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.


Can you tell the temperature by timing cricket chirps?

The animal kingdom is chock-full of crazy amazing superpowers. Tardigrades can survive in outer space. Crows can solves complex puzzles. But can a cricket really tell you the temperature?

Can your ethnicity affect your weather tolerance?

From tropical islands to arctic tundra, we humans appear capable of living just about anywhere. But do different groups of people fare better in certain types of climates, or are we just really good at adapting to the environment around us?

Could dinosaurs still be alive somewhere?

Whether in "King Kong," "Journey to the Center of the Earth" or "The Lost World," humankind has long held out hope of discovering a secret land filled with prehistoric beasts. But is that even possible? Could dinosaurs really be out there somewhere?

10 False Science Facts Everyone Knows

When reeling off dubious facts (like lemmings plunging off cliffs en masse), there's no better retort to a skeptical audience than calmly explaining that it's not just true -- it's science. Except sometimes it's neither.

Why does the shower curtain billow in on me?

Has this ever happened to you? You're blissfully showering away when suddenly something slimy grabs your leg. It's the curtain, and it's not letting go.

Why doesn't tear-free shampoo sting your eyes?

Some say the real reason "no tear" shampoo works is that it has Novocain in it, desensitizing babies to its sting. Fact or urban legend?

10 Absolutely Worst Foods to Eat

We all eat things we probably shouldn't, and that's OK from time to time. But there are some foods that are such nutrition bombs that even occasional indulgence isn't exactly wise.

10 'Harmless' Things You Should Really Wash Your Hands After Touching

Of course you wash your hands after you use the restroom or work the room at a networking event. But what about after you play beer pong? Or cuddle a duckling?

Are courtesy flushes useful -- or healthy?

It may shock you, but there's never been a widespread study conducted on the sanitation or the necessity of the courtesy flush. Can this practice inflict grievous bodily harm on your hindquarters -- and the environment? HowStuffWorks weighs in.

10 'Healthy' Things That Aren't

If you're like us, you hit the grocery store with good intentions: reasonably healthy foods (that you'll still want to eat). But thanks to everything from marketing to plain old misconceptions, what we think is healthy often isn't.