A century ago, we had old wives’ tales, but today our misinformation is shared on and legitimized by social media. You may have recently noticed this viral factoid making the rounds:
OMG the numbers on a toaster are for how many minutes it toasts for!! What the hell I thought it was the level of toastiness, 6 being burnt!— Scarlett Moffatt (@ScarlettMoffatt) December 4, 2014
wtf am I the only person that knew the numbers on a toaster indicated minutes not toastness intensity???— elf (@elleandrewsx) December 10, 2014
There’s nothing too difficult about verifying such a claim, but nobody bothered to do so—until now.
YouTube personality Tom Scott, who revels in this type of trivia with his “Things You Might Not Know” series, was sick of the factoid’s thoughtless acceptance across Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr, so he got four toasters and some sliced bread and tried to prove everyone wrong. He almost succeeded, too.
I guess the real lesson here is to always do your toasting at work.
Photo via Tom Scott/YouTube