God bless the internet. I really don’t know how I would go about learning things and getting information without it.
Before, you had to actually talk to the people around you to get information, and then you would have no choice but believe what they’ve told you. Those were the search engines of the day.
This also meant that a rumour spread by one could turn into a fact acknowledged by many, which leads me to this list of myths more commonly believed but that are in fact completely untrue.
We Have 5 Senses
Every child is misleadingly told that humans have only 5 main sense; taste, touch, sight, smell and hearing.
The truth is that no one really agrees on how many senses a human actually has. As well as the 5 listed above, we also have a sense of balance, time, pain, movement and temperature as well as a whole range of sensory receptors linked to your brain that monitor your body and handle things like vomiting. Nice.
Testosterone Makes Men More Aggressive
This idea came from an experiment that found that removing testosterone from male mice made them fight less. As generally happens, it was foolishly presumed that humans and mice are exactly the same and that therefore testosterone makes human males more aggressive.
But a 2009 experiment directly contradicted this widely held belief. A group of men were given testosterone or a placebo and then asked to play a game where they had to make monetary offers (as fair or as unfair as they liked) to people.
The results were that those men with more testosterone made fairer offers. Go figure.
Printer Ink is More Expensive than Champagne
Image by: e_calamar
I have included this one because I laboured under the weight of this myth for ages after someone told me at work once.
While some printer ink cartridges are fairly expensive, the product is not consumed in the same way as Champagne. Whereas champagne is drunk by the glass or bottle while ink is consumed one print at a time.
It is also true that whatever you have just printed is likely to last longer than a glass of champagne so the high cost of ink recoups itself over the long term whereas the cost of bubbly does not.
You Need to Drink 6 Pints of Water a Day
There is no set amount of water that you should drink, as each person varies in the way they react to their environment. Someone in Thailand where it is hot will drink more water than someone in Britain.
It also depends on your diet. It is surprising just how much of our daily intake of water comes from the things we eat. So don’t worry too much about trying to hit this target of 6 pints a day, just make sure you drink if you are thirsty.
I hope I have corrected a few false assumptions that you may have. I am always willing to hear any more commonly held beliefs debunked, so if you have one please share it!
Elise Lévêque is a free-spirited and freelance translator who moved to London from her native Paris. Elise can usually be found scouring the city for new experiences and places to satisfy her ferocious appetite for shopping. She writes blogs in conjunction with Tinten Experten and other partners.