Basic facts you learned late in life that you didn't really know.

At the age of 38, I just now learned for the first time that I’ve been completely and totally wrong about what the placenta is. I thought it was the membrane that surrounds a fetus, but apparently it’s like a temporary adapter organ that helps it stick to the uterus. At this point I would be embarrassed to divulge the level of higher education I have had in the biological sciences, but suffice it to say I shoulda known better.

Anybody else have any stories like that… completely wrong stuff that you believed long after you ought to have corrected yourself?

At 37 I realized that the sandwich shop Subway had nothing to do with the NYC subway system but was so named because some people called those long sandwiches ‘subs’… heh. Growing up in NY, the only Subways I every saw were close to the actual subway… I didn’t realize the Subway/subway sandwich connection until leaving the city and finding out that hardly anyone around here knew what a hero was.

Up until last year I thought the goats were the boys and the sheep were the girls. Then last year I heard someone use the phrase “nanny goat” and slowly it dawned on me that no, they were not the same species at all. :smack:

I learned only the year before last (I was 24 at the time) that traditionally, a woman’s wedding ring is either stacked on top of or otherwise combined with her engagement ring.

While 24 doesn’t seem THAT late in the game, it’s pretty late in my life thus far! :smiley:

Made a topic a few weeks ago. Apparently, you’re not supposed to combine bleach and ammonia. The only thing it will clean is your clock :smiley:

I only learned last year that Abbie Hoffman is a dude. Who names their son Abbie?

No wonder he was such a weirdo.

Imagine my surprise a few years ago when I read a thread in which someone was mocking people who thought ponies were baby horses.


Just a few weeks ago for reasons that are lost on me, I started thinking about the word “Caucasian.” I realized that Asian is in this word and I knew it had something to do with theCaucas region. More stuff.
It was just a weird moment.

Hey, I didn’t realize that wearing wedding rings (and using them to check marital status) was that normal. Neither of my parents wear theirs–they hate rings. Too much work taking them on and off.

Wait, what are they then? Really big dogs?

I’ve shared this on a few occasions, but until recently (I learned it in one of these exact threads), I was unaware that “elbow grease” means hard work. I thought it was a kind of grease. Consequently I did not understand those jokes about sending newbies to find “a can of elbow grease” (like sending them for a skyhook, a left-handed screwdriver, etc.)

His first name is Abbot.

I only recently learned that there are some English dialects which would say that the word “am” and the letter “M” are not similar in pronunciation.

I didn’t realize until a few years ago that the Sun rotates on an axis just like the Earth does.

I assume this is a serious question. Ponies are not baby horses. Ponies are certain breeds of small horses such as the Shetland Pony. They never grow up into full sized horses. They are bred to be small although there are even smaller breeds like miniature horses. Kids usually like them because they are scaled down even so that they can ride and pet them.

Young horses of all types are referred to by completely different terms. A colt is a young male horse and a filly is a young female horse. Both sexes can be referred to as a foal when it is really young and the sex isn’t obvious through casual observation.

For about 44 years, I tied my shoes in a sub-optimal way, using what I now know was a granny knot. Then I read this and, for the past three weeks, have been living the high life, with shoes that stay tightly tied all day long, even my running shoes, which I no longer need to double-knot. Looking back, I can’t believe I let myself live that way.

I was 27 before I figured out that chrysanthemums and mums are the same flower. See, I knew what mums were, but I’d never seen chrysanthemums…so I thought.

I just learned yesterday about the whole “clitoris” thing. And I am 412 years old.

Living between Seattle and Los Angeles, I was in my mid 20s before I realized not all zipcodes start with 9

At that age, I’m surprised you even care.

Well this proves you learn something new everyday and I am no stranger to the biological sciences myself. I was in a PhD program in the sexual differentiation of behavioral neuroscience once. I had the same exact idea you did until I read this but I have an excuse. I am only 36 years old rather than your 38. Thank god I didn’t end up as ignorant as you for so long. You saved me and I think I have to go off and read some more now. Asian placenta soup seems a little different culinary wise now.