and baths, and therefore see water flowing down the plughole the "wrong" way all the time? Or don't they ever wash? Fume, fume...
... eighteen months?????? How did it eat and drink without his head? Was it a freak experiment maybe, artificially feeding the chicken?
I've seen chickens can walk and flap their wings after they're beheaded, but shouldn't they bleed to death in at least a couple of minutes?
This story is covered in the documentary video, "A Natural History of the Chicken," among other places. Frankly, Mike's story doesn't freak me out nearly as much as the woman in the same video who likes to go swimming with her pet chicken while singing opera. It beggars description; you have to see it for yourself.
I think the yawning one IS contagious. I yawned as soon as I read that yawning isn't contagious. Whenever I see someone else yawn, there is no stopping me from yawning as well. *yawn*
Boy, it sure isn't!
In fact, brain cells do not 'fix' themselves when killed, at least not naturally. I believe there have been successful attempts to encourage new cell development in birds, but again, this sort of thing is not done by your brain by itself. You lose 10,000 of em per day, and they do not get replaced.
1. Does it really take 7 years to dissolve gum?
2. Can chicken soup really "cure" the common cold?
3. Is a dog's mouth cleaner than a human's?
4. Water drains backwards in the Southern Hemisphere due to the Earth's rotation.
5. A falling cat will always land on its feet.
6. You get less wet by running in the rain.
7. Does the five second rule really work?