Here is the top list of lies we were taught in schools.
1. Humans did evolve from Monkeys
Living humans, all 7.3 billion of us, are classified as Homo sapiens. That means we are all part of the same species; our genus is Homo, meaning “man,” and our species is sapiens, meaning “wise.” Both genetic and fossil evidence place the origin of our species at about 200,000 years ago in Africa. But when and where did the earliest members of the genus Homo evolve?
Humans are more closely related to modern apes than to monkeys, but we didn’t evolve from apes, either. Humans share a common ancestor with modern African apes, like gorillas and chimpanzees. Scientists believe this common ancestor existed 5 to 8 million years ago. Shortly thereafter, the species diverged into two separate lineages. One of these lineages ultimately evolved into gorillas and chimps, and the other evolved into early human ancestors called hominids. So the truth is modern human or homo sapiens evolved from Hominids, and not from Monkeys.
2. Mount. Everest is the tallest mountain in the world
Almost everyone calls Mount Everest “the tallest mountain in the world” and climbers from everywhere travel to Everest hoping to earn the distinction of climbing the “World’s Highest”.
That’s not true, The summit of Everest is actually officially higher above sea level than the summit of any other mountain, But Mauna Kea is the tallest – which is measured from base to summit. Everest is, however, the highest peak on Earth. An altitude of 8,850 meters (29,035 feet) above sea level makes Mount Everest the mountain on Earth with the highest altitude. “Highest altitude” means that it has the highest elevation above mean sea level.
Mauna Kea is over 10,000 meters tall compared to 8,848 meters for Mount Everest – making it the “world’s tallest mountain”. In addition to being the summit of the world’s “tallest” mountain, Mauna Kea is also the home of the world’s largest astronomical observatory, with 13 working telescopes operated by astronomers from 11 different countries. At an elevation of nearly 14,000 feet above sea level, the observatory is above 40% of Earth’s atmosphere. The atmosphere above this mountain is extremely dry and cloud free.
3. Dogs and Cats see everything in Black and White
The myth that cats and dogs are fully colorblind has been around for quite some time, despite the fact that it has been proven false for nearly half a century. Cats and dogs can see in color. Comparative to the human eye, other mammals do however see color in a different and more limited fashion. To see in full color as we know it, humans use three cones – red, blue and green. However cats and dogs only have blue and green cones. This means they have a useful level of color vision. The level of color vision in other animals depends on the presence and types of the cones.
Scientifically speaking, dogs do not have L-Cones which means they cannot see red, but can see blue and green – Dogs also have many times less cone cells in their eyes, which causes colors to appear approximately 7x less vibrant than to human eyes. However, on the upside for our color blind buddies, they have a reflective surface behind the retina which greatly increases their night vision. The only animal that has been confirmed to see only in black and white is a fish called a Skate. This is because it has no cones in its eyes.
4. Different Parts of the Tongue Sense Different Tastes
Most people are familiar with the “tongue map” from high school. The tongue map is a picture of the tongue displaying areas of taste sensitivities. According to the map, we detect sweetness on the tip of our tongue, bitterness at the back, and saltiness and sourness along the sides. This map led many people to believe that there are different types of taste buds on different areas of the tongue, each with the ability to detect one of the four basic tastes.
But scientists say that is a myth, and they’ve found that each of the several thousand sensors on our tongue can recognize any of the tastes. salt, sweet, sour and bitter. When you eat a food, enzymes in your saliva break it down into chemicals. When these chemicals come in contact with your taste buds, which are located in most of the bumpy papillae on your tongue, they set off different reactions. Depending on the reaction, a signal is sent along nerve fibers from your tongue to your brain, which distinguishes the tastes.
5. We Only Use 10% Of Our Brain
The idea that we only use 10% of our brain is an urban legend that has been wrongly attributed to people like Albert Einstein. However, according to neurologist Barry Gordon, “we use virtually every part of our brain, and that [most of] the brain is active almost all the time.” In fact, if any part of our brain were slightly damaged, the effects would be profound. The myth that we only use 10% of our brains continues to live on in movies such as Limitless and Lucy, and of course, in our school system.
