QuoraED: Scientific ‘Facts’ That Are Totally Wrong

QuoraED! This is when we pick up a trending or interesting thread from Quora and spin a story around it.

How many times have you read random information being passed on as ‘scientific facts’ on the internet? And not knowing much about science, you might have believed it. One of the threads on Quora bursts such myths about ‘scientific facts’.
Here’s our comprehensive list of the most shocking science “facts” that are actually wrong. :

Most diamonds aren’t formed from compressed coal. Rather they are compressed and heated 90 miles below the surface of the Earth, while Coal is found about 2 miles below the Earth’s surface.


Dropping a penny from the Empire State building won’t kill someone. The penny will top out at 50 miles per hour, which isn’t fast enough to kill.

Hair and fingernails do not keep growing once someone dies. Instead, the skin shrinks, giving the appearance of further growth.

The color of your snot doesn’t indicate if you have a bacterial or viral infection — It can vary from clear to yellow to green with a variety of illnesses.


Pure water doesn’t conduct electricity well. The reason we can get shocked when standing in electrified water is because the water we come across will be contaminated by minerals, dirt, and other things that will conduct electricity.


Frogs or toads won’t give you warts, but shaking hands with someone who has warts can. The human papillomavirus is what gives people warts, and it is unique to humans.

Ostriches do not stick their heads in the sand when threatened. Actually they don’t bury their heads at all. When threatened, ostriches flop on the ground and play dead.

Your blood is never blue but rather dark red when it’s not carrying oxygen. It only looks blue because you are seeing it through your skin.


Giving children sugar doesn’t make them hyper. In several trials, kids were just as hyper when given sugary or sugar-free drinks.

Kid eating candy

It is possible to stand an egg on its head on any day of the year, not just on the Spring Equinox. It just requires a skilled egg handler and a textured egg shell.


Cracking your knuckles might annoy your office mates, but it doesn’t give you arthritis. Causes of osteoarthritis include age, injury, obesity, and genetics.

Organic food isn’t free of pesticides. However, pesticide levels on both organic and non-organic foods are so low that they aren’t of concern, according to the USDA.

Stress doesn’t play a large role in chronic high blood pressure. Acute stress can temporarily increase blood pressure, but overall it’s not a main cause of hypertension. Things like genetics, smoking, and a bad diet are much bigger factors.


Lightning does strike twice. And some places, like the Empire State Building, get struck up to 100 times a year.


Lemmings do not commit mass suicide. During their migrations they sometimes do fall off cliffs, if they wander to an area they are unfamiliar with.


You are not born with all of the brain cells you will ever have. There is ample evidence that the brain continues to produce new cells in at least a few brain regions well into adulthood, through a process called neurogenesis.

One gene does not equal one protein. Many genes make multiple different proteins, depending on how the mRNA from the gene is sequenced and cut up in the cell. Some genes don’t make proteins at all.


Goldfish actually have pretty good memories. They can remember things for months, not seconds like most people say.


During the early Middle Ages, virtually all scholars maintained that the Earth was round, not flat. The myth that people thought the Earth was flat was started in the 1940s by the Members of the Historical Association.


Sharks can and do get cancer. The myth that they don’t was created by I. William Lane to sell shark cartilage as a cancer treatment.


There is no such thing as someone having a “photographic” memory — only very good memories. Even people with exceptional or autobiographic memories don’t recall events with visual details precise enough to mimic a camera.


You might also like:

QuoraED: What Are The Most Interesting Facts That You Know And I Don’t, But I Should?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here