Your Elementary School Teacher Lied to You

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a Snapple fact among my collection that had to do with Valentine’s Day. However, with President’s Day coming up I thought it would be a good time for another Snapple fact: “George Washington had false teeth made of gold, ivory, and lead—but never wood.”George Washington Teeth

Sorry to disappoint you, but this fact is very true. People believe that his teeth were made from wood is because after a while the ivory in his dentures started to look like wood. The fact is that wood wasn’t used for dentures by dentists at all during the time.

While we’re on the topic, George Washington never chopped down a cherry tree either. Your elementary school teacher lied to you. Sorry you had to find out this way.

However, Washington’s teeth DID help him during the Revolutionary War. During the Yorktown Campaign in 1781, the British intercepted a letter from Washington asking for dental cleaning tools to be sent for him to New York, claiming that he will not be in Philadelphia. This lead the British forces to think that the American and French forces in New York would not go south and isolate the British base in Yorktown, and no reinforcements were necessary in the area. Considering the Battle of Yorktown was one of the biggest victories for America in the Revolutionary War (as in, the decisive victory for the Americans), it isn’t that difficult to figure out that the British were wrong.

So to sum up, if it wasn’t for Washington’s bad teeth, the Battle of Yorktown could have very well turned out differently. Go figure.

Final Verdict: True. Washington’s teeth were made of a lot of different materials, but wood was never one of them.

Sources:

http://www.mountvernon.org/george-washington/the-man-the-myth/the-trouble-with-teeth/

http://www.mountvernon.org/digital-encyclopedia/article/wooden-teeth-myth/

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/battle-of-yorktown-begins

How a Fishy Friend can Face Fatality

Back in college I spoke on a radio station where I talked about Snapple cap facts. It was very fun, but after I graduated I had all of these caps lying around and I couldn’t think of anything else to do with them. I held on to them as mementos, but then I had another idea: Why not write about them? Every two weeks I’m going to post a blog, and I’m not only going to find out whether or not the fact is true or false, I’m also going to go into further detail about it. Stick around, you may learn something.

Today’s Snapple Fact is quite a simple one, yet it is unbelievable at a glance: “Fish can drown.”

Fish can drown

Yup, you read that right; fish, the same animals that live their whole life underwater, can drown. Just reading that fact seems like it’s impossible to be correct; Hasn’t it always been a fact that fish need water to survive? At first I thought that this is simply relating to the fact that if a freshwater fish goes into saltwater or vice-versa it will die (much like what has happened in the few fishing trips I’ve been to), but that isn’t the only case when a fish can die underwater. In fact, it can be quite simpler than that.

Fish underwater(photo from wallpaperup.com)

According to Dictionary.com, drowning is “to die under water or other liquid of suffocation,” So we are looking at a death by lack of oxygen underwater.

The way a fish breathes is through its gills; it brings water in through its mouth, and then its internal system dissolves the oxygen it needs into its cells while the water gets forced out by the gills. This would mean that in order for a fish to drown, something would have to be wrong either with its own gills and body, or with the water itself.

There could be times that there isn’t enough oxygen in the water for one reason or another, which could spell disaster for any fishy friends in the area; if they don’t swim to somewhere they can breathe, they suffocate.

Final verdict: True. While it’s different from land animals in the fact that fish can breathe underwater, they still require oxygen like everything else on this earth. Something happens to the oxygen underwater, the fish suffers.

 

Sources (for further information):

http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/how-do-fish-breathe-underwater/

https://student.societyforscience.org/article/suffocating-waters

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/drown?s=t