15 Myths About the Human Body Most People Believe


Let us talk about some things people often get wrong about our bodies. You might have heard that we only use a small part of our brains or that sugar makes kids super hyperactive. Turns out, a lot of these “facts” are not true. Let us look at 15 common misconceptions about the human body.

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Waking up sleepwalkers is harmful

Waking up someone who is sleepwalking does not hurt them. They might feel a bit mixed up or lost right after they wake up, but the real danger of sleepwalking comes from the chance of getting hurt or not sleeping well, not from being woken up.

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Blood is blue

The red color comes from hemoglobin. Veins can look blue or green under the skin because of how light bounces off and through the skin and how we see colors. Medical drawings often color veins blue and arteries red, which makes us think blood is blue, but it is not.

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Lactic acid causes muscle soreness

Sore muscles after working out are not because of lactic acid. Lactic acid goes back to normal within an hour after exercising. The real reason you feel sore later is because of tiny tears in your muscles from doing new or intense exercises.

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Alveoli are balloons

The tiny air sacs in the lungs, called alveoli, do not act like balloons that get bigger and smaller because of pressure, even though some medical books say so. They are more like sponges with polygonal spaces that open up and close down because the chest wall pulls on them, not pushes.

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Women have an extra rib

Both men and women have 24 ribs, which means 12 pairs each. The belief that women have an extra rib comes from the story of Adam and Eve in the Bible, which says that the woman was made from the rib of a man. People born with certain medical conditions can have more or less ribs.

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Hypothermia causes drowning

Jumping into very cold water usually does not kill you by making you too cold (hypothermia). Instead, the shock from the cold can make your heart stop, give you a heart attack, or make you breathe too fast and drown.

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High protein causes kidney risk

Eating a lot of protein does not cause kidney problems in healthy folks. Although eating more protein than usual can change how the kidneys work for a little while, there is no proof that this leads to long-term kidney damage or disease.

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Sugar responsible for hyperactivity in kids

Sugar does not make kids hyperactive. Studies where kids did not know if they were eating sugar or not showed no change in how they acted, even in kids with ADHD or those who are usually sensitive to sugar. A review in 2019 said sugar does not boost mood. Instead, it found that eating sugar can make you less alert and more tired within an hour, which is called a sugar crash.

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Vegan diets have less protein

Vegan and vegetarian diets can give you all the protein you need. People who eat eggs and dairy often get enough or even more protein than they need. However, vegans need to take extra vitamin B12 because not getting enough B12 is common among vegans who do not add it to their diet.

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Pre-game sex impact performance

Having sex before a sports game or competition does not hurt your ability to perform. Actually, it is said that sex might increase testosterone levels in men, which could even improve how well male athletes do in their sports.

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Hair and nails grow after death

When someone dies, their hair and nails do not grow. Instead, their skin gets dry and pulls back from the hair and nails, which makes it look like they have grown. All those scary stories of skeletons with long nails jumping out of the coffin doesn’t look that scary now, right!

Photo by Luis A. Marcos, Stephen Conerly, and Sue Walker – Wikipedia

Leprosy causes automatic damage

Leprosy does not automatically make body parts get damaged or fall off, as some of us think. It can cause skin rashes and harm to cartilage and tissues if not treated. Also, leprosy is not very contagious. In fact, 95% of people who are exposed to the bacteria that cause leprosy do not get sick from it.

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Drowning signs are obvious

Drowning does not always look obvious to people watching. Usually, the natural reaction to drowning stops the person from being able to wave or shout for help. So, these are not reliable signs someone is in trouble. In fact, many people who are drowning do not seem distressed before they start to struggle.

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Cold weather causes colds

Colds and the flu come from viruses, not from cold temperatures. However, being in cold weather can make your immune system a bit weaker. If you already have a cold or flu virus without any symptoms, you might start showing symptoms if you get a cold.

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Slow metabolism causes obesity

Being obese usually is not because of a slow metabolism when resting. People’s metabolism rates are similar. Often, overweight people do not realize how much they are eating, while those who are underweight think they eat more than they do. Actually, overweight people might have a quicker metabolism because their bigger bodies need more energy.


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