School is, like, the one place we go to and expect that the things we're learning are definitely true. But, come to find out, we may have been slightly misinformed on a few things. So, I asked the people of the BuzzFeed Community, "What are some 'facts' you learned in school that you later realized were totally wrong?" And people definitely didn't hesitate to let me know: 1. "Rosa Parks was just 'tired' after a hard day's work and didn't want to give up her seat on the bus."
"This was a planned and deliberate protest and was not the first or last of its kind."
trishabobisha , which was required by law in Montgomery at the time. Claudette Colvin (left) was arrested at 15 years old in March 1955 for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white person This was nine months before , which led to the Rosa Parks's infamous and deliberate protest in December 1955 13-month Montgomery bus boycott. Julie Bennet / William Philpott / Getty Images 2. "We only use 10% of our brain."
According to studies found by the
Association for Psychological Science, the myth that we only use 10% of our brains is firmly rooted in popular culture. And now, this can all be debunked by modern-day technology. Technology such as . It's also one of the ways we can prove that PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scans have changed the way we understand and see the human brain all humans are definitely using 100% of their brains. Mr.suphachai Praserdumrongchai / Getty Images/iStockphoto 3. "Encyclopedias will always be the best starting point in research, and you won’t ever be able to find much online, especially not using Ask Jeeves and Google." Olena Ruban / Getty Images 4. "The Nile is the only river that flows north, and it was some magical thing."
"Actually, a bunch of rivers flow north."
The Nile is not the only river that flows north. There are many rivers that flow north, including the From their source, Lena River in Russia, the St. Johns River in Florida, and the Red River that flows between the US and Canada. rivers will flow downhill due to gravity pulling the stream downward, and that can happen in any direction. Adrien Le Toux / Getty Images 5. "That the Boston Tea Party happened in response to an increase in taxes."
"It was actually in response to a decrease that would have made the Dutch East India Company's tea more competitive with the smuggled tea that some of the founding fathers were getting rich off of."
Yeah, contrary to popular belief, the colonists weren't throwing tea into the harbor because it was too expensive;
it was due to taxation without representation. The East India Company was one of England's most successful trading companies, and after the French and Indian War, the business was about to go under. So, parliament decided to create the Tea Act, which essentially made the East India Company a monopoly. The Tea Act gave the East India Company a tax break on the tea they were selling, making the product cheaper than what was being smuggled in by the colonist. The Tea Act didn't change the price of tea, but the act did spark a fire under the colonists, as they weren't going to pay a tax imposed by a government they had no say in. Keith Lance / Getty Images 6. "The Food Pyramid."
"Proper nutrition was taught by following the Food Pyramid, and it wasn't an accurate thing to follow."
The original 1992 Food Pyramid was released by the USDA for Americans to follow for a "proper nutritional diet." I'm sure we all remember sitting in health class and having this burned into our brains until 2005, when it was replaced with the MyPyramid chart.
The problem with the 1992 pyramid is that it depicted questionable dietary advice (recommending a low-fat diet that could harm Americans blood cholesterol instead of mentioning healthy alternatives and failing to mention that whole grains are healthier than refined ones), while the 2005 MyPyramid replacement was simply too confusing and vague. USDA/Corbis / Via Getty Images 7. "All insects can fly. I remember a primary school teacher being very certain of that 'fact.' I even remember one kid challenging him by asking, 'What about ants?' And he paused and replied, 'Flying ants.'"
all insects cannot fly; in fact, some insects are even believed to have lost their ability to fly through evolution. Not to mention, insects like silverfish and springtails have never had any developed wings. Sadajiwa / Getty Images 8. "That everyone has a learning style."
"There's actually no such thing."
According to the
American Psychological Association, learning styles can actually be a very harmful idea to expose children to, especially with such a large number of people believing these learning styles are apparent at birth, cannot be changed, and will determine your academic and career success, even though there's no scientific evidence to prove that's true. In two online experiments obtained by the APA with 668 participants, more than 90% of participants believed that people learn better if taught in their specific learning style, when in actuality, students would benefit from learning through various teaching methods. Olegsnow / Getty Images/iStockphoto 9. "Harold II was killed when an arrow pierced his eye during the Battle of Hastings in 1066."
