Myth: The number of hooves in the air on a statue of a horse tells us how its rider died
In my research for this list I was very surprised to come across this myth – I, like many others, had always believed it to be true! The idea is that when a statue of a horse has one foot in the air, his rider was wounded in battle but survived. If he has two hooves in the air the rider was killed, and if he has none in the air, the rider survived. While this is a myth – interestingly it does seem to apply to the majority of statues relating to Gettysburg equestrians though not James Longstreet who was not wounded but his statue does have one leg raised (pictured above).
Interesting Fact:A statue of a horse with a rider is called an equestrian statue – which is derived from the latin “eques” for Knight and “equus” for horse. A statue of a horse is called an “equine statue”.
Myth: Christopher Columbus discovered that the world was round
This is a very old myth that is surprisingly believed by millions of people. What we are told is that the Genoese Columbus’ peers doomed his trip to failure because they thought he would fall off the edge of the earth. Now – this was in the 1490s but man has known the earth was round since the idea was first put forth by Pythagorus 2,000 years before Spain even existed. Columbus did fail to reach his original destination, but in so doing he discovered the Americas. Not a bad end to a failed journey really. The round earth theory was so well established that the navigational methods at the time were all based on the fact that the earth was round.
Interesting Fact: At the age of 53, Columbus returned to Spain from the Americas and was promptly arrested with his two brothers for the atrocities he had committed. They remained in jail for six weeks before the King finally released them and restored their wealth and property. Columbus believed that his explorations to the New World would result in the beginning of the Last Judgement of man.
Myth: Cell phones cause brain cancer
Lawsuits and news headlines have fueled the myth that cell phones cause cancer, particularly brain cancer, and 30 percent of Americans still believe this myth, according to the Discovery Health/Prevention telephone survey. Consumers could easily have missed the reports showing no danger from cell phones because they didn’t receive alarming front-page coverage like the original reports. A few studies suggested a link with certain rare types of brain tumors, but the consensus among well-designed population studies is that there is no consistent association between cell phone use and brain cancer. [Source]
Interesting Fact:The very first patent for a cell phone like device (wireless telephone) was granted in 1908 to Nathan B. Stubblefield who some people claim invented the radio before Tesla and Marconi. Stubblefield died as a self-imposed hermit by starving to death.