16 Historical “Facts” That Are Totally False

1. George Washington’s teeth were not made of wood. They were made of gold, lead, hippopotamus ivory, and dead human’s teeth, horse teeth, and donkey teeth. More info here.
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2. Columbus not only DID NOT discover mainland U.S (natives got there long before), he never even found it. The closest Columbus got was the Carribean Islands. More info on here.
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3. Vikings helmets don’t have horns. The popular image of Vikings wearing horned helmets originated in 1876 from an opera by Richard Wagner. More info on here.
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4. Napoleon Bonaparte was not really short. He was 5’7″, slightly taller than the average Frenchman of the time (early 1800s). He chose his imperial guards based on their height, which probably contributed to the perception that he is short. More info here.
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5. The rumor that today’s popular image of a jolly Santa Claus was created by Coca-Cola is false. The current image of Santa Claus had already been popularized by several other companies before Coca-Cola adopted the image. More info on here.
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6. Iron Maidens were not invented in the Medieval period or ever used for torture. They were invented in the 18th century, pieced together from artifacts in museums to increase museum earnings. More info here.
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7. The story that Albert Einstein failed Math in school is in fact a false claim published by Ripley’s. Einstein said, “I never failed in mathematics… Before I was fifteen I had mastered differential and integral calculus.” More info on here.
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8. Medieval Europeans did not believe the earth was flat. From the time of ancient Greek philosophers like Plato and Aristotle, almost all European intellectuals already accepted the spherical earth theory. Columbus had have trouble finding support because peers correctly believed his target of the East Indies was further than he thought. More info in here.
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