Hi I'm John Green this is mental_floss, and 1. Vikings never wore horns on their helmets...at
least not until an 1876 staging of Wagner's Opera The Ring of the Nibelung is the first
of 50 myths I'm about to bust for you.
You know iron maidens? The medieval torture device that inspired the fourth-best
heavy metal band of all time? Yeah, they were fictional.
3. Marie Antoinette never said "Let them eat cake" when told peasants were
starving due to lack of bread.
4. And while we\'92re on the topic of French royal women who were parted from their
heads, Anne Boleyn did not have eleven fingers, or at least most historians don't think so.
5. The American Declaration of Independence was not signed on July 4 1776. It was signed
on August 2, 1776,
6. Also, not to harsh on your buzz, but the U.S. constitution was not written
on hemp paper but on parchment.
7. Napoleon did not have a Napoleon Complex, as he was five seven, slightly above
average height for his time.
8. Albert Einstein didn't fail math at school, and when he was showed a newspaper
column claiming he had, Einstein responded, "Before I was fifteen I had mastered differential
and integral calculus." Einstein did hook up with his cousin, though, so that's something.
9. John F Kennedy did not say, "I am a jelly doughnut" when he said "Ich
bin Ein Berliner." No one in Berlin was confused on that day about what Kennedy was
10. Sushi does not mean raw fish; it means "sour rice."
11. Placing metal in a microwave doesn't ruin the microwave. I mean, it's definitely
a bad idea, but look, we just microwaved this tin foil and now in the smoldering remains
I am microwaving a hot pocket.
12. The word "crap" is not derived from the great Thomas Crapper, who helped
give us indoor plumbing. Sadly, "crap" just comes from Latin, like all the other
13. 420 is not the Los Angeles police code for marijuana possession. Police Code
420 just means juvenile disturbance, which only SOMETIMES involves marijuana possession.
14. The Great Wall of China is not the only man-made object visible from space. For
one thing, many man-made objects are visible from space. For another thing, the Great Wall
of China is not among them.
15. There's no such thing as an elephant graveyard where old elephants go to die. When
elephants are ready to die, they just do it, like the rest of us.
16. The 1992 book SHARKS DON'T GET CANCER led to an increase in people using
ground-up shark cartilage to treat cancer, but 1. That doesn't work, and 2. Sharks
do get cancer.
17. Chameleons don't primarily change color to camouflage. It helps them regulate
their temperature and it's a way of communicating. \fs24 \
18. Throwing rice at weddings does not lead to birds eating that rice and then the
rice expanding in their stomachs and the birds exploding. This has just never happened once
in all of human history....or bird history.
19. An earthworm does not become two earthworms when you cut it in half. If it's
lucky, the part with the mouth survives and you're left with one, smaller earthworm.
But most likely you'll end up with two dead earthworms.
20. Humans have more than five senses, including a sense of time, acceleration, and
limb position. The five senses were made up by Aristotle, with whom I have a longstanding
and public feud, and as usual, he was wrong and I am right and shut up about how he isn\'92t
here to defend himself.
21. Shaving does not cause hair to grow back thicker or coarser, no matter where you're shaving.
22. Your fingernails do't keep growing after you die.
23. If you swallow your gum, it will not stick in your stomach for seven years.
It goes through your body just the same as anything else you eat. Except batteries.
Don't. Eat. Batteries.
24. People don't use only 10% of their brains. William James seems to have
coined this one, but he was speaking figuratively.
25. You can't catch warts from toads. But you can get warts from other people, which
is why I always say: Only socialize with Toads.
26. A penny dropped from the Empire State building will not kill someone if it
lands on their head. The terminal velocity of a penny is between 30 and 50 miles per
hour, not fast enough to kill anyone. Also, if you drop a penny from the top of the Empire
State Building, it will land like three stories below you, because the building is shaped like this.
27. Abner Doubleday did not invent baseball and in fact never claimed to have invented baseball.
28. Caesar salad was not invented by Julius Caesar but for its inventor, Caesar
Cardini, who supposedly invented the salad in Tijuana, Mexico in 1924.
29. Puff the Magic Dragon is not about Marijuana. As Mary of Peter Paul and Mary
put it, "Believe me, if he wanted to write a song about marijuana, he would've written
a song about marijuana."
30. Sherlock Holmes never said "Elementary, my Dear Watson," nor did
31. anyone ever say "Play it again, Sam" in Casablanca,
32. Sarah Palin never said, "I can see Russia from my house," and
33. Al Gore never said, "I invented the Internet." Oh, and
34. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD RON BURGUNDY NEVER SAID WELL THAT ESCALATED QUICKLY. He
said boy, that escalated quickly.
Okay gotta speed up.
35. Danishes are from Austria, not Denmark.
36. Humans didn't evolve from chimps; we share an ancestor...but we did evolve.
37. It's a chest OF drawers, not a chester drawers, as I learned when I was 28 years old.
38. If you can replace you're with You Are, contract; otherwise, don't.
39. The Italian libertine is Don Juan, but in Byron's epic poem, he is Don Juan
Rhymes With Ruin.
40. You would not explode in the vacuum of space.
41. No one was burned at the stake during the Salem Witch Trials; 19 people were hanged
and one was crushed with stones but NO BURNING.
42. Chinese fortune cookies are Californian not Chinese.
43. Neither blondes nor redheads are about to go extinct.
44. No one died during the chariot race sequence of
45. Mussolini didn\'92t make the trains run on time;
46. Storing batteries in the freezer does not improve their performance;
47. THERE IS NO NEED TO REFRIGERATE PEANUT BUTTER, unless it's all natural
or organic or whatever;
48. Walt Disney is not cryogenically frozen;
49. Fidel Castro was never given a tryout by the Washington Senators or any other baseball
50. Famed sexologist Dr. Ruth was not a sniper in the Israeli army? What? She was?
Wow. Fine, then. 50. Julia Child was not actually a spy for the United States during World War 2.
SHE WAS? OH I GIVE UP.