6. Bulls are attracted to the color red
A common misconception about bulls is that they are enraged by the color red (something provocative is often said to be “like a red flag to a bull”). This is incorrect, as bulls are red-green color-blind. The myth arose from the use of red capes in the sport of bullfighting, but in truth the color red was used for bullfighting because it was easier for the audience to see. The color red isn’t what causes bulls to attack, in fact, bulls don’t seem to have any color preference at all. They’ll charge whichever object is moving the most, which means this old myth can get tossed right out of the ring.
7. Looking Computer/TV Screens damage your eyes
Your computer/TV monitor won’t harm your eyes, however when using a computer for extended periods, the eyes blink less than normal. Problem is that we tend to open our eyelids wider and blink less frequently when we’re staring at screens, this makes the eyes dry, which often leads to a feeling of fatigue and eye strain. Likewise, as much as parents like to tell their children too much TV will hurt their eyes, there is simply no proof of this whatsoever, but your mom may have had a point about sitting too close to the TV. It may actually harm your eyes. In either case, to avoid any feelings of fatigue, regular short breaks are recommended. Interestingly, children have been found to focus at close range better than adults, but if you do notice your child regularly sitting close to the TV it may be a sign of short sightedness, and on those grounds should be investigated.
8. Columbus Discovered That The Earth Is Round
Many of the things that we’re taught in school about Columbus are false, but the idea that Columbus is the one who discovered that the Earth is round, is way off. In fact, people had known for about 3000 years that the Earth wasn’t flat, thanks to Ancient Greek Mathematicians, Pythagoras, Aristotle and Eratosthenes. The Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 BC) argued in his writings that the Earth was spherical, because of the circular shadow it cast on the Moon, during a lunar eclipse. Even in ancient times sailors knew that the Earth was round and scientists not only suspected it was a sphere, but even estimated its size. Columbus was actually pretty bad at estimating the size of the Earth. He thought it was smaller than it was, and that Japan was further from the coast of China than it actually was. The truth is, Columbus landed in America because of sheer dumb luck.
Did Columbus discover America?
What Columbus “discovered” was the Bahamas archipelago and then the island later named Hispaniola, now split into Haiti and the Dominican Republic. On his subsequent voyages he went farther south, to Central and South America. He never got close to what is now called the United States.
So why does the United States celebrate the guy who thought he found a nifty new route to Asia and the lands described by Marco Polo? This is because the early United States was fighting with England, not Spain. John Cabot “discovered” Newfoundland in England’s name around 1497 and paved the way for England’s colonization of most of North America. So the American colonialists instead turned to Columbus as their hero, not England’s Cabot. Hence we have the capital, Washington, D.C. – that’s District of Columbia, not District of Cabot.
9. Newton and the fallen Apple
The story goes that Newton, a mathematician and professor of physics, was sitting under the shade of an apple tree one sunny day, when an apple dropped from a branch and bopped him right on the head and, in a stroke of brilliant insight, he suddenly comes up with his theory of gravity. The real story is that Newton took two decades to fully develop a theory on “Universal Gravitation.” He also had some help from others like Christopher Wren, Robert Hooke and Edmond Halley. Newton’s eureka moment was more like two decades of rigorous work. Newton never mentioned the thing with the apple, and in fact it was another guy named John Conduitt who first told the story some 60 years after it supposedly happened.
10. Diamonds Are Made From Coal
Almost everyone believes that diamonds are made from coal when it is highly compressed, but this is just another lie that we were taught in school. In actuality, diamonds are formed in vertical shafts filled with rocks that are formed by volcanoes. In fact, coal and diamonds are very rarely found in the same area. Coal is most often found near the surface of the Earth, while diamonds can be found in the Earth’s mantle, and are carried up by volcanic eruptions, much further down than the levels at which we find coal – where heat and pressure fuse atoms of carbon together into crystalline structures. One thing that is true about this lie is that diamonds are formed by intense heat and pressure, but from carbon rather than coal.
Coal also includes many other substances, including hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur, arsenic, selenium and mercury. Depending on the type of coal and its source, it will also contain various levels of organic materials – coal originates from decaying plants, fungi and even bacteria – as well as moisture. These impurities alone prevent coal from being turned into diamonds. (The impurities are also why burning coal produces greenhouse gases and contributes to acid rain and other environmental problems and why coal mining is so environmentally destructive.)