10 False Facts Most People Believe Are True

Whether through our schooling or through rumour, we all have been led to believe certain facts which are not true. The reasons for this misinformation (more on that word later) are usually innocent. Sometimes, it’s easier to teach simpler facts to children in primary school. Other times, false information is repeated so often people begin to accept it as fact. Even movies and TV carry some of the blame for inaccurate information. The following is a list of true facts which may surprise you:

Primary Colours

Primary ColoursMost of us are taught in elementary school that the primary colours are red, blue, and yellow. While this works well enough for finger painting, it’s wrong. There are two types of primary colours: additive and subtractive. Additive primaries are the colours of the visible light spectrum: red, blue, and green. Many older-model video projectors utilized separate red, blue, and green lenses. When a video image was projected through those filters, the resulting images converged into one, full-colour picture. Subtractive primaries are the colours of pigmentation: yellow, cyan, and magenta. You may recognize these as the three-colour cartridges required by your inkjet printer.

Nuclear Energy Creates Dangerous Waste

Nuclear EnergyWe’ve all seen movies where someone goes swimming in a lake full of three-eyed fish too close to a nuclear power plant only to transform into a mutated superhuman. Fortunately, such a thing is only possible in the minds of Hollywood screenwriters. Nuclear power plants simply heat regular water in order to create steam, which in turn spins turbines in order to create energy. The “nuclear” part of the plant is simply the battery used to power the water-heating elements of the power plant. In reality, nuclear energy is nearly as clean as solar and wind energy. You would have to stand next to a plant for a year to receive a fraction of the radiation delivered by a single chest X-ray — which is harmless.

Pope Pius Xii Was “Hitler’s Pope”

Pope PiusBecause the Vatican refused to take sides in World War II, history books have remembered the then-reigning pope Pius XII as a Nazi-sympathizer. The reason the Vatican adopted this position is that the Allies wanted the pope to condemn Nazism, but not Bolshevism (which murdered as many, if not more people than did the Third Reich), and the Axis wanted him to condemn Bolshevism but not Nazism. Instead, the Vatican remained neutral, thereby making every church in Europe sovereign territory of a neutral country. The pope and the Vatican hid and printed visas for tens of thousands of Jewish refugees, Allied soldiers, and many other hunted peoples. Pope Pius XII was eventually given one of the highest honours possible by the Jewish people for his actions during the war.

Misinformation Refers To Intentional Falsification

The words “misinformation” and “disinformation” are typically confused and often used interchangeably in day-to-day conversation. However, these two words have very specific meanings. Disinformation refers to the intentional presentation of false, incomplete, or inaccurate information. This is the province of espionage or undercover work. Misinformation, on the other hand, refers to the unintentional relaying of false information, much like most of the items on this list.

The Value Of Gold Has Risen Substantially In The Last 100 Years

GoldFor the past century, inflation has caused the value of money to decrease substantially. The value of gold, however, remains constant. This is easy to understand if you look at the purchasing power of gold, rather than at the actual price. In 1930, for example, when gold was valued at around $20 per ounce, you could purchase a new car for about 15 to 20 one-ounce gold coins. Today, gold is worth about $1,300 per ounce, and a new car can be bought for about 15 to 20 one-ounce gold coins. This is what is meant when economists speak of the “gold standard.”

We Know How The Grand Canyon Was Formed

Grand CanyonThis issue often gets caught up in the ever-present evolution versus creationism debate. However, the theory of evolution concerns biology, not geology, and not all creationists subscribe by the 8,000-year-old Earth theory. The truth about the Grand Canyon is that we simply do not know for sure how it was formed. Many scientists believe it was slowly chiselled away by the Colorado River over many millions of years. Others have found evidence to suggest that the canyon was in fact ripped open quickly by a massive deluge of water breaking free from a large reservoir somewhere to the north of its current location. And no matter what the cause, the formation of the Grand Canyon itself has little to do with either evolution or creationism.

Nicotine Is Bad For You

nicotineThere is a strong and vocal movement to eliminate tobacco products from the face of the Earth. We see television commercials several times per day urging us to either quit smoking or to never take up smoking to begin with. Because tobacco contains nicotine, most people assume that nicotine is unhealthy. Nicotine, although mildly addictive, has been proven to enhance memory and stave off Alzheimer’s disease. Nicotine molecules help to bridge the gap between the synapses in the human brain, allowing electrical currents to flow more smoothly from synapse to synapse. The tar from burnt tobacco and the chemical additives found in cigarettes, though, are dangerous and not at all healthy.

A Film Is A Flop If It Does Poorly At The Box Office

How many times have you seen a movie with a $250 million budget tank in the box office after only grossing $100 million? Most people assume that such a movie will never make more money than it did while it was in theatres. However, this belief is false; the box office revenue stream only accounts for, at most, 25 percent of the movie’s profits. The rest of the profits come from video sales and rentals (yes, rentals are still a thing. Think of RedBox and the rental options on Google and Apple markets), television broadcasts, product placement, soundtracks, etc. If there are large merchandising opportunities (like action figures and video games), then that box office percentage drops even lower.

Creole Is One, Particular Language Spoken In New Orleans Or Haiti

Actually, a creole is a type of language learned from infancy and composed of a mix of two or more primary languages over time. There are dozens of creole languages throughout the world, some English-based, French-based, Dutch-based, or Arabic-based. In fact, an entire sub-field of linguistics exists called Creolistics, which studies only these types of languages. For a language to be considered a creole, it must be formed gradually through a joining of two primary languages and then pass through a pidgin phase (pidgin languages are like creoles except that they are not spoken from infancy, but rather learned as an adult).

Death Valley Is The Driest Place On Earth

Death ValleyIn the top-10 list of the world’s driest places, Death Valley does not even register. In fact, North America is nowhere on this list. The true “driest places on Earth” include the Dry Valleys of Antarctica and the Atacama Desert of South America, which encompasses parts of Chile, Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina. The average precipitation in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica is zero inches per year. In the Atacama Desert, it is slightly more than a half-inch per year. Death Valley in California receives a whopping 2.36 inches of rainfall per year.

Always do research when someone tells you a “fact.” You will be surprised just how many facts are untrue. Certain “facts” are taught to students in order to simplify needlessly complicated concepts for specific age groups. Others arise out of fear or a lack of understanding. And sometimes, misinformation is repeated so frequently over long periods of time that the majority of the world accepts it as truth. Be wary and be informed!