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7 Old Wives Tales That Turned Out To Be TRUE

7 Old Wives Tales That Turned Out To Be TRUE

7 Old Wives Tales That Turned Out To Be TRUE

Whether you hold some of these sayings as words to live by, or you’ve always considered them to be the fables of your mother or grandmother, a surprising amount of old wives’ tales are actually founded in truth. Sure, the original message may have been covered up by nuanced parables or patronizing rhymes, but here are some of the most useful old wives’ tales that you should be sure to heed.

3. Red sky at night, sailors take flight. Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning.

I remember my mother would always predict the weather this way as we made our way to school in the morning. If there ever was a red tint to the sky, she would recite these lines and sure enough, later in the day the rain would come. It isn’t a freak coincidence that the color of the sky can determine the weather.

The Library of Congress (source) provides us the science behind this phenomenon: A red sky at night is caused by sun rays being filtered by a high amount of dust, which indicates high pressure and stable conditions, leading to good weather. A red morning sky indicates that this good weather has passed and that low pressure systems and rain could be on the way. No need for the wayward forecasts of the nightly news, tune into the sky to see if you need to pack your umbrella for the coming day.

4. Full moons make people a little crazy.

full-moonA full moon is a vampire’s delight, a werewolf’s night on the town, and also where we get the term ‘lunatic’ (luna is the latin prefix for moon). And you’ve probably noticed that when people around you are going crazy, or maybe even you are feeling on-edge, there’s often a full moon shining it’s brilliant light on the world. Is it a sheer coincidence that cultures throughout the world have lauded the full moon with spooky and powerful affects?

There may just be an explanation. Scientists have argued over the moon’s ability to throw off our balance of water molecules like it does the ocean’s tides. While this theory has for the most part been de-bunked, some offer a much simpler, saner explanation: it’s hard to sleep during a full moon.

The brightness of the evening sky lit up early, pre-technology nights and drove people to erratic behavior due to sleep deprivation. Of course, it’s not an air-tight explanation for today’s times, but if you ask a police officer, emergency care person, or school teacher about how crazy it can be at work during a full moon, that should be convincing enough.

5. Ice cream gives you nightmares.

This is a common saying that my grandmother always used to tell me. At first I believed her, and then I got to thinking maybe that’s just what she always said to dissuade me from a last sugary treat! Ok, we all know that ice cream isn’t health food and that no one can really blame my granny for wanting to save me from a less than healthy bedtime snack…but nightmares?!

It’s sad but true. Eating or drinking sugary or caffeinated treats before bed causes a shift in one’s metabolism which turns on all sorts of signals in your body and especially in your brain. This extra activity then can lead to more vivid dreams.

6. Yawning is contagious.

Yawning
via flickr

For many of us, empirical evidence is enough to prove this saying true. It’s happened to us all when, at the end of the night, everyone is so tired that instead of saying our goodbyes, we all just pass around a good yawn or two. The history and science behind this happening has been in the works in our species for awhile. An ingrained communicatory response triggers this chain reaction, and actually, the same phenomenon happens with chimpanzees. We’re subconsciously connected to each other by a mimicking mechanism which has been honed throughout our evolution.

7. Fish is brain food.

Before your big meeting at work, to fuel for an important test, or just for when you’re feeling a little dull, fish is great food for your brain. You’ve heard it all before, so now here’s the science: Fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which restore and strengthen our brain cells. These healthful acids also help fortify your brain cells from diseases. So go ahead and eat up for your smarts!

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One comment

  1. Here’s another one: you actually CAN get your eyes “stuck” by crossing them!! My nephew and his mother were crossing their eyes when he was about 6, and one of his eyes actually tore a muscle and would not un-cross. He had to wear thick glasses until he was in his 20s, when he finally had surgery to correct it.