Misconceptions

You Don’t Just Smell Through Your Nose

We tend to think that we smell with our nose, but we’ve recently found that nearly every single organ in our bodies is capable of smell. More precisely, our organs have been found to contain olfactory receptors that are keyed to react in certain ways to certain scents. When receptors in the skin are exposed to the smell of sandalwood, healing and regeneration increases. When prostate cells smell rose scents, the formation of cancer cells stops. The potential is pretty staggering, considering the same receptors even exist in our kidneys, our muscles, and a lot of other places.

The Original Great Wall Of China

The wall we now think of as the Great Wall of China was begun sometime in the end of the Warring Period—around 221 B.C. Before that, though, the Qin dynasty had already been building a massive wall of hard-packed dirt that was hundreds of miles long. It helped them win the war, and once their place in power was cemented, they turned their attention northward to build parts of the more well-known Great Wall.

Where ‘Lost’ Fat Really Goes When You Exercise

It’s a common misconception that the fat we lose while dropping weight is merely converted to energy or sweated out, but in actuality we mostly breathe out the fat in the form of carbon dioxide. This is because, when broken down, fat recombines into predominantly carbon dioxide and a lesser amount of water. The carbon dioxide escapes through our lungs while the small amount of leftover water is excreted through bodily fluids.

You Really Can Buy Happiness

If money could buy happiness it seems that our society, which is practically obsessed with consumption, would have the happiest people on Earth. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. However, it doesn’t mean that money is incapable of buying happiness; we just have to spend it the right way. According to psychologists, we’re far happier when we purchase experiences as opposed to things. And the more we can involve other people in those experiences, the more content we will be.

The Sun Is Not The Biggest Thing In Our Solar System

The Sun is a star, so it is much bigger even than Jupiter, our solar system’s biggest planet. The outer atmosphere of this big ball of gas and plasma streams away as a big magnetic bubble made out of the solar wind and the Sun’s magnetic field. This is the heliosphere, and it’s the biggest continuous structure in the solar system.

Skipping Breakfast Isn’t As Horrible As We’re Told

We’ve all skipped breakfast, and if we do it a lot, we’ve probably been lectured about how it’s a bad idea. But skipping breakfast is now being shown to be not nearly as bad as we’ve been told, with studies showing there’s no difference between groups who eat breakfast and those who go without. In fact, for most of human history, breakfast just hasn’t been a thing.

The Story You’ve Heard About The QWERTY Keyboard Is Probably Wrong

The development and the popularity of the standard QWERTY keyboard has absolutely nothing to do with the traditional story of developing a key arrangement on early typewriters that had keys far enough apart that they wouldn’t stick together. Instead, the actual origins of the keyboard are a little murky. It’s suggested now that it has more to do with Morse code than it does with mechanical necessity—the arrangement of the letters keeps certain ones together based on how they begin in the Morse code alphabet.

Jewish People Were Forced To Become Moneylenders

The conspiracies about Jewish bankers go back a long way and are so ingrained that even many people who are not anti-Semitic buy into the theory. Historically, there have been many Jewish people involved in banking, but it was never a conspiracy. In actuality, due to usury laws prescribed by the Jewish scriptures, the Jewish people were considered the logical choice to handle the moneylending. To make matters worse, many Jewish people were barred from other occupations, so they had to take what they could get.

There Is No Reliable Evidence For Repressed Memories

According to some practitioners, if you use the right methods, you can find memories that someone repressed—sometimes of past abuse or even of alien abductions. However, despite the claims of those who try to recover repressed memories, there is no solid evidence for a single provable case. It’s not recognized officially by mental health researchers, and many researchers feel that therapists are unwittingly helping people create false memories, rather than finding repressed ones.

The Ocean Is Not Flat

Staring out at the ocean from a beach, it might be easy to imagine that the world’s seas are completely flat. However, winds and gravity actually cause sea level differences around the world. One of the most pronounced ways this is illustrated is during an El Nino event, during which water that has been pushed west by winds comes rushing back to the East (and ruins a lot of Peruvian farms).