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Modern man consumes a huge amount of information every day. Think about it: we regularly read the latest news, watch movies and TV shows, listen to music, communicate with different people and, in the end, watch memes. We do not even notice how gigabytes of new information are written into our memory, and some of them are erroneous. As a result, many people have the wrong idea about the world in which we live. For example, most of us are sure that the Earth revolves around the Sun – but what if we say that this is not true? In this article, we suggest that you consider 10 facts that will change your view of the world.
The earth does not revolve around the sun
The moon revolves around the earth, which revolves around the sun – so many people think so. From the outside, it really looks like this, but scientists know that this is not true. In fact, the Earth revolves around the barycenter, the single center of mass of the solar system.
Since the Sun makes up more than 99% of the total mass of the solar system, the barycenter is often located near its surface. However, due to the constant movement of the planets, this point often shifts and our planet can sometimes rotate around an empty spot in space. Scientists may say that the Earth revolves around the Sun, but this is only to make it more clear to ordinary people.
Chimpanzees don’t have more hair than humans
In one of the previous articles, we found out that the chimpanzee and human genome is 93.6%. But at the same time, outwardly, we are very different – at least in that primates are completely covered with hair.
In fact, they are not hairy than we are. Between two and five million hair follicles are scattered throughout the human body – about the same number as in monkeys. It’s just that our hair is divided into several types and not all of them are noticeable. So, the hair on the head and intimate parts of the body is clearly visible, but the hair on the arms and so on is thinner and lighter, therefore invisible.
Rice does not help dry a wet smartphone
Everyone knows that if your smartphone gets wet, put it in a pile of rice. It is believed that rice grains absorb moisture well and can save the device from breakage. However, experts believe that rice can exacerbate the situation. First, it contains starch, which enhances corrosion. Secondly, the smartphone in the open air dries faster and better than in a cramped container with rice.
Road widening does not reduce congestion
In 2018, it was estimated that Moscow residents spend more than 90 hours in traffic jams every year. Many of them must have thought that if there were more traffic lanes on the roads, there would be no traffic jams. Unfortunately, not everything is so simple. In the world there is such a phenomenon as “induced demand” – an increase in supply leads to a decrease in price and, consequently, to an increase in consumption. So, if the roads become wide, driving in cars will become more attractive, and there will be even more cars on the roads. A few months will pass and the traffic jams will return and they will be bigger than before.
As proof of the existence of such a phenomenon, we can cite the example of the Katy Freeway in Houston, Texas. In 2011, it was expanded to 23 lanes and became the widest road in the world. Did it solve the problem with traffic jams? No. Motorists began to spend 55% more time on the road.
Everest is not the biggest mountain in the world
As of 2020, Everest’s height is 8848.86 meters. It is considered the highest mountain in the world, but this statement is not entirely true. It all depends on what a person means by the word “height”.
If we are talking about being closest to the moon, then the highest mountain in the world is Chimborazo in Ecuador. Planet Earth is not perfectly round, and this mountain sits on a bulge – considering the distance from the center of the planet, the Ecuadorian mountain is 10,920 meters high. But, if you count from the surface, the height of Chimborazo is 6,263 meters.
If by “height” we mean the distance from the base to the top, the highest mountain in the world is Mauna Kea in Hawaii. If you count from the base in the Pacific Ocean, its height is 10,000 meters.
There is gravity in space
Many people believe that there is no gravitational force in space – you have probably already seen footage of astronauts slowly “floating” next to the ISS as if in zero gravity. In fact, there is gravity in space, because in its absence, the planets would simply scatter in different directions. Astronauts in space float as if in zero gravity because the ISS and they are in a state of free fall. But they do not fall, because the station is moving around our planet at a speed of about 27,600 kilometers per hour.
Pure water does not conduct electricity
Pure, distilled water is a very poor conductor of electricity – it does not have free electrons to carry electric current. So, good electrical conductivity of water is not the most correct statement. However, water is an excellent solvent and usually contains a lot of impurities like salts and minerals – these are the ones that conduct electricity. Therefore, the danger of the interaction of water and electricity should not be ignored, because often it is not distilled and, upon contact with a current source, can cause death.
There are not seven colors on the rainbow
In the 1660s, Isaac Newton set up an experiment with the refraction of sunlight and found out that a rainbow that appears after rain contains 5 colors. The other two colors, orange and blue, he added because the ancient Greek mathematician Pythagoras considered the universe to be harmonious and closely related to the number 7. If you try to count the colors of the rainbow, you really can only see five colors. And some people see even fewer shades because we all have different perceptions of colors.
QWERTY keyboard designed to prevent sticky keys
In all keyboards, the letters are arranged in the order of the QWERTY standard. It is believed that this layout was invented so that jamming did not occur on the typewriter due to the close proximity of frequently used letters. But, in fact, the keys are arranged in this way to speed up typing – the most frequently used characters are located on the middle line, and the rest are higher or lower. The speed of printing was especially important in the 19th century, when there was a need to record Morse code transcripts.
Bagpipes are not invented in Scotland
The bagpipe is the national musical instrument of Scotland. It is a bag with several reed tubes to which keys and mortars are attached to create different sounds. You might think that the bagpipes were invented by the Scots, but this is far from the case. Mentions of this instrument can be found in the documents of Turkey and even Ancient Egypt.
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