25 Facts Learned in School That Are No Longer True

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The “I before E, except after C” rule does not always apply

In fact, there are so many occasions where it doesn’t apply that even following the rule may seem stupid when you stop to consider it. The rule, recited to elementary school children, functions in words like friend, believe, and receive — but in many, many other situations, it doesn’t. In reality, statistics suggest that the rule is incorrect 75 % of the time— words like weird, glacier, and science break the rule outright.

 

The Great Wall of China is not the only manmade structure visible from space

This is false on multiple counts. For one thing, in 2003, the Chinese astronaut Yang Liwei went up into space and then said that he could not see the Great Wall. Other space explorers have suggested that you can see it, but only in certain circumstances, such as when there’s snow on it to make it stand out more from the surrounding land. Additionally, you can see plenty of other manmade structures from space, including the pyramids and even some roadways and bridges.

 

It’s impossible to fold a piece of paper in half more than seven times

This popular “fact” suggests that folding a piece of paper, no matter how big, in half eight times or more would require an impossible amount of energy to crease the paper. But MythBusters folded a football field-sized piece of paper in half 11 times, and a California high school student even questioned it by folding a long sheet of toilet paper in half 12 times in the same direction.

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