Tags: Alzheimer's/Dementia | Memory | Facts | Misremember | Health

5 Famous Misremembered Facts

By    |   Monday, 23 March 2015 12:22 PM

Memory loss is part of getting older. Misremembered facts are a common and often unintentional aspect of society, and sometimes find their way into the mainstream, becoming the new "truth."

Examples include the notion that vaccines have been linked to autism in children, bulls charge when they see the color red and humans use only 10 percent of their brains. The fact that many have been proven false hasn't stopped them from being repeated.

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What are some of the most popular incorrect items? Here are five famous misremembered facts:

1. George Washington had wooden teeth. The first president had poor dental hygiene, and began losing his natural teeth while in his twenties. Left with one original tooth by the time he was became president, Washington had sets of false teeth made from many different materials. Wood wasn't one of them.

The president's dentures were made out of combinations of hippopotamus ivory, metal fasteners and human teeth, some of which were bought from his own slaves, according to History.com. At his 1789 inauguration, Washington took the oath of office while wearing a special set of false teeth made from ivory, brass and gold made by dentist John Greenwood.

2. Christopher Columbus proved the world was round, not flat. False. Columbus had many concerns regarding his voyage across the Atlantic, but falling off the edge of the planet wasn't one of them. Ancient Greeks realized the Earth was round, based largely on how ships sailed over the horizon. According to The Washington Post, as early as the sixth century B.C., Pythagoras wrote about the Earth as a sphere, and astronomer Ptolemy considered the idea of a round planet as fact. For Columbus, the major issue was the size of the Atlantic Ocean, as many thought he wouldn't be able to cross such a large body of water.

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3. The fire that destroyed 1871 century Chicago didn't start because Catherine O'Leary's cow kicked over a lantern in her barn, so disregard the reference in the famous song, "A Hot Time in the Old Town." The actual cause of the complex blaze that killed nearly 300 people and caused $200 million in damages has never been determined, though theories include a drunken card game that got out of hand to a meteor. Still, a 1997 resolution by the Chicago City Council exonerated O'Leary and her bovine. According to History.com, Chicago Tribune reporter Michael Adhern, who initially covered the story, helped clear her name when he admitted to lying about the story more than two decades later.

Humans have more than five senses. In addition to sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing, people also possess a sense of balance, acceleration, pain and time. Though the scientific community has various definitions of senses, others include senses of itching, hunger and temperature. There are up to 20, or 15 more than you thought.

5. The Great Wall of China is the only man-made object visible from space. Not only is this false, but the structure can't be seen at all, according to Snopes.com. Flying aboard the Space Shuttle on a low orbit (roughly 160-350 miles above Earth), astronaut Jay Alt said: "We look for the Great Wall of China. Although we can see things as small as airport runways, the Great Wall seems to be made largely of materials that have the same color as the surrounding soil. Despite persistent stories that it can be seen from the moon, the Great Wall is almost invisible from only 180 miles up!"

This article is for information only and is not intended as medical advice. Talk with your doctor about your specific health and medical needs.

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Memory loss is part of getting older. Misremembered facts are a common and often unintentional aspect of society, and sometimes find their way into the mainstream, becoming the new "truth."
Memory, Facts, Misremember, Health
Monday, 23 March 2015 12:22 PM
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