Debunked: Falsehoods You Believed as a Kid

Most kids grew up with parents who told them fun myths that sounded like facts. But the older we become, the more we realize that not everything our parents told us should be taken as fact.

Brace yourself for 30 of the biggest myths debunked! Will you be surprised?

Gum does not stay in your stomach forever.

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Very much like the name, chewing gum is made for chewing and not meant to be swallowed. However, parents found that gum curbed children’s sweet tooth, which is why a myth such as “if you swallow a piece of gum, it will stay in your gut for seven years” was invented.

Swallowing a watermelon seed will not result in the fruit growing in your stomach.

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Remember that joke where kids would say that simply by swallowing a watermelon seed, the fruit would actually grow in your stomach? Well, it’s false, of course. Swallowing the seed should be harmless, and most of the time these seeds just pass through your digestive tract without any problems.

Your favorite TV characters don’t live inside the TV.

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As funny as it sounds, some of us believed our favorite cartoon characters actually lived inside the TV we were watching them on. Although it would be pretty cool, this idea is completely false, so don’t be fooled the next time you turn the TV on.

You can’t hide from anything under a blanket. / Shutterstock

Sure, you can pretend to hide under a blanket, but you won’t actually be hidden, contrary to what your childhood self believed! So, next time you watch a scary movie, simply closing your eyes will do the trick.

Driving with a light on will not get you pulled over.

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It might not be the safest practice, but driving with a light on inside your car will not get the police to pull you offer.

Stepping on sidewalk cracks is perfectly safe.

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Looking back, it’s funny to think some of us actually believed stepping on a sidewalk crack would result in breaking our mothers’ backs. Rooted in karma, this lie is untrue, so feel free to step on as many sidewalk cracks as you please!

Dolls do not come to life.

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Contrary to popular belief in horror films, dolls do not come to life. As kids, it was funny to believe that our dolls could actually talk to us, but we promise you, that’s not true!

Frowning too long will not freeze your expression.

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No matter how long you hold a frown, your face will not freeze that way! So, although it’s not pleasant to frown, feel free to do it as much as you want because it won’t ever freeze your expression.

Staring at a microwave won’t give you cancer.

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Despite what kids on the playground said when you were growing up, staring at a microwave while you’re heating food up will not give you cancer. We still don’t recommend standing right in front of the microwave though.

Peeing in the pool won’t change the color of the water.

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Whether you heard it on your childhood swim team or from a neighbor with a pool, it’s untrue that urine will change the color of pool water. We also don’t recommend urinating in a pool, but it will not cause the pool water to drastically change colors.

Sharks do not live in your pool.

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Speaking of pools, sometimes we heard the lie that sharks enter the deep end of our favorite neighborhood pool, which is untrue! So, have no fear the next time you go for a swim. We promise you there’s nothing more than chlorine lurking under the water.

Elephants are not terrified of mice.

By Eric Isselee/Shutterstock

Cartoons like Disney’s Dumbo show that elephants are terrified of mice. Because of their poor eyesight, elephants get startled by a rat or mouse’s fast movement, but this does not actually mean they would jump on anything elevated and use their ears to cover their eyes from the ghastly sight.

Camels’ humps do not store water.

By Martin Mecnarowski/Shutterstock

A camel’s hump contains fat and lots of it! This helps them have more endurance to the long travel. So, they’ll have to get their water supply elsewhere!

Bulls do not hate red.

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Bulls are colorblind, which means they are incapable of seeing the color red. The science behind the matador’s red cape is for the audience so people’s eyes get attracted to the matador. What triggers the bulls’ anger is how the matadors move.

A chameleon’s camouflage does not involve changing colors.

By Muhammad Salman Qureshi/Shutterstock

Plenty of people believe chameleons change their color to blend in the environment and evade predators, but they actually use that to communicate with one another. To expound a bit more, a chameleon has four layers of skin and three of those have different colors that preset patterns. They mix and match the layers to display their emotions and react to their environment.

Dogs sweat.

By Masarik/Shutterstock

There is a perceived notion that dogs do not sweat but how do you explain that wet dog smell? Well, hear this out.

Dogs do sweat and their sweat glands are located on the paws. The moisture released by those glands help the pups have better grip on the ground easier.

Blood is not always bright red.

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Even though our veins appear blue sometimes, the blood flowing through them is red. Sometimes, it’s darker or lighter, depending on how much oxygen is in your stream. However, our veins appear blue because the wavelength is reflected back when light hits our skin.

Coffee does not dehydrate you.

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To all you Starbucks lovers out there, this is great news! While drinking coffee may entail more trips to the bathroom than expected, there is no evidence that support the claim that you’re getting dehydrated. However, it is always great to keep drinking water while you’re enjoying a cup of coffee.

The black diamond on a measuring tape has a purpose.

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The black triangles on measuring tapes serve a very specific purpose. They are called “black truss” markings and begin at 19.2 inches and go all the way to 96 inches. These markings are there because for every 96 inches, there should be six studs placed at 16 inches apart.

The little pocket on the side of your jeans was created for pocket watches.

