10 ‘Facts’ About The Human Body That Are Completely False

There are so many health advisories and precautions out there; therefore, it is rather easy for a person to be confused about what is actually good advice and what is simply a waste of time and money. Sure, we all know that eating vegetables and staying hydrated is a must if we want to enjoy the benefits of good health, but there are also a lot of urban myths out there that have kept circulating for decades, and they are not even close to being plausible. We would like to share with you some of these misconceptions, which are disguised as “facts”. You are likely to find that you have been living a lie most of your life.

10. We Use Just 1/10 Of Our Brain’s Potential

The human brain typically weighs around 1.4 kilos (about 3 pounds) and consists of nearly a hundred billion neurons which exchange information between them via the synapses, which are almost a quadrillion in number.

There are three main parts of the brain—the cerebellum, the cerebrum, and the stem. The biggest one is the cerebrum—it takes up about 85% of the whole brain. The cerebrum is in charge of most of the functions that are typical for a human. Just below of it is the cerebellum, which is responsible for the balance and coordination of the body movements. The brain stem is connected to the spinal cord, and it controls all the automatic functions—like digestion and breathing.

You could imagine all the work that these parts of the brain have to put up with constantly, and it would be great if it only took 10 percent of the brain’s potential, so we should theoretically be left with the capacity to do much, much more. But that just is not the case—this is a total misconception.
The origins of the “10 percent myth” are unknown, but it almost certainly came up during the Victorian era. In the end of the 19th century, a couple of psychologists from Harvard—Boris Sidis and William James—stated that if one wunderkind had an IQ score of approximately 300, than it is most likely that all humans have the capacity to achieve the same level; therefore, in theory, it should only take a certain amount of effort for us all to reach that potential—which is ridiculous. This assumption cannot be backed by science in any way. Even simple tasks as reading, for example, requires more than 10 percent.

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9. A Single Piece Of Gum Digests For No Less Than Seven Years

As a kid, many of you probably ended up horrified if you accidently swallowed a piece of gum, because you likely believed that it would spend the next seven years in you while it is was being digested. You have been worrying over a myth—although there is some truth behind it. Bubble gum is actually indigestible. According to the Food and Drug Administration, gum is technically not classified as “food”.

Swallowing your gum is definitely not recommended, but it also really isn’t that much of a big deal. Some ingredients—like the sweeteners—will probably be digested; however, what is left of the gum will eventually be expelled from your system the proper way—via the excretory system.

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8. Chocolate Causes Pimples To Appear

We all know what it’s like to go through the hard times of puberty; and as if that is not hard enough, we had to live with the idea that chocolate will inevitably cause a pimple breakout. It is a dreadful thing to know that one of the best things in life could result in such unfortunate consequences.

But now, it is finally time to tell you that this is completely false. Chocolate and all other foods that are high in sugar or fat could affect your skin; however, it would become oilier due to the increased production of sebum in your body. Teenage-related pimples will sooner or later strike, and there is no food that could cause or prevent that.

In fact, there is not a single food source that is proven to cause a pimple breakout. When eating fatty foods, you should expect your blood sugar to rise, causing the above mentioned effect of oilier skin—which could lead to more pimples. However, there is no straight and direct connection between eating chocolate and suffering from a pimple breakout.

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7. Carrots Help Your Eyesight Become Stronger

Believe it or not, this myth is related to war propaganda. Carrots are in fact rich in beta-carotene, which is an inactive retinol that our bodies convert into vitamin A. This vitamin is known to provide a wide variety of health benefits, including the protection of our vision. But it doesn’t really improve your eyesight during the night, as originally suggested.

It all began when the British Ministry of Information decided to execute a campaign suggesting that Royal Air Force pilots were eating large amounts of carrots, and that was the explanation regarding their amazing ability to neutralize German fighter planes during the dark hours. But no matter how many carrots you eat, they will not cause an infrared vision.

The real enhancement of the British pilots was the airborne interception radar, which was a groundbreaking technology at the time. The active German intelligence did not probably buy the hilarious carrot explanation.

However, approximately 80 years later, most of the Western world still holds tight to this myth—one that seems to be passed from one generation to another; but the time has come to face the truth—your eyesight is not getting better by eating carrots, but feel free to enjoy their other benefits.

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6. There Are Only Five Human Senses

The misbelief that we possess only five senses was born by the Greek philosopher Aristotle. Everyone knows them – sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste. But there are even more, actually; to understand them, we must understand what “sense” really means. It is an event that triggers a certain sensor in our body, and the reason for the activation of different senses is always unique.

