Over time, even the facts we consider true can be denied.
The seven notions that probably many of you have learned on school desks are an example!
1. Pluto is not a planet
Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and… stop! Pluto, suspected of being the ninth planet of our solar system in the late 1800s, and confirmed in 1930 by
Clyde Tombaugh was actually reclassified as a dwarf planet on 24 August 2006 and formally baptized 134340 Pluto. Pluto, with an eccentric orbit on the orbit of Neptune, is however the largest of the dwarf planets of the solar system.
2. Diamond is not the hardest substance
Hard as the diamond? No, it should be said like ultrahard nanotwinned cubic boron nitride. So far we knew only two substances could beat the hardness of the diamond: wurtzite boron nitride and lonsdaleite (also derived from carbon), according to Scientific American. The first has a 18% higher resistance than a diamond and the second is well 58%.Unfortunately, both are rather unusual and unstable in nature. In fact, the authors of the study have only calculated the hardness of the new substances, rather than doing experimentation with a tangible sample. However, in the Nature January issue of 2013, another competitor appeared to be: the researchers compressed boron nitride particles to form “ultrahard nanotwinned cubic boron nitride.
3. The witches were not burnt in Salem
Salem, the city of witches, or more where the witches were tied to a pole and burned. But this does not seem to have happened, at least according to Richard Trask, a Danvers city archivist (formerly known as Salem): at that time, New England still followed the English law listing the witchcraft among the crimes punishable with hanging. However, in Europe, the church has actually condemned heresy burning the suspected alive (remember Giovanna D’Arco?). Hence, confusion.
Hang yeah, burn it alive, no!
4. Pyramids were not built by Jews slaves
Movies such as “The Prince of Egypt” perpetuate the idea that Israeli slaves build pyramids, and even though many think the Bible says so, the book does not specifically mention these events.
This popular myth seems to have come from an observation made by former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin when he visited Egypt in 1977. But, according to Amihai Mazar, a professor at the Jewish University of Jerusalem, “No Jew built pyramids because Jews did not exist in the time they were built”. In addition, recent archaeological finds evidences that the Egyptians themselves built the pyramids: workers were recruited among poor families, but were highly respected, earning crypts near the pyramids and even proper preparation for burial.
The slaves, commonly understood, would not be treated in the same way.
5. Folding a piece of paper more than seven times is not impossible
Britney Gallivan, a California student, did not give up: with some volunteers, she bought a huge roll of $ 85 toilet paper and came bending it 11 times, developing an equation based on the thickness and width of the specific paper. The mistake made so far would be to bend paper every time in alternate directions. But in 2012, students at St. Mark’s School in Southborough, Massachusetts, broke their records, folding the paper 13 times.
6. The Great Wall of China is not visible from the Moon
In 2003, the first Chinese astronaut broke the widespread myth: Yang Liwei admitted he could not see the Great Wall out of space, according to NASA. Some photos have emerged here and there: you can see parts of the wall, but only in the right conditions (if there is snow on the structure, for example) or with powerful telephoto lenses. But it is possible to see the lights of big cities, great roads and bridges, airports and dams and tanks. However, from the Moon, you do not see much! The only thing you can see from the Moon is a beautiful sphere, mostly white, some blue and patches of yellow, and every once in a while some green vegetation,” Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean told NASA, “No man-made object is visible at this scale” added.
7. There are not only five (or three) kingdoms of classification
At school, at the time of science you will probably have heard about the three main kingdoms of biological classification – animals, plants and bacteria – or five, if you add fungi and protists. However, since then the classification of life has expaned. More species are found and analyzed, more complex becomes labeling. In addition to the five kingdoms above, we now know chromists (Chromista): a taxonomic group of living beings, unicellular or multicellular eukaryotes, mostly photosynthetic, even though organisms previously classified among the “lower fungi” have also been inserted. In recent classifications, though controversial, the group has been elevated to a kingdom.