"According to most historians, he was actually slain by the Normans with swords."
prolix For centuries, there has been a debate among historians as to whether Harold II was killed by an arrow to the eye or cut down by Norman swords during the Battle of Hastings in 1066. As for the Royal website, they chose to combine both accounts of Harold's death and claim he was both struck in the eye and cut down by swords. Duncan1890 / Getty Images 10. "That we only have five senses!"
"A long list can include: pressure, pain, temperature, balance, body awareness, and more!"
orenlevko1 The idea of the five senses dates back to Aristotle's book De Anima (On the Soul), and in it, he states that for every sense there is a sense organ. Mind you, this was far before modern medicine, so there are parts of our bodies that he surely never even knew existed, such as the vestibular system, which is responsible for eye movement, posture, and balancing our equilibrium and does count as a sixth sense. Depending on your definition and how specific you want to get, you can come up with quite a long list of senses. Dickcraft / Getty Images
"In high school, the D.A.R.E. program tried to demonize it. Years later, studies have found many benefits of cannabis and CBD medications."
Yeah, the scare tactics back then were definitely not okay.
According to the CDC, limited evidence exists to support the claim that cannabis is a gateway drug. Tinnakorn Jorruang / Getty Images 12. "When I was in fourth grade, I remember a teacher saying that they didn't get tornadoes in the mountains because the mountains kept the cold and warm air from mixing and forming tornadoes."
jomariem According to the and have actually been recorded to have crossed the Appalachian Mountains and even crossed a 10,000-foot mountain in Yellowstone National Park. National Weather Service, tornadoes do form in the mountains Although the conditions on or within mountains aren't optimal for tornadoes to form, they definitely still happen. Reed Timmer / Via youtube.com 13. "In 1984, my band teacher warned us not to play each others' instruments because someone in a previous year contracted AIDS that way."
thanks to Ronald Reagan, I'm not even surprised that this horrible, horrible stigma was said out loud by an educator. First of all, AIDS is the most advanced stage of HIV; you cannot "contract" AIDS, and The most common ways that the disease is contracted are through an exchange of bodily fluids through unprotected sexual intercourse with someone who has HIV or by sharing needles with someone who has HIV. HIV cannot be contracted by bodily fluids such as saliva and tears unless the blood of the person who has HIV is present in those bodily fluids. Nndanko / Getty Images 14. "I am from Pennsylvania, and I absolutely learned that the Civil War was not about slavery but about states' rights. I actually recently polled my friends, all from northern states, and they, without exception, learned the Civil War was solely about slavery."
The Civil War was not a moral debate over slavery, which is very much what I learned back in my childhood history classes in suburban Ohio. It was never about liberating Black people or realizing it was completely inhumane to treat other human beings in that way; it was about the states' rights to have their own sense of control over the billion-dollar slave industry. The white people of the south wanted to fight the federal government against laws they believed interfered with their "right" to keep slaves and essentially do whatever they wanted with them. The south also wished to expand slavery into the western territories, while the north wished that the west only remain open to white labor. After Lincoln was elected president without a single electoral vote from the southern states, the south realized they had lost their influence, turned to secession, and inevitably started the Civil War. ClassicStock / Via Getty Images 15. "The Earth has seasons as a result of how close it is to the sun."
This honestly seems like an oversimplification of what we actually learned that we all just stuck with.
So, when the North Pole is tilted toward the sun, it's summer in the Northern Hemisphere, and that flips once the South Pole is pointed toward the sun, which means it will be winter in the Northern Hemisphere. The Earth doesn't have seasons because of how close it is to the sun, but because of how its axis is tilted toward the sun. Buradaki / Getty Images 16. "In school, I learned the desert gets hot during the day and cold at night."
