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.
Some claim there was a “one-party system” for a brief moment in the Era of Good Feelings under Monroe and the Democratic-Republicans, but that isn’t fully true. There was still federalist opposition in those years.
There is no limit to the amount of times one can fold a piece of paper in half if the paper is large enough. However, because the thickness of the paper grows exponentially, a lot of paper would be needed to make more than 8 folds.
It is a myth that the estate tax hurts poor and middle class Americans, only the richest Americans (0.2% of families) pay the estate tax.
The idea that universal healthcare can’t work in the U.S. due to size alone is a myth. The U.S. has 50 states, each with populations equivalent to nations with universal coverage.
Presidents of the U.S. are granted power to create executive orders by the Constitution, but orders must be lawful, keeping in-line with the Constitution and other legal statutes.
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.
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.