\ 10 Common Misconceptions | Columbia University Scientists and Engineers for a Better Society

10 Common Misconceptions



  1. Wet head + cold weather = getting sick

Most people are under the impression that if you go outside in the cold with wet hair, then you are more likely to get sick. However, numerous studies have shown that there is no correlation between having a wet head and getting a cold. People who dried their hair before going outside have the same likelihood of getting sick as those who simply go out with wet hair.


  1. Vikings wore horned helmets

The majority of the history books portray Vikings as warriors with horned helmets. However, horned helmets were often only worn for ceremonial purposes rather than going to battle. In fact, by the time the era of the Vikings had come around, this style had already largely disappeared.


  1. Sugar leads to short bursts of high energy

Parents are always concerned that feeding their children high amounts of sugar will lead to high amounts of energy. They imagine their child becoming hyperactive, so they limit their children’s intake of sweets. However, sugar actually does not have an effect on behavior. Although for health reasons, limiting sugar intake is still a wise idea.


  1. Your head loses the most heat

Many people are under the impression that 98% of body heat is lost through the head. This fact is actually not a fact. It’s false. Loss of body heat is dependent upon the surface area exposed to the cold. Body heat is lost from areas that are not covered up with higher heat loss associated with higher area.


  1. Cracking your knuckles gives you arthritis

People believe that cracking knuckles will eventually result in old age. However, studies have indicated that there correlation between cracking knuckles and arthritis. People who don’t crack their knuckles are just as susceptible to arthritis as people who do crack their knuckles. There may be other hand health implications with cracking your knuckles though, so it may still be best to not do so.


  1. Napoleon was short

Napoleon is known to be 5 feet 2 inches, which actually isn’t even that short. However, recent historians have considered this measurement in French units and converted it into Imperial units, which would imply that he was actually 5 feet 7 inches. Regardless, Napoleon was not short. At the very least, he was average in height, if not above average.


  1. Stretching is beneficial and prevents injuries

Almost all athletes make sure to stretch their muscles before their sport; even the general public stretches before exercising. However, according to some experts, stretching actually proves detrimental to your performance. Stretching actually decreases speed and efficiency, proving to be counterproductive. There has also never been any evidence showing that stretching before exercising prevents injuries.


  1. Cholesterol from eggs is detrimental to your heart

Health-conscious people often avoid eggs due to the cholesterol, but studies have shown that this cholesterol has no impact on your body’s overall cholesterol. Saturated fat is actually the cause of the risk for coronary heart disease.


  1. A dog year is 1/7 of a human year

People who own dogs like to state their dog’s age in “dog years,” which they perceive to be 7 years for every one human year. Although dogs to tend to have a higher maturity rate than humans, they actually reach 21 years in about 2 human years. Then after 2 human years, the rate slows to around 4 dog years per human year. Dog owners may have to adjust their dog’s age accordingly.

george washington

  1. George Washington had wooden teeth

Although George Washington was, indeed, lacking teeth, his dentures were actually made of a combination of gold, hippopotamus ivory, lead, and human/animal teeth. There was never any wood used. His dentures were actually bolted together with springs to aid in opening them.





(Source: http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/stories/10-false-facts-most-people-think-are-true)