Thing #3: Everything!

If I were really going to cover everything people misunderstand in this post, it would have to be, like, Things #3-5,000,000.  Thankfully it’s a misnomer, since I don’t have nearly enough time to write about 4,999,997 misconceptions.

It occurs to me (slightly too late) that having that gif at the top of this post is not the best way to draw in viewers.

Getting to the point, today I’ll be covering a hodgepodge of random misconceptions that I found interesting and fun.

1) Einstein failed math.

He didn’t.  On the contrary, he excelled in math!  Here’s a quotation from him: “Before I was fifteen I had mastered differential and integral calculus”.  Think about that one for a minute, then tell me how you feel about your pre-calc GPA.


2) If you flush a toilet in the Southern hemisphere, the water flows in the opposite direction than water in Northern hemisphere toilets.

You might’ve heard this one before.  Like many myths, it has a basis in fact; proponents of this myth often cite the Coriolis Force as reasoning behind it.  The Coriolis Force is a phenomenon caused by the rotation of the earth, and it often causes giant air masses (for example, tornadoes) to rotate in opposite directions in the Northern and Southern hemispheres.  However, a toilet flush is too brief (and the amount of water contained in one too small) to be influenced by the Coriolis Force, which only changes things over large distances and much longer time spans.


3) Lightning never strikes the same place twice.

Tell that to Roy Sullivan, who, between 1942 and 1977, was struck by lightning SEVEN TIMES.  Well, you might be thinking, Roy probably wasn’t in the exact same place every time, was he?  Probably not.  But the Empire State Building is struck approximately 25 times per year.  And last time I checked, that was a pretty stationary building.



4) If you touch a baby bird, its mother will abandon it.

It turns out you’re safe to pet those cute things after all:

That one on the right is totally falling asleep.

Mother birds don’t have a strong enough sense of smell to reject one of their children if a human touches it.  That being said, it might not be smart to cuddle random birds you find.


5) The Great Wall of China can be seen from space.

The Great Wall, being only 30 feet wide at maximum, is just plain not visible from that far up.  You don’t have to take my word for it, though–so long as you have billions of dollars to shell out for a trip into space to see for yourself.

Next time the format of the blog will be changing up a little, just to keep things fresh.  Be on the lookout for less tangible misconceptions and more abstract misunderstandings.



Common Misconceptions — World’s Most Contagious Falsehoods

20 Things You Need to Know About Einstein

Flush Bosh

10 Common Scientific Misconceptions

10 Historical Misconceptions


2 thoughts on “Thing #3: Everything!

  1. WOAH, the last one surprised me a lot! I’ve always thought you could see it from outer space, but I guess not. Mind-blown. Anyways, as usual I love the way you write and the sarcasm because it’s hilarious. This might sound weird, but I can kind of imagine you saying many of those things, and it’s so funny! Also, I love your gifs, as usual, and just your posts in general. The Einstein misconception is also great, really makes me think about the difference, especially that last sentence in that part “Think about that one for a minute, then tell me how you feel about your pre-calc GPA.” Oh and last thing, the bird gif was just perfect. I started laughing out loud, and my brother just stared at me like I was insane.


  2. As always, this was amusing to read! I liked the snippets about lots of misconceptions; it moved things along quickly, and for each new topic, I looked forward to a new gif. Except when I was in Ecuador, I was at the equator (literally…there was a line on the ground where I was), they had this sink. And when the sink was exactly over the equator, the water just drained straight down. When the moved it to one side, it swirled in one direction. When they moved it to the other side, it swirled in the other direction. TBH I forgot to check the direction of the toilets flushing, but somehow or other, the water definitely changed based on where it was. The whole thing was crazy. Anyway, I don’t know why I’m telling that whole story here, but the toilet thing reminded me of it. Good job on your post!


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