Archive for Myths

MYTH: Mosquitoes Can Only Fly 10 ft from the ground.

Posted in Bullshit, Debunking Myths, Myths, Skeptic, Uncategorized with tags , , , on September 30, 2008 by freonirons409

I had a friend call me about this myth and I wasn’t really sure about it because I have never really heard it about it until recently. Without doing any research I would say that this is definitely a myth, but also has some merit. If you think about it, why would a mosquito really need to fly higher than ten feet? All it’s prey is usually on the ground running around, so venturing up any higher would actually be very dangerous, especially at night when bats are out hunting. Also, mosquitoes are very light weight, and winds tend to be stronger the higher up one gets, so there is another peril for the high flying mosquito. One must also ask one’s self what kind of mosquito is this myth attached to? There are over 2700 species of mosquito in almost every country in the world. Are they all limited to 10 feet? In the Amazon the trees cover practically everything and stand sometimes hundreds of feet in the air. Wouldn’t a mosquito need to get up there from time to time since that is where all the food hangs out?

But some simple research into the matter led me to this statement located at mosquito.org: “In general, mosquitoes that bite humans prefer to fly at heights of less than 25 ft. Asian Tiger Mosquitoes have been found breeding in treeholes over 40 feet above ground. In Singapore, they have been found in apartments 21 stories above ground. Mosquitoes have been found breeding up to 8,000 feet in the Himalayas and 2000 feet underground in mines in India.

And here’s a picture of a swarm of mosquitoes flying about a hundred feet above Lake Malawi in Chitimba, Malawi.

So there you go folks. Mosquitoes can fly as high as they damn well please, as long as something doesn’t kill them.

MYTH: Pirates were rowdy drunks who buried treasure and traveled on huge ships

Posted in Bullshit, Debunking Myths, Myths, Skeptic with tags , , on September 18, 2008 by freonirons409

Well I hate to shatter your dreams of being a pirate, riding around on big wooden ships, drinking rum, fighting and burying treasure but pretty much all conceptions about pirates are completely false. All the way down to walking the plank.

Few (if any) pirates ever used a plank to force people off of a ship. When a ship was captured the crew had the option of joining them or jumping overboard. There wasn’t any kind of weird ceremony where they blind folded crew members poked them in the butt with a sword until they reached the end of a board. That’s a waste of time, and pirates where all about business.

Pirates certainly never buried treasure and no pirate would trust his captain to bury it for him. While there may be some isolated cases of buried treasure, it is certainly not something a pirate just did all the time for the hell of it. The men who became pirates did so because they wanted money, not to bury it, and as soon money was made it was divided and then they would typically gamble with it or bring it home. They would have thought of it as insane to bury their earnings on some deserted island, or anywhere.

If you’ve seen a pirate movie you have probably seen the pirates swinging from ropes, storming a ship with reckless abandon, swords swinging, pistol packing, cannons blasting. Again, another misconception. Most ship captains owned their cargos and had everything fully insured so they would typically just surrender when pirates would show up as not to risk the lives of them and their crew. It was just a part of doing business, and they accepted it as something that just happens. If only the RIAA would have the same mentality.

Another common thing associated with pirates is the skull & crossbones, or “Jolly Roger,” flag that would fly all the time from their ships and has become synonymous with pirates. The truth is that pirates used lot’s of flags for different reasons. The Jolly Roger was used to coerce ships to allow them to board. It was their, “we mean business flag.” Some pirate ships would actually fly a flag with an hourglass on it that signified that “time was running out.” And it is believed that the term Jolly Roger comes from a mispronunciation of the Arabic word, Ali Raja, which means “King of the Sea.”

And the big ships just did not make sense for what pirates did. Having a big ship is hard to maneuver and is certainly not ideal for catching or escaping from anyone. Real pirates relied on small, swift vessels for hit-and-run attacks.

