Children are often told little white lies that can be mistaken as facts. Most of the time we can figure out the truth on our own, like that fact that no (sadly), carrots don’t actually give you night vision. The problem is some of those fun little myths that adults tell us as kids can stay with us later on in life.
They might seem harmless, but some of these myths can actually be downright dangerous! Read on to debunk some of the myths you might still believe.
Chewing Gum Doesn’t Stay In Your Stomach For Seven Years
Everyone’s school teacher always warned against swallowing your chewing gum. While there are some dangers that can come from swallowing gum it won’t stay in your stomach for seven years. Chewing gum should pass through your digestive system within about 24 hours, and definitely no longer than 48 hours.
Now, there is the possibility when you swallow chewing gum that it can get caught in your windpipe, but you’ll know almost immediately when that happens.
Your Hair And Nails Won’t Keep Growing When You Die
The rumor that our hair and fingernails keep growing after we die is false, but the truth about what really happens isn’t for those easy grossed out. In reality, our bodies dehydrate after dying. Basically, our organs and skin dry and shrivel up, kind of like a raisin.
That means our nails and hair might appear to be “growing” but it’s actually our skin pulling back to make them appear longer. To combat this for open-casket funerals, funeral homes with lather on moisturizer for the showing.
You Can Go Ahead And Swim Right After You Eat
The myth seems to have come from a belief that your body is spending so much effort digesting that your muscles aren’t at full force, and you could cramp up or drown. While theoretically, this is possible, there has never been a documented drowning that was caused by a full stomach.
Every child had to sit around and wait for an unbearable 30 minutes after eating that hotdog because their mom said they couldn’t swim on a full stomach. Well, the lie-detector determined that was a lie.
The Average Human Doesn’t Ingest Spiders In Their Sleep
The story behind this goes that humans who sleep with their mouths open will have a spider drop down to investigate the warm, cozy “cave” AKA our throats. Then, oops, we swallow the spider. The problem with this creepy myth is that spiders actually avoid humans.
Humans give off a lot of vibrations like our beating heart. For small spiders, they take that as a danger sign. Spiders just wouldn’t dare crawl into a mysterious vibrating cave.
Chocolate And Fried Foods Aren’t The Cause Of Acne
Acne is common with teenagers (except the lucky few with flawless skin) and many of them believe that it’s their diet which contributes to the zits. In particular, chocolate and fried foods have been the scapegoat of teenage acne. While your diet can negatively affect your skin’s health, most teenage acne is purely hormonal.
If you’re an adult suffering from acne, a more likely culprit is dairy or stress. Considering adulthood is just being constantly stressed out, maybe we should all just accept our bad skin.
Shaving Your Hair Won’t Make It Grow Back Thicker
Shaving hair, whether you’re a man or a woman, will do nothing to thicken the individual hair. This myth stems from the fact that your hair might feel thick or coarse because when it begins to regrow, it is less flexible than the other hair.
This myth seems to affect women more than men, mostly because women don’t usually want their body hair to grow back even thicker than before. Teenage boys on the other hand probably love the idea that their mustache might grow in even thicker next time.
Your Heart Still Beats Even When You Sneeze
Outrageous sneezers might think that their heart actually stops when they sneeze, but it’s completely made up. While sneezing might seem to put a pause on your entire body the signal from your brain to your heart to keep it beating works just fine.
Sneezing can cause irregular blood flow though, which might cause your heart to beat irregularly for a moment, but it will quickly adjust. So, in the immortal words of Celine Dion, just remember that “my heart will go on.”
Your Eyes Won’t Actually Pop Out If You Sneeze With Them Open
A sneeze can come out at a speed of 200mph and that pressure is known to affect your nose, throat, sinuses, and lungs. It won’t affect your eyes though because they are way too secure in their sockets to move.
Keeping your eyes open while you sneeze can cause enough pressure to burst a blood vessel though. Luckily, that will heal itself in time. You’ll just have to deal with the embarrassment for a few days.
“Feed A Cold And Stave A Fever” Is Just A Plain Lie
You might have heard this saying uttered by a grandparent but the fact is that there is no cure for the common cold, and you can only really treat the symptoms of a fever. Both colds and fevers cause dehydration so “starving” isn’t the best idea.
It’s normal to adjust what you eat and drink depending on your symptoms. If you can’t stomach solid food then try chicken noodle soup or apple sauce as a way to feed your body and stay hydrated.
Drinking Eight Glasses Of Water A Day Doesn’t Matter
Speaking of hydration, one of the big myths circulating is that you should be drinking eight cups of water every day. While drinking water and staying hydrated is great advice, the “eight cups” is medically unfounded. That’s because there are tons of other ways our body stays hydrated like from the water in fruits, vegetables, and even coffee.
