Education is one of the most important things that any child can get, but this doesn’t mean that our educational system isn’t flawed. Sometimes our schools teach us things that just aren’t true, and as time goes on and science advances, we find out that some of the so-called facts we learned in school were inaccurate.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common facts that we were taught in school which have since been proven wrong.
1. The Food Pyramid
We used to be taught that it was only healthy to eat up to 1 gram of fat per day, and that we had to adhere to everything that the old school food pyramid taught us. However, the simple reality is that the human body, particularly the brain, needs fat to survive. Your body can’t really survive off of just one gram of fat per day.
“Super bogus stuff. I know it’s not healthy to eat peanut butter cups all day, but your brain needs fats to live.”
Many also believe the “required” amount of milk and dairy are actually influenced by dairy and grain producers. So following the food pyramid may be counter to the healthy lifestyle people are looking for.
“Even now, the dairy industry has a chokehold on schools. It’s actually REQUIRED for public schools to serve dairy milk in order to receive federal funding. Why? Cause lobbying. Not because of health.”
“Dairy is 25% of the total? Really?”
2. Seeing the Great Wall of China From Space
While the Great Wall of China is very impressive, and certainly extremely long, it’s not nearly wide enough to be seen from outer space with the naked eye. Sure, it’s big, but it’s just not that big. If you could see the Great Wall of China from space, you could see other similar structures as well, such as highways and freeways.
“The Great Wall of China is long but it’s not that wide. If you could see it from space surely you’d be able to see roads and smallish buildings so it wouldn’t be that impressive.”
3. Cracking Knuckles Causes Arthritis
We were always taught that cracking our knuckles causes arthritis, but this was apparently just a falsehood taught to us because people were annoyed by the noise. In fact, the cracking noise is just the air bubbles trapped in the fluid around your joints popping.
“Basically internal bubble wrap.”
4. We Won’t Always Have Calculator
OK, so not always having calculators in our pockets may have been true 20 years ago when smartphones were not yet a reality. However, this so-called fact has aged poorly, because virtually everyone has a smartphone in their pocket, which qualifies as a calculator.
“I carry a fully functional computer in my pocket, so I guess they were technically correct.”
5. The Tongue Has Zones of Taste Buds
For the longest time we were taught that half of our tongues were designed to taste sweet things and the other half was designed to taste sour things. This is of course completely false, and has since been proven as such. This is perhaps one of the biggest falsehoods we were ever told as children.
“I argued with my science teacher in 4th grade about this. Even to a 9/10 year old, this made no sense. She went to the cafeteria and got some salt packets and sugar packets. We did a blind taste testing experiment. In the end, she had us draw an X through the picture in our science books.”
6. Mercury is the Hottest Planet
Although this is a very old one, back in the 1970s, until the 1980s, it was thought that mercury was the hottest planet on record. However, this has since been proven false, as Venus is now regarded as the hottest planet.
“I was taught that Mercury was the hottest planet. A student corrected them on a national level and they changed how it was taught.”
7. “I” Before “E” Except After “C”
We were always taught that the only time the letter ‘I’ comes before the letter ‘E’ is after the letter ‘C’. This, of course isn’t always true so this outdated tip really shouldn’t be taught in schools anymore.
“Unless Your Feisty Beige Foreign Neighbor Invites You On a Heist.”
8. The USA Will Be Using the Metric System
At one point, teachers and administrators everywhere were saying that schools and the USA in general would start using the metric system as opposed to the imperial system. Although this is not exactly a false fact, it certainly never came to pass.
“The reality is that the US will be using the metric system in 12 and 5/8 years.”
9. Blood is Blue in the Veins
Up until quite recently, teachers taught children that when in the veins, blood is blue, but only turns red once the blood hits oxygen. This is one of the weirdest myths that we were ever taught. It is of course 100% false.
“Seems like a logical leap someone made because they looked at their arm and saw blue veins.”
10. Everyone Has the Same Response to Stress
Children used to be taught that when faced with stress that there were only two responses, fight or flight, which is just simply wrong. For instance, some people simply feel tired when stressed out.
“Yup, a buddy of mine just farts uncontrollably when under a lot of stress, legit lmao.”
11. Animals Don’t Use Tools
Biology class used to teach us that one of the only fundamental differences between animals and humans is that humans use tools whereas animals do not. Many animals in the animal kingdom use tools for various purposes, such as chimpanzees and other monkeys.
“Chimpanzees have entered the chat. And capuchin monkeys. And crows. And octopus. And sea otters. And…”
12. Don’t Swim for 30 Minutes After Eating
Although swimming immediately after eating a big meal can make you feel a bit sick and queasy, it certainly won’t make you so heavy that you’ll sink to the bottom. Parents used to teach their kids that they couldn’t go swimming within 30 minutes after eating because they would sink.
“I’m pretty sure that last one was started to try and keep kids from throwing up in the pool because kids just throw up sometimes.”
13. You Need to Know Cursive
“I now enjoy being able to write and have people not be able to read it NOT just because of my horrible handwriting.”
“Yeah, I really remember seeing cursive as a real punishment, that’s mostly why I asked the teacher in the first place, I was interested in the reasoning behind it and I didn’t want my kid to start to hate writing.”
14. Hands on the Wheel at 10 and 2
“I was taught that you put your hands on the steering wheel at 10 and 2. My teen daughter learned this summer to put her hands at 9 and 3 in Drivers Ed. Apparently it’s safer if/when air bags are deployed.”
“A lot of drivers education programs are starting to teach 8 and 4 now.”
15. The Settling of Americans
Many readers were surprised at how much history was watered down and how different the American perspective was from reality.
“In American schools the textbooks taught us a very one sided version of major events in history. What really sticks out is how the books described the way the The united states’ was established in north America as a peaceful, friendly and positive thing. When in reality it was a partial genocide on the native American Indians.”
“Thanksgiving was about native Americans inviting pilgrims to a generous feast and peaceful merriment ensued.”
16. If you Touch a Baby Bird the Mom will Kill It
“If you touch a baby bird the mom will smell the human on it and kill it.
Birds don’t have a keen enough sense of smell to smell humans.
Birds don’t kill their babies. Humans kill the babies by giving them diseases their bodies can’t fight.
This myth was likely created by bird experts because a human child cannot fathom just how fragile a baby bird is.
Don’t try handling baby birds but don’t think you’re starting them on a ticking clock of death if you have to.”
17. Pluto is a Planet
“Pluto was demoted from full-on planet to dwarf planet.”
“Poor, poor Pluto. It’s hard to be demoted.”
“I teach space science to 7th graders, and the number of them who still seem to take personal offense to the idea that Pluto isn’t considered a planet anymore is mind boggling, considering it was declassified 5 years before they were even born”
18. Christopher Columbus Discovered America
A popular fact that readers learned later in life was that Christopher Columbus didn’t actually discover America.
“Columbus did not discover America, and people of his time certainly did not think he’d gone and sailed off the edge of the world.”
“That Columbus was this great explorer, and he “found” or “discovered” America when it turns out he happened upon it, and there were native Americans already here.”
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