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Is This Real Science or an Old Wives' Tale?
by John Miller
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Want to be big and strong and muscular? You have to chomp bags of spinach to really get those six-pack abs. Is that growing baby riding high in your abdomen? It’s probably going to be a girl. If it sits low, it’s a boy. These are examples of old wives’ tales, types of superstitions passed through the generations as truth. As it turns out, some of them really are true (at least partially). Others are flat-out false. In our quiz, do you think you can identify the old wives’ tales from real science?


It’s no mystery how old wives’ tales develop. People look for answers to various mysteries surrounding the human condition, and their answers are often totally silly, especially in hindsight.

Sometimes, old wives’ tales are simply proliferated to make children behave better. Other times, they offer folksy treatments for health woes — some of which make actually make you even sicker. Do you know which old wives’ medical aids may hurt instead of help?

If you eat too much ice cream at night, you’ll have nightmares. A bloody nose means you’re in the company of someone you’re attracted to. Chocolate will make your acne much worse. Cracking your knuckles will eventually cause arthritis. Do you know which of these is true? Or are they all simply myths?

Take our old wives’ tale versus real science quiz now! We’ll find out if you’re a candidate for medical school … or if you’re a witch in the making.

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