There are hundreds of thousands of thoughts running through our minds every single minute. In such a busy world that we live in, we’re bombarded with information, whether from media or other people that we have to process somehow. And this is one hell of a task to do, yet it never ends.
So let’s all put a pause on whatever it is that our pacing minds and bodies are thinking and doing and sit back to enjoy the moment. While devouring so much content, voluntarily or not, we often forget to reflect on the things we see, read and hear.
This time we’re going to do just the opposite with our monthly collection of “Today I Learned” posts that spark the joys of curiosity and learning. Scroll down, upvote your favorite posts and let this break last longer with more TIL posts that we have prepared for you, here, here, and here.
TIL that in 1845 79 people died in a bridge collapse that happened because a large crowd had gathered to watch a clown in a bathtub be pulled up a river by four geese.
Image credits: barnegatsailor
TIL that the disability with the highest unemployment rate is actually schizophrenia, at 70-90%
Image credits: talkingdolphin
TIL that the Magic Eraser has no chemical solvents in it. Instead it is a special foam with super sharp microscopic edges that basically scrapes off dirt.
Image credits: kliuedin
TIL Flowers exposed to the playback sound of a flying bee produce sweeter nectar within 3 minutes, with sugar concentration averaging 20% higher.
Image credits: Quantum_II
TIL Lucky Charms were invented by a General Mills employee who chopped Circus Peanut candies into a bowl of Cheerios.
Image credits: bens111
TIL that breast cancer used to be known as "Nun's disease" due to the higher prevalence amongst nuns, who were at increased risk due to their celibate lifestyle. An association between reproductive history and cancer risk wasn't proven for about 250 years after it was associated with nuns.
Image credits: barrycl
TIL Norway sends The UK a christmas tree every year to thank UK for saving Norway in WW2
Image credits: drfranksurrey
TIL there's an unexplained global effect called "The Hum" only heard by about 2-4% of the world's population. The phenomenon was recorded as early as the 1970s, and its possible causes range from industrial environments, to neurological reasons, to tinnitus, to fish.
Image credits: I_am_eating_a_mango
TIL that candies such as candy corn, whoppers and milk duds are covered in an insect secretion
Image credits: flyar
TIL Ladybugs are extremely promiscuous, and as a result have rampant STD'S
Image credits: Dollface1280
TIL that the height of the British empire was only 100 years ago. In 1922, British rule covered around a quarter of all land on Earth and ruled 458,000,000 people, at the time around a quarter of Earth's population.
Image credits: IanMazgelis
TIL Michelangelo created a sleeping Cupid figure and treated it with acidic earth to appear ancient. He then sold it to a dealer who then sold it to Cardinal Riario of San Giorgio who later learned of the fraud and demanded his money back. Michelangelo was permitted to keep his share of the money.
Image credits: SingLikeTinaTurner
TIL that nearly all mammals, from mice to giraffes, have exactly 7 cervical vertebrae in their necks; the only exceptions are sloths and manatees.
Image credits: 1_GOLD_PLEASE
TIL of "Target Fixation": a phenomenon where an individual becomes so focused on an observed object (be it a target, or hazard to be avoided) that they inadvertently increase their risk of colliding with the object.
TIL in 1982, Byron Peiss wrote a book called the Secret. In it, there are clues to 12 treasure boxes hidden in various places all around the US and Canada. As of 2022, only 3 of the 12 boxes have ever been found. If a box is discovered, you can exchange it for bragging rights and a precious gem
TIL The Xerox 914, the first commercially successful photocopier, came equipped with a 'scorch eliminator'. The scorch eliminator was actually just a fire extinguisher, which was required as the device commonly caught fire.
Image credits: jamescookenotthatone
TIL Certain types of fly larvae are ideal for treating gangrene because they feed on dead and infected tissue but leave healthy tissue alone. However, because of the nature of this type of treatment, many people are reluctant to try it.
TIL In the 1990s Marvel released their financial reports in comic book form. The comics featured characters like Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk discussing revenue sources and future business plans.
Image credits: jamescookenotthatone
TIL The founder of Sony hired an outspoken critic of their products so they could make better products. 20 years later, he became the president of Sony.
TIL that there was a group that created a sperm bank exclusively containing the semen of Nobel Prize winners in hopes of selectively birthing the next generation of geniuses.
