Remember the geography classes in school where you had diligently studied that the sun ‘rises’ in the east and sets in the west? As you grew up, you realised that it was probably one of the biggest lies that you ever believed in. While this misconception is likely to have already been cleared by now (the sun doesn’t rise or set, it doesn’t move!), there does exist a few such ‘lies’ that you may still believe. Here are some of them that may make you wonder, ‘Has my whole life been a lie?’
- Lie#1: Cold weather is the reason why you catch a cold.
- Lie#2: Antibiotics can cure your common cold.
- Lie#3: We have five senses
- Lie#4: You drop your food on the floor, but you pick it up within 5 seconds and it would not cause you any harm if you ate it
- Lie#5: Urine can alleviate pain caused by the sting of a jellyfish
- Lie#6: Stretching before exercising is very important
- Lie#7: Swallowed a chewing gum? Give it 7 years for digestion
Lie#1: Cold weather is the reason why you catch a cold.
You must be extra cautious during the cold weather as you have always believed that it is that time of the year when you are most vulnerable to the elements and likely to fall sick. The truth is cold weather has nothing to do with you falling sick. It is the germs and the virus that are the actual culprits. The virus associated with flu is known to spread much faster in the cold weather (as its lipid coating gets tougher in cold temperatures) and is more active and resilient during this time. Also, you tend to spend more time indoors that makes you exposed to a whole lot more germs. Doorknobs, sink faucets and even your keyboard are great dwellings for germs, thus making you prone to the illness.
Lie#2: Antibiotics can cure your common cold.
Gulping down antibiotics to keep cold in check is such a foolish decision. Why? You should know that common cold is caused by virus whereas antibiotics only fight bacteria (it’s there in the name. isn’t it!). So the next time you catch a cold, avoid taking antibiotics as they will do you no good, instead can lead your body to become antibiotic-resistant. Always consult a doctor in such situations.
Lie#3: We have five senses
You may have got full marks for this answer in your science paper back in school, but in reality, it’s not even half the truth (quite literally, read on to know why). The fact is, there are nine senses, though many scientists believe the count could be as high as twenty-one. Sense is nothing but a sensory system that will respond to any physical stimulation as well as correspond to a specific region in your brain that has the job of receiving and interpreting the signals. Apart from the regular senses that you know of, there are other senses too, like thirst, hunger, itching, thermoception (perceiving temperature), etc.
Lie#4: You drop your food on the floor, but you pick it up within 5 seconds and it would not cause you any harm if you ate it
While this is a very common belief, you might have to re-think on this one. Studies have revealed that bacteria can contaminate instantaneously, no matter how fast your reflexes are in picking up your morsel. Remember that bacteria move with moisture. Wetter the food, more likely it is to get contaminated. Hence, it is better to let go of the ‘5 second rule’ and opt for a new one like ‘if on the floor, in the mouth no more!’
Lie#5: Urine can alleviate pain caused by the sting of a jellyfish
Urine can aggravate the pain by encouraging the stinger to release more venom. Urine contains electrolytes and salt that can be the major causes for the release of this excess venom. Instead, vinegar can come to your rescue. Anyway, the pain dissipates within a day.
Lie#6: Stretching before exercising is very important
Stretching prior to exercising remains the biblical principle that you need to adhere to.
Or not?! Research has revealed that stretching can actually slow you down. It has been observed that people who stretch before an actual run show lesser efficiency and speed than people who don’t. Apart from this, there hasn’t been much research or proof to confirm that stretching before exercising resulted in lesser risks of injury.
Lie#7: Swallowed a chewing gum? Give it 7 years for digestion
Forget 7 years; there should be no hullaballoo on this one. Chewing gums are basically made of rubbery polymers, sweeteners, flavourings with glycerine and vegetable oil to keep it moist. Your body extracts whatever it can from it, and the rest passes along with other waste. However, that does not mean that you should swallow them, intentionally at all times. Too much of it may result in gastrointestinal blockage that will require medical attention.
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