15 'Scientific' Beliefs from the Past (That Were Embarrassingly Wrong)

Now, you might say that it’s wrong to make fun of what people used to believe before Steve Jobs invented science in his garage. And we agree! Yes, it is wrong -- but it’s also outrageously funny. C'mon, have you seen all the crap your ancestors came up with? They were pretty much asking us to laugh at them!

And hey, it’s not like your great-great-grandchildren won’t have a chuckle at your stupid ideas one day, right?

15

It was thought that THE UTERUS COULD MOVE AROUND, making you sick.
Hysteria comes from the Greek words for uterus, as it was believed that all kinds oSource: Dr. Lindsey Fitzharris

14

It was widely believed that POOP CREATED ITS OWN FLIES. For centuries, scientists held that living beings could come from nonliving things- -flies froSource: Infoplease

13

Ancient Europeans believed that NO ONE COULD LIVE ON THE EQUATOR. Greek philosophers thought that the torrid zone on the planet's Equator was too hoSource: Osher Map Library

12

Map-makers thought that CALIFORNIA WAS AN ISLAND. In the early 1600s, Spanish explorers concluded that California was cut from the rest of North AmeriSource: Wired

11

Medieval Europeans believed that LAMBS GREW ON PLANTS. Yes, of course they had seen lambs. They had never seen a cotton plant, though, as coSource: Wired

10

Old-timey scientists believed that TINY PEOPLE LIVED INSIDE SPERM CELLS. Preformationism was the idea, in the 1600s-1700s, that people were already More: 6 Extremely Wrong (But Hilarious) Scientific Beliefs

9

American farmers believed that FARMING A PLOT OF LAND WOULD BRING RAIN. Rain follows the plow was a common belief among American settlers in the latMore: 6 Extremely Wrong (But Hilarious) Scientific Beliefs

8

For an awkwardly long time, everyone assumed that QUEEN BEES WERE MALE. From Aristotle's times until the 17th century, the main bee in a hive was callSource: ScienceDirect

7

Victorians were sure that TRAINS COULD DRIVE PEOPLE HOWLING MAD. Those newfangled trains were scary! Not only were they shaky and noisy- those noises Source: Atlas Obscura

6

A doctor claimed that ONLY MENTALLY ILL SLAVES WOULD WANT TO ESCAPE.
In 1841, New Orleans physician Samuel Cartwright wrote that any black person tryiMore: 5 Terrifying Diseases From History (People Just Made Up)

5

A Roman naturalist wrote that ELEPHANTS HAD A RELIGION. Pliny the Elder wrote, among many other things, that elephants were the smartest land animals.Source: Natural History, by Pliny the Elder

4

An Austrian engineer decided one day that THE UNIVERSE WAS MADE OF ICE. Hanns Horbiger was looking at the Moon in 1894, when it suddenly occurred to hSource: Big Think

3

It was seriously considered that THE EARTH INFLATED LIKE A BALLOON. It was long known that the coastlines of Africa and South America fit together -buSource: Popular Mechanics

2

The discoverer of Uranus thought that THE SUN WAS INHABITED. When William Herschel discovered Uranus in 1781, he may or may not have imSource: Wired

1

A theologian thought that SATURN'S RINGS WERE JESUS' FORESKIN Leo Allatius, keeper of the Vatican library, proposed in the 17th centurySource: Futurism

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