Since the beginning of time, people have always had unbelievable theories about things. We used to and still look up to scientists to give us the correct theories and dispel our ridiculous beliefs.
Nonetheless, the scientists themselves didn’t used to have all the answers too. Scientists have also had some unbelievable theories that when we look at now, they seem absolutely ridiculous. So I did a little research and put together a list of 5 unbelievable theories scientists used to believe in. read them below:
- “Miasma” caused diseases.
Back when medicine wasn’t so advanced. In fact there was no medicine then. Scientists used to believe that diseases were caused by what they called ‘miasma’. Miasma was bad air emanating from dead and rotting organic materials in the soil. They believe the air was being contaminated by vapour rising from dead things and this in turn caused diseases.
- Gentlemen hands were always clean
Back in the 1800s, there was a general notion that “gentlemen hands were always clean”. This misguided belief was supported by scientists back then and since doctors were gentlemen, they didn’t see the need to wash their hands before attending to patients. In fact, they didn’t believe in washing bed linens and instruments after use till 1867!
- Mercury Cured diseases
Well, this was a classical case of judging a book by its cover. Because of the silvery appearance of mercury, scientists and a lot of people back then believed it had great medicinal qualities. It was an ingredient of many drugs and a Chinese emperor once ingested it to achieve immortality. Well, he didn’t achieve immortality. He died sef as a result of mercury poisoning.
Before oxygen was discovered in the 1770s, scientists believed that fire was an element and all combustible substances contained something called “Phlogiston”. This “phlogiston” theory was so widely accepted all around the world that when Oxygen was discovered, it was first referred to as “dephlogisticated air”. Imagine explaining to your children that we breathe in “dephlogisticated air”!
- Different Parts of the tongue tastes different things
Even I thought this was true at one time in my life. As did several other scientists in the world. There was this belief about a tongue map and how different parts of the tongue tasted different things. However, this theory has been debunked. The tongue tastes as a whole and not in sections.
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