Is This Common Knowledge Fact Right or Wrong?

By: Isadora Teich
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

If something is common knowledge, then everyone knows it, right? Unfortunately, no, that's not always the case. Like many things, much of what we think we know is often false. If you think you are a pro at understanding what common knowledge facts are correct and which are not, then this is the quiz for you. But, be careful, you might not know what you think you know. Let's get started to find out how much you do know.

Ok, so let's start out with this fact: shaving your hair (legs, face, whatever) causes it to grow back thicker and coarser. Is this common knowledge fact right or wrong?

It's actually wrong. Huh? Yup, it's true. Shaving your hair, any hair, does not cause it to grow back thicker or coarser. The reason that hair sometimes seems thicker and/or coarser after you shave it is because it has been cut straight across. Before the hair was cut, the end was tapered, which made it seem lighter and finer. As the hair grows out, you'll see that the ends will become tapered again, and the hair will not seem as coarse.

Did you get that one right? Take this quiz to find out how many more you can guess correctly.


Stroke symptoms are different for men and women:

Men often have much more pronounced stroke symptoms, such as weakness on one side of the body, trouble seeing, confusion and severe headaches. Women often experience hiccups, weakness, face or limb pain, nausea and chest pain.

Women live longer than men:

This holds true not just for humans, but across almost all species of mammals. The females of the species almost always outlive the males.

Shaving causes hair to grow back darker and thicker:

While this appears true, it is actually not. Old hair is worn and thinner at the ends, while new hair looks and feels coarser.

When you touch an item in a store you are more likely to buy it:

When you touch an item in a store, you are more likely to pay for it and also buy it. If your goal is to window shop only, it's best to keep your hands to yourself.

Coffee is bad for you:

While overconsumption of coffee or drinking it too late in the day or night can have negative effects, coffee itself actually has a lot of healthy elements. It has a lot of antioxidants and has been medically linked to a reduction in certain conditions.

You can't drink too much water:

While it is important to stay hydrated for your health, drinking too much water can cause illness and even death. People have died of water overdoses.

Bread is bad for ducks:

Ducks are not meant to eat bread, and it can cause them to be sickly and die of diseases. It can even affect their migration patterns.

Dogs can smell certain types of cancer:

Dogs have a keen sense of smell. It has been honed to detect lung cancer long before symptoms develop.

People around the world attempted to list their official religion as Jedi:

In the early 2000s, people in English-speaking countries around the world declared their religion Jedi on various censuses, in what became known as the Jedi census phenomenon. Over 70,000 people in Australia alone declared their religion to be Jedi.

Men are naturally better than women at math:

Statistically, men and women have similar grades in math ranging from grade school all the way through academia. While there are more men than women enrolled in these courses, those enrolled show similar aptitudes.

Exercising alone will lengthen your life span:

Studies have been shown that exercise lengthens your quality of life and general health, but does not actually increase your lifespan on its own. A healthy diet, however, can increase your life span.

Soap kills germs:

While antibacterial soaps kill germs, this is not true of all soaps. Regular soaps lift the germs off of your skin and wash them down the drain.

Asian people are smarter than Americans:

Asian school systems are generally far more demanding and intensive than American school systems. Which many people from Asian countries will have a better education than Americans, there is nothing to suggest that they are inherently more intelligent.

Milk is a health essential for growing kids:

Milk is just one of many sources of calcium and vitamin D. In fact, other sources have been found to be healthier than milk.

New Zealand is home to more sheep than people:

New Zealand's sheep population vastly outnumbers its human one. There are about four million human Kiwis and 70 million sheep.

More redheads are born in Scotland than anywhere else on Earth:

Red hair occurs naturally in roughly 1-2 percent of the total human population. It is most common in Scotland, where 6 percent of the population has red hair.

Shouting into the phone will help you be heard:

We have all yelled into our phones at one point or another in order to be better heard. This can actually rattle your phone's microphone and distort the sound of your voice, making you even harder to understand.

Antibiotics don't work on viruses:

Antibiotics only kill bacteria, means they are useless against the flu, cold and other viruses. It is important to only take antibiotics when appropriate because otherwise, they can harm your health.

Some trees can live over 1,000 years:

Certain trees have lifespans that can outlast the centuries. A 5,000-year-old tree was recently discovered in the White Mountains of California.

Cooked veggies are always less healthy than raw veggies:

This depends on the vegetable. While certain veggies are better for you raw, others, like garlic and onions, actually become more nutritious when cooked.

The average office desk is dirtier than a toilet:

Office desks are touched, used and eaten at day in and day out. The result is a surface with 400 times more bacteria than a toilet.

IQ gives a complete measurement of intelligence:

IQ is only one of the many ways there are to measure human intelligence. It also does not measure certain facets of intelligence, like creativity or social skills.

Swimming in chlorinated pools has no negative affects on swimmers:

While occasional dips in chlorinated pools don't do much harm, long term exposure is bad for the skin and eyes. Saltwater pools are a much healthier alternative.

Eye exercises will improve your vision:

Eye exercises have never been specifically proven to work scientifically. Results vary too widely for results to be definitive.

An earthworm becomes two separate live worms when cut in half.

When you cut an earthworm in half, the half containing the head will continue to live. The back half, however, will die.

Goldfish bowls are bad for goldfish:

Goldfish bowls are too small for goldfish to live happy or healthy lives in. This is why many goldfish die soon after they are brought home.

The First Amendment protects you from any consequences of the things you say:

Freedom of speech means that you can say what you want without fearing government retaliation or punishment. However, any other consequences are for you to handle.

Rice is one of the purest things you can eat:

Rice is often considered to be a pure health food, but this is not always the case. It is often contaminated with tiny traces of arsenic.

It is impossible to sink in the Dead Sea:

The Dead Sea has such a high salt content that sinking in it organically is almost impossible. It can be done with the help of special equipment, however.

Cheese is good for you:

Cheese contains high levels of fat. This makes it unhealthy for regular consumption.

Hot sauce causes stomach cancer:

This is an urban myth that researchers have discovered is actually the opposite of reality. The capsaicin in hot sauces actually kills cancer cells.

Women end up digesting most of the lipstick they put on:

Women end up digesting most of the lipstick they apply. It moves into their mouths as they talk, smile, eat and drink.

Sharks love to eat people:

As more and more people enter the ocean more shark attacks occur, but this is not because sharks like to eat people. They prefer seals and fish, but will occasionally investigate a person with their mouths, take a nibble and swim away.

Lobster used to be served to prisoners:

In colonial America, lobster so was available and cheap that it was often served to prisoners. Today it is an expensive delicacy.

Hair and fingernails continue growing after death:

While many people believe this to be true, it is incorrect. After death, the skin shrivels away on the scalp on nail beds, making hair and nails appear longer.

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