Solar Eclipse 2020 as seen from Mumbai.(Twitter/ANI)
Solar Eclipse 2020 as seen from Mumbai.(Twitter/ANI)

Solar Eclipse 2020: Truths behind the myths surrounding this celestial event

Solar Eclipse 2020: With advancement in the world of science, the older ideas about causes and effects of solar eclipses or the myths are replaced by scientific proofs.
By Trisha Sengupta | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUN 21, 2020 01:10 PM IST

Solar Eclipse 2020 is going on and people, around the world, are taking to social media to share images and videos or to simply post about this day. It also includes the several memes and funny posts netizens are sharing about the myths surrounding the event. With advancement in the world of science, the older ideas about causes and effects of solar eclipses are replaced by scientific proofs. This article is about busting some of those common myths with scientifically-correct explanations.

Unless you’re keeping away from social media, there’s a high chance you have come across memes like this one:

Though jokingly, the post talks about a very common belief – any food prepared during the eclipse is poisonous. According to a blog published by NASA, there’s no reality behind the claim. The blog also explains how this myth may have come into existence. “The basic idea is that total solar eclipses are terrifying and their ghostly green coronae look frightening, so it is natural to want to make up fearful stories about them and look for coincidences among events around you,” it explains.

Pregnant woman shouldn’t watch eclipse

According to this myth, if a pregnant woman watches the eclipse harmful rays emitted during the event harms the foetus. This is a false idea as there is no effect of the rays during the eclipse on the expecting mother or her would-be-born baby.

Bad omens

There is an age-old false belief that solar eclipse is a harbinger of bad news. It’s a superstition or an old belief which originated when people had very less or no knowledge about the world of astronomy.

Eclipse is caused by demons eating sun

Cultures all over the world have similar mythological stories which describe how the solar eclipse happens – it’s generally about the sun being eaten by demons or giant beasts. The lack of understanding of the celestial events in the earlier times gave rise to such myths which are still in existence in form of stories and tales.

There are no eclipses at Earth’s North or South Poles

That is no at all true. The last total solar eclipse viewed from the North Pole area was on March 20, 2015. As for the South Pole, the last total eclipse viewed from the area was on November 23, 2003.

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