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Get Your Geek On! 50 Simple Science Mistakes Parents Make

Here comes the homework. And while it may be assigned to the kids, guess who gets to help out? Right, we the parents (and our dear friend Google).

It’s probably a good idea to use that Google machine if you get stuck helping the kids because some things have changed since we went to school. Pluto isn’t a planet. There are actually more than 5 senses. Drains in Australia don’t go the opposite direction.

It’s true. Mental Floss has served up a great YouTube video featuring 50 science mistakes we all make, proving that just because you learned it in school doesn’t mean it’s true.

From sunflowers to brontosauruses, click through some of the highlights to relearn what you should already know to be true. I got stumped by nearly a dozen of them.

Who knew helping with homework would be so hard?

  • Get Your Geek On 1 of 19
    Science Mistakes We All Make

    Check out the list of common scientific misconceptions.

  • Killer Whales Are Not Whales 2 of 19
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    They're actually dolphins, or at least members of the dolphin family until they get uninvited for Thanksgiving after snacking on members of the dolphin family.

    Image via Buzz Bishop

  • Eagles Don’t Sound Like That 3 of 19
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    The scream that is often associated with eagles in movies (and the start of the Colbert Report) is not an eagle, but a red tailed hawk. Bald eagles actually sound like "a cross between a squeaky toy and a seagull."

    Image via Nate Merrill

  • Dog Years Are Wrong 4 of 19
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    You've been calculating it wrong. A "dog year" is not 7 human years. The first year of growth is actually more like 10-15 human years, the second year is like 3-8, while the animal will age 4-5 human years every year after that. It also depends greatly on the breed and size of the dog. You can work off 7 years as an average, but it's not always right.

    Image via Tomas Petru

  • Brontosaurus 5 of 19
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    There is no such thing as a brontosaurus. They never existed, yet whenever you see a long necked plant eating dinosaur you think "Brontosaurus!", right? Wrong. The animal was created when two pieces from different skeletons were mistakenly put together. They discovered the mistake in 1906, but it took until 1979 before all the museums made the changes. So, we learned about the Brontosaurus while kids nowadays know them as Apatosaurus - the correct name.

    Image via Andrew Mager

  • Tongue Twister 6 of 19
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    Your tongue isn't divided into sections, every part of your tongue can sense sweet, salty, bitter, etc.

    Image via Mike Burns

  • The North Star 7 of 19
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    Polaris is not the "brightest star in the sky", it's actually somewhere down near 45 on the list of bright stars. The sun is the brightest star in the sky, silly.

    Image via Nick Ares

  • Stars Don’t Twinkle 8 of 19
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    Oh sure, the song is cute, and I love when my toddlers sang it too, but it simply doesn't happen. Light from stars is solid, it just gets refracted through our atmosphere and so it looks like they twinkle. Okay, I'm going to call BS on this one. If they look like they twinkle, then they twinkle twinkle little star. The toddlers beat the scientists here.

    Image via Marragem

  • Venous Blood Isn’t Blue 9 of 19
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    Okay, I thought the blood in your veins was blue because it didn't have any oxygen in it. When you got cut, the oxygen in the air made it red. Not true. The deoxygenated blood appears blue because of light filtering through the skin.

    Image via Naval Surface Warriors

  • Lightning Strikes Twice 10 of 19
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    This is probably more of an idiom than a scientific fact, but yes lightning can strike twice. In fact, the Empire State Building was hit more than 100 times last year alone.

    Image via Ivo Jansch

  • Hens Don’t Need A “Man” 11 of 19
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    You don't need a rooster to have a hen lay eggs, they do it all on their own cycle. If a rooster is around, the egg can get fertilized. No rooster? The egg is laid unfertilized and still delicious when deviled.

    Image via Filip Maljkovic

  • Diamonds Aren’t Coal 12 of 19
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    Diamonds are just coal under pressure right? Nope. Most diamonds found pre-date plants, therefore pre-dating coal.

    Image via Jeffrey Beall

  • Pool Urine-dicator 13 of 19
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    You cannot put a chemical in a pool to show when someone pees. So, um, pee away friends or, y'know, stay out of the pool.

    Image via Tano D'Ere

  • Bats Aren’t Blind 14 of 19
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    Yes, they use echo location to move around quickly in the dark, but they also have eyes. And they can see with them.

    Image via Lenora Enking

  • Australian Drains 15 of 19
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    The direction water flows down a drain has nothing to do with the Coriolis effect and more with how the water was introduced into the bowl, and the shape of the bowl. I thought it went the opposite direction down under — not true.

    Image via Andy Rogers

  • There Are 8 Planets 16 of 19
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    Pluto got kicked out of the solar system in 2006. I know, I keep forgetting too. Pluto is still Mickey's dog, though.

    Image via Alan Levine

  • The 5 Senses 17 of 19
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    Aristotle said we have 5 senses, when in reality we have somewhere between 9 and 20. In addition to sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell you can toss in things like our ability to sense acceleration, balance, and pain.

    Image via Tilemahos

  • Sunflowers 18 of 19
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    If you think sunflowers track the sun's path across the sky during the day (I do) then you're wrong. (Huh?) They don't, but their faces are almost always pointing to the sunrise in the east.

    Image via Ted Duboise

  • Equinox 19 of 19
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    It doesn't mean day and night are equal, it just means the earth's axis is perpendicular to the sun. But they are right, this only happens twice a year.

    Image via Wikipedia

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via Mental Floss on YouTube

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