#1 Bubble-gum takes seven years to digest
Claim: You shouldn’t swallow your chewing gum because it takes seven years for the body to digest.
Truth: We’ve all heard this one, or some version of it — that God forbid, if you accidentally swallow your gum, it’s going to be stuck in your stomach for nearly a decade.
This myth may have partly evolved from the fact that chewing gum is indigestible by the human body. But this simply means the body can’t break it down; the body will still move it through the digestive system just as effectively as anything else you eat.
“Most people empty their stomachs 30 to 120 minutes after eating, and that includes gum,” explains Dr. Nancy McGreal.
#2 Your heart stops when you sneeze
Claim: Every time you sneeze your heart stops for a split second
Truth: “A sneeze begins with a tickling sensation in the nerve endings that sends a message to your brain that it needs to rid itself of something irritating the lining of your nose. You first take a deep breath and hold it, which tightens your chest muscles. The pressure of air in your lungs increases, you close your eyes, your tongue presses against the roof of your mouth and suddenly your breath comes out fast through your nose.” This in no way has to do with heart, hence it doesn’t stop every time you sneeze.
#3 You swallow spiders in your sleep
Claim: In our sleep, we swallow on average 8 spiders a year
Truth: Luckily for all of us, the “fact” that people swallow eight spiders in their sleep yearly isn’t true. Not even close. The myth flies in the face of both spider and human biology, which makes it highly unlikely that a spider would ever end up in your mouth.
#4 Knuckle cracking causes arthritis
Claim: “Cracking joints” and “popping knuckles” is one of the many causes of arthritis
Truth: Knuckle “cracking” has not been shown to be harmful or beneficial. More specifically, knuckle cracking does not cause arthritis.
Joint “cracking” can result from a negative pressure pulling nitrogen gas temporarily into the joint, such as when knuckles are “cracked.” This is not harmful.
#5 Coca-Cola can dissolve a penny over night
Claim: If you leave a tooth, nail, penny, piece of meat, etc., in a glass of Coke overnight, it will have completely dissolved the next morning.
Truth: There are plenty of reasons to cut back on your soda intake, but this is not one of them. This widespread myth was often used as a warning to soda drinkers: “Imagine what it could do to your insides!”
But here’s the thing: While Coca-Cola can eventually dissolve such items as teeth over time (not overnight) due to its citric acid and phosphoric acid content, so can plenty of other things we eat and drink. The pH level of Coca-Cola is even less than that of an orange, so if you’re worried about soda’s corrosive abilities, you should probably quit the OJ too.
#6 Multiply how old a dog is by seven
to find out its real age
Claim: Calculate a dog’s age by multiplying human years’ times seven.
Truth: Recent research and media have reported this method as outdated. By the time your dog is one-year-old she’s already a teenager, and extra years get added as the dog gets older. Check this chart here for exact conversion.
#7 Muscles weighs more than fat
Claim: In the human body, our muscle mass is denser, so it weighs more than our fat.
Truth: “A pound is a pound!” Common sense tells us a pound of muscle and a pound of fat have to weigh the same, but they do differ in density. This means if you look at five pounds of muscle and five pounds of fat side by side, the fat takes up more volume, or space, than the muscle. So if there’s something to be said, it’s that fat weighs more than muscle.
#8 The 5 second rule
Claim: If you drop food on the floor and pick it up within 5 seconds, you can still eat it because it’s yet to be contaminated.
Truth: This so-called rule says food is ok to eat if you pick it up in 5 seconds or less. Believe it or not, scientists have tested the rule. We’re sorry to report it’s not necessarily true. Bacteria can attach itself to your food even if you pick it up super-fast.
So food left there for 5 seconds or less will probably collect fewer bacteria than food sitting there for a longer time. Fast may not be fast enough.
Bacteria can attach to your food as soon as it hits the floor. That means food left on the floor for an instant can get contaminated if conditions are right.