Did you know that black belts do not indicate ninja-level mastery, adding only a sprinkle of salt to fresh water does not make it boil quicker, and that sharks do get cancer?
When we boil water, the chemistry of it changes, which is usually a good thing as it boils out volatile compounds and dissolves gases. This is why boiling water mostly ensures that it’s safe to drink. If water is left boiled too long or is reboiled, the chemical compounds change for the worst. By leaving your water to boil down, you’re actually concentrating many harmful chemicals instead of getting rid of them. The same thing happens when you reboil water, as the compounds concentrate and increase the risk of ingesting certain chemicals. So adding only a sprinkle of salt to fresh water does not make it boil quicker
The chart is organized by colored topic (ie. orange for food and green for nature) and sized relative to its “virulence”—how many hits the question turns up on Google.
Coffee is made from beans, chameleons change colour to match their surroundings and Mount Everest is the ‘tallest’ mountain in the world.
These are all modern day ‘facts’ which we believe to be true – but experts have pointed out that many are simple misconceptions.
For example, while Everest is officially the tallest mountain in the world, some claim it technically shouldn’t own the title because Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain when measured from base to summit. Others are just downright myths, such as that the Great Wall of China can be seen from space and that caffeine is dehydrating. Many of the ‘faux facts’ date back generations and have become part of common folklore but are often based on rumour or as a result of Chinese whispers. However, closer inspection reveals that commonly-held assumptions such as ‘eating cheese before bed gives you nightmares’ are, in fact, not quite as true as they seem. The raft of common misconceptions was uncovered by Ripley’s Believe it or Not! London, a visitor attraction dedicated to the bizarre in Piccadilly Circus. A spokesman said: ‘If you’re told something enough times, you’re sure to start believing it. ‘The misconceptions in this list are all pretty plausible, so it’s understandable that many Brits will have read it and been certain it’s true, with many of us being told these from an early age. ‘Unbelievably, all of these commonly believed facts are in fact common misconceptions that we have myths and misconceptions.