We say science helps us in removing our misconceptions, but there are some very common scientific myths that people believe in. Here are a few of them.
1. There is no gravity in space: Gravity virtually exists in all areas of space. The reason that astronauts appear to be weightless is because they are orbiting the earth.
2. Lightning never strikes the same place twice: It does strike the same place twice or even more. The Empire State Building gets struck around 25 times a year.
3. Meteors are heated by friction when the enter the atmosphere: It is actually the speed compressing the air in front of the object that causes it to heat up. The pressure on the air generates a heat intense enough to make the rock so hot that is glows brilliantly for our viewing pleasure.
4. A penny dropped from a very high building can kill a pedestrian below: The aerodynamics of a penny are not sufficient to make it dangerous. What would happen in reality is that the person who gets hit would feel a sting, but they would certainly survive the impact.
5. Brain cells can’t regenerate: It was believed and taught by the science community for a long time that a brain cell once killed never gets replaced, but in 1998, scientists at the Sweden and the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California discovered that brain cells in mature humans can regenerate.
6. There is a dark side of the moon: This misconception has come about because there is a side of the moon which is never visible to the earth, but actually, every part of the moon is illuminated at sometime by the sun.
7. Human body pops in space: Science fiction movies are responsible for creating this myth that when exposed to the vacuum of space, human body pops. In reality, a human can survive for 15 – 30 seconds in outer space as long as they breathe out before the exposure (this prevents the lungs from bursting and sending air into the bloodstream). After 15 or so seconds, the lack of oxygen causes unconsciousness which eventually leads to death by asphyxiation.
Which ones out of these did you believe in? 🙂 Let us know!
Have a happy weekend!