Five ‘facts’ you learned in school

Five ‘facts’ you learned in school

…that are no longer true!

THEN: Pluto is a planet.
NOW: Pluto isn’t a planet.

In 1930, 23-year-old Clyde Tombaugh discovered Planet X. He had been tasked with systematically comparing photographs of the sky taken weeks apart to search for any moving objects. He eventually saw one and submitted his finding to the Harvard College Observatory. After an 11-year-old English girl named the new planet ‘Pluto’ we started it as a planet in our solar system.

But in 2003, an astronomer found a larger object beyond Pluto — which he named Eris, according to NASA. The new information caused a bunch of other astronomers to question what really makes a planet a planet, and they decided, based on size and location, that Pluto just didn’t make it and was demoted to dwarf planet.

THEN: Diamond is the hardest substance.
NOW: Cubic boron nitride is the hardest substance.

This contender was published in the January 2013 issue of the journal Nature. In the simplest terms, researchers compressed boron nitride particles to form “ultra-hard nano twinned cubic boron nitride.” They simply re-organized the particles like an onion, or a flaky rose, or those little Russian dolls that fit inside one another, as the team explained to Wired.

THEN: Witches in Salem were burned at the stake.
NOW: They were actually hanged.

According to Richard Trask, a town archivist for Danvers (formerly known as Salem Village).

At the time of the trials, New England still followed English law, which listed witchcraft as a felony punishable by hanging — not burning at the stake, Trask said. In Europe, however, the church labelled witchcraft as heresy and did tie up suspected practitioners and light them on fire.

THEN: Folding a piece of paper more than seven times is impossible.
NOW: The record stands at 13.

Whether in art class or science, this rumour definitely spread among the masses. But Britney Gallivan, a California high school managed it!

THEN: Israelite slaves built the pyramids.
NOW: Egyptians workers built the pyramids themselves.

Even movies like “The Prince of Egypt” perpetuate the idea that slaves built the pyramids. Although many think the Bible tells us they did, the book doesn’t mention the story specifically.

This popular myth reportedly stems from comments made by former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin when visiting Egypt in 1977, according to Amihai Mazar, professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

No Jews built the pyramids because Jews didn’t exist at the period when the pyramids were built.

Recent archaeological finds actually show that Egyptians built the pyramids themselves. Workers were recruited from poor families in the north and south but were highly respected, earning crypts near the pyramids and even proper preparation for burial.


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