… but really aren't. And that's perfectly fine. Over the course of time, humanity has been constantly evolving, and that refers to the knowledge we possess. Back in the B.C. times, people thought that rain was a sign that the sky was going to collapse on them. That obviously isn't true, and funnily enough, neither are the things that are on this list. But given the constant change in our perception, maybe ten years from now someone will be writing an article proving that, in fact, they are true. But let's not get into that. For now, here are 10 Facts That You Thought To Be True (but unfortunately aren't).
1. Lightning Doesn't Strike The Same Place Twice
We've all heard this expression before, though I can bet that it had a much more metaphorical sense to it. Scientifically, however, there is absolutely no foundation that would prove the statement to be true. Nature doesn't abide by any rules, especially a powerful force like the lightning. If it wants to strike the same place twice, it will do it and it's done it before. Lightning hooks to the nearest electricity conductor, making tall buildings and constructions like the Empire State Building and the Eiffel Tower sure targets. And there are people out there who can vouch that they have definitely been struck more than once.
2. Bats Are Blind
This common misconception has spawned one of the most used retaliations: have you ever heard of the expression “blind as a bat?” Couldn't be falser. Unless you're insinuating that the certain someone the expression is aimed for needs some eyesight improvement, in which case you've hit the nail. Out of over 1200 total bat species, none of them are sightless. Truth be told, there are some that that don't really see particularly well, but they have their infamous “echolocation” systems to guide them around through the power of high frequency sounds.
3. Red Is a Bull's Greatest Enemy
Except, it's not the color, it's the flag. Like most other animals, bulls are what we call “color blind.” The crew of Myth Busters made it their quest to disprove this particularly intriguing myth, and they were successful in their attempts. It turns out that the bull helping with the experiment charged towards the waved flags, regardless of their colors. It's safe to assume that the red flag is more of a symbol in bull fighting rather than a scientific means to an end.
4. America Was Discovered By Christopher Columbus
Then why is it named America? Because it's named after another one of history's greatest explorers: Amerigo Vespucci. And because Christopher Columbus never actually set foot on North American land. Most of his voyages circled around Caribbean islands and he definitely made plenty of important discoveries. However, America wasn't just a deserted land prior to his so called discovery. The continent was inhabited by indigenous folk, and long before Columbus was even born, the first people to set foot on American land were the Vikings of the 11th century. Who's pro changing America's name to Vikingia?
5. Sushi Is Raw Fish
For many people, sushi is a delicate type of dish. After all, how many people are readily willing to experience the taste of raw fish? If this is your case, then you don't have to worry about sushi. That's because what sushi really refers to is a type of dish served with vinegar rice. The Japanese meal that consists of raw fish is sashimi, something entirely different from sushi. Moreover, so many people still believe this to be true and, in turn, avoid consuming sushi, that new types have been intended, marketed solely for westerners so they won't have to worry about eating raw fish again.
6. Coffee Is Made From Beans
This one is a definite shocker. But don't worry, it's not too far away from truth either. Coffee is actually made from the seeds of a type of fruit called “coffee cherries.” They're red, strongly resembling grapes, and underneath a layer of bitter skin lays delicious, sweet flesh. As for the “beans” we're all so fond of, in their natural form they're a blue-green hue, gaining the well known brown shade after being roasted.
7. China's Wall Is Visible From Space
The Great Wall of China is seemed as one of the greatest man made constructions in history, and this statement has been backed up by the claim that it can be allegedly sighted from outer space. Well, surprise, it's not. It'd be a wonder if it were barely visible. In fact, astronauts would need vision 17,000 times better than your average human's to be able to see it. That doesn't mean that nothing else is visible from space. Several astronauts claimed that, upon looking at the shadowed side of Earth, they were able to clearly see city lights and distinguish cities from the outer, less populated areas. Some say that, with the aid of binoculars, they were able to see large buildings, roads, airports, dams and even large sea and air vehicles.
8. Mount Everest Is The World's Tallest Mountain
The delicate bit about this statement is the wording. While at 8,850 meters, Mount Everest definitely possesses the highest altitude on Earth, it's not the tallest. When we talk about how tall a mountain is, we need to refer to the meters both below and under the sea level. On the other hand, altitude only refers to the distance above the sea level and the mountain's summit. Going by this criteria, the tallest mountain in the world is actually in Hawaii, and it's called Mauna Kea. While its altitude is half Mount Everest's, given how 60% of the mountain is below sea level, it sums up a total of 10,100 meters from base to summit, making it the true tallest mountain in the world.
9. Fortune Cookies Are Chinese
Odd, isn't it? Apparently, they're an American invention, although how they came to be created is up to debate. Some say it was a Cantonese immigrant from 1918 who took pity on the poor and started spreading around cookies with inspirational, Biblical based messages in them. Others say that it was a Japanese man who wanted to thank his new employer at San Francisco's Japanese Tea Garden for taking care of him, by slipping a small note of gratitude in his cookie. Whichever will prove to be the real story, we can be sure of one thing: fortune cookies were never a Chinese thing.
10. People Thought The Earth Was Flat
Some believe that before Christopher Columbus made the legendary discovery of American land (which he didn't, as we've just established), people thought that the Earth was flat. Wrong. Contrary to popular belief, Columbus wasn't the first man to set sail and explore the world beyond European borders. Many before him have traveled the seas and oceans, and have concluded that the Earth was indeed round. More than that, this claim was made even longer prior to the 15th century: Greek philosopher Pythagoras suggested Earth's roundness back in the 6th century B.C. It's true, however, that there was a point in time between the 18th and the 20th centuries when this claim was up to debate, but it was mainly kept between religious and secular groups.
How did this list affect your views on the world? Changes in perspective and even universally accepted realities have been a common recurrence in the course of humanity's existence. They happened before and they definitely still will. This is why all of these were 10 Facts That You Thought To Be True.