7 Ridiculous Science Myths That Are Pretty Common Among Students
- Jan 04, 2017
- Sudipto Das
We have taken up the role of a “mythbuster” today. The objective’s pretty simple. Highlight the myths and reveal the same to you lots. Well, there’s a limitation though which is already explained in the title. All these myths are somewhat linked with science. Anyway, let the “mystbusting” begin.
1. Evolutionary improvements
It’s usually believed that evolution causes something or someone to go from “lower” to “higher.”
It’s a fact that nature does weed out unhealthy genes from its very own gene pool. But if you believe that an imperfect organism will not survive after a few billion years unless there’s a genetic upgrade, you are fairly mistaken in your thoughts. Several organisms like the fungi, crayfish, sharks etc. have survived since ages. So why do you think that these organisms have survived without a noticeable genetic upgrade? Because most of these organisms are capable of adapting to the environment without requiring a genetic improvement.
So you see improvements are mainly linked with the environment; not with progress or time.
2. A human body pops like a balloon in outer space
This is a pretty popular science myth that says that a human body can pop like a balloon in outer space, when it’s exposed to the vacuum in space.
This myth has mainly originated from science fiction novels or movies that use this concept to add more drama to their plots. A human being can survive for around 15 to 30 seconds in space as long as they exhale before the actual exposure. After that short time frame, unconsciousness kicks in which eventually may lead to death by asphyxiation.
3. The brightest star in the north is the Polaris
In a word, it’s incorrect and is just a myth. Sirius is brighter. Sirius has a magnitude of 1.47 whereas Polaris has a magnitude of around 1.97.
[Note- The lower the magnitude, the brighter is the object.]
4. The 5-second rule
This is a ridiculous myth associated with food. Food dropped on the floor is absolutely safe to consume if it’s picked up within 5 seconds.
You see how ridiculous it is! If the floor has germs on it, the germs will get on the food the moment it touches the floor. So should you still eat it? Better follow a “how tasty it is” rule. Well, at least this rule is better than the one highlighted in this point.
5. The moon has a dark side
This myth has basically gained popularity because of a logical reason. That’s because a particular side of the moon remains invisible to the Earth because of a phenomenon called tidal locking.
So why is this myth? That’s because every part of the moon gets illuminated by the sun. We just don’t get to see that because of tidal locking.
6. Brain cells don’t regenerate
It’s believed that if a brain cell is killed, it never gets replaced. Now that is just a myth.
This myth was taught by the scientific community for a long time. But in the year 1998, it was discovered that brain cells can regenerate in a mature human being.
7. There’s no gravity in outer space
Do note this fact that there IS gravity in outer space.
Why do astronauts appear to be weightless while orbiting the earth?
That’s because they’re falling toward the earth but is also moving sideways to miss it. In simpler words, it can also be said that these astronauts are actually falling but not landing. Gravity actually exists in every area of space. So this conception is basically a myth.
That’s all for now folks. We hope you had a good read. Have a happy new year!
Sudipto writes technical and educational content periodically for wizert.com and backs it up with extensive research and relevant examples. He's an avid reader and a tech enthusiast at the same time with a little bit of “Arsenal Football Club” thrown in as well. He's got a B.Tech in Electronics and Instrumentation.
Follow him on twitter @SudiptoDas1993
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