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So much of what we assume, upon further scrutiny, we discover to be just plain wrong. Collected here are some of our favorite bits of trivia that poke holes in our most coveted myths, misconceptions and outright falsehoods.
Ninjas, historically, didn't wear black. For nighttime operations, they wore dark blues, dark grays, and browns.
Although most people believe Napoleon was short, he was actually five feet six inches tall, an average height for a Frenchman in those days.
The idea that it is dangerous to wake a sleepwalker is a myth.
Nonalcoholic beer isn't. Most brands of non-alcoholic beer contain about .5% alcohol.
Even though you might think so, America is not the world's top producer of feature films. That honor goes to India.
The "v" in the name of a court case does not stand for "versus," but for "and" (in civil proceedings) or "against" (in criminal proceedings).
White paws on cats are commonly called "boots" when, in fact, they are actually referred to as "gloves."
Chastity belts were not originally imposed to keep people from having sex. They were intended to keep youngsters, of both sexes, from masturbating.
Contrary to popular belief, gladiators were lousy fighters in real combat. They were trained solely for arena fighting. On the actual battlefield, their skills were mediocre.
Potatoes weren't originally grown as food. They were grown for use as ornamental decorations.
Shoemakers are commonly called "cobblers," but correctly speaking, a cobbler is a shoe repairman. A shoemaker is a "cordwainer."
Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders didn't ride, ever, during the Spanish-American War. In fact, they weren't Teddy's. He was second in command.
Despite what you might think, just 20% of the Sahara is covered with sand. The rest is rocky.
The nose isn't the only thing that the Sphinx is missing. It once had a royal beard, a cobra emblem, and other pieces of masonry. Bits of what is left of the beard are in the British Museum.
Ducks are never male. The males of the species are called drakes.
The day after Thanksgiving is reported to be the "busiest shopping day of the year," but it's not true. In terms of sales, the highest sales day of the year is usually either the last Saturday before Christmas or December 23.
The first umbrellas weren't intended to protect people from the rain. They were invented by the ancient Egyptians to shield them from the sun.
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