You're Wrong! 10 Common Facts People Usually Get Wrong

You think I discovered--what?

Where do I come from?

A real viking helmet

What you know may be wrong!

We all know many bits of general knowledge. Everyone knows that the Earth revolves around the sun, for instance. We have a lot of these "everyone knows that" bits of common knowledge stuck in our heads.

However, you may be surprised to know that some of the common knowledge we cling to are common misconceptions. (I'm not talking about the sun. That one's true.) Let's look at 10 seemingly true things that most people believe but which are totally wrong.

Did Columbus Discover America? If you said 'Yes', then its time to rethink your knowledge of history. Aside from the tribes of Native Americans who lived there long before old Christopher Columbus arrived ("Hey, thanks for discovering us, Chris! We didn't know we were here!") a Scandinavian named Leif Ericson arrived on the continent centuries before Columbus was even a zygot.

Vikings Wore Horned Helmets: While we're talking about Scandinavians, let's dispense with this oft-depicted image from film. No, Vikings did not wear cattle horns on their helmets. That image was invented for a production of the play "Der Rings Des Nibelungen" by Wagner.

Pirates used to make people walk the plank: Lets go from Vikings to Pirates. Let's straighten this one out. No, they did not make people walk the plank. That's a book and movie thing. Pirates simply threw people overboard.Quick and simple. Why waste time setting up a plank for victims to walk off? Pirates have plundering to do!

Ship Captains can perform marriage ceremonies: While we're on the topic of seafaring people, lets tackle this one. No, ship captains can't do this, unless they also happened to be ordained as ministers. Also, a boat must be docked at a port, and not out at sea, when the wedding march music cues the bride to come down the aisle.

"Music has charms to sooth the savage beast." And speaking of music, we've all heard this quote. Well, guess what. It's a misquote. Almost everyone gets it wrong. The word isn't 'beast', it's "Breast". Its from the poem The Mourning Bride by William Congreve. To" sooth the savage breast" means to calm someone down. The expression means that music calms people, even when they're upset or angry. Its got nothing to do with savage beasts.

Tigers Come from Africa: Since we're discussing savage beasts, lets jump right into this one. I've often heard people say that Tigers come from Africa. Well, if you agree with that, you just failed "Wild Kingdom 101". Tigers come from Asia. (Remember the tiger lunging at Chef in Apocalypse Now, in Vietnam?) They can also be seen in Russia--hence the Siberian Tiger--and India--the Bengal Tiger--but NOT Africa.

The Great Wall of China is the only man-made object that can be seen from space: Staying in Asia for a minute, let's cross this one off the list, too. The answer is that NO man-made objects can be seen from space. Not without special telescopic equipment. Astronauts have been unable to spot the Great Wall with the naked eye.

We only use 10% of our Total Brain Capacity: Let's move from the eye to the brain. This is an oft-repeated theory which is far off the mark. The truth is, we usually only use 10% of our brains *At Any Given Moment* because the brain is so compartmentalized that it diversifies its efforts into many different little sections. Right now, as you're reading this, you're probably using 10% of your brain, but later today you'll be using the other 90% at different times. We do use ALL of our brains, just not all at once.

You can catch a cold by getting caught in the rain: From brains to head-colds, let's dispense with another fallacy. You do not get a cold from being caught in the rain. You catch a cold from being exposed to a virus germ. True, being outside wet on a cold day can lead to other problems, such as weakening resistance, but its not the cause of a sickness, just a contributing factor. And on a warm day, a little water is harmless. So enjoy being caught in the rain in the summertime.

Did Marie Antoinette say "Let them eat cake"? Nope, this was a quote from Jean Jacques Rousseau, made when Marie was only about six years old. Perhaps someone from the royal palace repeated this quote but no historical records connect it to Marie.

So just remember--don't take common knowledge for granted.

Rob



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Comments 80 comments

hush4444 profile image

hush4444 4 years ago from Hawaii

Love it! The "facts" about the tiger and catching cold in the rain drive me crazy! This is a great idea for a hub and I thoroughly enjoyed it.


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York

I was already aware of most of these fallacies. Being part Native American, it always gives me a bit of the pip when people say Columbus discovered America. Yeah?

Marie Antoinette said, "Let them eat bread". She was kinda ignoring the fact the people didn't have the means to buy or make bread, and so many during her regency were starving. It is almost the same thing; a deliberate ignorance of the common people's lot.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Hush; Those two "facts" drive me crazy, also.

