Teachers aren’t always truthful. They tell lies. In fact, they also rely on books that tell lies. Here are ten lies we were taught in school.
10. Chameleons Change Colors to Camouflage Themselves
Chameleons change the color of their skins for different reasons than what we were taught schools. The colors change based on the characteristics of mating behavior and as a method to regulate body temperatures. For example, chameleons would change their skin from light to dark in order to absorb more heat.
9. Benjamin Franklin’s Kite Experiment
You probably heard the story of the famous Benjamin Franklin flying a kite during a thunderstorm. The legend has it that during the experiment, Franklin discovered electricity. The story is nice, but is nothing but a tall tale taught to us in school. Franklin proposed the experiment, but he never actually went through with it. If he had experimented with his kite, he would have been killed instantly.
8. George Washington Chopped Down a Cherry Tree
When we are in social studies class, we were taught that when George Washington was young himself, he chopped down a cherry tree. However, Washington proved how responsible and truthful he was by saying, “I cannot tell a lie.” The story is used to teach children not to lie, even though the tale is actually a myth of its own. It turns out, George Washington’s biographer inserted the tale into his books, ten years after Washington passed away. Today, most historians believe that the story of George Washington cutting down a cherry tree is a complete fiction told to us to build our character.
7. Thirteen Colonies
It’s quite easy to understand why our children believe this lie that is fed to them, but it is false nevertheless. The American flag has thirteen stripes representing the original thirteen colonies—but in reality there were only twelve. That’s because Delaware was never a separate colony. After the British invaded the region and stole it from the Dutch in the 1660s, the Delaware territory was going back and forth between Maryland and Pennsylvania. Eventually it ended up in the hands of William Penn—the guy who also owned Pennsylvania—and it remained that way until the Revolutionary War.
6. Pop the Cherry
Stop trying to make the cherry pop, it ain’t going to happen because the “cherry” isn’t even real. The “cherry” is what a lot of people call the hymen and the hymen is what many people think is a layer of skin that has to be broken the first time a woman has sex (with a man). The hymen in actuality is just a super thin membrane that sits around the vagina and will stretch out when you insert anything inside of it – finger, penis pencil etc. The hymen doesn’t break as we all think. The hymen is there forever and ever.
5. Homosexuality Can Be Cured
A sexual orientation is not a disease and thereby cannot be cured. Attempting to find a cure for homosexuality and bisexuality is like trying to cure having red hair. One can disguise having red hair with dye and one can mask homosexuality and bisexuality by acting straight, but one does not cure homosexuality, bisexuality or red hair – they will always be there.
4. Abraham Lincoln Opposed Slavery
Abraham Lincoln is frequently hailed as one of the greatest opponents of slavery for freeing the slaves with his Emancipation Proclamation in 1862. That is not completely true. In fact, Lincoln struggled with conflicting and ambiguous views on slavery during his Presidential years. He wasn’t a strong supporter of abolition; he only wanted to do what would make the Union stronger.
He once said, “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union.”
3. Romans Used Coliseum Tunnels for Puke
A tunnel between seats in the coliseum is called a ‘vomitorium.’ Ask most history teachers and they’ll tell you it’s called this because the Ancient Romans considered it a sign of affluence to eat enough to vomit — and used the spaces in between for this purpose. Romans didn’t line up to hurl en masse into tunnels. “Vommere” in Latin means “to spew forth”, referring to the people exiting the stadium — not their food.
2. WWI Started Because of the Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand
If your teacher taught this, they were wrong. The assassination was used as an excuse to go to war, but it was by no means a cause. Alliances that tumbled, imperialism and conflicting ideologies were three main reasons for why peace in Europe broke in 1914.
1. Columbus was First to Discover Americas
Columbus was not the first to cross the Atlantic nor were the Vikings. Two Native Americans landed in Holland in 60 B.C. and were promptly not given a national holiday by anyone. Columbus didn’t see any major significance in his ability to cross the Atlantic because it was not anything special. His voyage wasn’t even difficult to achieve The crew enjoyed smooth sailing, and nobody was threatening to throw him overboard. Despite what history books tell kids (and the Internet apparently believes), Columbus died wealthy, and with a pretty good idea of what he’d found — on his third voyage to America, he wrote in his journal, “I have come to believe that this is a mighty continent which was hitherto unknown.”