We all like to think we "know" certain "facts of life" which are reliable and, simply unalterable common sense.
But, occasionally, you learn something that makes you do a double-take: in such moments you undergo a "WTF" experience. Try these on for size.
(Not for the squeamish or timid! If you're very, very scared of facts and truth and reality and honesty, just look away NOW!)
>> The Sun does NOT "rise in the east". The Sun stays, permanently, in its position and never rises nor falls; the Earth (and other objects in our solar system) constantly changes its position relative to the Sun, which causes the optical illusion of the Sun appearing to "rise" in the east.
>> if you have ginger hair, pallid, white skin and freckles and "Celtic" heritage, then your ethnic origin is "Asian" (because your people originated from a region on the eastern side of the Caspian Sea, 5,000 years ago).
>> The Caspian Sea is NOT a sea (just like several other misnomered "Seas"): it is the world's largest LAKE (surface area: 143,200 square miles)
>> The Basque Country is not, and has never been, a country.
>> If you think "England" is a country, then, NEWSFLASH: England doesn't exit; it stopped existing over 300 years ago.
>> The "Democratic People's Republic of Korea" is NOT democratic (it's an autocratic totalitarian regime), it DOESN'T belong to its People (the country belongs to the Kim family), and it's NOT a republic (the Kim dynasty is a de facto monarchy, which functions in much the way that the medieval monarchies in Europe used to operate).
>> Do you think you live in a world where all rivers succumb to gravity? You're wrong: the Chicago River flows backward, upstream.
>> Here's a nice one: ALL medical students are emphatically told, very early in their studies: "Half of everything you will learn in your medical degree will be proven FALSE within ten years of the day you begin practising medicine. Unfortunately, we don't yet know which half is false."
>> The "common cold" is NOT caused by being exposed to cold weather; in fact, going out into the fresh air is the best way to avoid catching a "cold". (It's a virus. The reason people tend to catch "colds" more often in winter than in summer is because we spend much more time indoors , with other people, sharing and spreading our viruses).
>> The best-selling album of all time, Michael Jackson's "Thriller", specifically its title track and the iconic accompanying video, has nothing whatsoever to do with "thriller movies", and everything to do with HORROR movies.
>> ZZ Top's drummer, Frank Beard, is the only member of the band who is usually clean-shaven, whereas his bandmates both have impressively long beards.
>> Do you ever worry about "a big asteroid" hitting Earth and wiping us out? You should worry more about meteorites: around 80,000 meteorites fall onto the Earth's surface every year; some of them are the size of your fist, whereas others are as big as a Volkswagen Beetle; most of them fall into the oceans (because 2/3 of the Earth's surface is ocean), but plenty fall on land. A meteorite could fall on your or my head right now, or at any given moment!
>> Do you think Karl Marx "was opposed to capitalism"? You're wrong: Marx loved capitalism (because, as he saw it, capitalism generates the vast wealth which makes socialism and communism "inevitable")
>> Do you think Adam Smith was an ardent proponent of "unfettered, free, capitalist markets" ? You're wrong: Smith did NOT advocate unfettered free markets, and was, in fact, a proponent of "Big Government" (he identified many "public goods" which can, in his opinion, only ever efficiently be provided by a central government and, Smith recommended, paid for by taxation).
>> All gods that we know about were made up by humans. Yes: the Abrahamic one, the Greek ones, the Scandinavian ones, the Hindu ones, the Sikh ones, the Jain ones, the Lithuanian Rain God, the Apache Rain God, the Hawaiian Rain God, the Lithuanian Rain God, the Tibetan Rain God, the Australian Aboriginal Rain God, and the Nigerian Yoruban Rain God, the Juju at the Top of the Mountain, the Juju at the Bottom of The Sea; and all the many thousands of other gods: they are ALL the product of HUMAN creativity, not viceversa.
>> We are all atheists. If you're a devout Christian, then you're an atheist as regards all gods other than the Judeo-Christian Abrahamic god; if you're a devout Hindu, then you're faithful to Deva, Devi, Ishvara, Bhagavan, Bhagavathi and whoever else, but you're an atheist as regards ALL other gods external to Hinduism; and so on, regardless of whatever your religion of choice might be. Our atheism is what unites us all, people; atheism is one of very few things which we ALL have in common: embrace it!
>> There is only the tiniest statistical chance that you and I might be humans. It is statistically demonstrable that we're more than 99.9% likely all to be mere sequences of Java code, living here in this simulated "reality".
>> 65% of the "women" you see walking around in burqas and niqabs are, in fact, men.
(Ok, ok! I made that last one up, just for fun - but, hey, it could be true, right?! ...And it very well might be true! My challenge to you, fellow Verblingers: do a bit of research to confirm or disprove my hypothesis, then come back and let us know your results! ...Just for fun!)
Do YOU know any more "disconcerting truths" which might surprise or shock us? Please share them here!