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 think chainsaws were first invented to take down a swath of trees, think again. The real story is much more cringe-worthy and involves cutting bones during childbirth.

By Jennifer Walker-Journey

Is the world run by the Illuminati or just some reptilian overlords? Were the moon landings faked? Whether or not you believe this kind of stuff, you'll be entertained by our conspiracy theory quiz.

By Nathan Chandler

From plane crashes and deaths to sports superstitions and hexagrams, many people believe that the number 23 possesses magical properties.

By Patrick J. Kiger

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Ever seen a movie where the hero gets in an elevator, but the evil villain cuts the cables? Fortunately, elevators in the real world have so many safety features that you don't have to worry about dying if this happened to you.

By Kathryn Whitbourne

Whether you call it a contrast shower, a Scottish shower or a James Bond shower, it's guaranteed to wake you up. Here's why people are trying it.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

You've heard this bit of hair care advice before, but is it true?

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

A surprising percentage of Americans believe that Big Pharma is hiding the cure for cancer because there's a lot of money to be made treating the disease. Experts explain why this isn't true.

By Dave Roos

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We've yet to find intelligent life outside of planet Earth. But instead of space, should we be looking right here but in other dimensions?

By Diana Brown

CERN's work has been groundbreaking to say the least, but conspiracy theories run rampant about the potential disasters it could cause, too.

By Diana Brown

Humans are awesome and we have superpowers of our own. But could a greedy world of "supervillains" twist them against us?

By Diana Brown

According to new research, many people believe wildly inaccurate myths about the brain and learning — even those who know a lot about neuroscience.

By Shelley Danzy

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Does your back flare up when a storm is coming? Many people swear that rain makes their joints hurt more. But science has had a hard time proving this.

By Alia Hoyt & Kathryn Whitbourne

Thousands of years ago, the Babylonians created the zodiac and dropped a constellation when it didn't quite fit into their schematic. Its name? Ophiuchus. Should it be part of our horoscope?

By Kate Kershner & Kathryn Whitbourne

Top atmospheric scientists say there's no evidence those lines in the sky are part of some sinister government plot. But will that dissuade conspiracy theorists?

By Patrick J. Kiger

Not sure what chemtrails are or where you stand on them? A newly published, peer-reviewed examination of the chemtrail hypothesis could be for you. We have the scoop.

By Jonathan Strickland

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A bunch of Yale physicists decided to give Schrodinger's cat not one but two boxes. And that, strangely enough, could eventually prove handy for quantum computing.

By Julia Layton

Fast, right? You'll have no trouble accommodating your vampire overlord.

By Robert Lamb

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and rapper B.o.B join centuries of folks who have argued over the shape of the planet. The diss tracks are a new twist though.

By Christian Sager

You've heard the term 'bloodcurdling scream,' and blood can thicken in response to actual physical threats. Is the same possible when the fear is entirely fictional?

By Chris Opfer

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Of all the cosmetic problems to worry about waking up to — dark under-eye circles, a blemish on your nose, new stubble on your chin — a headful of white hair ranks pretty low on your list. Should you be more concerned?

By Laurie L. Dove

Chicago has long been known as "The Windy City." It's a pretty cool nickname, but does it live up to it?

By Kate Kershner

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.

By Kate Kershner

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.

By Kate Kershner

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

By Laurie L. Dove

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?

By Debra Ronca