Cheerful woman with headphones around neck blowing a bubble while chewing gum.

12 Grade School Ideas That We Were All Wrong About

As we grow up we tend to realize that some of the ideas we took for granted in childhood are not actually the way things are. Whether it's a silly rumor, a lack of knowledge, or changing times, some ideas we learned in grade school turned out to be incorrect.

Tastebud Zones on Your Tongue

Woman tasting a yummy food.
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Remember learning in science class that the tongue was divided into zones that allowed us to taste sour, sweet, or bitter flavors? Well, that was a little misleading. It turns out the tongue is much more complicated, and the subject of taste is far more complex. Science has come to prove that this myth is, well, in fact, a myth.

Pluto Was a Planet

Planet pluto
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Remember the little planet at the end of our solar system known as Pluto? Well, it's no longer considered a planet anymore. Pluto is now considered a dwarf planet due to its small size. I'm sorry, Pluto, you will always be a planet to me.

Gum Won't Digest in the Stomach

Woman making bubbles with chewing gum
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I was terrified the first time I accidentally swallowed a piece of gum. I remember being taught it would sit in my stomach for seven years, causing health problems. While eating gum is not the best idea, it is relatively harmless. It should be passed into the digestive system like most other foods.

Calculators Won't Be Readily Available

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I can only dream of going back in time, knowing the stress I put on myself learning math equations for fear of having to solve them daily. With recent technology and the invention of smartphones, we all have a calculator in our pockets. It doesn't replace knowing basic arithmetic, but it's a great tool we never thought we would have.

Metric System Will Take Over

Child measuring height
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In the 80s, some teachers seemed convinced the Metric System would take over inches and feet one day. While the United States has not adopted the Metric System, it is still worth knowing. Scientists all over the world use the Metric System, and it is the measuring system used by most other countries.

Carrots Help You See in the Dark

Woman with home grown carrots
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Although carrots are rich in Vitamin A, eyesight is linked more to genetics and eye care than vegetables. Many believe the myth derived from the British during WWII, saying the soldiers were eating loads of carrots, which allowed them to see better at night, as a way to obscure the fact that they were using radar to locate German aircraft. The myth is pretty good. It did get a generation to eat their vegetables.

Blood Is Blue Until Exposed to Oxygen

Young man donating blood
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This would explain why your veins are blue underneath your skin, but is it true? Nope. Blood is red whether it is inside your body or not. The blue we see is a result of the way skin absorbs and reflects light. Skin scatters a lot of the red portion of white light before it can reflect off the blood, leaving the blue light to reflect off the blood and back to our eyes.

Food Pyramid

Food Pyramid
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Ideas on the proper diet for humans are always evolving. Fad diets come and go, but the food pyramid was the go-to example of a balanced diet for the longest time. The theology nowadays seems absurd, as a healthy diet would be considered ten servings of bread and grains. One person writes, “Oh my gosh. I remember going home after that lesson and sitting down, trying to eat 11 slices of bread to have a balanced diet.” The idea seems silly now.

Christopher Colombus

Christopher Colombus
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Not to get into a heated debate about our history, but Christopher Colombus may not have been the founder of the new land. Other nations had found North America years before, but Christopher always gets the credit. A gifted sailor, the acts that many learn about that time period later on in life might shine a different light on the explorer.

George Washington's Teeth

George Washington Monument at Public Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.
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They were wooden, right? Wrong. They were actually a combination of various animals, such as donkeys and human teeth. Thank you, modern dentistry, because I think I'd rather have wooden teeth. No wonder you never see a picture of the former President smiling.


Writing in Cursive
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Remember doing those handwriting drills in elementary school, wondering what the fuss was about over cursive? My teachers and parents always told me how much I would need cursive in the future. I'm now almost 40 years old, and I haven't needed the skill for nearly 25 years. With practically all communication done over computers these days, cursive is a lost art form. However, recent research has shown that writing by hand improves recall of the information, so cursive may make a comeback!


Child got stuck in quicksand
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I feel like Saturday morning cartoons are to blame for this one. How often did a Looney Tunes character get stuck in a giant sinking hole of quicksand? I was afraid of hiking until I was an adult, fearing turning a corner and finding myself waist-deep in this muck. This fear (like some of these other common fears) is pretty far-fetched. You're much more likely to get a poison oak rash than sink into a pit of quicksand on your next hike.

Debunking Only Child Myths

Woman with a crown pointing at herself and looking smug.
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Myths and stereotypes about only children have been floating around for ages. People claim they’ll grow up lonely, self-centered, and missing out on life’s most crucial lessons. What if we told you that the reality of being an only child is far more positive?

Do You Remember Playing These Painful Recess Games?

Kid running towards other kids shouting on playground.
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From the fierce hand battles of Mercy to scraped knees from an intense round of Kickball, these games left a lasting impression. Like it or not, today’s kids are making different memories as some of these playground games fade into the past.