25 Common Science Myths That People Normally Believe

These science myths are often believed as fact, when in fact, they are simply myths. Many relate to our earth and space, and some of more advanced science.

1. The color of the sun in our solar system is yellow


Wikimedia Commons / Deavmi

Actually, the sun is white! From our vantage point, it appears yellow because as the sunlight goes through the atmosphere of our planet the blue light goes first. Then, the remaining spectrum of light gives the impression that the sun is yellow.

2. The largest desert on planet Earth is the Sahara


Wikimedia Commons / Stephen Hudson

Prepare to be dazzled! Sahara is the second largest desert in the world. The golden medal goes to – Antarctica. People think deserts should be extremely warm and sandy. In fact, that’s just a common misconception, because all the qualities they really need are a lack of moisture, to be unfriendly as well as dry.

3. You can predict anything with Astrology


Flickr / Peter

Though half of the world is crazy about astrology, it hasn’t been proven if it has any influence on anyone’s future, personality or anything whatsoever.

4. Mobile cell phone waves and signals bounce off a satellite



Another misconception! If you use a regular mobile phone, a satellite has nothing to do with your calls. On the other hand, 99% of total communication across our planet depends on the undersea cables.

5. China’s Great Wall is the only thing one can see from space


Wikimedia Commons / Severin.stalder

Again – this is false. The whole idea depends on the starting point you choose. For example, if your starting point is the International Space station, loads od other objects are visible. If your starting point is the Moon, all you could only see the lights of the biggest cities.

6. Gravity on the earth’s moon dictates Earth’s ocean waves


Wikimedia Commons / Bill Anders

This is only partially true. Or, better to say, half true for that part of our planet looking at the Moon. On the opposite side, tides are under the influence of the centrifugal force.

7. A place can only be struck by lightning once


Maybe the empire State Building pops out as an exception because it is hit by the lightning at least 100 times every year.

8. Planet earth is a perfectly round sphere



Not really true. Since it revolves at a speed of 1040 miles/hour, the poles appear as a bit flattened. Also, the equator breaks this myth that planet Earth is a perfect sphere.

9. The tallest object on earth is Mt. Everest


Wikimedia Commons / Vadin Kurland

Actually, Mauna Kea, Hawaii’s giant is more than a mile higher than Mt.Everest if you count it’s below sea level.

10. Electricity is conducted through water



If water is distilled or clean, it is not able to conduct electricity. On the other hand, in case water is combined with materials that conduct electricity, minerals, and dirt, we can get shocked.

11. There is a dark side of the moon


Wikimedia Commons / Apollo 16 astronauts

In fact, the so-called ‘dark side’ doesn’t exist. During the new moon phase on Earth, the other side, being in a full moon phase is not visible. In short, during the synchronous rotation, we are not able to see that far side, but it’s not completely dark.

12. Volcanoes affect the tectonic plates and their shifting


Wikimedia Commons / USGS

Tectonic plates actually move because of the extreme heat in the Earth’s core. Consequently, this causes the rocks in the mantle to circulate. Also, the scientists have discovered that thinner and warmer parts of the plates are more probable to rise, while colder and denser parts easily sink.

The point is – volcanic activity do occur around the edges of the tectonic plates, but they don’t move them.

13. When you get into space, you become weightless


Wikimedia Commons / Hooter

You are not weightless when in outer space but once you start falling, your subjective feeling is that you’re weightless. In fact, this weightless feeling has to do with the gravity.

14. Coal produces diamonds


Wikimedia Commons / Helgi

If you want a real diamond, you have to go at least 90 miles under the ground because, at that point, compressed carbon – the substance that is ‘guilty’ for the existence of diamonds – heats. On the other hand, you can find coal two miles under the surface. So, this is just another fallacy.

15. Flat-Earthers were the norm during the middle ages


Wikimedia Commons / Orlando Ferguson

Quite the opposite – most of the educated Middle Ages people knew about the spherical nature of our planet. The theory that the Earth might be flat appeared in the 19th century.

16. The Earth is hotter during the summer because we are closer to the sun



Not true! During the summer, sunlight gets to the Earth easily thanks to Earth’s tilt. That’s why it’s warmer in this season. On the other hand, at the very north of our planet, it’s during the summer when the sun is at its farthest point from the Earth.

17. Lightning causes thunder


Wikimedia Commons / Thomas Bresson

In fact, thunder is the sound caused by the lightning. It’s the sound that goes together with the lightning during the thunderstorm.

18. The asteroid belt can cause problems


Wikimedia Commons / NASA/JPL-Caltech

There are many misconceptions when it comes to the asteroid belt. Guess what? The good news is they’re not dangerous. This belt is about 200-300 million of miles far from the sun and it’s pretty much ‘empty’. Also, if you gather all the asteroids, their weight would be app. 4% moon’s mass. Most of these asteroids are not much bigger than a space dust pieces.

19. The earth’s moon is close


Wikimedia Commons / NASA/JPL

Actually, the moon is 239000 miles away from the Earth!

20. Only during the time of the Spring Equinox can an egg be balanced


Flickr / James Jordan

You can do it every time you want it. You just have to be dexterous enough and also find an egg with a strong shell.

21. A huge nuclear missile could destroy a giant asteroid


Wikimedia Commons / NASA

In case the nuclear weapon hits an asteroid, it would possibly break into smaller pieces but, it wouldn’t vaporize totally.

22. There is nothing faster than light


Wikimedia Commons / Rama

It is widely known that light always travels fastest if it goes through the vacuum. It’s 299,792,458 meters/ second. Also, it moves slower when it goes through, for instance, water, diamonds, and others, because neutrons and electrons from these substances influence its speed in that way.

On the other hand, according to the famous wormhole theory, anything that goes through it will be able to travel faster except the lightspeed.

23. Out in space, it’s cold


Wikimedia Commons / NASA

This could be the case only in the complete darkness and if the temperature is -450°F. But, in parts of space that receive sunlight, the temperature goes to 250°F. This would burn you in a second.

24. The Fermi Paradox concerning aliens was devised by Enrico Fermi


Wikimedia Commons / George Stock

The Fermi Paradox wonders how comes we haven’t met intelligent aliens so far, although the fact that, hypothetically, aliens exist somewhere in the space.

In 1950, a famous physicist, Enrico Fermi asked “Where is everybody?” referring to a cartoon from New Yorker. His question was misinterpreted because he was just wondering if the space traveling was possible.

Only in the 70s and ’80s, that the famous physicist Frank Tipler and his partner astronomer Michael Hart developed the whole theory. Bad luck, Enrico!

25. The only types of matter are liquids, solids, and gas


Wikimedia Commons / Luc Viatour

Well, there’s another one: the so-called plasma. It’s found in the space and for this reason not that often mentioned.

It’s great to be informed and realize the true facts. We hope this will serve well to people who read it.

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