In the first of a fab new series called #factORfable, we take a look at some stubborn myths and find out if they are true! First up – do carrots help you see in the dark?
The belief that eating lots of carrots will improve your night-time eyesight has been popular for over 70 years. There’s just one problem – it isn’t true. Carrots do contain large quantities of vitamin A, which helps maintain eye health, but even eating them by the sackful won’t have any effect on your night vision.
This well-known myth came about during the second World War. The Royal Air Force of Great Britain had secretly invented a kind of radar that allowed them to spot enemy aircraft approaching, even in the darkness. In order to keep this development secret, the rumour was started that British pilots had exceptional night vision because they were eating large quantities of carrots. This was widely accepted and civilians were even encouraged to eat more carrots so they could see more during blackouts.
Interestingly, while eating lots of carrots won’t help you see in the dark, it will turn your skin a yellow-orange colour as your body struggles to break down excess amounts of vitamin A. This is unlikely to happen unless you’re eating several kilograms of carrots a week though!
Ok, so this one is definitely
Never mind – carrots are still delicious vegetables, and if you get fed up eating them, just turn them into a clarinet!
Sam blogs about all kinds of science at www.samanthagouldson.com.