• Myths & Legends

Myths You Always Believed That Are Actually 100% False

List RulesVote up the myths that totally had you fooled.

Modern humans have access to more information than ever, yet there are still plenty of things you believe that aren't true. Even with the Internet, smartphones, and vast amounts of books, a ton of myths you believed that are false have persisted through the ages. These old wives' tales have continued to be passed down through generations, despite the readily-available contradictory evidence.

Whether the misinformed beliefs involve history or science, the amount of untrue things you thought were fact is staggering. There will almost certainly be some myths in this article that you have never questioned.

Hopefully, this will be a chance to correct some misconceptions, and to reveal why the myths have prevailed, despite being debunked a long time ago.

  • 1

    Chameleons Change Color To Hide

    Photo: B.navez / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    Most people assume that chameleons change color as a natural camouflage, allowing them to hide from predators by blending in with their surroundings. However, that is not the real reason why the reptile changes colors.

    Chameleons will turn a different shade to alert other chameleons in the area of danger, or to communicate with them. Most species can only swap between a limited number of colors, and some chameleons cannot change at all.

    Did you believe this myth?
  • 2

    Chicks Will be Abandoned By Their Mothers If Picked Up By A Person

    Photo: Kati Fleming / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    Children are often taught not to pick up baby birds, as it is said that the mother will be able to detect the scent of the person and will then leave the chick to die. Although you probably shouldn’t pick up every tiny bird that you see, picking one up will not condemn the animal to death.

    Birds develop very strong bonds with their young, and are unlikely to leave them unattended for any reason. Besides, most birds don’t have a strong sense of smell, so they probably wouldn't even notice the addition of a foreign scent. 

    Did you believe this myth?
  • 3

    Kids Get A Sugar Rush After Eating Candy

    Despite what millions of parents around the world believe, sugar rushes in children are just not a thing that actually happens. While there is a commonly held belief that kids who eat a lot of sugar will become hyperactive and misbehave, there is actually no evidence to support this claim.

    Studies have shown that the body doesn’t get extra bursts of energy from ingesting large amounts of sugar in a short span of time, since the biological processes involved are highly regulated. The myth is perpetrated because parents need something to blame their children's erratic behavior on, other than, you know, the way they were raised... 

    Did you believe this myth?
  • 4

    Napoleon Was Really Short

    Photo: Andrea Appiani / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    The belief that Napoleon was short has become so ingrained in the public consciousness that the term "Napoleon Syndrome" is commonly used to describe someone who is angry about being short. In truth, however, the French emperor was not particularly small in stature.

    Standing at just over five and a half feet, he was actually taller than the average Frenchman at the time. There are a couple reasons why the myth may have become widespread: Firstly, his enemies may have propagated rumors to make him seem less imposing. Secondly, Napoleon would select very tall soldiers to serve in his personal guard, which might have made him appear shorter than he really was.

    Did you believe this myth?