10 Modern Myths You Thought Were True But Aren’t

Gugu MashavaGugu Mashava in
Published 08.10.19

They’ve been some pretty weird myths circling around the internet and for a short period, some of those things actually became modern-day mysteries. But thanks to science, we now have the answers and we can gladly tell you what actually happens to gum when you swallow it, the truth about the dreaded smartphone pinkie and other bullsh*t we believed at some point in our lives.

I guarantee you’ll be surprised at some.

What are things people think are true but aren’t?

1. Sleeping Makes You Attractive

You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘I need my beauty sleep’ used more times than you can remember, but have you ever wondered if sleep actually makes you more beautiful?

The answer is yes, to an extent. A really small extent. A good amount of sleep every night can reduce the visibility of eye bags but let’s face it, it won’t make you look like Emma Watson.

In one study, 25 students were asked to sleep well for two nights, then for four hours on another two nights. 122 strangers viewed each of the student’s photos taken during the experiment.

They responded negatively to the pictures snapped after four hours of sleep, which helped scientists conclude the fact that a lack of sleep can make you appear unattractive.

Um, yeah, some people need a lot more than 8 hours sleep a night to be deemed attractive. Me in particular. *sobs quietly*

2. Smartphone Pinkie Is Something To Worry About

A storm of social media posts popped up a few years back, showing a particular indent on the pinkie finger that phone users could only get from resting their smartphones on it excessively. They claimed that doing so had deformed their little finger and reshaped it permanently.

Although there’s no scientific evidence that suggests that this is possible long term, it doesn’t seem so bizarre that your smartphone could actually change the shape of the pinkie. Would that make us want to use our phones less? Nope. No way.

I’d say the person that did the Photoshop for the 3rd picture should probably look into another career path but since they fooled that many people, then I guess they’re doing something right.

3.Gum Stays In Our Bodies

If a piece of gum is in your mouth and there isn’t a bin, pavement (or under a table, we’ve all went there at some point) you can safely swallow it without turning into a walking gum waste bin.

It passes through your digestive system just like any other food, with some components such as sweeteners and oils breaking down faster and leaving. The rubbery or latex stuff overstays it’s welcome just a little but eventually gets the message a few days after.

However, that isn’t to say that particular method of gum disposal is ideal, though, as rubber is impossible for stomach acid to break down so eating large amounts of it may block your digestive tract and cause constipation. There have even been cases of gum blocking the intestines of kids. So yeah, don’t be that person that swallows whole Hubba Bubba gum wheels.

4. Breaking The Seal Really Is Our Choice

Breaking the seal is peeing for the first time after a couple alcoholic drinks. This apparently will open up your pelvic floodgates and will cause you to run for the loo every ten minutes or so. Unless you squeeze tight and resist your first urge to pee after sipping on booze.

This is false. Fact is, when you’ve been drinking so many liquids in a short time compared to drinking in-between longer intervals throughout the day, your bladder fills up quicker and it’s got to be emptied pretty soon after. Everyone needs to pee eventually so you might as well go when nature calls, instead of holding on to impress your mates – just don’t pee on stage like Lewis Capaldi.

5. Women’s Periods Sync When They Live Together

The menstrual cycle of the submissive woman changes to match the more dominant female’s cycle – or so we thought. The synchronicity of two or more female’s menstrual cycles is purely coincidental according to recent scientific studies. A study that took place in 1971 started the theory that periods can sync, however, there was no solid evidence that showed the theory was true.

It’s probably for the best that females nearby each other don’t share menstrual cycles, imagine how intense that one week of the month for girls at an all-girl boarding school would be.

6. Dating App Addiction

You can indeed swipe right on Tinder so much that your thumb starts to ache, however, there’s no proof that you can get addicted to using dating apps like Tinder, Grindr and Bumble. Which is great as there are already enough things to be addicted to, e.g cake, Fornite, gamblin and heroin.

That’s not to say there hasn’t been a cause of concern about the number of hours people have devoted to them. It’s been found that 30% of users spend around 7 hours per week on dating apps and some spend a staggering 14 hours.

To be fair if someone said my Prince Tinder or Tinderella was on the other side of my screen after a breakup I’d spend over 100 hours a week swiping. Then I’d get a new thumb on the NHS.

7. New Year, New You

How many new year’s resolutions did you break again? Exactly, you can’t even remember and that’s because as soon as the phenomenon and excitement of starting a new year have passed, the goals you’ve set for yourself disappear too.

Any day is a good time to re-invent yourself thought the year, though if you go from being the spiritual yogi Jane on Monday, Biker Jen on Wednesday then Church goer Jennifer on Friday, your colleagues will probably start to think you have a personality disorder. Or that you’ve been possessed. Or both.

8. Everyone Has A Lookalike

Most of us, especially How I Met Your Mother fans, have heard that everybody has a lookalike made with a different set of genetic makeup. If you disagree, you’ve just not met them yet. According to science, that’s simply not true, not for everyone anyway.

A study proved that there’s a one in 135 chance of matching two unrelated people in all eight facial feature points. The chances of you walking past your doppelgänger are one in a trillion. That means if you swore you saw a person who looks just like your ex or the person your dating seems to look like a celeb, your brain is most likely making it up.

We’re good at matching similarities at a bigger scale but our eyes cannot work out the slight mathematical differences in the small parts of features. Even identical twins aren’t truly considered identical by science.

9. You Can Eat As Much As You Like As Long As It’s Healthy

The daily recommended amount of calories isn’t accurate for everyone but it’s roughly a good guide to follow, as certain amounts you eat will affect your weight. So  although broccoli and potatoes have been deemed superfoods, if you ate 3000 calories worth a day, then you will start to look like a potato.

Besides all foods in moderation are technically healthy as we need to eat to live and one burger every once and again won’t poison you. Essentially, to label certain food groups as the only healthy food you should eat is actually unhealthy. Otherwise, fruitarians wouldn’t need supplements and palm oil would’ve been stopped a long time ago.

10. We Only Use 10% Of Our Brain

Although many motivational speakers and revision guides had us believe that we used only 10% of our brains every day, it’s simply not true. Many parts of the brain can be engaged in completing the smallest of tasks, like reaching for the TV remote or sighing during that meeting, even sleeping gets the brain going.

We have the brain imaging technique, called functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) to thank for proving that we do use more than 10%. Even though people who did star on Jeremy Kyle seemed like they used far less than that.

Images via Getty