In olden days, people used to believe in myths and legends as we now believe in scientific facts or the Quranic scripture. To them, all of their folklore and everything a respectable person said was the truth, no matter how far from the truth it might seem. People believed in the powers of pagan Gods, they believed in the cock’s cuckoo, in the powers of tarot-readers, in all sorts of medical and psychological misconceptions, such as this that patients of mental illness are possessed by evil spirits. In light of these misconceptions, their development was hindered as well. They believed that mentally ill people were possessed by evil spirits so they did everything to chase away those spirits and nothing to heal the mind. Asylums in those days were nothing short of torture houses.
Here we will debunk ten very popular myths existing today so that you can be free of the implications and prejudices they bring with them.
#1 Most people only use 10% of their brains
We actually use all of our brain. Science proves that most of the time, every part of our brain is active. If this myth were true, a small brain injury would probably not cause harm to a person’s functioning.
#2 Adolescence is the inevitable prime time of children acting out
This myth has caused much harm. It actually takes attention away from genuine problems that a teenager might be going through, by calling them a result of adolescence. There are several factors that lend to this myth. Adolescence may or not be a period of drama for teens, and that depends on their circumstances. It is not inevitable that they always do, because in China and Japan for example, most teenagers go through adolescence without much incident.
#3 If you’re unsure of an answer while giving a test, it’s best to go with the first answer that came to mind.
This is called the first instinct fallacy. Most people believe that when taking a multiple choice questions exam, it is best not to change answers in case of doubt. In fact, it is better to trust our minds if they’re telling us to think it through and change the answers rather than to follow instinct. There is no science behind this myth.
#4 Opposites attract
Debunked. The theory that opposites traits instill romantic attraction might make for a good movie, but real life points the other way. Like attracts like is the more likely theory. People tend to look for people similar to themselves and are mostly attracted to a person they can relate to, in terms of values and attitudes.
#5 Expression of anger is always better than remaining silent
Even psychology has reinforced the idea of venting out one’s anger by yelling or punching pillows or just letting off the steam in some way. However, research now proves that expressing anger in this way only fuels aggression and renders a person incapable of controlling their emotions. It is better to keep the anger inside and take a problem-solving approach toward the issue rather than losing one’s head.
#6 If you cut an earthworm in half it will regenerate into two earthworms
Common belief: that both halves will grow into separate earthworms. In truth, the back part dies. The front part grows a new back part. That is how earthworms regenerate.
#7 The 5 second rule
The popular myth is that bacteria takes 5 seconds to crawl on to a piece of food dropped on the ground. It actually takes only one second. Who would it be waiting for?
#8 Bulls hate red
Bulls can’t even see colour. They’re colour blind. They’re actually threatened by the movement of the cloth rather than its color.
#9 Shaving thickens hair
It is said that regrown hair after shaving are thicker, rougher and darker. Not true. They only appear to be thicker and darker than the previous hair because the new growth isn’t tapered near the end as most of our hair is.
#10 Ostriches stick their head into sand when they sense danger
Nope. They actually flop to the ground and pretend to be dead. Give the birds some credit.
Bonus: There are three states of matter
Contrary to what most of us are taught in school, there is another state of matter along with liquid, solid and gas. It is called plasma and you see it most commonly in lightning bolts. Our sun is another example.
Raise your heads and think for yourself, people. We need to learn to pay attention to the world rather than believing second hand information. Myths aren’t just amusing; they can be pretty harmful. There’s another myth about dyslexic people that they see words in reverse order. And in accordance with that, numerous jokes are cracked on the topic with very less regard for dyslexic people. Next time you hear a myth being propagated, do try to verify the information.
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