TIL Queen Sophie of the Netherlands’ marriage with King William was so turbulent that when she died, she was buried in her wedding dress because she viewed her life ended on the day she got married.
TIL about a Brazilian Con artist called Carlos Kaiser, who had a decade long career as a Football player, and managed to sign for multiple teams, without player even one regular game. The one time he almost had to play, he started a fight during, to get a Red Card, avoiding to actually play.
TIL A 2017 study found that the introduction of iodized salt in 1924 raised the IQ for the one-quarter of the population most deficient in iodine.
TIL A healthy person's average sleep latency (the amount of time it takes to transition from wakefulness to sleep) is only between 10 and 20 minutes.
TIL Pope John Paul II forgave his attempted assassin Mehmet Ali Ağca who shot him four times in 1981. At the Pope's request, the Italian President pardoned Ağca of the crime and he was deported back to Turkey. Ağca requested to meet Pope Francis in 2014 but Francis chose to decline.
TIL that Supai, AZ is the most remote community in the contiguous US. It is 8 miles from the nearest road and is only accessible by foot, mule, or helicopter. It is the only place in the United States where mail is still carried in and out by mules.
TIL In 2020, a Pakistan airlines Airbus tried to land with the landing gear still up. It then crashed, killing 97. An investigation later found that 150 of the 434 pilots for the airline had bogus or suspicious flying licences.
TIL it took around 3 billion years for the very first single-celled organisms to eventually evolve into basic animal life forms. For comparison, dinosaurs were around for about 165 million years, modern humans have been around for 300,000 years.
TIL: Low carb, high protein diets "greatly" decrease resting testosterone levels in men.
TIL Bobby Brown was kidnapped by New York street gang "the Preacher Crew" over a $25,000 drug debt in 1993 and Whitney Houston paid a $400,000 ransom to the gang, who threatened to kill him. The incident was never reported to authorities.
TIL one of the moons of Mars (Phobos) orbits Mars much faster than Mars rotates, and completes an orbit in just 7 hours and 39 minutes. From the surface of Mars it appears to rise in the west, move across the sky in 4 hours and 15 minutes, and set in the east, twice each Martian day.
TIL: Prior to the D-Day landings, men were covertly sent ashore from submarines to collect samples of the sand to see whether it could support the weight of the tanks, trucks and other vehicles.
TIL a tool bag weighing 30 lbs and worth $100,000 was accidentally dropped by astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper during a spacewalk in 2008. The bag subsequently re-entered the Earth's atmosphere and burned up in 2009.
TIL that it is unknown why the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Norway despite the other Nobel Prizes being awarded in Sweden. Alfred Nobel, who the awards were established in memory of, said that it should be that way in his will and gave no explanation as to why
TIL in 2014 in Greece a woman was falsely declared dead & buried alive. Kids playing near the cemetery heard her screams; she died of asphyxia. In 2015 in the same area of Greece a 49 year old woman was buried alive & her family heard her scream after burial. She died of a heart failure.
TIL: Cartier owner Richemont bought back and destroyed £400million of its watches to prevent them from being sold at a discount
TIL out of 465 documented cases of medical self-experimentation, 8 cases resulted in the self-experimenter’s death. 7 resulted in their winning a Nobel Prize. Another 5 won a Nobel for unrelated work.
TIL coconuts were "relatively common" in medieval England. In one instance from 1259, the Master of Sherborn Hospital willed a coconut cup to his niece.
TIL in the early 90s LL Cool J shared with his grandma that he couldn't survive as a rapper now that gangsta rap was popular. His grandma responded, "Oh baby, just knock them out!" which inspired him to write 'Mama Said Knock You Out' a grammy award winning certified platnum single.
TIL about the lia radiological accident, where three Georgians discovered two abandoned radioactive sources in the forest around which "there was no snow for about a 1 m (3.3 ft) radius, and the ground was steaming", they then decided to use them as heat sources for the night. One died.
TIL the US Navy has a 'Fleet Admiral' rank which only four people have ever achieved. It includes the unique benefit of active duty pay for life.
TIL that a politician from the United Kingdom, John Bell, believed that he was a bird, stating that he could fly much better than a bird, because he kept his shoulders oiled. Despite his state of mind, he remained a Member of Parliament until his death in 1851.
TIL a Berlin-based artist tricked Google Maps into thinking that a completely empty street was bursting with traffic by filling a wagon with 99 smartphones, opening Maps navigation on all of them, and then slowly pulling the wagon along Berlin streets.
