Sunday, 16 October 2011

11 Myths You Thought Were True!

What color are oranges?

That depends.
In many countries, oranges are green, even when ripe, and are sold that way in shops. Oranges are unknown in the wild. They are a cross between tangerines and and the pomelo or "Chinese grapefruit" (which is pale green or yellow), and were first grown in Southeast Asia. There were green there then, and today they still are. Vietnamese oranges and Thai tangerines are bright green on the outside and orange only on the inside.

What came first, the chicken or the egg?

The egg. Final answer.
As the geneticist J. B. S. Haldane remarked, "The most frequently asked question is: 'Which came first, the chicken or the egg?' The fact that it is still asked proves either that many people have never been taught the theory of evolution or that they don't believe it."
With that in mind, the answer becomes obvious. Bird evolved from reptiles, so the first bird must have come out of an egg--laid by a reptile.

What kind of living thing did Beatrix Potter first write about?

It wasn't a rabbit -- or a hedgehog, or a frog -- or anything remotely cute. The first living things Beatrix Potter wrote about were fungi.
She had lots of pets: a bat, newts, ferrets, frogs and two rabbits (Benjamin and Peter), whom she took out for walks. She spent her summers in Scotland and the Lake District, where her close observation of nature led her to become an expert on fungi or "mycologist."
Her first published work, presented on the Linnaean Society in 1897, was "On the Germination of Spores of Agaricineae."

What are the chances of a coin landing on heads?

It isn't fifty-fifty.
If the coin is heads up to begin with, it's more likely to land on heads. Students at Stanford University recorded thousands of coin tosses with high-speed cameras and discovered the chances are approximately fifty-one to forty-nine.

What's so great about the golden ratio?

Every Dan Brown fan has heard of this mysterious figure that crops up everywhere--in the human body, in ancient architecture, in the natural world--and whose appeal nobody can explain. The truth is it doesn't appear in most of the places it's supposed to, and many of the claims about it are false.
The Greeks knew about the golden ratio, and the Parthenon is the usual example given of its use in architecture. But any diagrams showing how its side or front elevations demonstrate a "golden rectangle" always either include some empty air at the top or leave out some steps at the bottom.

How much does a cloud weigh?

A lot.
A popular unit of measurement for cloud-weight seems to be the elephant. According to the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, an average cumulus cloud weighs about 100 elephants, while a big storm cloud tips the scales at 200,000 elephants.

What did George Washington have to say about his father's cherry tree?

We don't know. We don't even know if his father had a cherry tree.
In a tale told by Parson Weems, Washington's first biographer, the young George received an axe as a gift with which amused himself for hours on his family's plantation in Stafford, Virginia. One day george went too far and hacked the bark off his father's cherry tree, condemning it to death. He supposedly confessed at once, "I can't tell a lie, Pa; You know I can't tell a lie. I did cut it with my hatchet."
It's a good story, but it appears in no other accounts of Washington's life and was never mentioned by Washington himself. Even Weems was evasive about his sources: "I had it related to me twenty years ago by an aged lady, who was a distant relative," was as far as he was prepared to go.

Why did Julius Caesar wear a laurel wreath?

Not victory, but vanity. Julius Caesar wore a laurel wreath because he was going bald.
According to the Roman historian Suetonious in "On the Life of the Caesars," Julius Caesar "used to comb forward his scanty locks from the crown of his head" and was thrilled when the Senate granted him the special privilege of being able to wear a victor's laurel wreath whenever he felt like it.

What were Richard III's last words?

"A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse" is one of the best-known lines in English literature, but the real Richard III never uttered them. His last words are among the few things about the battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 that were accurately recorded. They were "Treason, Treason, Treason!"

What was the name of the Earth's original continent?

Many of us are familiar with the idea that the world's continents once fit snuggly together into one huge single supercontinent called Pangea.
What most of us don't know is that Pangea was only the seventh and last of a series of supercontinents that coagulated and split apart at regular intervals after the Earth formed 4.5 billion years ago. Pangea existed between 550 and 200 million years ago--which is relatively recent in geological time. In fact, if the entire history of the world were expressed as a week starting on a Monday, Pangea would only have appeared early on Sunday morning.
The very first supercontinent was called Vaalbara and it started forming more than 3.6 billion years ago.

Can anything live forever?

We are proud to introduce: the immortal jellyfish.
Reproduction by budding occurs in thousands of species, and has gone on with few modifications for half a billion years. What makes the jellyfish Turritopsis nutricula so special is that once it reproduces, it doesn't die, but transforms itself back into its juvenile polyp state, resembling a stalk with tentacles like a tiny sea urchin. Their adult cells--even their eggs and sperm--melt into simpler forms of themselves, and the whole organism becomes "young" again. Barring any sea-borne dangers, there is no biological reason why it can't live forever.


  1. The Jellyfish reminds me of the Fountain of Youth which everybody is looking for :-).

  2. Hmmm Who is Beatrix Potter (thanks we have google :p), hmm childbook author uninteresting. But that she wrote about Fungus is interesting. Since Fungus are a species of their own.

  3. And all Hail to the mighty Jellyfish. Hmm maybe the spagetti monster god theory is close to the truth. But its the jellyfish who are god actually. See spongebob for further evidence.

  4. I remember reading these on The Huffington Post.

  5. about clouds, with simple maths: the hold water, 1 liter of water = 1 kg, apply