Old wives’ tale: Humans only use 10 percent of their brains
You may be familiar with the “10% Myth,” a common misconception that humans are only capable of using 10 percent of their brains. This old wives’ tale is often cited by people who claim to have “psychic powers” or access to untapped parts of the brain and even served as the storyline for the 2014 film, Lucy. However, PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scans and fMRIs (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) have proved that this common trope is not actually true. In reality, the entire human brain is constantly active – even when we are sleeping!
Old wives’ tale: Don’t go outside with wet hair. You’ll catch a cold.
Getting chilled does not cause a cold – at least not under laboratory conditions. In one study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, two groups of people were exposed to viruses that cause the common cold. One group was exposed to the germs in a chilly 5°C room; the other group, in a balmy 30°C room. The result? Both groups caught colds at about the same rate. Sorry, old wives.
Old wives’ tale: Foods with mayonnaise spoil faster
Turns out this old wives’ tale is not actually true. When you turn your leftover chicken into chicken salad, the mayonnaise actually helps prevent spoilage. Why? Because commercial mayonnaise is somewhat acidic. The upshot: when you’re heading out for a picnic or setting out a buffet, you don’t have to avoid mayonnaise – just be conscious of keeping the food cold. And if you know that there will be leftovers, cover the dish and get it in the refrigerator as quickly as possible.