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People Debunk The Most Commonly Believed ‘Facts’ That Are Actually Untrue

Ahmed Zayan / Unsplash

The line between truth and fiction can be a difficult one to find sometimes.

We are bombarded by dueling viewpoints a thousand times a day and it can be challenging to pick out what information is real, and what is just believed because it’s been repeated so many times.

In an effort to root out some of the falsehoods we believe, Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Mutating_Mammal asked:

“What are some common ‘facts’ that people believe to be true even if the existing evidence states the contrary?”

This theory doesn’t hold any water.

“Camels don’t use their humps to store water.”

“They use them to store fat reserves., Because storing fat reserves around the body like humans would keep them too warm, so they have it all in one spot.”

“Edit: since the day metabolizes as water and CO2, it is in a way a water source.”~ Cielbird

Speaking of water…

“Oooh, my time to shine.”

“I used to test pool water/hot tub water as a part time job.”

“This is what I learnt from reading the material that the company gave me, but my advice always seemed to work so I think it’s pretty solid.”

“There are two types of chlorine: Free Chlorine and Combined Chlorine.”

“Free chlorine is generally odorless in the pool.”

“It’s the chlorine that can attack bacteria.”

“Combined chlorine is chlorine that has already attacked some type of bacteria.”

“All it just stays in the pool and doesn’t do much.”

“That combined chlorine can make your pool smell like chlorine, or even make your pool cloudy.”

“If a pool smells like chlorine, it has too much combined chlorine.”

“To get rid of it, you need some type of oxidizer.”

“Like a calcium hypochlorite or something along those lines.”

“So in other words. Even if a pool smells horribly like chlorine, it can still be very unsanitary and unsafe to swim in.”~ Fangore

It doesn’t add up.

“That Einstein was a bad student, and was bad at math.”

“It’s just not true.”

“He got average-high marks, and was really just disdainful of the structure of school.”

“And he was good at math. Physics is like 90% math.”

“I get why people share it, it’s to make struggling students feel better about themselves, but can’t we tell them about something else instead of lying?” ~ nonfiction42

Honesty isn’t an official policy.

“People still think an undercover cop has to tell you they’re a cop.”

“How does that even make sense?”

“Months of preparations ruined on the first day because someone happened to ask the magic question.”

“Cops are allowed to lie to you and they will pretend to be your friend to get what they need from you.”

“Side note: Even if you’re innocent of a crime, the first words from your mouth should be ‘I want a lawyer.’ and you don’t provide any information until you have one.”

” ‘Anything you say CAN and WILL be used AGAINST you in the court of law.’ ” ~ sc0n3z

Never wait.

“It is rarely necessary to wait 24 hours before filing a missing person report” ~ emil199

There are, apparently, lots of water-related myths.

“A person drowning is not likely to be flailing wildly and yelling like in the movies.”

“Drowning can often happen with mostly silence, especially with kids.”

“Read up on the signs, it might save a life.”

“I was drowning and lost consciousness when I was 5, I was told I barely made a sound.”

“I went under, sucked in lungs full of water when I tried to cry out in surprise and blacked out.”

“If it wasn’t for my dad’s instincts and quick action I’d be dead.” ~ Guitar3544

Pack mentality.

“Alpha theory in dog training.”

“The researcher that originally described the dominance theory was watching captive wolves at a zoo- a pack that was artificially created from unrelated specimens.”

“The hierarchy in this curated collection was determined through fights and struggles for dominance and this dynamic was then applied to domestic dogs and how they view themselves in relation to humans.”

“This drove the ‘dominate your dog’ style of training popular with Cesar Millan and his acolytes.”

“When the scientific community was able to observe a wild wolf pack, however, they discovered that wild packs are family units and operate much the same way with a parental breeding pair at the top and their younger offspring forming the pack, sometimes several litters at a time.”

“As the pups grow older, they break off and form their own packs.

“The researcher that dismantled the theory, David Mech, described it thusly:”

” ‘Attempting to apply information about the behavior of assemblages of unrelated captive wolves to the familial structure of natural packs has resulted in considerable confusion.’ “

” ‘Such an approach is analogous to trying to draw inferences about human family dynamics by studying humans in refugee camps.’ “ ~ Still_Mighty

Speaking of animals…

Chicken is cooked when it is no longer pink and the juices run clear.”

“In fact, it’s cooked when it hits 75C (165F) and that’s it. What it looks like depends on the cut.”

“Chicken breast often has significant pink in it when it hits the temperature, which is why most people complain about dry boring chicken, because they overcook it.”

“On the flipside, wings can look cooked when they aren’t, which is why they’re a major source of food poisoning.”

“The most important thing I learned working in a commercial kitchen.” ~ aegeaorgnqergerh

A hard day’s work.

“People have a misconception that we work less today than we have throughout history.”

“In actuality, hunter-gatherers worked an average of 3 to 5 hours a day.”

“Ancient civilization farmers only worked during seasonal and agricultural periods, averaging about 10 hours a day for only 120 days a year.”

“Roman documents show that most artisans only worked about 6 hours a day from the hours of 6am to mid-day. They were given multiple holidays from frequent festival days.”

“Medieval farmers and peasants worked about 8 hour days in the summer, but worked less in winter months due to less daylight, averaging only about 5.5 hours of work each day.”

“It wasn’t until the mid-18th century that workdays became longer, with the invention of replaceable part.”

“Workers in London in 1750 worked 11 hours per day, five days a week.”

“Sunday was the day of rest, but those in gainful employment also skipped work on Monday, which was dubbed ‘Saint Monday’ at the time.”

“The industrial revolution was the kickstart of long workdays and few holidays or leave.”

“Factory workers in mid-19th century England worked 16 hours a day, 311 days per year”

“Comparatively, the average office worker today in the USA works 7.8 hours a day, 311 days per year.”

“TLDR; we work more today than almost every other generation leading up to the 18th century.” ~ SaltySFSailor

We tend to accept the things that we hear over and over again, but repetition does not mean accuracy.

Take a harder look at the long-held “facts” that you believe, and you might just find that they don’t hold up as well as you thought.

Written by Frank Geier

Frank Geier (pronouns he/him) is a nerd and father of three who recently moved to Alabama. He is an avid roleplayer and storyteller occasionally masquerading as a rational human.