From childhood we have been told that Mount Everest is the tallest mountain, we can’t have sweets because they will make us hyperactive and we should wear a hat if it is cold.
Now experts have dispelled these commonly held assumptions and revealed a list of modern life’s top misconceptions, or “faux facts”, as Ripley’s Believe It or Not! termed them.
The museum of curiosities in London’s Piccadilly Circus commissioned the study and compiled the list of myths.
Other misconceptions are that the Great Wall of China can be seen from space and sushi means “raw fish”.
A spokesman for Ripley’s said: “If you’re told something enough times, you’re sure to start believing it.
Top 20 misconceptions that people believe are true
Top 20 misconceptions that people believe are true
1. Most people believe coffee is made from beans, but experts say they are actually made from seeds called a bean.
2. It is commonly assumed that chameleons change colour to fit in with their surroundings. However, they actually change colour depending on their mood, temperature and their exposure to light.
3/20 Mount Everest
3. Mount Everest is often named as the tallest mountain on earth. But while the summit of Mount Everest is higher above sea level than the summit of any other mountain, but Mauna Kea is the tallest when measured from base to summit.
4/20 Great Wall of China
4. People say you can see the Great Wall of China from space. But Apollo astronauts confirmed that you can’t see the Great Wall of China from the Moon. In fact, all you can see from the Moon is the white and blue marble of our home planet.
5/20 Dog years
5. One human year is equivalent to seven dog years it is thought. Actually it depends on the size and breed of the dog.
6/20 Heat loss
6. It's often said that you lose your body heat fastest through your head. This is a myth, experts say humans would be just as cold if they went without a hat as if they went without trousers.
7. We were all taught the Earth revolves around the Sun. Technically, what is going on is that the Earth, Sun and all the planets are orbiting around the centre of mass of the solar system.
8/20 Taste sensations
8. Different parts of your tongue detects different tastes, right? Wrong. This was scientifically disproved by later research; all taste sensations come from all regions of the tongue, although different parts are more sensitive to certain tastes.
9. Peanuts are thought to be a type of nut, many think the clue's in the name. But actually peanuts, along with beans and peas, belong to the single plant family, Leguminosae.
10/20 Children and sweets
10. Parents often claim giving children sugar makes them hyper. However, this is not the case, most research has concluded that sugar does not cause hyperactivity.
11/20 Human senses
11. Humans have five senses most people assume. It turns out, there are at least nine senses and most researchers think there are more like twenty-one or so.
12/20 Fortune cookies
12. Fortune cookies are coomonly believed to be a Chinese tradition. They were in fact invented by the Americans.
13. When eating sushi most think the word means ‘raw fish’. But sushi actually translates as sour-tasting.
14/20 Viking horned helmets
14. Vikings are often depicted as wearing horned helmets. Yet there is no evidence to suggest Vikings ever wore horned helmets.
15/20 The forbidden fruit
15. The forbidden fruit mentioned in the Book of Genesis is always thought of as an apple. The bible never mentions the forbidden fruit was an apple though.
16/20 Vitamin C
16. Many say Vitamin C is an effective treatment for a cold. But most experts have stated there is little or no evidence that vitamin C can help treatment of a cold.
17. It will disappoint romantics but penguins don't mate for life. Penguins are mostly monogamous, however there are some species like the Emperor Penguin which is serially monogamous, they mate with one couple for the whole season but the next year they will probably mate with another penguin as the urgent need for breeding will make them avoid waiting for the same couple the following year.
18. It is a commonly held view that caffeine dehydrates. While caffeinated drinks may have a mild diuretic effect they don't appear to increase the risk of dehydration.
19/20 Rats in London
19. It is often said that in London, you are merely six feet away from a rat. But this is just a rough estimate as rodents are not evenly spread apart.
20/20 Dark side of the moon
20. Is there a dark side of the moon. Apparently not. As the Moon is constantly rotating on its own axis, there is no area of the planetoid which is in permanent darkness.
“The misconceptions in this list are all pretty plausible, so it’s understandable that many Brits will have read it and been certain it’s true, with many of us being told these from an early age.
“Unbelievably, all of these commonly believed facts are in fact misconceptions.
“We’ve found this research really interesting as the whole Ripley’s attraction is filled with exhibits that have the ‘Believe It or Not!’ factor. As our founder Robert Ripley used to say, it is often the strangest things that are true.”
But no one should be ashamed to admit they have been caught out by one of these misconceptions as 82 per cent of UK adults have admitted they had believed one of the “facts” on the list.