childhood myths

Top 5 facts from Childhood, those are actually just myths

No, this isn’t about pencil peelings turning into rubber if you add milk to it, or you turning into a spider-man if a common spider bites you, it’s rather about the things which you were told and sometimes even ‘taught’ as scientific facts. Well, sorry to ruin your childhood, but these ‘facts’ weren’t actually facts but plain hoaxes or traditional beliefs. So hold your heart and have a look at them, I am sure you will go for a cross check before believing me.

1. Plants sleep in Night


So, here is the first shocker. We were always told by our parents not to touch the plants at night as they were sleeping. This belief was further augmented by our ‘god-fearing’ science teacher who somehow made us believe that since plants do not perform photosynthesis at night, they are asleep. But sorry guys, both our parents and the science teacher were WRONG because plants don’t sleep. Not in the literal sense. Now don’t take it as a double speak, but what I mean by ‘not in literal sense’ is that they don’t actually sleep but the process they perform during night is in an unscientific way understood as sleeping. To simply state the fact, sleeping actually requires a nervous system and plants do not have a nervous system. So they don’t sleep.

2. Birds abandon their babies if you touch them


Almost each one of us has had a time in their childhood when we came across a baby house-sparrow fallen from their nest chirping for its mother to come and pick it up as it struggled to fly. Remember how much we wanted to help it (not talking about the childhood psychopaths who killed it), but we couldn’t as our parents or grand-parents had told us that if we touched the baby bird its mother would abandon it as she would get human smell the baby. Well, that was pure 24 carat bullshit. Birds aren’t dogs. They don’t have a very good sense of smell and they certainly can’t detect human smell from their babies. In case you are thinking you could have helped that tiny little fellow let me add to your woes. That baby house-sparrow might have attracted a cat from its relentless chirping and had become its prey. Enjoy!

3. Drinking eight glass of water is healthy


Hahaha! Screw that health freak who told you that for good health you need to drink at least eight glass of water a day. Poor you who believed him and take a bow (sarcastically) if you further spread the myth. It is just not true because there are many sources your body gets water from; your refrigerator is not the only one. The food you eat, the fruits you eat, tea, coffee, vegetables all are sources of water. Plus the basic phenomenon of feeling thirsty is your body’s way of telling you that it is getting dehydrated. So next time when some cockamamie health guru tells you in a news paper column to drink eight glass of water daily, tell him to piss off cause pissing is the only additional benefit out of drinking so much water. And yes! Coffee doesn’t dehydrate your body.

4. Pole star is the brightest star


I guess many of you might know it already, but in case you don’t, here is the truth- the brightest star you see in the night sky is NOT the pole star but Sirius. Actually, the pole star is very commonly confused to be the brightest star and this belief can be dangerous and even fatal in case you are lost in a jungle or a desert. So, to clear the confusion the brightest star and the pole star are two different things. The pole star or the North Star which helps in navigation, as it always points towards the north, is the star at the end of the handle of the Ursa Minor constellation or in other words the North star is the last star in the tail of the ‘Saptarishi Taramandal.’ Whereas, the brightest star Sirius, also known as the Dog Star is very easy to find because- yes obviously it is the Brightest.

5. Great Wall of China is visible from space


This is probably the biggest hoax of our childhood. Many of us might have also participated in a GK Quiz once in which there was a question- “Which man-made object is visible from the space?”- and with no second thoughts we had marked- The Great Wall of China. If I am not wrong this was once a question in KBC too. Wonder the proportions with which this hoax as seeped into our books but believe it or not this theory was shaken by no other than a Chinese astronaut Yang Liwei who said that he wasn’t able to see the structure from the space. To further prove that this theory is nothing but a hoax, are pictures taken by International Space Station Commander Leroy Chiao on Nov 24, 2004. However there are many other results of human activity which are visible from space which include the night lightings.


  • By Gaurav Tripathi (@gauravtripathii)

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