In the age of the internet, misinformation can spread more quickly than ever before. From the presence of trolls who are intent on creating and disseminating falsehoods to the growing wave of anti-science sentiment based on discredited studies, there are so many lies parading as truth that even the most discerning of us may occasionally fall prey to a “fact” that is completely wrong.
Before the internet, many common misconceptions spread through word of mouth. Children learned them in schools and from their parents. Most people grew up accepting certain widespread myths as truth – such as the story of George Washington cutting down a cherry tree. (It never happened; but did you know that Lincon was a wrestler, and Truman never went to college? Read the most surprising facts about every American president.)
To identify 38 completely false “facts” you probably still believe, 24/7 Tempo made a selection of debunked myths, common misconceptions, and disproved beliefs from recent history. We consulted a variety of sources including Guinness World Records, Reader’s Digest, the Best Life Online, and the Travel Channel.
Many of these non-facts have been scientifically debunked or otherwise disproven by numerous historical sources. Often, as in a game of telephone, the overblown claim can be traced back to a single dubious publication or source, but was subsequently believed and heavily embellished over the years. (Speaking of gullibility, here are the best practical jokes of all time.)
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