Things You Learned At School Which Are No Longer True

At one point we thought the world was flat (Shaq still does!) But we obviously now know that’s not true. A Lot of the “truisms” we have from school are now erroneous. Perhaps some of them weren’t true in the first place or in some cases we just know more about the world now. Here are 7 things you may have been taught that are no longer true.


Pluto is no longer a planet:

Pluto has been reclassified from a planet to a dwarf planet. Of course, the worst part of this is that the brilliant mnemonic “My very easy method just speeds up naming planets” no longer works.


Diamonds aren’t the hardest substance known to man

Diamond was long considered to be the hardest substance but we have since discovered wurtzite boron nitride and lonsdaleite both of which are at least 15% harder than diamond. Unfortunately, they are both pretty rare in the natural world and so diamonds are pretty much the “go to” substance for cutting tools.

The witches of Salem weren’t burned at the stake.

Most carnivores will hate seeing the words burned and steak in the same sentence. Apparently, the witches who failed the Salem witch trials weren’t burned but hung. Still pretty dramatic though. Historians have revealed that at that period in history New England followed English law and witchcraft was punishable by hanging. If you believe witches were actually found at Salem! Ironically in Europe witches were often charged with heresy and therefore were actually burned!

Egyptians not Israelite slaves built the pyramids

The rumour comes from the bible stories. Although this is never actually mentioned in the bible. Interestingly archaeologists have found that although it was poor Egyptians that were used to carry out the labour they were respected for their efforts and ended up with crypts built for them near to the pyramids as a mark of respect.

You can fold a piece of paper in half more than 7 times.

Although it can still be a challenge! Britney Gallivan, a California high school student proved this theory wrong by investing in an $85 roll of toilet paper and folding it 11 times. The record stands at 13. Although if you try and do it now I bet you don’t get more than 7! I bet you can’t eat more than 4 dry cream crackers in a minute either!


You can’t see the Great Wall of China from space.

Apparently, from deep space, you can’t see any man-made objects. But from a shallow orbit, you can see some highways and well-lit cities. Because the Great Wall of China is so embedded in the surrounding terrain it is actually really tricky to see from the air. Meaning not only is it not the only man-made the object you can see from space, you can’t actually see it from space at all.


There are 8 kingdoms of life, not 3 or 5.

When I was a kid you were taught there were just three: Animal, plant and bacteria. Apparently, that was later expanded to include fungi and protists (which consists of stuff like algae) however that has now been extended even further and there is now 8 kingdoms of life! This is mainly because we are constantly finding new forms of life and they don’t always sit comfortably in our current system. Personally, I like the idea of just having: plant, animal and other. It has a simplicity that I appreciate! But these crazy scientists do whatever they like!

So there you have it. I bet you feel like your whole life has been a lie. Whatever next? So help me if I discover Lennie didn’t actually shoot George I’m done.

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