Many of us, as we become older, tend to accumulate information and other facts all around us. We gather information from people we encounter and from the places we go to. Children normally obtain information initially from their parents and other members of the family. Other sources of information for children are taken from the environment, especially at school. I am pretty sure that you were taught some things at school or you have learned somewhere else about certain things that you have come to accept as common knowledge. However, have you ever thought that the facts you once knew were actually wrong? Then it’s time to re-learn and be enlightened!
Below are some science facts you thought you knew were right all these years:
What do you think? If you think that science fact #1 is correct, then you’re wrong. The most likely reason behind the wave-like sound you hear from the spiral conch shells is because of the ambient noise from around you. The seashell that you are holding just above your ear captures this noise, which in turn resonates inside the shell. Therefore, the shape and size of the shell has some effect on the sound you hear. Different shells, of course, sound differently because they bring out different frequencies. Actually, you don’t even need the seashell to hear the wave-like sound. You can still hear the same “ocean” sound by means of using an empty cup or by just cupping your hand over your ear. Try it yourself and vary the distance at which you place the cup near your ear. The sound level will vary, depending on the cup’s distance and angle from your ear.
The noise from outside the shell also can change the intensity of the sound you hear inside it. Think of the shell as a resonating chamber. When sound coming from the outside enters the shell, it bounces around, which then creates an audible noise. So, the louder the environment you are currently at, then the louder the ocean-like sound will be.
For more information: check out The Skinny on the Ocean in the Seashell (Discover)
Science Fact #2: Paper bags are better than plastic bags for the environment.
What do you think? If you think that science fact #2 is correct, then you’re wrong. Plastic bags “could” be better than paper bags for the environment. You see, the manufacturing process that creates the paper bags requires far more energy than that which creates plastic. Also, recycling paper bags takes more energy than recycling plastic, and paper bags usually take up more space in a landfill. Due to the fact that landfills are generally airtight beneath the surface, plastic and paper are equally bad at biodegrading.
However, with all that’s said, your best option is to neither choose paper nor plastic; instead, choose reusable canvas bags. Canvas bags are known to be 14 times better than plastic bags and 39 times better than paper bags, assuming that canvas bags are of good quality and are used around 500 times during their lifespan.
For more information: check out Paper Bags or Plastic Bags? Everything You Need to Know (Treehugger)
Science Fact #3: Dolphins, whether they live in the ocean or river, drink the water they swim on.
What do you think? If you think that science fact #3 is correct, then you’re wrong. Almost all dolphins live in the ocean; however, ocean water is too salty for them to drink. If they would drink sea water, they would actually use more water (just to get rid of the salt) than they drank in the first place. You see, most of the water they need originates from their food (fish and squid). Fish such as mackerel and herring is typically made up of over 80% moisture, whereas in squid, its moisture content is even higher. Also, when they burn or metabolize their fat, water is released in the process. Their kidneys are also programmed to retain or conserve as much water as possible. Moreover, dolphins really do not need to take in very much fluid because their skin is impermeable and they do not lose water by sweating, unlike us.
For more information, check out How Do Dolphins Drink Their Water? (eHow)
Science Fact #4: If you have an allergy to pets, especially cats and dogs, then that means you are absolutely allergic to their fur.
What do you think? If you think that science fact #4 is correct, then you’re wrong. If you have pet allergies, then it simply means that you are not necessarily allergic to the pet’s fur – the allergic reaction you have may be due to the animal’s saliva, dead skin or waste matter. Regularly bathing your pet and frequently cleaning your home can significantly minimize your problem with pet allergies.
For more information, check out How To Keep Animal Dander Low (eHow)
Science Fact #5: The tongue map or taste map – the parts of the tongue where we can specifically experience sweet, salty, sour and bitter tastes – is absolutely true.
What do you think? If you think that science fact #5 is correct, then you’re wrong. We can actually taste all tastes (sweet, salty, sour and bitter) on all parts of the tongue. The tongue map is just a century-old misunderstanding that no one challenged.
The tongue map is derived from a paper written by a German scientist named D. P. Hanig which was published in 1901.
Even if the tongue map was disproven, it is really a mystery why textbooks continue to print the tongue map up to this day.
Did you know that there is actually a fifth distinct taste? It is called umami, identified by a Japanese scientist named Kikunae Ikeda in the early 1990s. This is actually the taste of glutamate, which is common in Japanese foods. Glutamate is also found in bacon and monosodium glutamate (MSG), which Ikeda isolated and patented.
For more information, check out The Tongue Map (Wikipedia)
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