I'm glad you enjoyed the hub.

Rob


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Paradise; I'd never heard the bread line before. I'll have to look into that. Thanks for the information,

Rob


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

Fun hub. I'm a direct descendant of Captain Morgan, who was actually a profiteer, not a pirate - think of it as a pirate type of behaviour but paying taxes and a monarchist. He wasn't quite as colourful as his legend has made him out to be. That isn't to say some of his behaviour wasn't negative, but he wasn't actually a pirate.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Flora; That's so interesting that you're a descendant of capt. Morgan. I wish I were a descendant of someone famous, so I could find a way to profit off it. There's got to be some money in that somewhere.

Thanks for stopping by my hub.

Rob


Daughter Of Maat profile image

Daughter Of Maat 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

This was great. Very interesting and dispels many common mistakes people make. Voted up, interesting, useful and thanks for SHARING.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 4 years ago from Texas

I knew all of these! :D Voted up and interesting!


Druid Dude profile image

Druid Dude 4 years ago from West Coast

Nice, informative hub. Apart from the native americans. The Clovis people, who no one is really sure who they were, predated the natives we know now. Other influences seem to have left their mark here. Clovis points seem to have no asian counterparts, but after the Clovis people vanished from the scene, there are "fluted" points from the east coastal region, which also bear no resemblance to asian points. These post Clovis points bear more resemblance to Europpean points which enter the record later. Then, there are the runestones found along the Eastern seaboard, posswibly connected to the Viking explorations, but there may be other answers. Got any ideas? Voting this up for you.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Daughter of Maat; Hi. Always glad to share. I'm happy you found it useful.

Rob


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Justmesuzanne; Hi. You're more well informed than most people. So many people believe these things.

Thanks for stopping by to comment,

Rob


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Druid Dude; Thanks for the information about the Clovis people. Sharing knowledge is the best thing about these hub pages. I appreciate the detailed response.

Rob


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

There were really no planks?!? I'm bummed. I always envisioned Captain Jack Sparrow making me walk the plank:) Christopher Columbus? I'm shaking my head. Excellent facts Rob! Thank you for creating this hub. It's very useful!


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England

Interesting facts there Rob, a bit sad that Vikings don't have horns on their helmets.

But having the descendant of Captain Morgan commenting on my hubs has cheered me up a bit. Laird Cregar played him in a film. aarr Jim lad aaarrr! :)


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

Oh, just noticed you are at 100. Congratulations on your hubber score!

Steve : I can't claim any control over that... ;)


ctbrown7 4 years ago

I like this unique hub. Way to go!


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Sunshine; Sorry, no planks. Does Jack Sparrow make people walk the plank?

I'm full of trivia, and I like to let it out every once in a while so I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Rob


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Steve; Nope, no horns. It is hard to picture them without it. It's just not the same.

It's fun to be talking to someone with pirate blood, isn't it? I come from a long line of tailors.

Thanks for stopping by,

Rob


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Flora; Thanks. These scores jump up and down. This is the third time I've reached 100. Sadly, it won't last.

Rob


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi ctbrown; glad you liked it,

Rob


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

In Pirates Of The Caribbean Jack Sparrow could do anything and I was fine with it:)

Looking forward to more trivia!


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Johnny Depp has that effect. He's going to be playing Barnabas Collins in the upcoming "Dark Shadows" film.

Rob


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

I will be there to support him! Thanks Rob!


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

A nice collection of facts people get wrong....I like that you include where people started to go wrong. I knew about 3 of these facts....but you have got me seeing clearly on the other 7 facts...thanks for the information...and congrats on your 100 author score...11:14 PM eastern time...you were at 100....voted up and awesome.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Bruce; I love to help people learn something new.

Thanks for the congratulations on the hub score, for as long as it lasts. I appreciate it.

always a pleasure,

Rob


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

A great hub which I thoroughly enjoyed. Here's to many more

Take Care And enjoy your day.

Eddy.


Journey * profile image

Journey * 4 years ago from USA

The title of your hub caught me so I had to give it a click. It was very interesting and I enjoyed the read. Thanks!


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Thank you, Eiddwen. I appreciate the kind sentiment.

