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This ‘cool guide of commonly believed myths’ raised a lot more questions than it answered – but the comments were gold

We’re very grateful to u/RichyCigars for drawing our attention to this mythbusting infographic on Reddit’s r/coolguides.

A cool guide of commonly believed myths

We’re not sure how seriously you should take all of these . See if you can spot any errors.

The Vomitorium
No, not a room Romans used for Bacchanalian binges, but the name for the entrance to a stadium.

Different tongue parts
There are no different sections for each taste: bitter, sour, salty, sweet & umami (savoury/meaty).

Electric fan @ night
Big myth in S. Korea that this is deadly. Very unlikely to harm you. Well. Unless you put the fan in the bed...

Sharks don't get cancer
Oh yes they do. Particularly skin cancer.

Black 'holes'
Hugely dense objects with massive gravitational pull, creating a hole in the fabric of space time from which light cannot escape. But not a hole in the sense of a portal.

Don't wake sleepwalkers?
It's okay. They’ll be really confused. But they’re more likely to hurt themselves if they’re not awoken.
Bulls hate red
They are actually colour-blind and instead react to motions of the bull fighter’s cloth as a perceived threat.

Great Wall of China
Not visible from space to the naked eye. Myth. Now stop saying it!

Missing person report
Police don’t demand a 24-hour period before accepting a missing persons report.

Bananas grow on trees
They actually grow on massive herbs that resemble trees. Bet you didn’t know that.

Oil stops stuck pasta
Nope. But it can stop the water foaming or boiling over.

Sweaty dogs?
Dogs don't sweat by salivating. They regulate temperature through panting. They actually sweat through footpads.

We lose heat through the head
Only in infants is most heat lost this way. Or if the head is the only uncovered part of the body.

Vikings’ horned helmets
Actually created by a costume designer for a 19th-century Wagner opera.

Bats are blind
Don’t be fact-blind! Bats can not only see. They can also use echolocation. That’s why they’re so awesome!

Salieri hated Mozart
Nothing like the film. They were composer friends with a little rivalry. Nothing more.

Iron maidens
Never were medieval torture devices, but 18th century fakes created for sensational circuses

Don't touch baby birds. Birds won't abandon chicks touched by humans.

Don’t eat & swim!
Doesn’t increase risk of cramps; alcohol is the biggest risk increaser. But a full stomach will make you short of breath.

Einstein failed maths
Nope. He failed an entrance exam for a school but still excelled in maths.

The 5 senses
We actually have close to 20, including balance, pain, movement, hunger, thirst, etc.

“Yes, I’m a cop”
US undercover police do not have to identify themselves as cops. A Hollywood-induced myth.

MSG = headaches.
Studies have never proved this. There is just anecdotal evidence.

Fishy 3-sec memory
While not the smartest, goldfish boast a memory span of 3 months – better than most politicians.

Humans lived with dinosaurs
Despite 41% of US adults thinking they coexisted, we actually missed each other by ~63 million years.

Evolution is just a ‘theory’
In science, a ‘theory’ is anything more than a conjecture. Usually an extensively tested idea uniting data from many observations.

Chastity belts
Not anti-adultery devices. Instead invented by prudes in the 19th century to prevent ‘dangerous’ masturbation.

We evolved from chimps
Nope. Along with bonobos, they are our closest living genetic relatives. But a shared ancestor lived 5–8 million years ago.

Glass is a liquid
Actually an ‘amorphous solid’. ‘But that‘s why stained-glass windows are thicker at the bottom.’ Nope. It’s just badly made glass.

Caffeine dehydrates
Not really. The diuretic dehydrating effect of caffeine is offset by the amount of water in a caffeinated drink

Shaving thickens hair
Regrown hair isn’t thicker, coarser or darker. It just appears so because it’s no longer tapered.

Sugar = hyperactivity
Studies have disproved this. ADHD and poor behaviours still occurs in children with sugar-free diets.

Vaccines = autism
Groundless fears based on fraudulent research that’s been shown to have been manipulated.

Dropped pennies kill
Terminal velocity of a penny is 30–50 mph, which isn’t fast enough. It would hurt, though.

Left & right brain
There's no evidence that creativity or logic reside in a particular side of the brain, or that a person can be

Satan rules hell
Doesn’t actually say this anywhere in the Bible.

Milk & mucus
Nope. Milk doesn’t create mucus. There’s no need to avoid dairy if you have a cold.

Salt boiling water
Adding a sprinkle of salt to fresh water makes only a negligible difference to boiling time. Huge, sea-level amounts do.

Alcohol kills brain cells
Only in heavy users & alcoholics who rely on alcohol to get most of their calories.

Multiple personalities
Confusing. Schizophrenia technically means ‘split-mind’, but it is different to multi-personality disorder.

Jihad is ‘holy war’
It actually translates as ‘struggle’.

No sex before the game
No evidence intercourse impairs athletic performance. Could even help athletes due to increased testosterone.

Flush direction
Toilet water does not rotate the other way in the S. hemisphere. The Coriolis effect only affects large bodies of water.

Gum = 7 years to digest
The chewy base of gum is indigestible & passes straight through. The remainder is absorbed.

Washington smoked weed, dude
He grew hemp to make rope & clothes, but there’s no evidence he smoked a phat one most nights.

Black belt = masters
Only introduced in 1880, in Judo, to show competence in basic techniques. Not ninja-level mastery.

Islamic martyrs get 72 virgins
A matter of debate in Islam. Nowhere in the Qu’ran, but is reported in other texts.

Maybe don’t rely on these if you ever get onto QI. The comments section was the real cool guide. Check out what people had to say.

The Flintstones episodes are apparently considered quality documentary films by a surprisingly large number of people.


-Napoleon, probably.

Fun way to prove to your annoying friends that they aren’t ‘sensitive to msg:’ ask if tomato sauce or salsa give them headaches. Tomatoes, especially processed. are chocked full of msg.

The left and right brain thing isn’t totally correct. For about 99% of the population, language lateralizes to the left hemisphere. But the overall “logical vs artsy” point is still correct.

Two of these are just: “American English translates this Arabic word wrong”

Still pretty cool.

Stupid chart is wrong anyway

Blackholes are holes that empty excess space dust into the turtles’ mouths so they get something to eat because holding up universes is calorie intensive.

Whoever made this chart should go to school at my Mama’s house, she learned me good.

I refuse to believe the one about milk. I can consistently, demonstrably, show it promotes mucus production to anyone who wants to watch me get snotty.

Iron Maiden is real. I saw them on tour.

I guess it depends on what your definition of “visible from space” is. My car is visible in the driveway in Google Earth, and the Great Wall is a lot bigger than that.

Worked in an Italian kitchen for 5yrs…

Bullshit that oil doesn’t keep pasta from sticking. It most definitely does.

I suggest take the ‘different parts of the tongue’ one with a pinch of salt.

What has two thumbs and finds this guide ultra dubious?

“He he how can anyone believe thes- wait what? A pinch of salt doesn’t make water boil faster?”

When I was little and I heard it was dangerous to wake a sleepwalker I imagined that they turned into monsters or werewolves….. I thought it was dangerous to me.>

We’re not sure how cool this cool guide is, but we bet it can be used to start no end of arguments down the pub – while you are or aren’t killing braincells.

Damn I thought the head heat thing was true. Proud that it was the only one though. My partner believes or has believed 4. I win this imaginary competition!

There are even more ‘busted myths’ like these on the Information is Beautiful website, if you fancy picking holes in them.


People have been sharing their interesting facts. These 23 form a treasure trove of trivia

Source r/coolguides Image r/coolguides