Thanks to advancements in modern science, it seems only self evident to suggest that we are privileged to have greater access to knowledge and understanding of the world we live in than at any other time over the course of human civilization. In spite of this, an internet-driven culture that emphasizes quantity and immediacy of information over accuracy has taken hold.
Truth be told, though, information of questionable veracity has long been widely disseminated and often navigates it’s way into our collective consciousness under the guise of fact. In a school setting, students are typically challenged to back up their work through supporting research and scholarly proof. However, no such demands exist within every day social interactions. Instead, we are satisfied to exist on rumor, gossip and speculation, accepting things as true and passing them along with the same factual authority.
In some cases, this has led to a schism between information that has come to be accepted as true and that which has been proven as such, particularly when it comes to data that is difficult to fact-check. When it comes to ancient historical info, where concrete documentation is hard to come by, any difference between truth and mythological folklore is virtually indistinguishable. Although Betsy Ross is widely attributed as the sew-oriented creator of the American flag, for example, no proof of the claim exists outside of affidavits from the Ross family asserting that she was responsible for the stars and stripes. This dicey uncertainty can also be applied to scientific data, where a very small percentage of people boast the knowledge to discern between fact and fiction, and to personal details, where only those involved know the real story but that doesn’t always prevent some from dressing up their own beliefs as gospel.
Indeed, even as we’re at a stage in human history that has enabled us to debunk many past widely held beliefs, there still exist no shortage of false myths that remain in circulation. How do we know for sure, after all, that Elvis Presley, Jim Morrison and Tupac aren’t all jamming together on some impossibly cool remote island? Life is made infinitely more interesting by considering the vast expanse of what we really don’t know in the universe, so why not leave ourselves open to considering the possible truth behind things that seem implausible and unlikely?
Most of the widely believed myths that comprise this list are tacitly accepted because the vast majority of people have no reason to believe otherwise. At some point over the course of modern history, someone either wittingly or unwittingly spread these supposed facts to the point where they became common knowledge. Since then, all 10 have either been outright disproven or, at the very least, have come under major question and scrutiny. However, the voices that have circulated these facts for years still loom larger and louder than those that have invalidated them. Here are 10 myths that people continue to believe today: