10 False Science Facts Everyone Knows

Me, jump off a cliff? Where'd you get that crazy idea? pum_eva/iStock/Thinkstock

When spouting off hazy facts, there's no better retort to a skeptical audience than calmly explaining that it's not just true -- it's science.

Science, after all, can forgive a host of sins. Sometimes it even works. Your taste buds really do only last a week or two before being shoved aside for new ones [source: Chudler]. Rice has more genes than a human being [source: Reporter]. Lemmings are pathologically suicidal. It's science, folks.

But hold your rodents. Because some of the scientific facts we have heard, internalized and spread are straight up bogus. To start with, our little lemming friends got a rap for clinical depression based on a "documentary" by Disney that completely fabricated the mass suicide of lemmings by cliff-plunge idea [source: Woodford]. In fact, lemmings, like all sorts of wild animals, go through population explosions, followed by migration and dispersal. The footage Disney provided of lemmings jumping to their deaths? Totally staged.

Of course, not all our false science facts were created on a film set. Read on for some extremely common misconceptions that those who study biology, medicine, physics and meteorology just can't seem to shake.