15 Facts You Thought Were True — But Aren’t

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From myths about long-dead painters to how long you’re supposed to wait after eating in order to go for a swim, we count 15 things you generally assume are fact, but simply aren’t so.

15 – Octopus,

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  • You might be under the impression an octopus has 8 legs because of the latin prefix “octo”, when in reality they only have 2
  • Their back two are used to propel themselves along the seafloor, while the remaining 6 tentacles are used for feeding, officially classified as arms
  • It’s generally known in the field of marine biology that an octopus is now known as a two-legged, six armed animal – but since the name has been around for so long and become iconic, it’d be silly to try and change it

14 – Chameleon,

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  • Most believe a chameleon will change colour to blend into their surroundings for camouflage, but this generally isn’t true
  • The original purpose of the colour change was for social reasons – they turn dark when angered, and light when trying to impress females
  • A select few species of chameleon will indeed use colour for camouflage, like the Smith’s dwarf chameleon that disguises itself if threatened by a bird or snake, but for the most part, chameleons only change colour based on emotion

13 – Van Gogh,

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  • It’s generally established that Vincent Van Gogh cut off his own ear, when in reality only his left earlobe had been sliced off
  • Even further is the possibility his French artists friend Paul Gauguin, also an expert fencer, might’ve cut it off after a fight – but there also exist evidence Van Gogh had simply suffered a mental breakdown and done it himself
  • Not long after the incident, Van Gogh sent the earlobe to a prostitute alongside a nice letter – the perfect gift

12 – Sleepwalker,

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  • Never wake someone who is sleepwalking, that’s always been the golden rule – but it’s completely false
  • Someone who sleepwalks is in a slow wave sleep stage of low consciousness who performs simple, repetitive tasks like walking to the bathroom, cleaning around or cooking something
  • It might CONFUSE the person if you wake them up, but you’re better off doing that before they hurt themselves – although it might be just as easy simply guiding them back to bed, there’s no right or wrong answer

11 – Lions,

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  • Lions are always considered “king of the jungle”, but most of them don’t even LIVE in the jungle – you’ll actually find them prowling the plains of Africa
  • Ferocious wild animals at the top of the food chain were typically referred to as ‘jungle animals’ simply to distinguish them from common farm animals
  • The only lions you’ll find in the jungle will be those in the forests of India, but even then they’re a small population

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