It’s OK to accept totally irrational results in fiction.

But it’s not advisable to mess around with them in the real world.

Don't mess with Mother Nature

In this day and age, it shouldn’t be a radical concept that science is a process where results can be independently confirmed.

scientific method

Keep in mind, it’s the scientific method that has proven the effectiveness of natural remedies. A more definitive means of determining the truth simply does not exist.

So ignore any of its findings at your peril.

And that includes these silly sayings that — like the persistent villain above — just won’t die. They have absolutely zero basis in fact:

1. Eating sugar will make you hyper.

That’s right, there’s no scientific proof that actually ties sugar to hyperactivity. Interestingly enough, sugar releases serotonin, which is a chemical in the brain that has a calming effect. That might explain the alleged sugar crash effect, but nothing else.

2. You lose most of your body heat through your head.

Here’s the truth: You lose just as much heat through your head as you do through the rest of your body. It’s just that we typically keep other body parts bundled up, so our head often feels cold in comparison.

3. Cracking your knuckles will give you arthritis.

A 2011 study found that cracking your knuckles — whether it’s once a day or every 15 minutes — made no impact on your chances of getting osteoarthritis.

4. If you have oily skin, you need to dry it out.

When your skin is oily, the assumption is that in order to stop the oil and breakouts, you need to dry out your skin, and avoid things like moisturizer.

But when you irritate oily skin by drying it out, you’re making things worse.

When the oil-producing glands get dry, they think they need to help you get back to normal by producing even more oil. Thus, when you dry out your skin, it actually makes it more oily.)

Go with oil-free products, and you’ll be able to cleanse without over drying.

5. Drinking coffee will sober you up.

It seems to makes sense: Alcohol is a downer, caffeine’s an upper. This should work, but it doesn’t. What coffee will do when you’re drunk is make you a drunk person who is very aware that they are inebriated. Go for water and time to help flush the alcohol out.

6. Drink eight glasses of water a day to stay hydrated.


We’ve all heard that we must drink eight glasses a day, but the actual amount needed varies by the person.

In other words, if you sit at a desk all day, you’ll need less water than your co-worker who takes an hour walk at lunch.

Current research shows that the average person needs about a liter of water a day — that’s four glasses — to keep hydrated. Plus, water-dominant liquids like juice and milk help replenish your fluids, as well.

7. Men get heart disease more often than women.

Contrary to what you might have heard, heart disease is the No 1 killer among women.

In fact, it kills more women than all combined forms of cancer, and women have a 50% higher chance of dying during heart surgery.

8. We only use 10% of our brains.

There’s a common misconception that there are parts of our brain we could utilize if only we knew how!

But if even a small part of our brain is damaged, it can leave us disabled. And there’s no physical way we could actually function with only 10% of our brain in use. Our brains are always active, and unless there’s brain damage, there’s no one part of the brain that is absolutely not functioning.

9. It takes 7 years to digest gum, so don’t swallow it.

To be fair, there is a part of gum that’s indigestible, which is likely where this myth came from. And like any indigestible substance, it will eventually pass through your system. But it won’t take years.

10. Only women have a ticking biological clock.

Sorry, dudes, but your junk ages the same way women’s do.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that after the age of 45, sperm quality decreases, and men have a higher risk of fathering children with genetic abnormalities.

As well, a study at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York discovered that men over 45 have double the damage to their sperm as men under 30.

11. Eat after 8pm, and you’re more likely to gain weight.

The reason nutritionists and any diet company tells you to stop eating after 8pm is because that’s the time of day you’re more prone to blindly snack while watching TV and not listen when your body is full.

In other words, there’s no specific metabolic difference about that time of day. What will make you gain weight is eating too much, regardless of the hour.

12. Different parts of your tongue taste specific things.

Contrary to rumors that different spots on your tongue correspond to sweet, salty, sour, and so on, it’s actually false. Every part of your tongue can taste everything you put on it. Way to be awesome, tongue!

13. We have five senses.

5 senses

This is where it gets nerdy — pedantic, even — but mankind’s level of knowledge has advanced ‘way beyond this description.

Humans are much more complex than five senses. There are many more, though the exact number is still up for debate. But there are things like nociception, which is the ability to sense pain, and thermoception, which helps detect temperature differences.

And yes, those involve more that just touch. There’s a reason feel is used as a distinction from it, and we’re discovering exactly why that is in more detail with each passing study.

14. Drinking too much alcohol kills your brain cells.

Unless you’re drinking disinfectant, alcohol doesn’t kill your brain cells. Of course, if you have a problem with alcohol you might face some neuron damage — but that’s largely reversible — and a host of other health issues.

But your brain cells won’t be part of that.

15. Shaving makes your hair grow back thicker.

This theory was first debunked in 1928, because cutting your hair at the skin surface has no actual effect on the hair growth.

But you’re not going completely crazy, because new hair appears darker, since it hasn’t been exposed to light.

Shave on, shavers!

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