Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Myths debunked!

I recently purchased Armchair Reader: The Book of Myths and Misconceptions. I love this book because it reminds me of the stuff I used to buy at the Scholastic Book Fair when I was in elementary school. The reader is filled with popular myths and fascinating trivia. I've been taking notes while I read in order to post the most interesting information on this blog. Here are some of my favorites.

* Contrary to popular belief, hair and nails do not continue to grow after a person dies. When we die our bodies dehydrate and our skin shrinks, giving the illusion that our nails and hair are still growing.

* A mother bird will not abandon her baby if she smells evidence of human touch. Most birds have little or no sense of smell.

* A penny dropped from the top of the Empire State Building would not kill a person. Some of the speed that the penny picked up through the force of gravity would be negated by air resistance. The most damage it could cause would be a small cut.

* Lobsters do not scream in pain when dropped into boiling water. Lobsters have no vocal cords and lack the receptors to feel what humans call "pain." The sound that is caused by boiling them is from air trapped under the lobster's shell that expands rapidly and escapes through small openings.

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