Why are there so many common misconceptions on just about any given topic under the sun? I guess it has something to do with people making assumptions, and gossiping. When everybody adds a little something to the story, just to spice things up, it usually ends with a bunch of nonsense that are widely considered to be truth or, in some extreme cases, these misconceptions can even be regarded as "general knowledge".
So, let's find out which are the most common misconceptions that befuddle people around the world. Go through this list and check out your own beliefs to see if any of them happen to be false.
There is no evidence that Vikings wore horns on their helmets. In fact, the image of Vikings wearing horned helmets stems from the scenography of an 1876 production of the Der Ring des Nibelungen opera cycle by Richard Wagner.
Christopher Columbus's efforts to obtain support for his voyages were not hampered by a European belief in a flat Earth. Sailors and navigators of the time knew that the Earth was roughly spherical, but (correctly) disagreed with Columbus's estimate of the distance to India, which was approximately one-sixth of the actual distance. If the Americas did not exist, and had Columbus continued to India, he would have run out of supplies before reaching it at the rate he was traveling. Without the ability to determine longitude at sea, he could not have noticed that his estimate was an error in time to return. This longitude problem remained unsolved until the 18th century, when the lunar distance method emerged in parallel with efforts by inventor John Harrison to create the first marine chronometers. The intellectual class had known that the Earth was spherical since the works of the Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle. Eratosthenes made a very good estimate of the Earth's diameter in approximately 240 BCE.
Worldwide, pasta has become synonymous with Italian cuisine. Italian immigrants themselves brought pasta everywhere they went. While it is true that the most famous varieties and recipes of cooking pasta really do come from Italy, surprisingly, the actual origin of pasta lies elsewhere! There is a legend that Marco Polo imported pasta from China which originated with the Macaroni Journal, published by an association of food industries with the goal of promoting the use of pasta in the United States. Marco Polo describes a food similar to "lagana" in his Travels, but he uses a term with which he was already familiar. Durum wheat, and thus pasta as it is known today, was introduced by Arabs from Libya, during their conquest of Sicily in the late 7th century, according to the newsletter of the National Macaroni Manufacturers Association, thus predating Marco Polo's travels to China by about six centuries.Further support for this theory can be found by the fact that, in many old Sicilian pasta recipes, there are Arab gastronomic introductions
Marie Antoinette did not actually use the phrase "let them eat cake" when she heard that the French peasantry was starving due to a shortage of bread. The phrase was first published in Rousseau's Confessions when Marie was only 10 years old and most scholars believe that Rousseau coined it himself, or that it was said by Maria-Theresa, the wife of Louis XIV. Even Rousseau (or Maria-Theresa) did not use the exact words but actually Qu'ils mangent de la brioche ("Let them eat brioche [a rich type of bread]"). Marie Antoinette was a very unpopular ruler and many people therefore attribute the phrase "let them eat cake" to her, in keeping with her reputation as being hard-hearted and disconnected from her subjects.
Napoleon Bonaparte was not short; rather he was slightly taller than the average Frenchman of his time. After his death in 1821, the French emperorâs height was recorded as 5 feet 2 inches in French feet. This corresponds to 5 feet 6.4 inches (1.686 m). Some believe that he was nicknamed le Petit Caporal (The Little Corporal) as a term of affection.
Alcohol does not "cook out" of food in most cases. The myth that alcohol does all cook out stems from the fact that alcohol has a much lower boiling point temperature (173 degrees Fahrenheit/78.5 degrees Celsius) than water (212F/100C). Thus, if the temperature is above 78.5 degrees Celsius, then the alcohol should boil off, right? Wrong! Contrary to what most people believe, the entire alcohol content doesn't always evaporate or boil away before the food is served. A study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Nutrient Data Laboratory showed that it can take longer than two and a half hours for all the alcohol to be cooked out of food to which wine or some other alcoholic beverage has been added.
Microwave ovens do not cook food from the inside out. Upon penetrating food, microwave radiation decays exponentially due to the skin effect and does not directly heat food significantly beyond the skin depth. As an example, lean muscle tissue (meat) has a skin depth of only about 1 centimetre (0.39 in) at microwave oven frequencies.
This is another fallacious statement. All species of bats have eyes and are capable of sight. Though most use echolocation, they are still capable of sight.
Even though I find this hard to believe, the truth is that shaving does not make hair grow in thicker or faster. It appears that way because after you shave, the hair is shorter thus appearing to be thicker as it is less flexible.
"Xmas" is not a secular plan to "take the Christ out of Christmas." "The usual suggestion is that 'Xmas' is ... an attempt by the ungodly to x-out Jesus and banish religion from the holiday." However, X stands for the Greek letter Chi, the starting letter of ???????, or "Christ" in Greek. The use of the word "Xmas" can be traced to the year 1021 when "monks in Great Britain...used the X while transcribing classical manuscripts into Old English" in place of "Christ". The Oxford English Dictionary's "first recorded use of 'Xmas' for 'Christmas' dates back to 1551." Paul Brians adds that, "so few people know this that it is probably better not to use this popular abbreviation in religious contexts."
It is commonly claimed that the Great Wall of China is the only human-made object visible from the Moon. This is false. None of the Apollo astronauts reported seeing any specific human-made object from the Moon, and even Earth-orbiting astronauts can barely see it. City lights, however, are easily visible on the night side of Earth from orbit. The misconception is believed to have been popularized by Richard Halliburton decades before the first moon landing. Shuttle astronaut Jay Apt has been quoted as saying that "the Great Wall is almost invisible from only 180 miles up.
Bulls are not enraged by the color red, used in capes by professional matadors. Cattle are dichromats, so red does not stand out as a bright color. It is not the color of the cape but its movement that irritates the bull and incites it to charge.Written by: Sanela Todjeras sources: 1|2|3|4 copyrighted Â© artsyswag.com