20 Commonly Believed “Facts” That Are Actually Myths – Part 2

Myths are contagious. They can travel faster than any other mode of transportation. Some myths are so believable that they have actually established themselves among human race as facts. Myths have been prevalent among human beings for a long time. In recent years, due to improvement in science, people have started questioning each and every fact that their forefathers used to follow blindly. This has brought forward the real truth behind some of the previously believed facts proving that they are actually bogus. In this article, we have compiled a list of some commonly believed facts that are actually myths.

In case you have missed the first part of this article check it here.

#1

Myth: Fish only grow to the size of the tank you put them in.

Fact: Poor care and other factors limit the growth of fish in a small fish tank.

Fish
Image Source: www.yourmoney.com

The growth of a fish depends on many factors such as nitrates, pheromones, diet, genetics, and water quality. Imbalance in even one of these factors affects the growth of fish in the tank. The effects of these factors are made worse when the volume of water is small.

For some fish species such as Astyanax mexicanus, the space in which they are reared matters. So, if we want them to reach their full length, we need to give them enough space. Keeping potentially large species in a small tank might slow their growth rate, but at one point, they may outgrow the small tank. If a fish is given a proper care in a small tank then it can reach its full length and outgrow the tank in which it is kept.(source)

#2

Myth: Deoxygenated blood is blue, that’s why veins are also blue.

Fact: Veins appears blue due to their location under the skin, and only blue and red wavelength is reflected back.

Blue vein
Image Source: thelisticles.net

When asked why the veins are blue, most people will answer that it’s because they carry deoxygenated blood. However, this answer is far from the truth.

Our skin does not absorb much light and that’s why it looks white (depending on the amount of melanin). A blood vessel which is 0.5 mm below the skin neither absorbs red light nor blue. But still, the veins appears blue because only blue wavelength can go through the skin, reach the veins and is then reflected back.(source)

#3

Myth: Columbus discovered America first.

Fact: Viking explorers from Greenland reached America 400 years before Columbus rediscovered America.

America
Image Source: 1,2

Nearly 400 years before Columbus reached America, a band of European Viking sailors left their homeland in search of a new world. These Norsemen sailed on a wooden ship and landed in North America. They at first landed in a barren land which is present-day Canada. Then, they voyaged to a timber-rich location, most likely present-day Labrador and finally set up their base camp on the northern tip of the island of Newfoundland. They spent an entire winter in this region. But the Vikings never settled in America due to the violent encounter with the natives i.e. Red Indians of North America.

Archeologists have unearthed evidence in Canada, Labrador, and Newfoundland which suggests that they landed in America way before Columbus set his foot here.(source)

#4

Myth: Daddy Longlegs, a kind of spiders, are the most venomous spiders in the world. Yet their fangs aren’t sharp enough to pierce skin.

Fact: Daddy Longlegs are less venomous than black widow spider and their fangs are sharp enough to puncture human skin.

 Daddy Long Leg spiders
Image source: infinitespider.com

To find out whether daddy longlegs are really the most lethal spiders or not, myth busters Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage took some of them to a spider specialist. The specialist found out that their venom is less potent than the venom of black widow spider. Also, a microscopic measurement of the fangs of long-legged spider proved that their quarter-millimeter long fangs can definitely puncture human skin.(source)

#5

Myth: To stop a nosebleed, we must lean our head backwards.

Fact: Leaning our head backward does not treat the nosebleed. It increases complications by causing the blood to flow backward into the esophagus.

Nosebleed
Image Source: www.mrhealthylife.com

The most commonly known first aid tip for nosebleed is to tilt our head backward. But according to medical experts, this technique can create complication as it causes the blood to flow into the esophagus. This can cause choking. If the blood travels to stomach, it can cause stomach irritation and vomiting.

According to American Academy of Family Physicians, the best way to treat nosebleed is to sit down, lean forward, and keep the head above the heart. This will lessen the bleeding. Patients can also lean forward so that the blood drains out from the nose and does not enter the esophagus. According to a report in British Journal BMJ, the nosebleed can be stopped by squeezing the soft tissue below the bridge of your nose for 5 to 10 minutes using your thumb and index finger. Placing an ice pack or cold compress on the bridge of the nose can also help.(source)

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