Throughout life, we all believe a few myths that were, unfortunately, untrue. Whether it was believing that you could digest chewing gum into rubber, or that fortune cookies originated from China, many of us were unwitting victims of a hoax at some point in our lives.

Here are some of the most common myths that people believed to be facts.

You Swallow 8 Spiders Each Night

One of the most pervasive myths of our time is that the average person swallows eight spiders a night. Although this may sound horrifying, the truth is that most peoples’ chances of swallowing a spider are highly unlikely. In reality, spiders generally stay away from humans and avoid entering our mouths while we’re sleeping.

Chewing Gum Takes 7 Years to Digest

As a kid, you may have been instructed to stop chewing your gum by an adult who told you that it takes seven years to digest. It’s not true. The fact is that it takes around 48 hours for your stomach to pass gum. Your saliva and the acids in your stomach break the gum down naturally before it passes through the digestive system with no adverse side effects.

Hair and Fingernails Grow After Death

Another common myth is that your hair and fingernails continue to grow after you die. Although this sounds freaky, it’s actually due to the dehydration of the body after death. Skin shrinks and pulls away from the nails, giving the illusion that they’ve grown.

Shaving Fresh Hair Makes It Grow Back Thicker

The process of shaving your body or facial hair leads to it growing back thicker because of its sharp edges is another untrue myth. Shaving your hair doesn’t make it come back thicker. Hair has a natural tapered appearance when wet. When you shave it, it appears thicker because the blades cut off the strands at the same level.

The More Pores You Have, the Oily Your Skin Is

We all want a smooth, acne-free complexion. The more clogged pores we have, the more oil our skin

produces. But, this is actually a myth. The size of our pores dictates the amount of oil we produce, not their number. So, keeping your skin healthy and using the right products makes all the difference.

Humans Have Only Five Senses

Our brain has specialized receptors for tasting, feeling, smelling, seeing, and listening, leading us to think that we only have five senses. However, the definition of the word “sense” remains open to interpretation. Depending on who you ask, the human body can have up to 21 senses, including balance, hunger, time, pain, and touch.

You Can Catch a Cold From Going Outside With Wet Hair

This is a very popular misconception, but it’s completely untrue. Colds are caused by a virus, and no amount of cold air can cause you to catch one. So go ahead, rock that wet hairdo, guilt-free!

Reading in Dim Light Will Damage Your Eyesight

It’s a common belief that poor lighting conditions will ruin your eyesight. But, this is false. Although reading in dim light can strain your eyes, it won’t damage your vision in any permanent way. To prevent eyestrain, all you need is to ensure you keep the brightness of your reading material at a comfortable level.

Fortune Cookies Originate From China

Fortune cookies are known to offer us wise advice and are very popular snacks in the US, but this is not where they came from. Contrary to popular belief, fortune cookies were invented in early 19th century Japan. The cookies were brought to America in 1917 by the founder of the San Francisco-basedJapanese Tea Garden.

Ironing Clothes Cures a Cold

The recent trend of “ironing clothes to cure a cold” is completely false. It’s based on a misguided belief that ironing clothes against the skin during a cold can help reduce temperature. The fact is that a cold is a virus, and you cannot cure it with a bit of ironing. Adequate rest, lots of fluids, and medications are the most recommended remedies.

Believing myths can be fun and entertaining, but it’s important to know the facts to ensure you don’t unintentionally damage your health or the people around you. From now on, you can feel secure knowing the truth behind some of the most common myths that you’ve always believed.