Whether you’re a science enthusiast or just happen to know quite a bit about it, there are plenty of myths out there that you might believe because they are so commonly repeated—or because they seem to make sense. But here’s the truth: There are plenty of things you think you know about science that are actually myths. With this list of top 10 science myths, you can clear up your understanding of the world, and have fun while doing it!
1) There’s no gravity in space
Gravity is the force by which a planet or other body draws objects toward its center. The force of gravity keeps all of the planets in orbit around the sun. Earth’s gravity is what keeps you on the ground and what makes things fall.
2) People were all cannibals at some point
It’s a popular belief that early humans were all cannibals, but there’s no real evidence to support this. In fact, most anthropologists believe that cannibalism was rare and only practiced in certain cultures under specific circumstances. So why do people believe this myth? Perhaps because it’s a gruesome idea that makes us feel better about our own relatively civilized behavior. Or maybe we just like the idea of being able to tell our friends Hey, we’re not so different from those early humans after all!
3) The Earth is flat
For centuries, people believed that the Earth was flat. This was based on the fact that, when looking at the horizon, it appears to be a straight line. Furthermore, objects seem to disappear over the horizon, leading people to believe that if you sailed far enough, you would eventually fall off the edge of the Earth. However, we now know that the Earth is actually round. This was first proven by Greek scientists and has since been confirmed by modern day space exploration.
4) The sun revolves around the Earth
Most people think that the sun revolves around the Earth. After all, it seems like the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. But this just an illusion caused by the Earth’s rotation. The truth is, the Earth revolves around the sun!
5) DNA determines eye color
Eye color is determined by the amount and type of pigment in the eye’s iris. The gene that determines eye color is not fully understood, but it is known that it exists on chromosome 15. Blue eyes are a recessive trait, meaning that both parents must have the gene for blue eyes in order for their child to have blue eyes. Brown eyes are the most common eye color because the brown allele is dominant.
6) Humans have five senses
We actually have way more than five senses. In addition to the traditional sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing, we also have a sense of balance, body position, and acceleration. We can also detect pain, pressure, and temperature. Plus, we have a sense of time and space. So next time someone tells you that you only have five senses, you can correct them!
7) The Great Wall of China can be seen from space
It’s a common belief that the Great Wall of China is the only man-made structure visible from space. However, this is not true! While the Great Wall is certainly an impressive feat of engineering, it’s not the only man-made structure that can be seen from space. In fact, any large, continuous structure can be seen from space, including roads, railways, and even power lines.
8) People who believe they have ESP are more psychic than non-believers
There’s actually no scientific evidence to support the claim that people who believe in ESP are more psychic than those who don’t. In fact, a study published in The Journal of Parapsychology found that believers and non-believers performed equally well on tests of psychic ability. So why do so many people believe this myth? One theory is that people tend to remember the times when their predictions come true and forget the times when they don’t.
9) Black holes suck things up
Black holes are actually quite fascinating objects. They are so dense that their gravitational pull is incredibly strong. But contrary to popular belief, black holes don’t suck things up. In fact, nothing can escape from a black hole, not even light. So if you’re ever unfortunate enough to find yourself near one, don’t worry about being sucked in!
10) Extraterrestrial life exists because there are so many planets out there
It’s a popular belief that extraterrestrial life exists because there are billions of planets in our universe. However, the Drake equation, which is used to estimate the number of intelligent civilizations that might exist in our galaxy, suggests otherwise. The equation takes into account factors like the rate of star formation, the percentage of stars with planets, and the likelihood of those planets being habitable. When all is said and done, the Drake equation produces a very low number for the chance of intelligent life existing on another planet.