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My cousin once told me that glass was made from ground up beetles, and I believed her!
When my brother and I would play shooting games, I always would say that something was metal, so he couldn't hit me when I was behind it, or he couldn't break it, because I thought metal was indestructible. I believed this until my early teens.
A friend of my brother (alas, younger than myself) had us believe that his cool steel marbles had been produced in the most bizarre way: supposedly, the maid working at his home created them by ironing once and again over a special piece of cloth, which produced tiny marbles that grew in size as she kept ironing.
Early in my becoming acquainted with science, I thought the density of all elements would be proportional to their atomic weights, regardless of whether they were solids, liquids, or gases. I "figured out" some amazing things based on that. For one thing I wanted to do a demonstration that I never got to do because of the difficulty of obtaining the heavy gas xenon. I thought that if only I could get some xenon and fill a beaker with it, I could do an amazing demonstration. For one thing I thought the xenon would be so heavy that it would stay in the beaker without dispersing into the atmosphere for quite some time. Then I thought I'd place a piece of iron on top of the xenon in the beaker and see the iron float on the xenon. Since xenon has a considerably higher atomic weight than iron, I assumed that even gasseous xenon would be denser than solid iron, resulting in that floating of the iron that I expected. When I later learned about the behaviour of gasses, I realized that gasseous xenon, for all its large atomic weight is much less dense than most any solid, including iron, so likely no solid would float on it. And even a heavy gas would disperse into the atmosphere quickly, so the xenon wouldn't likely stay in the beaker long enough for me to even try the demonstration.
Another amazing "fact" I deduced on the same basis came after I first heard of osteoporosis, and how it is a disease causing loss of bone density. I knew that bones have a lot of calcium, an element of considerably larger atomic weight than nitrogen and oxygen that make up most of the atmosphere. But human flesh, I learned, is composed primarily of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen. Since hydrogen and carbon have lower atomic weights than the latter two that also make up air (99% or air, anyway), I deduced that human flesh must be lighter than air, so that our heavier bones were what holds us down. So I thought that the main risk of osteoporosis sufferers was that their bones could become so depleted of calcium that their bodies' overall density would be less than that of air, and they could go floating away to the top of the atmosphere!
I used to believe that if you mixed exactly the right amount of each colour of poster paint, you would make white. I spent hours staring at a brown pot of paint, gently adding another dab of blue (or whichever) thinking I must be doing it wrong!
once when i was very young i thought anything you wanted to kill or get rid of should be thrown in the fire. well lets just say big metal objects dont burn very well
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..."
After I learned what H20 meant, I thought that faucets worked by combining hydrogen and oxygen atoms in the pipe when you turned it on.
Once my dad told me that sometimes glass bottles in the bush start bushfires when the sun shines through them (true). I spent months shining torches on glass bottles stuffed with paper to see if this was true, no such luck.
I used to believe every person was connected by thin threads, only when I became older I realized my mother was referring to DNA. This was when I was about 10 years old.
This one isn't mine, but it's one my daughter picked up from me one day when we were driving. She was about 4 years old at the time and we were driving to the zoo for the day. We were passing a power plant with the two large steam silos that were giving off quite a bit of steam. My daughter asked me "Is that where clouds come from?", I was only half paying attention to here remark because I was driving but I responded, yes. We were driving the other day and she called me out on it. She's now 15 and knows better, but we both laughed as she confessed that she believed that's where the clouds came from until she was about 8.
When I was about eleven, I knew about the periodic table and I thought the expression "exposed to the elements" meant being exposed to the actual elements, like on the periodic table, and I thought, "surely that's everywhere?".
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.
When I was I child, I used to believe I was reaincarnation of Marie Curie. Why? I loved spending my time doing some strange experimentsand I was in search of a new way to help sick people.
I thought opium was an element.
I thought that in an atom the protrons are red, the neutrons are blue, and the electrons are yellow. (I probably saw it depicted that way in a book once)
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 used to believe that if you touch the "metal" end at a lightbulb you`d get electric shock and die. to this day I still avoid holding a bulb at the end.
I used to wonder why, if fire is orange, does it turn things black? As a matter of fact, I'm still wondering!
I am 16 and a sophomore in high school. I believed from the time I knew what an atomic bomb was to today (August 19th 2008) that when things in close proximity to the blast are vaporized, that they just disappear. I was informed by my chemistry class and teacher that they do not, in fact, "turn into air" rather they are converted into extremely small particles that are lighter than air. Silly me.