People Share 30 Popular Beliefs That Were Proven Wrong By Science

The tricky thing with beliefs is that we all think ours are correct. When actually, almost everything we believe, at some point in our lives, will eventually be at least partially wrong.

Not only are we often unaware of it, but we also have no idea of how to determine which of our pieces of common knowledge are incorrect. So when someone asked “What is a popular belief that is scientifically proven wrong?” on Ask Reddit, the responses started rolling in one by one.

From thinking that you can catch a cold by being in cold temperatures to the belief that gum gets stuck in your stomach for eternity, here are the most popular beliefs that are very far from true.


You don't have to wait 24 hours to call the police to file a missing person's report. Never wait 24 hours. Every hour that passes means you are less likely to find said person. Dead or alive.

Image credits: MinnieCreations


You can catch colds from being outside without a hat. Colds are caused by viruses, not cold temperatures

Image credits: crabbyabbyyy


Lightning never strikes in one place twice.

Image credits: JarJarLifts


Most dietary information that is widely accepted by the public was from studies that have been proven wrong since the 70s

Image credits: sgt_taco891


We only use 10% of our brain

Image credits: Key-Wallaby-9276


Homosexuality has been proven to be natural. It's not a disease or whatever. It has been observed in hundreds of species.

Image credits: lovin_da_dix


Goldfish have a three second memory.

They don’t and, supposedly, you can even train them to do tricks.

Image credits: twerkette


That bubblegum get stuck in your stomach for 99999999999900000 years

Image credits: Baller69max


There is an alpha wolf in a pack.

Like the person who made the first claim debunked his own claim, but nobody cared.

Image credits: Kinjal_Ghosh


Cracking knuckles = arthritis

Image credits: bigfart99


That if you shave it’ll grow back longer and thicker

Image credits: confusedgoofball


Hiding under a highway overpass is actually not a good way to survive a tornado.

It has been scientifically proven that the wind gets concentrated and the speeds increase underneath the overpass.

If you aren’t shielded by a bridge girder or something similar you’ll just get swept away and mulched.

Your best bet for survival if you cannot escape the tornado is to find the nearest deep ditch or hole.

Image credits: jitsbay


Despite popular belief, urine is not sterile.

Image credits: koalamiracle


Back in the olden days, people just turned 30 or so and died.

The infant mortality rate was just much higher, but if you made it to adulthood, living to be a senior was not that rare.

Image credits: maisymowse


That we taste different things in different areas on the tongue.

Image credits: redDKtie


Used to be a popular belief that if you sit to close to the tv your eyes will go bad. But Ive recently come to realize that children who sit “too close” to the tv might already have poor vision, but cannot communicate it, so when they go get their eyes checked it appears that the causation is them sitting to close to the tv, when it was probably genetics or other factors. Thus causing people to think that the cause was them sitting too close to tv.

Image credits: justafang


Torture doesn’t work.

It has never worked. It was proven that torture doesn’t work before America was colonized.

Torture DOES produce confessions, but it doesn’t reveal the truth.

Image credits: MBergdorf


I just read it recently that people believe that consuming alcohol moderately has some health benefits but it was proven by a recent study that it does not have any health benefits at all.

Image credits: iam_joyc3


That you can “alkalize” your body to prevent or cure disease.


That rice will make the birds who eat it explode. Birds eat rice all the time! It's actually good for them, especially brown rice.

I believe this myth was made up so people would stop throwing rice at weddings, but harming the birds wasn't an actual risk. It was getting rice grains stuck in your ear that was.

Image credits: Mister_Moho


Don't know if it's been said yet still scrolling, but that male lions don't hunt or do anything. Yes, lionesses do most of the hunting but males do help if the prey is too big and strong, such as with cape buffalo or giraffe. Males do a lot, staying back and protecting the territory which is very important if there are cubs, not to mention that the mane not only blows their cover more when hunting, but it tires them out quickly as it's a bunch of hair weighing on their head. Males also have to leave their birth pride at a certain age which of course until they can find a pride, they at that point have to hunt.

Also on the topic of African animals (wildlife nerd) hyenas hunt more than lions and are more successful predators, and hyenas aren't dogs. Elephants don't think you or any human is cute.

Edit: I was told wrong a lion's mane doesn't weigh as much as I thought, but it does have more of a negative effect on their hunting compared to a lioness.

Image credits: wildnstuff


The belief that sugar causes hyperactivity in children. This belief has been around for decades, but numerous scientific studies have shown that there is no evidence to support it.

Image credits: Logpoze3


Most things that tout "detoxifying" properties.

Image credits: Thefreshestproduce


You can swim after you eat it's no problem

Image credits: Thecooleo


That eggs are bad for you.
That eggs are good for you.

Its been proven that it completely depends on your own genetic makeup on if they are good or bad for you. For some people they're healthy, for others they're not and they're bad cholesterol level skyrockets.

Image credits: BKDDY


“Fish don’t feel pain” , and simultaneously “Fish do feel pain” are both arguments which ignore centuries of research.

They lack a Neocortex which deems them unable to “process” pain, however they have several nociceptors located around the mouth which allows them to “feel it”. What does this mean? Well nobody actually knows yet, and it is largely open to interpretation. It’s unfathomably hard for us to understand, as we can both feel and process pain. Some scientists describe “acting on instinct” as symptoms of pain when these nociceptors become compromised. Some scientists describe it as just that though, acting on instinct based on what parts of their body are compromised and hence weaker or vulnerable.

For example : You hook and release a bass. That Bass now moves slower, eats a little less, and socializes less. Are these actions the result of the fish acknowledging the compromised nociceptors and acting accordingly while giving itself a chance to heal? Or is the fish genuinely hurting and sad? Research points to both being correct, but neither have enough evidence to prove anything yet.

All we know with certainty is that we don’t have a definite answer supporting either argument, so anyone that leans hard one way or another doesn’t know what they are talking about.

Image credits: goldieglocks16


Carrots do not improve your eyesight.

Image credits: RiotousRagnarok


As a cat lover, it always drives me insane that so many people will automatically give a stray they found milk. Most cats are lactose intolerant.

Image credits: _Jacket_Slxt_


Women's periods don't sync up when they live together. Any syncing that occurs is a result of a coincidental overlap of their individual cycles.

Image credits: zumera


A frog thrown in a pot of boiling water will jump out immediately. If a frog is put in a pot of cool water and that water is slowly warmed, the frog won’t notice and boil to death.

This is indeed false

Image credits: Backwards_Pessimist

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