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15 Things You Were Taught In School That Were Actually Lies

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We were taught so many things in school. Being the young kids we were, we most likely believed most of the facts that were thrown our way. But how many of them were actually true?

I bet you didn’t expect that some of the facts that you were taught are actually false. For example, can you really see the Great Wall of China from space? And do humans really only use 10% of their brain power? We’ll be the judge of that.

Here are 15 facts you were told in school that actually aren’t true at all.

1. Human Evolution: Most people have seen the photograph of evolution. It starts with a crouching ape, to a standing man. But this actually isn’t the case. The truth is that humans and apes evolved from a common species. Although we are 99% related, we didn’t actually derive from apes themselves.

2. Isaac Newton Discovering Gravity: You know that classic story in which Isaac Newton discovers the physics of gravity after an apple fell on his head? Get this: it never happened. Although he might have told a rendered version to his friends, there is no recorded proof that this happened and Newton actually spent something like two years on his theory of universal gravity.

3. The Pilgrims Came to America for more than Freedom: The pilgrims left England as they were trying to separate from the church. The part of the story that is often left out is that they then went to Holland where the separatists had religious freedom. However, they then came to America because they feared their children were losing their English heritage.

4. Columbus Proving the Earth is round: Despite popular belief, Columbus didn’t sail around the ocean to prove that the earth was round. At the time, this was already common knowledge and it had even been written 2,000 years before that in Ancient Greece.

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5. Einstein Failed Math: You may have heard the rumor the Einstein wasn’t the best student and that he had even failed math once. This is most likely a phrase made up to encourage students because it’s not actually true. He got good grades in school and by the age of 11, he was reading college-level physics books. 

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6. Slave Workers Built the Pyramids: This is an image that has been a part of history lessons and movie adaptations for centuries. However, recent research suggests that the builders were actually paid and well fed. Workers who died during labor were even buried in a tomb nearby.

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7. Viewing the Great Wall:  The Great Wall of China cannot actually be seen by the naked eye from space. Although a few parts of it were visible in a photo taken by an astronaut, it can’t actually be seen. However, you can see desert roads and long bridges.

8. Christopher Columbus Discovered America: There was someone else who discovered America about 400 years before Columbus was even born. Leif Ericson sailed the globe and ended up in what is now Canada. However, they only survived a couple hundred years. This was mostly likely due to conflicts with the native population.

9. Blue Veins: Although your veins appear blue, this actually has nothing to do with oxygen.  It just appears de-oxygenated blue to the naked eye because of the way light penetrates the skin. Blood is always red!

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10. Edison Invented the Lightbulb: Usually, Thomas Edison gets the sole credit for the invention of the light bulb. However, 70 years prior, Humphry Davey had already invented the arc light. There were several people working on plans for light bulbs, it just happened to be Edison and his team that came up with the perfect formula.  

11. Humans have 5 Senses: Everyone is familiar with the five senses (smell, sight, hearing, taste, and touch) but did you know that these are just your primary senses and not your only senses? Humans actually have up to 20 senses including sense of space, vibration, time, direction, and temperature. 

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12. Toilet Flushing Across the Globe: Contrary to popular belief, the water doesn’t run down the drain in the opposite direction in the different hemispheres. It really only has to do with the shape and angle of the bowl.

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13. The Trojan Horse: This is the theory that the Greeks offered their enemy a giant horse as a gift. When the gift was brought into the city it was supposedly filled with soldiers who took the town. Although it was mentioned in The Odyssey it was most likely just a myth.

14. Space is Zero Gravity: Although astronauts are able to float around in space, there isn’t zero gravity. There is still gravity up there, it just diminishes the further you move from earth.

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15. We only use 10% of our brains: Thanks to movies such as Lucy and Matilda, people assume that there is a large portion of the brain not being used and when unlocked we can access cool powers.  The entire brain is active throughout the day.

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And there you have it! 15 facts that you were taught in school that actually weren’t true at all. I hope you enjoyed this post!

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