Duck Quacks Don’t Echo . . . Maybe . . .

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Has anyone had one of those nights where you’ve just been flipping through the channels on your TV and can’t figure out what to watch? I was in that very situation late last night and, not feeling quite as sleepy as I should have, I stumbled upon a re-run of a peculiar British show called “Duck Quacks Don’t Echo”. The best way to describe it would be as a weird and surprisingly wonderful mix of a celebrity talk show and a trivia-based game show, with a dash of Mythbusters.

The basic premise is that the celebrities and the audience bring in facts that need to be tested, facts that they found a little too good to be true. The catch is that the facts are always incredibly far-fetched and has everyone, including the guests and host, wondering about their validity.

So, taking the show’s hook in stride, I thought I’d debunk a few ‘facts’ myself.

1) Duck quack’s don’t echo

This interesting myth came to light about 10 years ago, where people believed that the sound of a quack was so distinct and sharp that an echo would not be possible. However a few years ago scientist at the University of Salford, Manchester, proved that an echo is in fact produced. The echo itself is so soft at approximately 6 decibels that it’s thought that human ears can’t pick up the sound

2) Only humans can ‘catch’ yawns

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This one is something all the pet owners reading this can test and I can attest to it, having tried it earlier today. You know that sort of chain reaction when you seen someone yawning and suddenly you feel one of your own yawns coming? Well turns out if a dogs sees a human yawning, it is very likely that it will continue the chain. A study conducted at the University of London found that 21 out of 29 dogs yawned at least once immediately after seeing a stranger yawn in front of them. Other than dogs, many believe that some primates can also pick up on these cues.

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3) You must drinks at least 6-8 glasses of water everyday

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I hope I’m right in thinking that everyone has been told at least once in their life that they should drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water every day to stay healthy. This roughly equals about 1.5 litres every day and can be quite tough, so it’s good to know that this ‘fact’ is not entirely true. As it turns out the amount of water we require to keep everything running as it should, is dependent on many other factors, including body mass and overall vitamin levels. The recommendations also fail to mention that the drinks don’t have to be just water and other sources of water, such as teas or even cordial, can be included in the daily dosage.

 

These were just 3 out of a large list, including Thomas Edison not inventing the light bulb and the fact that you wouldn’t be able to taste anything without saliva.

Hopefully the post makes you think of some ‘facts’ that have spiked your curiosity and please feel free to share them in the comments.

 

Image credits, respectively

University of Salford, Manchester (http://www.acoustics.salford.ac.uk/acoustics_info/duck/)

Flickr – Daniel James (http://goo.gl/3dfgfI)

Flickr – Bruce Fingerhood (https://www.flickr.com/photos/springfieldhomer/83584239)

Flickr – Carol VanHook (http://goo.gl/1izz6M)