1. Christopher Columbus discovered America and the fact that the Earth is round.
Ancient Greek mathematicians had formulated theories about the roundness of Earth some 2,000 years before Columbus lived. Also, while many credit Columbus with the discovery of America, viking Leif Erikson actually discovered it first in 1,000 A.D.
2. Vincent Van Gogh cut off his ear.
Many of us were likely taught that the famous artist sliced off his own ear while struggling with mental illness. New findings suggest that fellow artist Paul Gauguin cut it off with a sword during a fight with Van Gogh.
3. Different tastes are detected on different parts of the tongue.
The entire surface of the tongue equally detects different tastes, whether it’s sweet, salt, bitter or sour. It’s actually a protein on the tongue that detects the taste of something sour.
4. There is no gravity in space.
There actually is, it’s just significantly weaker compared to here on Earth. Gravity in space is actually responsible for keeping the moon in orbit. Objects in space that appear to be defying gravity are in reality just in a state of free fall.
5. An apple fell on Sir Isaac Newton’s head, thus helping him discovery gravity.
Newton did devise his theory of gravity after watching an apple fall from a tree. However, the idea that it actually fell on his head is nothing but a myth.
6. Humans evolved from chimpanzees.
While its true that humans share a common ancestor with chimpanzees, the two species actually formed two separate lineages. The two different species formed separately over 6 million years ago. We’re in the same taxonomic family and share a common ancestor, but anyone who says humans “evolved from monkeys” is very much in the wrong.
7. Thomas Edison invented the light bulb.
Edison actually bought the patent for an incandescent bulb from the widow of a fellow inventor named Heinrich Goebel. Before Edison had his lucky breakthrough, around 22 other inventors had toyed around with incandescent bulbs.
8. Ben Franklin flew a kite and discovered electricity.
The story goes that Benjamin Franklin discovered electricity by flying a kite with a metal key attached to it during a lightning storm. When the kite was struck by lightning, the charged passed down the string and into the key. There is no real evidence to suggest that this story ever actually took place. In fact, many today argue that had it really happened, Franklin would have likely died from the electrical shock.
9. Diamonds are made from coal.
It’s cool to think that something as beautiful as a diamond would come from coal, but diamonds are actually formed in vertical shafts full of rocks formed by volcanoes. The correlation doesn’t make sense, anyway: Coal is found on the surface of the Earth while diamonds are found in the Earth’s mantle and eventually carried up by volcanic eruptions.
10. Chameleons change colors to camouflage themselves.
Chameleons actually change colors for a different reason. Colors on the lizards change both as a characteristic of mating behavior and as a method to regulate their body temperatures. For example, they change from a light to dark color to absorb more heat. Still cool, though!