The school system is a bastion of education and enlightenment, a fortress of higher learning where our children can safely discover the facts about the way our world works. Through this system we have the opportunity to grow and mature into responsible adults, secure in our knowledge of history, science, and mathematics.
Except, of course, for all the ridiculously irresponsible lies we’re being fed. Here are ten of the biggest lies taught to us in school.
10 Deoxygenated Blood Is Blue (Which Is Why Your Veins Appear Blue)
If you look closely at the inside of your wrist, you’ll probably see a small network of blue veins running up into your hand. Despite what they might teach you in elementary school, that’s not blue blood running through there. The myth is that deoxygenated blood is blue, while blood leaving the heart is red because it’s been filled with fresh oxygen. When you bleed, the blood is immediately red because it’s exposed to oxygen in the air.
But if you’ve ever given blood or had blood taken at the doctor’s office, you’ll know that it’s not some alien blue liquid filling up that sealed tube—it’s, well, it’s blood. The reason your veins look blue is a simple trick of the light, and the way your eyes perceive colors. When light filters through the layers of skin, the low frequency wavelengths (like red) are refracted by pigmentation and thin fat layers, leaving mostly blue light to reflect back to your eyes. An albino person will usually have red veins because of the lack of pigmentation in their skin.
9 There Were Thirteen Original Colonies In America
It’s easy to understand why people believe this lie, but it is a lie nonetheless. The American flag has thirteen stripes representing the original thirteen colonies—but really there were only twelve.
That’s because Delaware was never a separate colony. After the British invaded the region and stole it from the Dutch in the 1660s, the Delaware territory was juggled between Maryland and Pennsylvania. Eventually it ended up under the ownership of William Penn—the guy who also owned Pennsylvania—and it remained a part of Pennsylvania until the Revolutionary War. In fact, it wasn’t even called Delaware—it was just known as “The Three Lower Counties.” Against the State: An ... Best Price: $5.02 Buy New $5.52 (as of 11:35 EST - Details)
8 Liquid Glass
The myth: old windowpanes are thicker at the bottom because glass is a slow moving liquid.
At some point in time, a historian looked at an ancient windowpane and noticed something unusual: the glass was thicker at the bottom than at the top. Since there was no other way to account for it, he came to the conclusion that glass was an extremely slow moving liquid that settled over the years, resulting in thin, brittle glass at the top that gradually thickened towards the bottom edge of the windowpane.
And then everybody believed him. The myth spread until even college professors were teaching it in their classes, since even scientists don’t understand science sometimes. But one researcher recently decided to test the viscosity (rate of flow) of glass, and came to the result that even the least viscous type of glass wouldn’t change much before 10^32 years—about three times the length of the existence of the universe. Though why we should believe him more than the first scientist is a bit of a mystery—effectively they are both making it up.
The real reason antique glass windows are bottom-heavy goes back to the way they were made in the Middle Ages. Window-makers would blow glass into a large sphere, then flatten it into a disk by spinning it. The spinning motion caused the edges of the disk to thicken, much like spinning a pizza dough. And when they cut the disk into windows, they placed the thicker side at the bottom for stability.
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