Thanks for reading,

Rob


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hello Journey; Happy to hear you liked it.

Thanks for commenting,

Rob


Shinkicker profile image

Shinkicker 4 years ago from Scotland

Thanks fro the education Rob. I was labouring under the misapprehension that we only used 10% of our brain (I also used to believe that we lost 90% of our body heat through our heads and that turned out to be false too)

Cheers, marked up


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi; I've heard that one, too. there are so many of these erroneous 'common knowledge' tidbits around.

Thanks for reading,

Rob


H.C Porter profile image

H.C Porter 4 years ago from Lone Star State

love these kind of hubs! thanks for the facts :)


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi H.C.; Glad you enjoyed it.

Thanks for stopping by,

Rob


Hippie-Girl profile image

Hippie-Girl 4 years ago from Oklahoma, USA

Haha, very cool. This was fun to read.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Hippie Girl. Glad you liked it. And thanks you for becoming my 300th follower.

Rob


Anonymous 4 years ago

Here's anotherone I've heard: Your heart stops momentrialy when you sneeze, and that's why we say "Bless you." That's a myth.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi; That one's not true either. The origin of saying 'God Bless You' when a person sneezes comes from the days when people believed evil spirits caused sneezing.

Thanks for stopping by,

Rob


TFScientist profile image

TFScientist 4 years ago from Peterborough, UK

"NO man-made objects can be seen from space" What about Holland? The huge dykes built to reclaim land from the ocean can surely be seen from space?


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Well TFScientist, I've never heard anything to indicate that they could be seen from space. I'll look into it and if I learn they can, I'll correct that, but as far as I know, there are no man made objects that can be seen from space.

Rob


belleart profile image

belleart 4 years ago from Ireland

I studied Marie Antoinette for a while and the exact quote was 'Let them eat Brioche' which is a type of buttery bread. And as for the sneezing, I heard that during the black Plague (not too sure on that part) sneezing was a sign of the disease spreading so people would say god bless you because they knew you were dying. Could be very wrong :)


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Thanks for reading and commenting, bellart.

Rob


Pinkchic18 profile image

Pinkchic18 4 years ago from Minnesota

Very interesting! I feel like I learned a lot here :) Thanks!


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Glad to hear that, Pinkchic.

Always a pleasure,

Rob


Dan Barfield profile image

Dan Barfield 4 years ago from Gloucestershire, England, UK

Great stuff! The one about head colds amused me - its so true. The only reason more people catch colds when its wet outside is because all the buggers with colds are inside crowding up next to you to get out of the rain.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Very true, Dan. Being inside with other sick people is not a great way to avoid catching cold.

Thanks for reading,

Rob


jose7polanco profile image

jose7polanco 4 years ago from Los Angeles

Thanks for discovering us chris, we not even knew we were here....that's is true it is a misconception thanks for pointing that out. I used to believe Chris also discovered El Salvador and Colombia ( colombia sounds like columbus and the Salvadoran coin colon (before the dollar) sound pretty much like his last name). just misconceptions.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

True. All misconceptions. Most people believe them, though.

Thanks for the comment,

Rob


MickiS profile image

MickiS 4 years ago from San Francisco

What a great Hub, Robwrite! I greatly enjoyed reading it. Why stop at 10 myths? Keeping going...sweating out toxins, fingernails growing after death, the far side of the moon never sees sun...write another one, RobWrite.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Micki; Maybe I will. Thanks for the vote of confidence.

Rob


rgmg50 4 years ago

Very interesting. I liked the one about using 10% of our brains. Wonder which 10% of the brain I did not use when I got some of these facts wrong. At least I did not get all of them wrong. Great hub.


Motown2Chitown 4 years ago

Rob, what a fun hub! It's helpful info that will keep lots of us from looking like idiots! LOL

Great job. Up, useful, funny, and interesting. :)


cfin profile image

cfin 4 years ago from The World we live in

Awesome. Voted up and shared.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Rgmg50; I think everyone believed some of these at one point. I used to believe a few of them.

Thanks for reading,

Rob


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Motown2; Glad you found it helpful. I love to inform and educate.

Thanks for stopping by,

Rob


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi cfin; I appreciate the kind words.

Thanks for the comment.

