Myths and Facts - Titbits
02-01-2019    88 times
Myths Facts

A myth is usually a traditional story, a popular belief, which is unfounded and is a false notion. Myths can be argued with a combination of facts and figures. But, a fact is a fact. More knowledge and more education help to cut through the difference between myth and reality, fact and fiction.


The Myth: Meteors are heated, when they hit the earth.

Meteros

A meteor enters the atmosphere of the earth with tremendous speed, the speed in its turn compress the air in front of it and consequently, it generates fabulous heat. The heat, thus generated, is more than sufficient to make the rock (the meteor) glow brilliantly in the dark sky.

However, it is a myth that meteors are hot, when they hit the earth. In fact, they are so cold from their long journey through the space that the entry heat is not sufficient to do more than burn off their outer layers. They are almost always cold and are often found covered in frost, when they hit the earth.


The Myth: Lightning never strikes the same place twice

Lightning

It is said and believed by many that lightning never strikes the same place twice. However, that is a myth. Everybody is aware that the lightning favours high trees or buildings. In an open field, the tallest object is likely to be struck multiple times, until the lightning moves sufficiently far away to find a new target. The Empire State Building gets struck around 25 times a year. Hence, when you see a flash, it is advisable to run away from the vicinity, as fast as possible.


The Myth: Lightning does not strike Planes

Lightning

Contrary to the myth, an individual plane is struck about once every two years, on average. In case lightning strikes a plane, the passengers and crew may see a flash and hear a loud noise, but nothing serious should happen because of the careful lightning protection. Initially, the lightning will hit an extremity, such as a wing tip, or the nose and the current will travel through the conductive exterior metal shell of the aircraft and exit through some other extreme end, such as the tail.


The Myth: Water conducts electricity

Water and electricity

It is widely believed that water plus electricity is a deadly combination, as water conducts electricity. In fact, pure water is one of the best insulators, as it does not conduct electricity. However, the impurities in plain water conduct electricity. As water is capable of dissolving more substances than any other liquid, it is termed as the universal solvent. Pure water is free of impurities, but plain water contains lots of dissolved minerals, including calcium, magnesium, iron and sodium. When these dissolved minerals move through water, they become charged, which allows electricity to flow through the water and it makes the water acts as an excellent-conductor.

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Dibyendu Banerjee
Ex student of Scottish Church College. Served a Nationalised Bank for nearly 35 years. Authored novels in Bengali. Translated into Bengali novels/short stories of Leo Tolstoy, Eric Maria Remarque, D.H.Lawrence, Harold Robbins, Guy de Maupassant, Somerset Maugham and others. Also compiled collections of short stories from Africa and Third World. Interested in literature, history, music, sports and international films.
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