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52 Of The World's Most Widespread Myths And Misconceptions, Debunked

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A dropped penny won't kill you, alcohol doesn't keep you warm, and swallowed gum doesn't take seven years to digest. These are just three of the more than fifty rumors debunked in this compendious collection of common myths and misconceptions.

Created by London-based data journalist and information designer David McCandless, the chart is organized by color into sections ranging from science to history, with each myth sized proportionally to its "virulence," i.e. how many hits it turns up on Google (click the magnifying glass in the upper left, to enlarge):


Conveniently, McCandless and researchers James Kennedy, Miriam Quick, Ella Hollowood, and Pearl Doughty-White have provided a spreadsheet of their data (complete with updates and corrections – see, e.g., the correction to "black holes"), which includes citations and references where you can track down more information.

Originally published at Information is Beautiful, this diagram is part of an even longer infographic that appears in McCandless' recently published book, Knowledge is Beautiful.