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When I was quite young I believed that if you left glass in the sun long enough, that it would turn into diamonds and crystals (depending on the colour of the glass obviously). I had quite a collection of glass sitting on my bedroom windowsill until one day, my mum threw them all out and told me the horrible truth. I believed for years after that, that they had finally 'turned' and she had taken them for herself and every time she 'bought' new diamond earrings or a sapphire necklace I'd look at them suspiciously.
As soon as I was tall enough to reach the taps on the bathroom sink, I decided to conduct an experiment seeing what happened if you mixed hot water with cold water, thinking maybe that nobody had tried it before. The results were profoundly disappointing, although I have no idea what I was expecting to happen.
When my sister and I were younger we fought a lot (I love her to death now).
I remember how she always liked to play with my mother's make-up and perfume in the bathroom, and she'd spray ALL the different perfumes a lot and make it smell horrible. With only one bathroom to share, that kinda sucked.
One day after she sprayed a whole bunch, I had to pee and found what she was doing. I was annoyed, so I told her that mixing different chemicals can create an explosion. Then I locked her in the bathroom, holding the door from the outside. After I took off, she told on me.
The BEST part about that was that when she told my Dad, he responded something like, "Well, technically you never know what shouldn't be mixed..."
In my second year at school, we were told that water froze to become ice and that ice could melt to become liquid. I thought that liquid must somehow be different to the water it once was and would be very reluctant to ever drink it.
I used to believe that you could die from looking at a can of chemicals because I thought the chemicals would lunge at you and rot your eyes out.
I saw a headline in the news paper that read, "Mixing alcohol and gasoline is explosive." So my friend and I got some gas and rubbing alcohol and tried to get it to explode by mixing it together. Luckly we didn't try lighting a match.
I used to believe that the liquid that causes glowsticks to glow was radioactive and would kill me if I got it on my skin. My mother took my friend and I to a carnival when we were about 7 and kept breaking them to make ourselves glow. Not wanting it to stain our clothes, she told us that any more would kill us if we touched it. I didn't want to go near a glowstick until 4 years later when my 6th grade science teacher said otherwise.
When I was in 2nd grade I was told by my best friend, if I placed a rock i a ziploc bag with some mud and buried it, it would turn to gold.
When I was really young, I used to lock myself in the bathroom and mix together toothpaste, mouthwash, soap, ...whatever, thinking I was doing chemistry and I was going to discover some whole new compound no one has ever seen. Generally I just made a mess in a Dixie cup, but the good news is that I did end up with Ph.D. in Biology, so it wasn't a total loss.
When I was abouve 6 or 7, I once overheard my dad explaining to my mom the concept of splitting atoms to get energy.
For at least the next year or so, I constantly asked my mom about my cousin Adam, worried that he might be the next one split.
When I was in grade school we did a project where we put different kinds of rocks and dirt in a jar with water and watch them settle out over time. My teach explained that this is how sedimentary rock is made. So, I thought, if I kept the jar long enough, I would eventually make my own rock. My dad explained that it would take more than my life time for this to happen. So, I planned to pass the jar down to my ancestors (great inheritance, huh?), until it became a rock. This grand plan was thwarted, though, when my sister bumped the shelf if was on and toppled the jar onto the floor. To my mom's and my dismay, it was just mud.
I was born in 1952. and had to watch all the post WW2 monster movies with my older brothers. I just knew that anything involving radium would turn me into a wart-ridden deformed monster in only a few hours.
At my 8th birthday party I was given an alarm clock as a gift, and it had those ominous little green bits around the numbers. Not wanting to be rude, I wrapped it in about three pairs of socks and a sweater or two, and stuck it WAY back in a dresser drawer, just to make sure that I wouldn't wake up with my lips sloughing off.
I think my Mom finally found it when we moved, about six years later.
I really did used to believe that if you held a tin tray above a boiling kettle then the moisture that collected on the tray was actually melted tin. I used to spend hours boiling the buggars - and could never understand why the tray got any smaller!
Whats worse is that I even tried to explain this to my mum who just looked at me in bemusement, but never tried to tell me that I was wrong. Is it possible that she believed it too?
I used to believe that local anesthetics were just some homemade brew that the particular dentist/surgeon used rather than an anesthetic restricted to a specific region. I just figured it out during my first year of medical school.
When we were studying chemistry and the teacher talked about selenium, I thought that selenium was named after a Mexican pop star Selena who died during my childhood.
I used to wonder why, if fire is orange, does it turn things black? As a matter of fact, I'm still wondering!
Now, I heard that plants turn carbon dioxide into oxygen. People turn oxygen into carbon dioxide. And, when plants burn, they release carbon dioxide. So it seemed to me that if the trees stored up the CO2, we would equally store the O2. Thus, I felt that every human should be burnt after death to liberate their stores of oxygen.
When I was little, for a few years I used to marvel at the ways of the universe, such as the AMAZING coincidence that water boiled at exactly 100 degrees and froze at exactly 0 degrees. I just presumed it was natural, and it fascinated me.
when I was a little boy I thought that there is metal and iron. I didn't know that iron is metal too. Till I found out that iron IS metal and copper is metal and aluminium....
ah, and I also thought that steel plate is another kind of metal too.
the second thing I believed is that real iron, real pure iron is so heavy - you can't lift it
As a kid, my brother used to believe he could split atoms. And so, he would walk around wildly swinging a stick trying to hit some atoms. :)