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    Who Ya Gonna Call? Myth Busters!

    By

    March 1, 2015

    In my other article, I talked about some wacky myths you’ll ever get to listen (here, read). This time, I have some general myths that you may have heard of. Let’s read to refresh your memory.

    Myth– Sugar causes children to be hyperactive

     

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    After watching kids eat cakes, pastries, and all the items that contain sugar, you blame sugar for making them hyperactive. But, sadly, that isn’t the case. The ramped-up energy after a birthday party or a get-together could be excitement over getting a treat or being around other kids but definitely not because they consumed high amount of sugar before. The kid is just hyperactive because he is a kid and kids are active, usually. He might be eating chocolate, which contains caffeine, which does lead to hyperactivity.

     

    Myth– Sharks don’t get cancer

     

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    There is nothing special about their cells and researchers have been studying cancerous tumors on sharks for years. The misconception that sharks don’t get cancer is promoted by those who sell shark cartilage, claiming that the substance will help cure cancer. But no studies have shown that shark cartilage is an effective treatment. So next time you decide to buy those cartilage pills, don’t.

     

    Myth- You can kill a virus

     

     

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    Viruses are incredibly simple organisms but are extremely effective at infecting us. Deactivating or destroying a virus would seem legit but killing it? No. That you can’t. Yes, you can’t kill a virus. Because to kill something, it should be alive to begin with. Ability to reproduce is one of the main requirements of life and virus is out of luck on that. It survives just by stealing owned cell, to start with.

     

    Myth– The Great Wall of China is the only man-made structure visible from space through human eyes.

     

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    This is a myth and has been debunked many times in the past too. And we first need to define where “space” starts. If we take space to mean a low Earth orbit such as one travelled by the Space Shuttle (roughly 160 miles to 350 mile from Earth), the Great Wall claim fails, not once but, twice. Because that area is barely even space and other things like pyramids are visible from that height. Secondly, the Great Wall is barely discernable, if not invisible from there. A viewer would need visual acuity 8 times better than normal to see it from the low Earth orbit.

     

    Myth– Jonas Salk discovered the cure for polio

     

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    ‘Discovered’ might not be the correct word to use here according to my knowledge. Discovered would mean as if it was already there; just requiring to be found out when searched. That is not the case. It took years of work in a basement lab at the University of Pittsburgh to prepare a vaccine. It wasn’t the cure; there’s never been a cure because if you didn’t take that vaccine and you contract that disease, there is nothing that is going to help you then.

     

     

    Myth– Don’t charge your phone unless it’s almost dead

     

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    This is one of the most popular myths in the technological field about lithium-ion batteries. Some people think that not charging their mobile phone before all the battery is drained out is a good idea. But believe me. It may not be. It may be good for battery’s health to charge it even if it is not dead. Batteries have a limited number of charge cycles before they lose their ability to hold any charge. The reason why your phone’s battery diminishes as it gets older is because it’s already used up many of its cycles, not because you are plugging it in.

     

    -By Aayush Gupta

    Image Source: Google Images

    Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.

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