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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If you step on a rusty nail, will you really get tetanus?

Though they're indispensable to any construction project, nails have a nasty habit of getting hammered into thumbs and puncturing tires. Is a rusty nail even more dangerous?

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  • Does gum really stay in you for seven years?
    Does gum really stay in you for seven years?

    Whether you chew to freshen your breath or blow a big bubble, you probably shouldn't swallow gum. But does it really stay in your body for seven years if you do? See more »

  • Does hybrid car production waste offset hybrid benefits?
    Does hybrid car production waste offset hybrid benefits?

    The hybrid car may be the savior of the automobile industry, but its production processes have come under fire of late. The car may be green, but what about the way the car actually gets made? See more »

  • Does rational science have room for irrational belief?
    Does rational science have room for irrational belief?

    The Bible teaches that faith is "the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" -- a concept that must drive scientists insane. Yet, you'll often find rational thinkers using science to prove some incredibly irrational beliefs. See more »

  • Does the five second rule really work?
    Does the five second rule really work?

    You're starving and you just dropped your chocolate on the floor. Are you the type who blurts, "Five second rule!" and gobbles it anyway, or the kind who mourns its loss? Let's look at the science behind contamination. See more »

  • Does the Higgs boson exist?
    Does the Higgs boson exist?

    It could be that the hunt for the Higgs is a little like Christopher Columbus' famous 1492 voyage, full of surprising discoveries that take particle physicists to places they never anticipated. How's that voyage going anyhow? See more »

  • Does the rotation of the Earth affect toilets and baseball games?
    Does the rotation of the Earth affect toilets and baseball games?

    The world's intelligentsia has managed to convince us that the Earth is round and makes a full rotation once every 24 hours. Why can't they agree on the effects of that rotation on toilets and ball games? See more »

  • Does time change speed?
    Does time change speed?

    You know how when you're bored, time seems to move at a snail's pace, but when you're having fun it goes by all too quickly? Einstein called it time dilation. See more »

  • Has a surfer discovered the theory of everything?
    Has a surfer discovered the theory of everything?

    Surfer and physicist A. Garrett Lisi may have solved one of physics' greatest mysteries -- the theory of everything. It's a mathematical link to how the universe works. See more »

  • How can your car's air conditioner reduce germs?
    How can your car's air conditioner reduce germs?

    As most of us know, our cars can become filthy, germy places unless we clean them regularly -- and they could be making us sick. But what about the air coming in through the vents? How can we make sure it's clean? See more »

  • How CERN Works
    How CERN Works

    Decades before you ever heard of the Higgs, this multinational particle physics lab was smashing its way to answers about how the universe worked. Pop inside CERN just as half of the world's particle physicists do every year. See more »

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