TIL in 2016 a man ate a ghost pepper in an eating contest and drank 6 glasses of water to cool off. He vomited so much he tore a hole in his esophagus and was rushed to a hospital where doctors found his left lung collapsed. He spent 23 days in the hospital and was sent home with a gastric tube.
TIL, when Wilt Chamberlain shot his 100-point game, he did so shooting his free throws underhand (e.g. "granny style"). He later switched back to overhand, even though it made his percentage go way down, just so he wouldn't look silly.
TIL William Stoughton, the chief judge of the Salem Witch Trials, sentenced 19 men and women to death during the trials despite not having any training, or education, in law.
TIL the capstone of an ancient Egyptian pyramid was found in 1900, it's made of black basalt and weighs 4.5 tonnes
TIL that consumption of the Australian aquatic fern called Nardoo can cause you to starve if improperly prepared. The plant contains vast quantities of an enzyme that obliterates thiamine (vitamin B1), making your body unable to unlock energy from food, even if eating a full nutritious diet.
TIL that British prisoners were considered unsuitable for farm labour as being "particularly arrogant to the local population" and "particularly well treated by the womenfolk"
TIL in 1981 Chicago mayor Jane Byrne moved into the crime ridden Cabrini–Green public housing project in an attempt to improve its reputation. Despite having bodyguards she left just a few weeks later, furthering the public perception of Cabrini–Green as the "worst of the worst" in the city.
TIL: Charles Darwin spent 6 months in South America looking for a lesser rhea (an ostrich-like bird) only to have one served to him for dinner. Halfway through the meal, Darwin realized what he was eating, gathered the parts and sent them to England for taxidermy and formal classification.
TIL that perhaps the most famous female American poet, Emily Dickinson, only had 10 poems published of the roughly 1,800 she composed
TIL about Bactrian camels, a species native to the steppes of Central Asia. They can withstand temperatures ranging from -30 to +50 Celsius! Their habitat includes arid desert, stony plains, and sand dunes.
TIL Rust doesn't cause tetanus and is relatively harmless in small quantities
TIL there is a species of mushroom that infects and zombifies carpenter ants. The mushroom slowly takes control of the ant’s motor functions and leads them away from the colony to die in a place ideal for growing. Then the mushroom grows out of the ant’s head.
TIL about Narbacular Drop, a puzzle game made by students at DigiPen University of Technology, which emphasized the usage of portals to solve puzzles; the entire team was later hired by Valve Software and would go on to make Portal
TIL Before toilet paper, people used corn husks, sea sponges, and even a scraping technique with seashells after using the bathroom.
TIL that In the 800 years since Genghis Khan’s death, no-one has found his tomb.
TIL Throughout much of the 20th century, a majority of states once required a blood test (mostly for STIs) before issuing a couple a marriage license.
TIL that the "Perfect Aryan" poster child that was widely used in Nazi propaganda was actually Jewish. The photo was selected from a Nazi-held contest, where the photographer of the baby had submitted the photo as an ironic joke.
TIL there is a Greek-style statue of George Washington that depicts him bare-chested and with muscular figure. It is housed as the Smithsonian.
TIL Some flying insects have biologic versions of gyroscopes. The haltere is a small bell like structure that vibrates and can account for changes in rotation using the Coriolis effect, so the insect knows its position and can make corrections.
TIL of a plane who made a forced landing on a Greenland ice cap in Nov. 1942. In attempting their rescue, 6 more planes either also stranded or crashed and it would take the survivors 5 and a half months of sheltering on the glacier until they were all rescued.
TIL: According to Guinness World Records, PATH, a mostly underground pedestrian walkway network in downtown Toronto, is the largest underground shopping complex in the world. PATH spans more than 30 kilometres of restaurants, shopping, services and entertainment.
TIL about the Attack of the Dead Men, a WWI battle where chlorine and bromine gas poisoning gave Russian soldiers the appearance of zombies. Russia won the battle when their appearance frightened off the attacking Germans.
TIL The band Redbone, who played the 70’s hit “Come and Get Your Love” (repopularized by “Guardians of the Galaxy”), was the first successful rock group formed by Native Americans.
TIL the Navajo Nation owns the trademark name Navajo and settled a lawsuit with Urban Outfitters after the latter sold Navajo Hipster Panties and Navajo Print Flasks.