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For example, the sense of touch could be divided into different sensations, because there are different perceptions of the touch like pain, temperature, pressure, etc.

The opinions among scientists may vary; however, according to most of them, the real total number of human senses is 33. The number includes senses like blood pressure and balance. That makes the term “sixth sense” quite obsolete.

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5. The Ability To Roll Your Tongue Is Embedded In Your Genes

Many of you remember how your biology teacher once explained to you that if you could roll your tongue, that’s because of a simple matter of genetics. Most people could do it, so it was said, and society simply believed that it actually was due to one’s generic heritage. In general—if your parents were able to roll their tongues, you should have the same ability—or at least that’s what we were told.
But it is not as simple as it sounds. Unlike most of the body myths on the list, we know where this one originated from. Alfred Sturtevant was an American geneticist who published a study in 1940; it suggested that the tongue-rolling ability coming from a dominant gene that you must have in order to be able to do it.

The scientist’s study was soon debunked, and he admitted that he was wrong, because soon enough people noticed that there were pairs of identical twins who proved the study was simply not accurate—one of the twins could roll his tongue, but the other one could not, meaning it is not gene-related.
Even decades later, this false fact is still taught to be true in some places around the world—so the next you hear somebody spreading it, please explain that it is not true at all.

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4. Body Heat Is Released Mostly Through The Head

This myth could also be traced back to its origins; the hypothesis behind it was born around the 1950s, when scientists conducted numerous studies which basically consisted of putting people in low temperatures with their head exposed. The outcome was that in fact all of the test subjects lost a lot of their body head through the head; however, there was just only one slight problem—all of the people who took part as test subjects were literally wrapped in thick coats, with their heads being the only body part exposed to the cold, so it was more than normal that a large part of the heat would be lost through the spot where there was no insulation at all.

Recent studies have shown clearly that if you are fully exposed to low temperatures, you would lose about 7% of your total body heat through the head, and that totally makes sense because the head takes up about 7% of the surface area of the body. So you don’t have to be extra worried about it—just put a hat on and enjoy the winter.

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3. Fingernails And Hair Still Grow After You Die

It sounds kind of creepy, and it would probably be, if it was true, but it is absolutely not. The idea is freaky, but has a rational explanation.

After death occurs, the body starts to dehydrate very fast and the skin shrinks and wrinkles and is kind of pulled a little bit, giving the impression of the nail growing bigger. This is the exact reason why morticians sometimes put the bodies in moisturizer to prevent them from shrinking.

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2. You Could End Up With Arthritis If You Crack Your Knuckles Constantly

When you refer to arthritis, an important note must be added—this not a single illness, it is more like the sum of several pain disorders that have the same symptoms—swelling, pain in the joints, and inflammation. It is a common thing, and sadly many people suffer from it. The estimations show that more than fifty million adults and about 300,000 children suffer from arthritis—and this is only in the United States. It could be a mild form, but it could be severe, too. Sometimes the pain is so intense that it feels like something is constantly burning you on that same spot.

If there is a way to avoid it by not doing certain things, you probably would quit doing them. Many people believe that cracking your knuckles is among those things, but it not on that list—it has absolutely nothing to do with causing arthritis.

The sound of cracking the knuckles comes from the tiny bubbles that are bursting inside the synovial fluid, which takes care of lubricating the joints. Analysis done at the Harvard Medical School could not find a way to scientifically link the popping and arthritis.

However, cracking your knuckles has been related to a decrease in the strength of your grip. And most people find the sound to be quite annoying, so please stop it.

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1. After Every Shave The Hairs Become Darker

The hair myth is probably among the most popular ones. It even involves women—the hair on their legs is also supposed to grow back darker.

It is absolutely not true at all. And it is known to be a false fact for a long time. The first studies about the issue were conducted in the late 1920s. A group of men shaved their beards identically and using the same brand of shaving cream, and the hairs that grew after that were analyzed.

This myth is really about perception. When the hair grows again, we compare it to what it was like before shaving, and the new hairs are also smaller with a larger space in between, thus looking darker. If there just happens to be a change in the speed at which the hair grows, it is most likely due to hormonal changes. Everything else is irrelevant.

H/T – Source

Written by Patrick Bennet

I have been working as a teacher my whole life. I love reading books.

I love writing about all kind of different and interesting facts. It's not only exciting, but I learn something new every day. What I learn I share it with you guys. If you have any questions feel free to contact me.

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