That doesn’t mean you can cut out water entirely. It’s still the healthiest drink and is important to keeping your body systems working efficiently.
Being Cold Doesn’t Mean You’ll Catch A Cold
Physically being cold doesn’t mean you’re more likely to be infected by a virus or bacteria. Being outside in cold weather does increase your chances though. That’s because cold weather allows airborne viruses to thrive for longer.
For example, an influenza virus can last up to 24 hours at a temperature of 39 degrees Fahrenheit but lasts only 30 minutes in warmer climates. So while it doesn’t matter what your internal body temperature is, it does matter how cold it is where you live.
Cracking Your Joints Won’t Give You Arthritis
That popping sound that comes when you crack your knuckles or finger joints isn’t because of the bones rubbing together. It’s actually a result of gas bubbles that have formed over time between the bones. When you move or “crack” the joints the bubbles burst.
If you enjoy doing it then don’t worry because no studies have shown it to play a role in developing arthritis. We’re 99% sure this myth was thought up by a high school teacher who simply hated the sound.
Eating Eggs Isn’t Bad For Your Heart
Eggs have gotten a bad rap for years by people claiming they negatively affect our cholesterol levels. That’s because of the high-fat levels in eggs, but the thing is, the fat in eggs is good fat. Cholesterol is made worse by saturated and trans fats, not healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Eggs contain a bunch of good things like omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamin D. They do have some saturated fats so if you’re worried, limit your egg intake to six per week.
Coffee Won’t Actually Dehydrate You
The relationship between caffeine and dehydration is a tough one. On the one hand, coffee does raise your heart rate and energy level which means your body is using up more water, and in turn, needs more of it. On the other hand, coffee is mostly water.
Basically, that means coffee doesn’t actually dehydrate you but it will make your body need more water. If you’re drinking a coffee in the morning just make sure to have a tall glass of water beside it.
Touching A Frog Or Toad Won’t Give You Warts
This myth stems from the fact that toads and frogs often have lumps that look like human warts. In fact, they aren’t warts at all. They are glands that the frogs and toads use to breathe and aren’t contagious.
Warts on humans are transmitted through skin-to-skin contact. Most warts come from one of the many types of HPV (human papillomavirus). Keep in mind, frogs and toads aren’t exactly clean so you should still wash your hands thoroughly after touching one.
Go Ahead And Eat That Watermelon Seed
Ah, the watermelon seed myth. We’re not sure is this was started as a ploy by parents to make sure their kids don’t eat the seeds, or if it’s just a school-yard joke that went too far. Whatever it was, almost every child has heard it and, luckily, it’s a complete lie.
No, the seeds won’t grow a watermelon in your stomach and in fact, they will barely do any damage. There’s a small chance a seed could cause bowel inflammation but it’s very unlikely.
Sitting Too Close To The TV Won’t Ruin Your Eyesight
The myth that you shouldn’t sit so close to a TV began in the 1960s when a study showed that GE TV’s emitted 100,000 times more radiation than what the government considered safe. Well, televisions and electronics have come a long way and no longer emit terrible rays that can ruin your eyesight.
It is true though that prolonged use of electronics as a kid can speed up vision problems that would likely still happen later in life. You can sit close to the TV but it’s probably a good idea to limit screen time anyways.
Sunburns Definitely Won’t Develop Into A “Base Tan”
The first sunburn of the year always sucks but many people take joy in it because they think it will fade into a tan. Not only is that wrong but it’s also dangerous. Sunburns affects a different level of your skin and can cause lifelong damage. On the other hand, a suntan happens gradually as the skin produces more melanin.
Getting sunburnt won’t help you achieve a sun-kissed look and one bad sunburn can increase your risk of melanoma skin cancer by 50%. It’s not worth it.
STIs Can’t Be Transmitted Through Dirty Toilet Seats
We’re not saying that toilet seats are the cleanest place on earth, but we are saying you won’t have to worry about picking up a venereal disease when you sit on one. Venereal diseases like STIs (sexually transmitted infections) don’t live long outside the body, especially not on a cold toilet seat.
There are some STIs like herpes and chlamydia that can be transferred through saliva and blood. Unless you’re kissing the toilet seat (and we really, really hope you aren’t) then you’re fine.
Waking Sleepwalkers Isn’t A Big Deal
There is a long-standing myth that you shouldn’t wake a sleepwalker that’s false…kind of. It is definitely a myth that waking up a sleepwalker will cause them to go into shock or brain damage. You don’t have to worry about that.
Waking up a sleepwalker can be dangerous to the sleepwalker or yourself though. That’s because waking them up might confuse or distress the sleepwalker and they may act out and try to hit anyone close to them.