Top 5 Myths About The Human Body

VOICE OVER: Ashley Bowman
Written by Michael Wynands

Sure, you might know the back of your hand pretty well... but what about the rest of your body? Welcome WatchMojo's Top 5 Myths. In today's instalment we're counting down the top five myths about the human body that had us sent back to biology class.
Written by Michael Wynands

Top 5 Myths About The Human Body

Sure, you might know the back of your hand pretty well... but what about the rest of your body? Welcome WatchMojo’s Top 5 Myths. In today’s instalment we’re counting down the top five myths about the human body that had us sent back to biology class.

#5: Gum Sits In Your Stomach For 7 Years

Swallowing gum. Just don’t do it. Put it in the garbage, or keep chewing it until you’re close to a garbage can. If you’re desperate, find a scrap of paper and wrap it up to throw out later. But if you find yourself in a life or death situation where swallowing gum is your last resort, then… whatever, go for it. It’s true that gum is non-digestible, meaning that your stomach acid can’t break it down, but it’s not going to stay in your stomach for 7 years. If you swallow gum, it passes through your system and comes out the other end with all the other waste. There’s no special division in your stomach where gums goes to live out its 7-year prison sentence.

#4: Healthy Teeth Are White

“Look at those pearly whites!” - it’s a common expression used to compliment someone’s smile that the average person rarely stops to consider. Store shelves are covered in whitening toothpastes and dental strips that promise to give your teeth a healthy shine and eliminate unsightly yellow staining. Breaking news: Teeth are naturally yellow. Yes, coffee and cigarettes can lead to staining, but teeth are not meant to be white - that can only be achieved with bleaching. And according to dentists, the pursuit of a bright white smile can actually damage the protective enamel of your teeth. Modern culture has simply embraced teeth whitening as one of its many unnatural standards of beauty.

#3: Sitting Close To The TV Will Damage Your Eyes

Well kids, the medical professionals have weighed in, and here’s the verdict. You’re not going to permanently damage your eyes by sitting too close to the TV. Eyestrain can result from watching too much television, but the same issue will arise if you stare at anything too long or read in the dark. Eyestrain doesn’t cause permanent damage, just temporary exhaustion. The parental guideline dates back to the time of early cathode ray tubes, when parents were legitimately worried about the potential effects of radiation on their children. Oh, and speaking of eyes, carrots don’t “help you see better”. They’re a good source of Vitamin A, which is essential to ocular health, but they won’t give you 20/20 vision.

#2: Cracking Your Knuckles Leads to Arthritis

It’s fun to try to imagine the origin of a myth. In the case of this little piece of fiction, chances are someone simply made it up to get their friend to stop annoyingly cracking their knuckles. But in reality, there is no evidence linking knuckle-cracking to arthritis. One Dr. Unger reported having cracked the knuckles in his left hand twice daily for 50 years, without ever cracking the knuckles of his right hand. The end result? No difference in the two hands. We know… anecdotal evidence. But various large-scale studies have been performed over the years, and they have consistently failed to find any correlation or causality between knuckle cracking and arthritis.

#1: You Only Have Five Senses

No, we’re not talking about “The Sixth Sense”. The myth that we have five senses isn’t a government conspiracy to protect us from our “true potential”. It’s just a simplification of the numerous human sensory systems that help us understand the world. As a kid, you learn about sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing. They’re all real, but also a lumping together of various, less easily explained systems. Touch is actually many different senses, including pain, pressure and temperature. Proprioception is a sense of how our body parts relate each other. Our sense of balance and spatial sense is thanks to the vestibular system in our ears. In reality we have anywhere between 9 and 21 senses, depending on who you ask.

Which one of these myths about the human body gave you a sense of surprise? For factual top 10s and Top 5s that won’t damage your eyes, be sure to subscribe to