Rob


nanderson500 profile image

nanderson500 4 years ago from Seattle, WA

Very interesting. I knew some of these, but didn't know the plank one, although that does make sense. Making someone walk the plank does seem like a waste of time when you could just throw them off the boat! Voted up and interesting.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi; Having people walk the plank does seem like bad time management.

Thanks for reading,

Rob


jennzie profile image

jennzie 4 years ago from Lower Bucks County, PA

This was a very interesting and fun read. Voted up!


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Glad to hear it.

Thanks for coming by, jennzie.

Rob


ElleBee 4 years ago

Interesting - I definitely had some misconveptions with these facts.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi ElleBee; Thanks for reading my hub,

Rob


Nick Hanlon profile image

Nick Hanlon 4 years ago from Chiang Mai

i knew most of these but I still learnt something from some of them.great hub.loved it.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Thanks Nick; Always glad to hear that,

Rob


forbcrin profile image

forbcrin 4 years ago from Michigan

Ha, ha, ha, interesting topics...

But I think that your answer about the ship captain is wrong. They don't have to be ordained ministers to perform binding marriages. All they have to do is either be licensed officiants, which vary from state to state in USA, or to be a licensed sea-captain, certified by a certain maritime authority, and to be at high sea, where local laws don't apply...

The one about America and Columbus has been debunked for a long time, don't forget that we in America put more emphasis on making money, than on reading and understanding History...

Your statement about Siberian tiger is sort of redundant... Because Siberia is located in what we know as Asia, and we know the tiger is an Asian animal. Usually we associate the tiger with a jungle climate, and the Siberian tiger does not live in the jungle, but it lives in a very cold and snowy climate, which may be a surprise for a lot of people.

Catching a cold from the rain is and it is not right, depending on how the language is used. Colds are usually caused by all sort of viruses. Some of the viruses are on us, but they are dormant and if they find the proper environment they can wake up and live their purpose. Although the rain is not giving anyone the virus, the rain can create the proper environment to develop and to show cold symptoms... But it is difficult to tell illiterate Joe to stay out of the rain because he may create the proper environment for the virus to act. It is much easier to tell him, or her to stay out of the rain to avoid catching a cold.


billd01603 profile image

billd01603 3 years ago from Worcester

Interesting Hub, Robwrite


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 3 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Thanks. Glad you liked it.


Bit late 3 years ago

Brides walk up aisles rather than isles/islands.


Alise- Evon 3 years ago

What a creative use of language! Love your flow of thoughts as you work through your common "facts."

As an herbalist, though, I have to agree with forbcrin with regards to catching a cold in the rain. If viruses alone cause illness, we would all be sick continually because of our exposure to them in, on, and around us. A compromised environment gives viruses an opportunity to do their damage.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 3 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Alise;

Thanks for reading. I agree about compromised environments giving viruses an opportunity. As I said in my hub, "being outside wet on a cold day can lead to other problems, such as weakening resistance". But it's not the rain alone that causes colds. I stand by that.

Rob


Random Person 3 years ago

She might not have said "Let them eat cake," but when whoever it was said cake, they were reffering to stale bread, which was, during their time, called cake.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 3 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Interesting.

Thanks for stopping by,

Robert


DommaLeigh profile image

DommaLeigh 3 years ago

I laughed my xxx off. I know all those sayings and "facts" but you got me on one, which it made it all the more funny. I always thought it was beast, never would I have thought breast. It must have been a type O or R in this case. ..LOL... thanks for the laughs.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 3 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Domma; Glad you got a laugh out of it.

Thanks for reading,

Rob


NitroD profile image

NitroD 3 years ago from London

Interesting article :) and who has invented the phone? Bell or Meucci??+1 for Meucci! :D


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 3 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Nitro;

Thanks for adding that information.

Rob


cbarbar 3 years ago

I heard the brain fact but I thought it was strange to be true. Thanks for including that fact/myth. I didn't believe it was true. Interesting hub!


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 3 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi;

Some things are strange but true, however, this isn't one of them. The '10 %' myth is a fallacy.

Thanks for the comments,

Rob


Mitch Alan profile image

Mitch Alan 3 years ago from South Jersey

Robwrite, Fun hub. Some of these I was aware of, some not. I especially liked how you flowed from on to other through common words or associations.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 3 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Glad you liked it Mitch.

Thanks for reading,

Rob


GreenPrince profile image

GreenPrince 2 years ago from Philippines

great hub ..i just relearned. wow

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