Myths We Were Told as Children...Debunked

We all know our childhoods were filled with little white lies, told by our parents, family or friends, that we believed as kids. But there’s also lots of myths that you may still believe today...

  1. 1. Sitting too close to the TV will damage your eyes

    We all remember waiting for our favourite programme to begin, edging closer to the TV in excitement, when our parents would shout: “don’t sit too close to the TV, it will damage your eyes!”. There has, however, been no evidence to support this. The American Academy of Ophthalmology states that children actually have heightened ability to focus on nearby objects and therefore could be happier, and better off, sitting closer to the TV!

  2. 2. One dog year is equivalent to seven human years

    It is a commonly believed theory that one dog year equates to seven human years. In actuality, that figure is merely a rustic approximation based on taking the average lifetime of a human and dividing it by the average lifetime of a dog. A dog will actually develop far quicker in its early years, reaching the equivalent of human middle age by the age of two, and then progressing much more slowly for the remainder of its life.

  3. 3. Eating carrots will improve your vision

    Everyone grew up thinking that eating a few extra carrots a week would help to fix your eyesight problems…unfortunately, this is also not true. Carrots are high in Vitamin A, an essential vitamin in maintaining healthy eyesight, but only a very small amount of Vitamin A is needed in your diet. Vitamin A can also be obtained from a variety of foods, including dark, leafy greens, dairy, fish, and more! So, whilst adding carrots or other Vitamin A-rich foods will help keep our eyes healthy, it won’t improve your eyesight or stop you from needing glasses.

  4. 4. Swallowed chewing gum will stay in your stomach for seven years

    Many of us feared what would happen if we swallowed gum when we were younger. Although our stomach is unable to break down gum, according to Kids Health, it will take the same path through our digestive system like all other food we eat, so there's no need to worry!

  5. 5. Cracking your knuckles will give you arthritis

    We’ve all been there – you’re cracking your knuckles or your neck, and someone warns you: “don’t do that or you’ll get arthritis!”. The idea, though, that cracking your knuckles will result in arthritis, is very much false, according to Harvard Health Publishing. The satisfying ‘pop’ of cracking knuckles is caused by the bubbles bursting within the synovial fluid when the bones are pulled apart. And, whilst it may not cause arthritis, it can lead to reduced grip strength.

  6. 6. You swallow eight spiders in your sleep each year

    Whilst the myth varies between people, this article can put your mind at ease. The idea that you swallow spiders in your sleep simply isn’t true, according to Scientific American. The circumstances required for this myth to be true go against both spider and human biology, with spiders having little interest in humans, potentially even fearing the snoring human. Humans are also very likely to wake up if they were to experience the sensation of a spider walking across their face, let alone into their mouth!