Top 10 Things You Have Been Told That Turned Out To Be Wrong

Top 10 Things You Have Been Told That Turned Out To Be Wrong
Script written by Sean Newman

These health myths and misconceptions are largely misleading, and some have even turned out to be downright false. From toads giving you warts, to cracking your knuckles giving you arthritis, to wet hair giving you a cold, these adages are simply untrue. WatchMojo counts down ten things you have been told that turned out to be wrong.

Special thanks to our users smizetillyoumakeit MrMonocleMister, and Angel Gray for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top%2010%20Things%20You%20Have%20Been%20Told%20That%20Turned%20Out%20To%20Be%20Wrong.

Script written by Sean Newman

Top 10 Things You Have Been Told That Turned Out To Be Wrong

Don’t believe everything you hear. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 things you’ve been told that turned out to be wrong.

For this list, we’ll be looking at commonly believed facts, rules, and/or practices that are largely misleading… if not downright false. So forget everything you’ve ever heard, or at the very least, prepare to be mildly surprised at these game-changing disclosures.

#10: Feed a Cold, Starve a Fever

When you’re sick, it’s hard enough to drag yourself out of bed to take your meds or go to the bathroom. So it’s understandable that you wouldn’t have the same appetite you usually do, if you have any at all. But when you have a cold or a fever, or both, your immune system is working overtime and needs all the strength it can get. Don’t fast or starve yourself, but don’t go eating junk food either. You need some basic sustenance to help your body fight off the flu, which means that the right nutrition is vital. Just don’t overfeed - instead get plenty of fluids and you’ll be back on your feet in no time!

#9: Toads Will Give You Warts

We never said these revelations would be altogether disappointing. As a kid, it’s not uncommon to stumble upon croaking amphibians, and pick one up to impress your friends. Next thing you know, you’re at the dinner table and Mom’s lecturing you on the dangers of warts. Warts are in fact caused by a type of the virus called human papillomavirus, which aptly can only be transferred by humans. Toads and frogs can still cause irritation, and there’s a good chance you’ll be urinated on if you do pick one up. But we can all agree that’s a far more temporary hygienic issue to deal with.

#8: Deoxygenated Blood Is Blue

Ever hear this one? Your blood is actually blue—but oxygen turns it red upon released from a person’s body. A fair share of animals including tarantulas, clams, and snails have blue blood, but we happen to have blood rich in hemoglobin, which is a red-colored metalloprotein containing iron. Perhaps the fact that our veins appear blue leads some to believe this misconception. Deoxygenated blood will only change from bright red to dark red, but typically there are more important issues to address than the hue of your blood in situations when it’s outside of your body.

#7: Once You Shave Something, It Will Grow Back Thicker
Let’s talk about the concept of correlation versus causation. Facial, leg, and pubic hair will typically look like it’s growing back thicker and coarser soon after shaving, but this has more to do with the fact that the grown-in hair was cut at a blunt angle as opposed to the natural look of unshaved hair. And while body hair will certainly be thicker at age 20 than age 14, Gillette has nothing to do with this—correlation, not causation. If you’d like to experiment with the shaved chest look, don’t worry yourself over long-term consequences—just make sure you’re ready before visiting the local waxing salon!

#6: Cracking Your Knuckles Gives You Arthritis

It may be the last thing on your mind as a young adult—but many a good Samaritan will eagerly suggest that your knuckle-cracking habit will likely result in arthritis years down the road. That popping sound is caused by synovial fluid in an individual’s knuckles bursting, and thereby lubricating joints. This in no way puts you at risk for arthritis—but we don’t recommend indulging this habit further nonetheless. Cracking your knuckles does have negative short-term effects such as reduced grip strength and swollen hands. Oh, and there’s something to be said about its unnerving effect on everyone around you too.

#5: Going Out with Wet Hair Will Give You a Cold

During the wintertime, it’s highly advisable to dry your hair adequately before going outside, but not for the reason you may think. Colds are caused by viruses, and exposure to infections is the only thing that can get you sick. While many of these viruses are more prevalent in colder months, they don’t specifically target those among us with wet hair. However, skipping this step after showering will probably result in frozen hair by the time you get where you're going, which doesn’t make the best impression among your peers, but rest assured, viruses do not discriminate!

#4: Gum Will Stay Undigested for 7 Years

Is there no trashcan in sight? Is your strict moral fiber keeping you from sticking that wad of gum underneath your desk? Well you’ll be happy to hear that the decision to swallow that stick of Big Red won’t follow you around for the better part of a decade despite what everyone’s been telling you. While gum is only partly digestible, this does not send it to gastric purgatory; you’ll pass the un-digestible gooey paste within a week. That said, no one is suggesting you make a habit of swallowing your Trident, nor should you run experiments to find out how long exactly it takes to exit the body.

#3: You Should Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day

Many misconceptions on our list are the result of fear tactics, but this one’s more or less a rule of thumb gone awry. There’s no science behind this claim, but it’s after the Food and Nutrition Board recommended consuming 2.5 liters of water a day in 1945, people started believing it. Water is present in fruits, vegetables, and most foods. Depending on bodily functions and external factors, you will secrete a variable amount of liquid each day—and 8 glasses may be too much or too little in different circumstances. So what does this mean? Drink when you feel like it—if you’re thirsty, your body needs more water, but don’t overdo it.

#2: Eating Carrots Will Improve Your Vision

This unremarkable root vegetable played a rather remarkable role in a delightful piece of wartime propaganda—but it won’t save you any trips to the eye doctor. During World War II, Britain’s air ministry managed to thwart Nazi bomber attacks during all hours of the night due to the new technology of Airborne Interception Radar. In order to keep this a secret, the British press shared stories about the extraordinary effect of carrots on the Royal Air Force’s eyesight. While Beta-carotene is a source of vitamin A—this misconception about improving vision was used to fool Hitler’s forces, and continues to fool the average human to this day.

#1: Don’t Swim Right After Eating

Nothing stops an exciting day at the beach dead in its tracks quite like the one-hour rule for fully digesting food before entering the water. This adage has been repeated again, and again, and again, with appearances as early as 1908. Over a century ago, Scouting for Boys warned about the dangers of cramping during the 60-90 minutes after eating. Any evidence corroborating this claim is merely anecdotal, and as long as you’re not swimming in Lake Lachrymose anytime soon, feel free to throw this rule to the wind – just don’t go too crazy. Muscle cramps are caused by overexertion, not overindulging on pop tarts.