And the biggest misconception is that pirates where rough-and-tumble, dirty, drunks who loved to drink rum, rape women, hang with parrots, and fight. While there were some who were like this, most pirates were a strict order and functioned much like a small navy and operated under a small document similar to a constitution with some rules and regulations such as:

If any man shall offer to run away, or keep and secret from the company, he will be marooned with one Bottle of Powder, one bottled of water, one small arm, and shot.

That man that shall not keep his arms clean, fit for an engagement, or neglect his business, shall be cut from his share, and suffer such other punishment as the captain and the company shall think fit.

If at any time you meet with a prudent woman, that man that offers to meddle with her, without her consent, shall suffer death.

So there you go. Pirates…debunked!

MYTH: Jews were enslaved by the Egyptian Pharaoh and Moses set them free.

Posted in Bullshit, Debunking Myths, Myths, Skeptic with tags , , , , , , on September 18, 2008 by freonirons409

ADDENDUM/NOTICE (3/15/2010): Before reading the following article, I want to make some things very clear since this is obviously the most controversial post on this page based on the amount of comments following. This article is about the LACK of evidence of the events surrounding the Jewish people and the enslavement by the Egyptians. I do not quote sources because this article is pointing out the non-existence of sources. If you find something, feel free to post it–i welcome this. And please note that The Bible is NOT a credible source. As far as I am concerned it is purely a work of fiction that maybe 5% of the time is based loosely around actual historical events. It is no more credible than 15th Century Medieval literature such as Yvain, Perceval, The Quest for the Holy Grail, and other parallels of bible stories. Take all of this into consideration before proceeding. And most importantly note that I am in no way trying to disrespect anyone of the Jewish faith. but if you are still a little sore about an oppression that occurred thousands of years ago by a people who no longer exist today and never to yourself, then get over it. Talk to an African American about slavery if you want to vent. Thank you.

This one might piss some people off but the real truth is that the Jewish people were never enslaved by the Pharaoh in all those crafty little stories you’ve read about in the Bible. In fact outside of the Bible’s stories there is no record anywhere in history of this enslavement. No archaeological evidence was ever found. Thousands of people wandering through the desert for 40 years? You’re gonna leave something behind. They didn’t because it never happened. The Egyptians (who documented their history very well) left no record of it and the fact that most of the construction in Egypt was done by free Egyptians is a matter of archaeological fact. The language of enslaved people tends to become corrupted by the act of enslavement. The need for the slaves to understand their masters corrupts their language and produces a patois, a simplified mixture of both of them. Hebrew has never been such a language; it has remained a pristine west semitic language without any grammatical borrowing from the Hamitic egyptian language and the only loan word from Egyptian is the one for cygnet ring, which was also shared by the Phoenicians. The Hebrews were never Egyptian slaves, at least not in large numbers. So Moses never freed them, never drowned the Eqyptian army in the Red Sea, never received the ten commandments on that hill, and never played poker with Jesus. Well that might have happened, but sorry to all the Jewish people out there, but your ancestors were never enslaved by Egyptians. If you read the bible, and believe this strictly on faith that it happened, well that is fine, but don’t got looking for proof anywhere else because there is none.

Go here and read through the list of responses for more information on this topic or here for even more. You should watch a really great documentary on this subject and other religious topics in The God Who Wasn’t There.

MYTH: Betsy Ross designed the American Flag

Posted in Bullshit, Debunking Myths, Myths, Skeptic, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on September 18, 2008 by freonirons409

Betsy Ross did not design the American flag. The myth started around 1870 when Betsy’ Ross’s grandson told a meeting of the Pennsylvania Historical Society that she had been asked to design a flag for the newly born nation and it quickly spread without any merit. Betsy did make flags, just not the flag we all know and can’t seem to bring ourselves to burn anymore. To this day there is no proof that Betsy had anything to do with the flag. In fact, no one really knows who designed the flag. Some people believe it’s design actually comes from a military banner used during the Revolutionary War.

Go here for more information.