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11 Common Myths You Thought Were True

  First Posted: 10/12/11 10:55 AM ET   Updated: 10/13/11 07:04 PM ET

While Discovery Channel's "MythBusters" has seen to it that we no longer believe in goldfish with three-second memory spans or life-threatening quicksand à la "Tarzan," bar-room discussions are still filled with false facts and improbable ideas.

To bolster your conversation, not to mention your "Jeopardy" skills, John Lloyd and John Mitchinson have compiled "The Second Book of General Ignorance," a comprehensive collection of refuted general knowledge.

Here are 11 facts from the book that you'll be surprised you didn't know:

What color are oranges?
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That depends.
In many countries, oranges are green, even when ripe, and are sold that way in shops. Oranges are unknown in the wild. They are a cross between tangerines and and the pomelo or "Chinese grapefruit" (which is pale green or yellow), and were first grown in Southeast Asia. There were green there then, and today they still are. Vietnamese oranges and Thai tangerines are bright green on the outside and orange only on the inside.
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Reprinted from The Second Book of General Ignorance: Everything You Think You Know Is (Still) Wrong Copyright (c) 2011 by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson. Published by the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.

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Filed by Madeleine Crum  |