We encounter a lot of myths in our life. These are pieces of information that pass themselves off as truth even though no one can present facts to prove it. Myths occur in every aspect of our lives and even in the various areas of knowledge. Even science has its own myths despite it being a branch of knowledge that deals with facts and its verification. Below are some of the more popular science myths.
Pop Science Myth 1: The human body will pop when exposed to the vacuum of space
This is probably one of the most popular science myths in the world. Because of the misinformation propagated by Hollywood movies, the common belief is that the head explodes when the body is exposed to the vacuum of outer space. But in fact, a person can survive for 15 to 30 seconds for as long as the person exhales first so that the lungs won’t burst.
Pop Science Myth 2: Food that is dropped on the floor and picked up within five seconds is still clean
We often hear about the five-second rule among children, and funnily enough, even among some adults. This ‘rule’ is more of a joke than anything else. Common sense alone will disprove this rule. Any kind of food or object that drops to the floor and there are germs on the floor then it will immediately get attached to the food or object. Of course, eating something that was accidentally dropped on the floor will not mean that the person in question will get sick.
Pop Science Myth 3: Brain cells die and do not regenerate
The cells in our body die and new ones replace it. But according to this myth, the brain cells do not regenerate. A brain cell that dies will not be replaced anymore. This is actually information that was taught in the medical profession until 1998. But based on the studies made in Sweden and at the Salk Institute in California, USA, brain cells in adults can actually regenerate, which opens up new hope in brain research and in finding cures for many degenerative illnesses of the brain.
Pop Science Myth 4: The brightest star in the sky is Polaris
Based on the magnitude of the stars as measured by astronomers, Polaris is not the brightest star in the sky. It is actually Sirius. Polaris has a magnitude of 1.97, but Sirius has a magnitude of -1.47 – in magnitude measurement, the lower the number the brighter the celestial object. Polaris has acquired this reputation for being the brightest star mainly because of its importance as the North Star.
Pop Science Myth 5: Lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice
This is an old myth that has even become an adage. But scientists will tell you that this is absolutely not true. In fact, lightning has a tendency to strike at the same place because it the charge that will eventually produce the lightning will always go through the path with the least resistance so it will likely strike the same area more than once until the weather condition moves on. For example, the Empire State Building is struck by lightning several times a year.