human body mythsHow many times have you heard from your mothers and grandmothers, “Do not go out without a hat, you will catch a cold”, or “Do not read in the dark, you will impair your eyes”. Although these advices are well-intentioned, in fact, science has proven that they are nothing more than a myth. Here are Top 10 prejudices and myths about our body:

1. If you touch a toad, you’ll get warts

Warts are caused by a virus in people known as the human papillomavirus. It cannot be transmitted from animals, and certainly not from toads, whose bumps are glands, not warts.

2. You must not wake a sleepwalker

When a person suffers from lunacy, he walks and performs various actions in his sleep. If you wake a sleepwalker, he may feel muddled and disoriented, but it is still better than 

the injury he can get, stumbling over various objects and walking in dangerous places. Therefore, it is better to gently wake him up and help get back in bed.

3. You can catch a cold if you go out in a damp, cold weather

There is no evidence to support this statement. Viruses are more common in lower humidity in winter. In addition, in cold weather people spend more time indoors, where it is easier to spread these viruses. The only thing that is scientifically confirmed is that the cold reduces our resistance to infection we caught.

4. Hair and nails continue growing after death

Neither one nor the other continues growing. But after the death the cuticle and the skin get wrinkled, making it seem as if the hair and nails lengthened.

5. After shaving the growing hair is thicker and darker

Unshaved hair has a conical shape and that is why it does not look as thick as the shaved one. In addition, unshaved hair is more exposed to the sun, which brightens it. That is why cut hair seems darker at first.

6. Men think about sex every seven seconds

If this was true, men would find it pretty hard to focus on any important things, such as work. Although there is no way to check this, the scientists argue that this statement is an exaggeration.

7. Different areas of the tongue are responsible for different tastes

The idea that the taste buds on the tongue correspond to sweet, sour, bitter and salty tastes ingrained in most people’s minds long ago. However it is not like this. Each area of the tongue can feel each taste. The myth that there is a tongue map came from an inaccurate translation by a German newspaper of the theory proposed by a professor at Harvard University.

8. We use only 10 % of our brain

William James, a psychologist, who lived in the 1800s, once metaphorically suggested that we use only 10 percent of our brain. This phrase has turned into a rumor that the rest of the brain is not used. In fact, the inactive neurons are the same important at any given time as the active ones, and 10 percent comes from different areas of the brain.

9. If you squint your eyes, they will remain like this

When you look at your nose, it creates a normal convergence, i.e. the number of rotations of the eye in relation to each other, in order to see the object. In the case of squint, one eye looks straight and the other looks away. Most often it occurs in children and is caused by diseases of the nervous system, injuries and other diseases. In adults, it occurs in extreme situations, such as stroke or Graves’ disease.

10. Reading in the dark impairs vision

Reading with a flashlight in the dark will not affect your vision, but will make reading difficult. There are two types of eye receptors: rods and cones. Cones allow us to read and see colors, while rods capture movement in the peripheral vision and allow us to see in the dim light. When you switch off the light, only the rods are activated, so reading becomes more difficult. But it will not do any harm, but a greater eye strain.

Anna LeMind, B.A.

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