(BuzzFeed) Here are the time's TV and movies taught us incorrect "facts" and made us look like fools:
That Twinkies could survive the apocalypse
In a myth popularized in movies like Zombieland and shows like The Simpsons, Twinkies are said to have so many artificial ingredients that they could last years. In actuality, their shelf life is 45 days. A Maine classroom doing an experiment has kept a Twinkie for decades, and while it hasn't fallen apart, it has turned gray and inedible.
That people use only 10% of their brain
Professor Samuel Norman said, "It is estimated most human beings only use 10% of their brain's capacity" in Lucy. This idea was propagated by the action film Lucy. Every part of the brain has a function and even simple tasks use far more than 10% of the brain - scientists have confirmed this with PET and fMRI machines mapping brain activity.
That you can be swallowed up by quicksand
We've seen it in shows like Days of Our Lives and adventure movies like the Indiana Jones films, but it has no basis in reality. Because people are mostly water, they float even in quicksand - and while you can definitely get stuck, you won't sink to the point where it's pulling your head under. It's still dangerous, though!!
That mice and rats love cheese.
This has been in SO many movies and TV shows. In fact, they like cheese no more than they do any other available food. The myth may come from rats often chewing cheese wheels in people's cupboards and pantries - but this is likely just because it was a large amount of food in one spot that's easy to get to and sneak around in.
That urine is sterile.
You've probably heard this sentiment in movies like Fight Club and Dodgeball -- but it's actually false. Urine isn't sterile at all -- it has bacteria in it. And you should not drink it unless you absolutely have to to survive - in this case, you should drink it immediately after it leaves your body so it doesn't attract other bacteria.
Similarly, peeing on a jellyfish sting stops the stinging
While some parts of urine (like ammonia) may help, others (like sodium) may worsen it. Sea water would be better, though it also has salt.
That lightning won't strike the same place twice.
It strikes the same place often, especially tall things like the Empire State Building.
That wolf packs have an alpha.
This idea is common in pop culture, even among werewolf films and shows like Teen Wolf. They do have parents -- who are in charge the same way human parents are -- but there is no "alpha," "beta," or "omega" in wild wolf packs.
That piranhas attack humans and are exclusively carnivorous
According to horror films like Piranha 3D, piranhas are deadly, vicious creatures. In reality, it would take about 300 to 500 piranhas to eat a human, and while there is some evidence of piranhas eating human flesh, it's in cases where the person was already dead. Also, many piranhas are omnivores, and some are even vegetarians.
And that sharks attack humans unprovokeal diet and d
Thanks for a lifelong unfounded fear of sharks, Jaws. Humans are not part of sharks' naturprefer to eat something else. Sharks rarely attack humans, and if they do, it may only be because they are curious or confused - studies show that they may mistake humans on surfboards as seals or sea lions.
That dying elephants go off to an "elephant graveyard" to die.
This is nothing more than a myth. While skeletons are sometimes found in the same spot, this is likely because there was softer vegetation there for older elephants whose teeth had worn down, so they moved to that area when they were close to death, or because elephants were gathering around one of the last food sources during a drought or famine when they died.
That "irregardless" is not a word.
It very much is - it just means "regardless."


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