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Everyday Myths

There are certain aspects of everyday science that we think of as fact, but in reality may be pure urban legend. In this section, you can learn about some of the everyday science myths you may encounter.

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Can you make a power station out of a tarp?

To anyone familiar with the solar panels of the past, the possibility that a tarp could turn solar energy into electricity is pretty amazing. Could your next high-tech tent provide shelter and energy?


Is Seattle the rainiest city in the U.S.?

Rainy, dreary, Seattle, right? Everyone says it's the rainiest city in the United States. However, Seattleites are keeping a secret from you. Find out if their rainy reputation is real — or if the rumor's all wet. See more »

Should you wear light-colored clothes in hot weather to stay cool?

Summertime fashion — light in weight and light in color. Are these pastel colors a designer's choice? Or do light colors actually keep you cooler, as some say? Read to find out if you should ditch the goth wardrobe this summer. See more »

Can a penny dropped off a building kill you?

Walking down a city sidewalk, you protect your valuables and weave through crowds. Should you also beware of falling pennies? See more »

Has 'light as a feather, stiff as a board' ever worked?

If you've ever been to a slumber party, you know the drill. Place your fingers under someone's body, chant "Light as a feather ... stiff as a board ..."and they'll magically rise up into the air. Is this old trick a true ghostly phenomenon? See more »

Is there a secret city under Walt Disney World?

Urban legends about Disney World are a dime a dozen. Some are totally outlandish but others are true — like the one about the secret city under the Magic Kingdom. See more »

Do sailors really watch for red skies?

Even with today's weather-forecasting technologies, some old sailing adages stick around. Does "Red sky in morning, sailor take warning" hold water? See more »

Does eating bread crust give you curly hair?

For decades, moms have been threatening that if you don't eat your crust, your hair will fall out, fall limp or somehow fall incorrectly. What's the deal with bread crusts and hairstyles? See more »

Does the full moon affect your sleep?

The full moon gives us the ocean tides. And werewolves. Does it also give us sleep issues? Some say yes. Here's the science. See more »

Is suicide more common around holidays?

For some, the holidays are time of good cheer. For others, they're a season of anxiety and loneliness. Does that translate to a higher suicide rate? See more »

Can something smell like sunshine?

Picture the smells of a warm, sunny day in July. To your left, a neighbor is barbecuing. To your right, someone has put a warm apple pie on the windowsill to cool down. Smells great, right? So how does sunshine factor into all of this? See more »