10 Lies You Were Taught In School

  1. 1.
    Albert Einstein flunked math as a student
    The reality couldn't be further from the truth. Einstein was actually a prodigy in math, feeling that school was only holding him back. He had already mastered arithmetic and calculus by the age of 12. The origins of this rumor dates back to a Ripleys Believe it or Not trivia column printed in 1935, stating that, "Physics legend Albert Einstein failed a basic math course multiple times, and in fact until college, thought that math was something you could eat."
  2. 2.
    Humans use only 10% of their brain
    According to Neurologist Barry Gordon, "We use virtually every part of our brain, and almost all of the brain is active all the time." The rumor was started from a misunderstanding of a quote from Albert Einstein in 1908. The quote read, "We are making use of only a small part of our mental and physical resources." What he really meant was that only a small part of our brain is used to make conscious decisions such as choosing what to wear or what to eat.
  3. 3.
    All humans evolved from apes
    Another misunderstanding, it is believed that humans and apes evolved from a similar ancestor species. But that species, due to a process of elimination and natural selection, is no longer alive. Leaving us with humans and apes, who both evolved into our current selves.
  4. 4.
    Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb
    Actually invented by Heinrich Göbel, Edison simply acquired the patents for the bulb. About 20 other inventors had tried their hand at the bulb before Edison perfected the design. Edison borrowed heavily from these twenty inventors, until he was able to create the lightbulb we all know today.
  5. 5.
    Napoleon Bonaparte was short
    Standing at 5 feet 7 inches tall, he would be considered short by today's standards. But in the early 1800's Napoleon would actually be considered what is the average height of a male at the time. During his reign over France, the British began to spread false propaganda about his short stature.
  6. 6.
    Christopher Columbus discovered the Earth was round
    Ancient Greek mathematicians such as Pythagoras, Aristotle, and Eratosthenes had already proven the Earth was round up to 2000 years before the country of Spain even existed. The threat of falling off of Earth was not a real threat he and his crew feared. But he did greatly underestimate the size of Earth and stumbled upon North America was greatly due to that.
  7. 7.
    Marie Antoinette famously said "Let them eat cake!"
    The famous phrase actually originated from a 1776 piece of writing by Jean-Jacques Rousseau about an exchange he had 25 years earlier. Rousseau wrote that a "great princess" uttered the term. But it was not Antoinette, who was 11 at the time. Most historians now agree that French citizens spread this rumor to increase revolutionary fervor, after her death at the guillotine.
  8. 8.
    Our blood is blue inside our veins
    It has been taught that blood remains blue in our veins and turns red when it makes contact with oxygen. While it does appear blue, it is a simple trick from how our eyes perceive colors. When light filters through the layers of skin, the low frequency wavelengths from red are refracted by our skins pigmentation. They then form thin fat layers that leave mostly blue light to reflect back to your eye
  9. 9.
    Different parts of the tongue detect different tastes
    All of the taste buds on the tongue can detect different tastes, such as saltiness, sweetness, or bitterness. Bitterness is however detected by a protein on our tastebuds and not the tastebuds themselves
  10. 10.
    Van Gogh cut his own ear off in hysteria
    In 2009, historians Hans Kaufmann and Rita Wildegans unearthed a disturbing cover up from the original police report. They alleged that Van Gogh was obsessed with fellow artist Paul Gauguin. The documents revealed that they lived together in 1888 when Gauguin tried to leave. Van Gogh supposedly chased after him, and in the scuffle that ensued Gauguin snipped his ear off. To save Gauguin from imprisonment, Van Gogh told police that it was self-inflicted .