6 Popular Science Myths – Busted

Science myths have been around for a long time. With modern technology meaning that we can exchange information so fast, it is surprising that many of them still circulate today.

So, here are six of the most believed science myths and the truth behind them.

1. Your tongue has a ‘taste map’.

The leading science myth; ‘the taste map’. This myth leads people to believe that different areas of your tongue detect different flavours. This has been taught in schools and found in science textbooks around the world for decades. It comes from a misunderstanding of D.P. Hanig in the early 1990’s

Source: www.yalescientific.org/2012/11/on-the-road-to-sweetness-a-clear-cut-destination

2. Sugar makes children hyperactive.

This one is quite surprising. Aside from a few children with psychiatric or insulin disorders, there is actually no evidence to suggest that children will display hyperactive behaviour due to sugar. Over-stimulating environments or food containing caffeine is much more likely to blame than sugar.

Source: www.yalescientific.org/2010/09/mythbusters-does-sugar-really-make-children-hyper

3. Daddy long legs are the most venomous spider in the world.

Nope, Daddy Long Legs wouldn’t be able to kill you even if they could penetrate your skin. Opiliones do not have fangs, or venom glands, or poison.

Source: http://spiders.ucr.edu/daddylonglegs.html

4. Urine helps relieve a jelly fish sting. 

Contrary to popular belief, urinating on a jelly fish sting can stimulate the barbs to produce more venom, so can make the situation a lot more painful. It is recommended to wash the injury with salt water to deactivate nematocysts which are possibly where this myth comes from. This myth was popularised by the TV programme ‘Friends’.

Source: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fact-or-fiction-urinating

5. Humans only use 10% of the brain

This myth is the perfect example of the dangers caused by companies selling fad pills; in this case, pills boasting ‘brain boosting’ powers. Humans regularly use 100% of their brain capacity.

Source: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/do-people-only-use-10-percent-of-their-brains/

6. Only cockroaches would survive an extreme nuclear fallout

Although cockroaches can survive exposure to 10 times the amount of ionising radiation a human can, they are not the most impressive of the insect world when it comes to this death-defying feat. Exposure to 6,400 rads will kill approximately 94% of cockroaches, whereas the Habrobracon wasp can survive up to 180, 000 rads.

Source: http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/mythbusters/mythbusters-database/cockroaches-survive-nuclear-explosion


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