- Astronauts can see the Great Wall of China from space
Even from the lowest orbit above the earth, it’s not possible to see or even easily photograph the Great Wall.
- You can get arthritis from cracking your knuckles
There has been no link of any kind found between cracking knuckles and developing arthritis. Your Mom just wants you to stop because it’s annoying.
- Goldfish have a three second memory span
Turns out the fish have been found to maintain memories for up to three months.
- A penny dropped from the top of the Empire State Building will kill you
Because of the relatively light weight of the penny, and the fact that it tumbles and picks up friction from the air, a penny falling from that height would just hurt a little bit, but not kill you. You’d need about 50 pennies in a roll to do real damage.
- Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world
While Mount Everest is the highest mountain on the planet (measured from sea level to summit), Mauna Kea in Hawaii is taller (measured from bottom to top).
- Before Columbus people thought the world was flat
People in the time of Columbus believed in a spherical earth. In fact, the ancient Greeks first championed the theory. But don’t worry; people back in the day were dumb about lots of other stuff.
- Coffee is made from beans
Your morning Joe is actually made from the seeds of a coffee tree, but named for their resemblance to beans. They are also made up of mostly “endosperm,” which is far less gross than it sounds.
- There are 50 states
This is more of a technicality, but Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia are all classified as commonwealths. It makes zero difference politically or bureaucratically, but at least it sounds cool.
- Vikings didn’t have horns on their helmets
Sorry, Minnesota. Horned helmets came into fashion when European painters started to paint them on Vikings in the 1800’s. Despite this, they were pretty badass in every other way.
- Napoleon was short
Bonaparte was actually about 5’7, which was the average height for a Frenchman of the time. That means that having a “Napoleon Complex” just means you’re an asshole for no reason.
Facts you’ve heard over and over that are just downright lies