Don’t Shower During a Thunderstorm and Other True Myths

I’ve had trust issues since learning that swallowed gum doesn’t actually stay in the gut for seven to eight years . But have you ever dismissed something as an old wives ‘tale only to find it really true – that science, mathematics, and reason were actually on the old wives’ side (go to feminism)? Here are some general tips that are really helpful and the science behind them.

Don’t shower during a thunderstorm

I always assumed that my dad was just trying to scare me with the thought that I could get an electric shock while showering during a thunderstorm. And it looks like I’m not alone . But apparently my dad was not joking: The National Weather Service officially recommends avoiding bathing or showering during a storm. Just like you should unplug your electronics before a thunderstorm , you don’t want to put yourself at risk of electric shock through water.

Going outside without a jacket? You might catch a cold

We’ve all heard that you need to wrap up or you’ll catch a cold. The fact is that cold does not cause colds ( nor does going outside with wet hair). This misconception may be due to the fact that colds and flu do occur every winter , and it happens when it becomes … well.

However, some studies show that cold temperatures weaken your immune system and therefore your ability to fight infections. But to get sick, you also have to get infected with a germ; a cold occurs when viruses enter your mouth, nose, or eyes (usually after being in close proximity to someone who is infected). So, even with this research in mind, the bottom line is that you won’t get sick all of a sudden while outdoors without a suitable jacket, but it’s still a good idea to wear one anyway. To protect yourself from germs, check out our guide to preparing for the cold and flu season during a pandemic .

Don’t put a cotton swab in your ear

It turns out there is such a thing as cleaning your ears too well. Sending this cotton swab deep into the canals can lead to complications such as injury and infection, according to Healthline . Not only are your ears self-cleaning, but your precious earwax serves multiple purposes and cannot be scraped off indiscriminately. It protects the ears from drying out, traps dirt and prevents bacteria from entering the ear. So you can rethink your next cotton swab trip.

Order one large pizza on two medium

Have you ever had a hard time arguing about how much pizza to order your anger? Well, the math is this: the larger the pizza, the more good it is for your money. Count the numbers and you will find that one 18 “pizza is bigger than two 12” pizzas. If you’re looking to save your brain power, we’ve checked the math here.

The five second rule is technically wrong …

… but you’re probably fine anyway. This widespread and controversial “rule” that you can safely eat food from the ground for five seconds is in no way backed by science. At the same time, you are more likely to get away with it if the floor in question is relatively clean . So after you order a large pizza, you can throw it on the floor and eat it too. And personally? The five second rule is an integral part of my war on food waste .

Now that I’ve witnessed science, it’s time for me to try and conquer my fear of swallowing watermelon seeds .


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