The Scientific Truth Behind Five More Common Sayings

    Jeevan Sivasubramaniam Posted by Jeevan Sivasubramaniam, Managing Director, Editorial, Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.




    This series was launched with an entry about the scientific truth behind five common sayings and it was very popular.
    This series was launched with an entry about the scientific truth behind five common sayings and it was very popular. So our researchers (i.e. - me) felt it was worth it trying out five more, and here they are:

    1. All the tea in China: In 2003, the UN's FAO branch filed a report that China's total tea yield was approximately 800,345 metric tons.

    2. Eats like a bird: Far from the suggestion that anyone who eats like a bird barely eats anything, birds on average consume more than 90 times their own body weight in food each year. Horses (from "eats like a horse") eat only about 7 times their body weight each year.

    3. Only skin-deep: A lot depends on where the skin is. The skin on your eyelid is only 1/100th of an inch, but the skin on your back is 1/5 of an inch.

    4. By a hair's breadth: Depends on where the hair is (and no, I'm not going to get crude here). On average, a human hair is 1/48th of an inch thick.

    5. A picture is worth a thousand words: It's more a symbolic phrase than anything else, but let's look at the numbers. A photo being purchased by a national magazine like Harper's would have paid the photographer $2,000 (adjusted for inflation) in 1978. Now they pay about $350.