The “five-second rule” that food dropped on the floor for less than 5 seconds is safe to eat is not always true. Contamination depends on factors like moisture levels, the number of germs on the floor, and the time the food spends in contact with the floor.
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.
Trump may have had the largest inaugural crowd in 2017 if you count all sources online, on TV, and in-person, but his in-person turnout was provably smaller than Obama’s.
Charles Darwin came up with the idea of natural selection, but he didn’t coin the phrase “survival of the fittest”, that was Herbert Spencer in 1864’s Principles of Sociology.