For our purposes: Myths are commonly held beliefs or ideas that are false. For a claim to be considered a myth one or more parts of it must be proved false. Other definitions of myth, such as those pertaining to the not false-but-allegorical stories we tell to explain things, are discussed on our “what is a myth?” page.

Below is a collection of all factoids rated “myth” (as in “not true or not fully true”) by our authors.  If you disagree or have more evidence to support a claim consider commenting. See our list of facts here.


Malaria Killed Half the People Who Have Ever Lived Myth

Malaria would have needed to kill an average of about 5 ½ million a year to kill half of everyone ever, we don’t have data to prove this. However, we know almost half the world’s population is at risk of Malaria and it kills up to a million a year today.

Bananas Grow on Trees Myth

Bananas don’t grow on banana trees, rather they grow on the world’s largest perennial herb which can grow up to 25 feet with leaves of up to 9 feet.