For centuries, humans have been witness to the excitement and wonder of an eclipse. And whether full or partial, watching the sun temporarily disappear behind the mystical moon has elicited, at one time or another, both fear and joy.
Luckily for those of us living today, many of the more interesting myths surrounding eclipses have been proven by scientific evidence to simply be tall tales or myths that have no bearing on our life today. For example, here are some of the more exotic eclipse myths:
- An eclipse will cause blindness. While safely and properly looking at an eclipse will not cause blindness (through a pair of eclipse glasses or other approved filtering device), it is very true that looking directly at the sun is extremely harmful, and if unimpeded, could cause serious, permanent damage to the eye. That’s why when you get ready to kick-off your own eclipse party, remember: Eye Will Be Sun Safe!
- An eclipse will harm an unborn baby. At one time, it was believed that the radiation traveling from the sun during an eclipse would harm the fetus of a pregnant woman. But we now know that is pure hocus pocus! The amount of radiation released by the sun during an eclipse is no less, and no more than at any other time. And, is safe for everyone, including pregnant women.
- Eclipses will poison your hot dog and macaroni salad. Nothing could be further from the truth! Unless your wiener chef is not paying attention to the grill and undercooks your food, there’s no way for the eclipse to poison food.. So eat up, and be sure to always practice sun safety when you are outside watching the eclipse.
- Eclipses were portents of something bad! That’s right, people used to believe watching an eclipse could bring about punishment from God, or even a visit from the devil! Thankfully, we’ve figured out that the most an eclipse will bring is excitement, fun, and education!
What eclipse myths have you heard?