Live Science Lists The Most Popular Myths

Here is a link to Live Science and their list of the most popular myths in science. And for your reading pleasure I present a few of these myths.

It takes seven years to digest gum

While it may prove a bit more difficult to break down than organic foodstuffs, chewing gum gets no special treatment from the digestive system. Doctors figure this old wives’ tale was invented to prevent kids from swallowing the rubbery substance.

The five second rule

Having an arbitrary rule justifying the consumption of food dropped on the floor within a certain time frame is convenient, especially when said food is a brownie. Unfortunately, tests (and logic) confirm that germs will stick to most foods right on contact.

The Great Wall of China is the only manmade structure visible from space

There are several variations on this folkloric statement, and they’re all quantifiably false. Astronauts can spot the Great Wall from low-Earth orbit, along with plenty of other things like the Giza pyramids and even airport runways. But they can’t see the Wall from the Moon.

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  1. Ger Tzadik February 2, 2006 at 10:46 pm

    Hah, fair enough, I guess I asked for that one.

  2. Jack's Shack February 2, 2006 at 10:24 pm

    Gooch- It is funny to think about the things we believed as kids.


    I never thought of myself as being similar to a dog. Maybe that is why I didn’t think about it.

  3. Ger Tzadik February 2, 2006 at 7:38 pm

    I didn’t realize anyone actually believed the gum myth. After all, anyone who has had or known someone with a dog knows that what goes in, comes out…doesn’t matter how indigestible it is!

  4. Gooch February 2, 2006 at 7:10 pm

    WHen i was very young I remember my sister telling me if you swallow chewing gum it sticks to your heart and kills you. And I believed it for years

  5. Jack's Shack February 2, 2006 at 4:52 pm

    Hi SK,

    That sounds like an accurate assessment.


    As a kid I swallowed a lot of gum.


    Shwarma, yum.


    I had no idea about that one either.


    My kids believe it, so it must be true. 😉

    Lil bit,

    I thought so.

  6. StepIma February 2, 2006 at 2:27 pm

    So long as “when you make a scary face, it will stick that way” is still true…

  7. Stephen (aka Q) February 2, 2006 at 2:20 pm

    I never bought that “old wives’ tale”
    about the gum. But the one about the Great Wall of China, it wasn’t immediately apparent to me that it was false.

  8. Elster February 2, 2006 at 2:14 pm

    When learning for a year in Israel, there is a 10 second rule for shwarma

  9. Pragmatician February 2, 2006 at 9:41 am

    Interesting link, Im glad about the gum, it’s a relief to be sure.

  10. Sterling Knight February 2, 2006 at 8:31 am

    Cool stuff. Most wives’ tales were thought up by mothers to keep their children from doing stuff they just didn’t like, I think.

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