"When I tell people I live in Arizona, others who learned the same thing in school think our summer temperatures cool off in the evening. Unless 100+ degrees is your idea of a cool summer evening walk, this school fact isn't true for every desert!"
isn't true that all deserts get cold at night; some can definitely stay warm, and it's all due to the amount of water vapor in the air and how it traps the heat or cold in the desert. If there's a high amount of water vapor in the air, it will result in the desert being able to retain the immense heat you feel during those hot Arizona days and keep it there even when the sun has gone. Philippe Rodrigue / Getty Images 17. "There’s no evidence that Betsy Ross ever made the first American flag."
Historians and researchers have had a very hard time finding evidence that
Betsy Ross actually sewed the first US flag. While it's noted that she was an upholsterer and did sew flags for political agendas, there is no evidence, past or present, that supports the claim that she created the first American flag. Ross died in 1836, and it wasn't until the 1870s that Betsy's grandson would tell the Historical Society of Pennsylvania that his grandmother made the first flag after being personally approached by George Washington, and she deserved her flowers for it. Additional members of Betsy's family even signed sworn affidavits stating Betsy had told them this herself. The story hit newspapers and was then posted in Harper's Weekly (one of the most influential periodicals of the time), and it was never once mentioned that this could be untrue, and her family was the only evidence to the claims. So we've believed this (potential) fairytale for 150+ years with not much evidence to support it. Bettmann via Getty Images 18. "Witches were burned in Salem during the trials. Nope. Nary a one."
Yeah, there were
no witches burned at the stake in Salem, Massachusetts, during the Witch Trials. In the colonies, witchcraft was a felony and a crime against the government, so you were put on trial. In Europe, being burned at the stake was punishment for One of the most famous cases from the Salem Witch Trials was heresy, which is a crime against the church. Martha and Giles Corey. Martha (pictured above) was accused of witchcraft and hanged, while her husband, who was also accused, was pressed to death. No burnings! Print Collector / Getty Images 19. "I'm Canadian, and I have a very clear memory of being in seventh grade and learning about residential schools. We were taught that they were a good thing."
"They told us that Native parents VOLUNTEERED to sign their kids up and send them away to these schools. They told us Native kids were taught to read and write and assimilate (I specifically remember this word being used) with white people. They made it sound like they were encouraged to keep their culture as they learned English and the Catholic religion. Like they were doing a favor for these families by educating their kids so they would have the skills to join the workforce.
Looking back, I'm stunned that textbooks can be made and sold with completely false information in them." In reality, children were taken from their families, abused, and mistreated if they showed any sign of their culture. And as we've discovered over COVID, many never made it home and were left in mass graves together.
Propics Canada Media Ltd / Getty Images 20. "Abraham Lincoln singlehandedly ended slavery. Not true at all."
"Ending slavery" was a way for Abraham Lincoln to cripple the Confederacy and end the Civil War. While Lincoln's views of slavery did change over time, he wasn't at all some kind of unsung hero for the enslaved. The Emancipation Proclamation didn't even mention freeing . But it obviously wasn't a pressing moral issue for Honest Abe, which is why all of the slaves; it only mentioned freeing people who were enslaved in Confederate states it took until June 19th, 1865, for the last enslaved people in Texas to get notice that they were actually free. The enslaved freed themselves just as much as we claim that Abraham Lincoln did. Wynnter / Getty Images And finally, this person debunked the lie they were taught in school, and it's incredibly beautiful how they explained it: 21. "AP Biology and general science taught that there are only XX and XY chromosomes."
including but not limited to mosaic chromosomes. Actually, there are hundreds of combinations, Similarly, the idea that Biology is beautiful, any way it is. Too bad the human race has a total and complete lack of actual humanity toward whatever it does not understand (including fellow humans)!" intersex is limited to hermaphroditic conditions is also false, as there are a number of combinations of both internal reproductive organs and external genitalia as well as chromosomal anomalies.
Yuichiro Chino / Getty Images Do you recall any of those falsehoods you were taught in school and want to share them? Make sure you let me know in the comments! Note: Responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.