For the longest time, books were the biggest source of knowledge. After the dawn of internet, we began getting all our information and knowledge from the world’s widest web. However, all of us know that not everything we read online can be trusted and many of us still believe that for the most accurate information you have to resort back to diving between the pages of books. Right? Well, maybe not so much. Here are some of the biggest lies told in our history books that we have believed were facts all along.
The mystery of who really discovered America
If you said Christopher Columbus we have got bad news for you. Sure it is widely believed that the great Columbus set sail and reached the shores of this never-before discovered land in 1492 and hence one of the greatest countries came into being. But surely, it is not possible for America, as huge as it is, to have existed without being discovered all this time before its discovery by Columbus.
In fact, researches and studies show that Romans made their way towards Americans before anyone else after a team of archeologists found artifacts along the coastline of Oak Island in Canada. These include a fragment of a roman shield, a roman sword and a spear head all of which date back to the time when the Romans still ruled Europe. We don’t find any of this in our history books.
Other discoveries made around several US states show that people from Asia walked the American lands as long as 1300 BC. This discovery was made when archeologists found around 84 pictograms on rocks in hills across various states which were used in ancient China. This proves that the Asians were present in America nearly 2800 years before Columbus discovered it.
Einstein failing math
Motivational quotes and video montages as well as texts in various books tell us how Einstein failed mathematics in High School but did not give up and became the genius he was by persistent hard work.
The myth became quite popular when Einstein was still alive and naturally when confronted to comment he laughed it off and said that he had already mastered differential and integral calculus by the age of 15. So if that’s the cover story you are going for, you may want to come up with another one.
The nose of the Sphinx
The Egyptian Sphinx sitting proudly near the pyramids of Giza has become an iconic structure over the ages. According to popular and most widely circulated legend, it was Napoleon and his soldiers during their French campaign in Egypt who were responsible for shooting off the Sphinx’s nose. However, the truth is that the Sphinx’s nose had already been missing before gunpowder was even discovered.
According to Encyclopedia Americana, the Sphinx had suffered greatly from weathering over the years and additional harm was caused by a fanatical Egyptian ruler in 1380 AD who believed that cutting off its nose would destroy the spirit of the statue.
Vikings and their helmets
From all that we have seen of Vikings on TV, in movies and through pictures in books we see them looking tough complete with their leather apparel and horned helmets. But did the Vikings really wear helmets? No, they did not. Depictions from Viking age, between 8th and 11th centuries, they are either shown wearing simple helmets made of leather or iron sans wings and horns or went bareheaded.
In fact, the stereotype may have originated way back in 1800 when Gustav Malmstrom, a Swedish artist, and Carl Dopler, oper costumer designer, depicted Vikings in horned helmets. History never looked back or second-guessed itself and hence the popular belief that Vikings wore helmets with horns, antlers or wings.
As the popular story goes, the Greek offered the Trojans a victory prize for being able to protect their city so well from their attack. They presented them with a giant wooden horse and then began to retreat. Or so it seemed. While the people of the city slept, soldiers from the huge hollowed out wooden horse made their way out and opened the gates.
The rest is history. But the thing is that it’s not. It’s a myth! While the Trojan War is a real historical event that really took place, this particular detail is nothing but an artistic and clever flourish on part of the historians.