10 Historically Inaccurate Beliefs You Probably Didn’t Know

10 Historically Inaccurate Beliefs You Probably Didn’t Know

In today’s age of information, it is easy to assume that we have a clear understanding of historical events and figures. However, history is often distorted, misinterpreted, or even completely fabricated. Here are 10 historically inaccurate beliefs that you probably didn’t know about:

The Earth is Flat

One of the most prevalent historically inaccurate beliefs is the idea that the Earth is flat. While this belief has been debunked countless times by science and exploration, there are still individuals who adhere to this outdated and inaccurate notion.

Vikings Wore Horned Helmets

Another common misconception is that Viking warriors wore horned helmets into battle. In reality, archaeological evidence suggests that Vikings did not wear such impractical headgear. The popular image of horned Viking helmets is actually a myth perpetuated by artists and writers.

Napoleon Bonaparte was Short

Contrary to popular belief, Napoleon Bonaparte was not actually short. At 5 feet 7 inches, he was of average height for his time. The misconception that Napoleon was short may have originated from propaganda spread by his enemies to diminish his stature.

The Great Wall of China is Visible from Space

One of the most enduring misconceptions is that the Great Wall of China is visible from space. While the Great Wall is an impressive feat of engineering, it is not actually visible to the naked eye from space. This myth has been perpetuated for decades, despite being debunked by astronauts and experts.

Cleopatra was Egyptian

Although Cleopatra is often associated with ancient Egypt, she was actually of Greek descent. Cleopatra was a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty, which was of Macedonian Greek origin. Her lineage can be traced back to one of Alexander the Great’s generals.

George Washington had Wooden Teeth

The myth that George Washington had wooden teeth is widely believed, but it is not entirely accurate. While Washington did experience dental issues throughout his life and wore dentures made of various materials, including ivory and human teeth, he did not have wooden teeth.

The Salem Witch Trials Executed Witches

During the Salem Witch Trials in the late 17th century, the accused individuals were not actually witches. The trials were the result of mass hysteria and paranoia, which led to the wrongful persecution of innocent people. The victims of the Salem Witch Trials were wrongly accused and executed for alleged witchcraft.

The Dark Ages were a Time of Intellectual Darkness

The term "Dark Ages" is often used to describe the period following the fall of the Roman Empire in Western Europe. However, this label is a misnomer, as the Dark Ages were not devoid of intellectual and cultural advancements. During this time, significant developments in art, architecture, and philosophy occurred.

Marie Antoinette said "Let them Eat Cake"

The famous quote attributed to Marie Antoinette, "Let them eat cake," is widely believed to be a reflection of her indifference to the plight of the poor. However, there is no historical evidence to support the claim that she actually made this statement. The quote is likely a fabrication or a misattribution.

Christopher Columbus Discovered America

While Christopher Columbus is often credited with discovering America, this claim is historically inaccurate. Columbus arrived in the Americas in 1492, but the land had already been inhabited by indigenous peoples for thousands of years. The notion of Columbus "discovering" America disregards the rich history and cultures of the native populations.


Q: Why do historically inaccurate beliefs persist?

A: Historically inaccurate beliefs can persist due to a variety of factors, including misinformation, bias, and cultural myths. In some cases, these beliefs may be perpetuated intentionally to serve certain agendas or narratives.

Q: How can we combat historically inaccurate beliefs?

A: To combat historically inaccurate beliefs, it is essential to rely on credible sources, fact-check information, and stay open to new perspectives. Education, critical thinking, and historical research are crucial in dispelling myths and misconceptions.

Q: Why is it important to correct historical inaccuracies?

A: Correcting historical inaccuracies is important for preserving the integrity of historical events and figures. By dispelling myths and misconceptions, we can gain a more accurate understanding of the past and avoid perpetuating false narratives.

Q: What impact do historically inaccurate beliefs have on society?

A: Historically inaccurate beliefs can have a detrimental impact on society by distorting our understanding of the past, perpetuating stereotypes, and shaping false narratives. By addressing and correcting these beliefs, we can promote a more informed and inclusive society.

Q: How can we prevent the spread of historically inaccurate beliefs?

A: To prevent the spread of historically inaccurate beliefs, it is crucial to promote critical thinking, fact-checking, and education. By encouraging a culture of skepticism and inquiry, we can combat the proliferation of misinformation and myths.


In conclusion, historical inaccuracies are pervasive in our collective understanding of the past. By challenging these misconceptions, we can gain a more nuanced and accurate view of history. It is essential to question commonly held beliefs, seek out reliable sources, and engage in critical thinking to uncover the truth behind historical events and figures. By dispelling myths and misconceptions, we can move towards a more informed and accurate interpretation of the past.