The internet is daily proof that some people will believe anything. In fact, if you type ‘who invented running’ into Google, you will get the answer that ‘Running was invented in 1748 by Thomas Running when he tried to walk twice at the same time’.
Now we all know that this is complete nonsense, but there are some equally ridiculous things people are more willing to believe – here are the top five.
# 1 Your toilet flushes in a different direction if you live in Australia
Well, we’ve actually heard this about the whole southern hemisphere, but it is still untrue. Yes, you will hear about the Coriolis Effect, where flow patterns are influenced by the earth’s rotation.
That, however, only affects huge things like the Gulf Stream, while smaller things like the direction your toilet flushes and is more likely to be decided by the design of your toilet or your water pressure.
# 2 Lightning never strikes twice
This one should probably be written on a tombstone or two, it’s that dangerously wrong. The conditions that make lighting strike a certain place once will make it more likely to strike there again, or at least close by. So, the answer is to be nowhere near it at all and be inside and safe while all of these meteorological pyrotechnics are taking place.
#3 We only use 10% of our brains
This one is often erroneously attributed to Albert Einstein but is in fact the result of an incomplete study from the 1890s which was then amplified into a ‘pet idea’ by the very clever marketing of a self-help book designed to boost brainpower. The truth is different parts of the brain are used at different times, so over the course of a day, our entire brain gets used.
#4 if you cut a worm in half, it becomes two worms
Well, this one rather depends on the type of worm. While you shouldn’t go cutting any living thing in half, if you choose to do it to a Planarian Flatworm it would probably happen. If, however, you tried it with a common earthworm, the same thing would not occur.
An earthworm has a distinct head and tail, so, if you cut it in half the head will grow a new tail, but the tail half, well that’s just a meal for the next passing bird.
With so much information out there, it’s difficult to sort the true from the false.