Mythbusters: know your facts


When I began to think of what to write about for this article nothing came to mind that seemed appropriate  for my first piece written exclusively for the KO News features section. However, I soon realized there is only one topic interesting enough to receive this kind of attention:  myth busting. I am warning you right now that I am about to destroy everything you ever thought you knew about life, so read this article at your own risk.

Ever since I was around seven years old, I remember being told not to swallow my gum because it would not leave my body until I turned 14. Were  you ever confronted with such dire consequences resulting from certain behaviors? Well, if you were, you were lied to just as I was. Gum does not stay in your body for seven years. In fact, gum leaves your body within a few days. Mind blown.

And what about  lightning? Have you ever heard that lightning will not strike the same place twice  and believed it. Well then, now is the time to forget what you heard about gum or lightning or any other old wives’ tale you have been told. The next time you are in a lightning storm, I recommend that for your own safety you find shelter rather than trying to locate  a spot that has already been struck.

If you bite your finger as hard you would a carrot, you will chomp your finger off. True or False? After some thorough research, I  discovered that your brain stops you from biting your finger as hard as you would a carrot, and really you would need to exert a much harder bite to take off a whole finger completely.

Now, you must be thinking what else can there be that I ought to disavow. Is my entire life a lie? Well, let me reassure you that no, your life is not a lie. It is very true that if you eat too many carrots,  you will turn orange. If this were to happen to you please do not worry because that orange tinge is harmless. Carrots and actually many other foods such as pumpkins and sweet potatoes have a pigment in them called beta-carotene which usually turns into vitamin A, and  if you eat too much of beta-carotene, some of it will turn into vitamin A and the rest of it will enter your bloodstream. After entering your bloodstream, your skin can look orange. This condition is known as Carotenemia.

Bananas grow on trees. False. Bananas grow from a banana plant that looks like a tree. True. The banana plant is often mistaken for a tree because it looks very similar to a tree, and it can be very tall. In addition, bananas are technically berries. Yes, berries. Let that sink in. Now, are you ready to be even more confused? Strawberries and raspberries are not truly berries. Look it up. And tomatoes are a fruit!

Goldfish? Arguably they make the most delicious snack and basic childhood pet.
What am I going to tell you about them?  If I told you that they have a 3-7 second memory span, would you believe me? Think again! They can actually remember things for up to three months! Craziness.

Now, I hope I have not completely destroyed your belief in the world you grew up in, but be careful next time a friend  shares a cool “fact” with you. Google it, and remember smiling uses fewer muscles than frowning. Or does it? (Oh, just Google it.)