By Tatiana Popova/Shutterstock

Back in the 1800s when pocket watches were a thing, that is where you kept them. Nowadays, those pockets are just there for show, but you can use them to store your lucky coin in!

A Bobby pin has a right side up.

By Wiktoria Matynia/Shutterstock

Bobby pins are one of those things that are all over the house and are often overlooked by many. Contrary to popular opinion, bobby pins have a side with a zigzag shape that should face the scalp. These grooves help hold your hair down better.

Your ears go red when you lie.

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There are a lot of things that make your ears go red like your temperature. However, when your parents told you that lying does that, it’s arguable because anger, embarrassment, or anxiety can do that as well. Not to worry, your ears will return to its normal color once your temperature cools down, too!

Daddy Long Legs are not spiders.

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Daddy Long Legs are arachnids but they are not spiders, they belong to a group known as harvestmen.

To prove the point more, Daddy Long Legs have two eyes instead of eight, they have a fused head, abdomen, and thorax, whereas spiders have a noticeable separation of these parts

The dots on a car’s windshield prevents dirt from building up.

By Dmitry Kalinovsky/Shutterstock

The black band of dots along the edge of windshields is not for design purposes. The technical term for this band is “frit,” and the dots are baked-in ceramic paint, which keeps the glass in place, lessens dirt build-up, and evens out temperature distribution.

There is a story about the ridges of a coin.

By OlegRi/Shutterstock

Some coins have ridges while some do not. The story goes back to the 16th century when people would cut off small parts of metal to sell while decreasing the coins’ value.

The bumps on the F and J keys help your hands to type more efficiently.

By Undrey/Shutterstock

In a method called 10-finger typing, the F and J keys are where your index fingers rest. Those bumps let you find your way back to the home position without looking down at the keyboard.

Trimming your cuticles is not good for your nails.

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The cuticles are your nail’s tiny bits of skin that prevent your nails from infection. By removing them during a manicure, the nail gets a tiny wound that may be a window for bacteria and fungi to sneak in.

Cracking your knuckles does not hurt your joints.

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Joint problems and cracking your knuckles have no connection! The cracking sound is just gas bubbles popping as you increase the space between your joints. However, nothing in excess is ever good because cracking your joints too hard may lead to a tendon injury.

The Great Wall of China is not visible from space.

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The Great Wall of China is big but not big enough to be seen from space and astronaut, Yang Liwei can attest to that. According to him, he could see other man-made structures and city lights but not the Great Wall.

Tilting your head up will not stop your nose from bleeding.

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Whatever you do, avoid tilting your head up when your nose is bleeding, unless you want to taste blood. A more efficient way of stopping the bleeding is to sit up straight, lean your head forward slightly, and apply a bit of pressure. Don’t worry too much because most bloody noses stop in 10 to 20 minutes.

Alcohol does not warm you up.


Drinking gives you a warm feeling, but that does not mean your body’s temperature is reacting the same way. Instead of turning to alcohol for warmth, opt for wearing winter clothes instead. Not only do you save your liver from damage, but you will also surely feel warmer.

Your tongue does not have taste sectors.

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There are taste buds all over your tongue that react to different tastes, and the idea that your tongue has different tasting zones is a pure myth!

Lower weather temperatures do not increase your chance from catching a cold.

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Just because you are more prone to getting sick during colder months, it is purely a coincidence and has nothing to do with anything else. Colder temperatures can exacerbate your cold symptoms, though, so make sure to bundle up if you have to go outside while you’re sick.

Salt does not help water boil faster.

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While salt helps make food cook faster and taste better, it does not make water boil faster. Adding salt to your pot of water will only make it boil slower.

We use every part of our brain, not just portions of it.

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Ever heard someone tell you that humans only use a certain percentage of their brains? Well, that’s false. Humans use every part of the brain, but for different functions. Open any psychology or anatomy textbook, and you’ll see that every brain part is critical for proper functioning!

Vitamin C will not stop you from getting sick.

By Tatjana Baibakova/Shutterstock

“Megadosing” is a concept introduced by Nobel Prize-winner Linus Pauling. He claimed that drinking vitamin C has the capability of preventing people from getting sick. While vitamin C will help reduce how long a cold lasts, it will definitely not keep you from getting sick.

Twinkies are not exempt from expiration.

While some people believe that Twinkies do not expire, it’s just not true. Thanks to preservative ingredients, this sponge cake will stay good for about 25 days. After that, it will lose its texture and flavor as time passes.

Bats are not blind.

By jekj/Shutterstock

Contrary to the common misconception that bats are blind, they can actually see. Perhaps that’s why they fly so fast!

Lightning can strike at the same place twice.

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Lightning is a naturally occurring phenomenon that can be extremely dangerous. And, it can strike in the same place more than once, contrary to popular belief.

Snakes cannot always unhinge their jaws.

By reptiles4all/Shutterstock

Snakes stretch their jaws to open their mouths wide, and they do not unhinge their jaws. Stretching their jaws is possible because their upper and lower jawbones are not fused together.

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