Remember when Pluto was declassified as a planet and you began to doubt everything your teachers had ever told you? Turns out, that was just the start.
From science and history to English grammar, Oxford Home Schooling has compiled a list of 10 ‘facts’ which you may have heard in the classroom but are now considered outdated.
Greg Smith, Head of Operations at Oxford Home Schooling, said: “Every year in every subject, experts are constantly learning and updating our knowledge. This means that some things which were once taught at school now don’t tell the whole story, or have even been proved to be wrong!
“This can only be a good thing, however, as it shows that we are developing a greater understanding of our world.”
1) Diamond is the hardest material
Correction: There are six materials on earth which are harder than diamond. It was once taught that diamond is the toughest substance on the planet, but, while it remains the most scratch-resistant, there are actually six materials now known to be harder. These include wurtzide boron nitride - a crystal lattice formed during volcanic eruptions, which is 18% harder than diamond - and graphene - a carbon lattice that is only one atom wide but is the strongest material we know of, in proportion to its thickness[
2) Water can only be found on Earth
Correction: There is water in multiple places in our solar system, We used to think that earth was the only place where water can be found, but NASA has since proved its presence on some of our galactic neighbours. In 2015, it confirmed water flows intermittently on Mars and then, later that year, discovered an ocean beneath the icy crust of Saturn’s moon Enceladus. Many suspect that there’s also an ocean on Jupiter’s moon Europa.
3) King Tutankhamen was murdered
Correction: He either died from a chariot crash or from genetic impairments. Some schools used to teach that King Tutankhamun of Ancient Egypt was murdered when someone struck him on the head. However, a 2014 BBC documentary suggested that he died in a chariot crash that ultimately ended in an infection and blood poisoning. Around the same time, a virtual autopsy of the pharaoh’s body indicates he may have died because of genetic impairments, with evidence suggesting his parents were siblings
4) You can’t split an infinitive
Correction: It’s now acceptable. Star Trek’s famous line “to boldly go where no-one has gone before” annoyed a lot of hard-line grammatists by breaking a long-standing rule of the English language - that the infinitive form of a verb (I.e. to go) should not be split. However, researchers at Lancaster University and Cambridge University Press found that split infinitives are now almost three times as common now as they were in the 1990s, and as language keeps evolving, most linguists now consider them acceptable