Test Your Knowledge: Scientific Misconceptions

Staff

Everyone knows gross things happen after people die. Which of these things does NOT occur after death?

It's actually the fact that your skin dries up that makes it look as though your fingernails have lengthened; in fact, your hair or nails don't grow after you expire.

What part of your body loses heat the fastest?

While putting a hat on will totally help you keep your head warm, there's no part of yourself that loses heat "faster" than another.

Can a healthy person get the flu from the flu vaccine?

While you can get some mild flu-like symptoms from a flu shot (some aches and a mild fever) you cannot get the actual flu from the vaccine. (And no, you won't get any additional behavioral disorders.)

Where are the salty taste buds on your tongue located?

Sorry, but you can't make that forkful of spinach taste better depending on where you chew it. Our taste buds can sense all sorts of tastes, all over our tongue.

The big bang theory does NOT:

While the big bang theory does describe how the universe started out incredibly small and hot and then expanded, it doesn't tell us a thing about how that small, hot thing was created.

How does the Coriolis effect explain why toilet water swirls in different directions, depending on the hemisphere?

Get your head out of the toilet. While the Coriolis effect totally makes sense for something like the Gulf Stream, it doesn't apply to our small-scale water models.

How many senses do you think you have, not counting spidey?

Having only five senses is so passé. What about the ability to feel an itch? Or pain? Makes sense.

When can lightning strike the same spot twice?

So technically, it also strikes twice when the right Iron Maiden song is on. But really, lightning does hit an average of 1.45 places with each cloud-to-ground strike.

Why is summer so hot?

Nope, we're not closer to the sun every summer. We're actually just tilted the right way in the summer so the sun beams hit us straight on.

What is a decent strategy to prevent a cold?

The only thing that might help you to not get a cold is to avoid getting the virus into your nose or mouth. Vitamin C and a nice knit cap might make you feel better, but they won't do a thing to avoid a virus taking hold.

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Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

There's no shame in admitting that we don't have all the answers. But there is a little shame when we're spewing scientific nonsense to our friends and colleagues. Test yourself to determine what so-called "science" you've misunderstood for years.

About HowStuffWorks Play

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