“Today I Learned”: 110 Interesting Facts About The World That Many Have Just Learned (New Pics)

Today I Learned, also known as TIL, is the fifth-biggest subreddit. It unites a whopping 30.9 million members, who all go there with a single goal in mind — to enrich each other's understanding of the world.

Sharing interesting facts about human psychology, animal behavior, food history, and pretty much everything else you can imagine, this online community is full of fascinating trivia that has been successfully evading many of us.

Continue scrolling to check out its recent posts, and for more, fire up our older publications on TIL here, here, and here.


TIL in 1915 a farmer saw his sister make her own mascara with coal and petrolium jelly and thought he could make a better product. His invention was easier to apply and won't burn a woman's eye. He named his new company Maybelline after his sister Maybel and the base material Vasaline.

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TIL Japan has a 'wind phone'. An unconnected phone booth where grieving relatives go to 'talk' to their lost loved ones. Opened after the 2011 Fukushima earthquake/tsunami, it has seen over 30,000 visitors.

Image credits: Standard-Assist-5793


TIL Environmental activist Julia “Butterfly” Hill lived in a 1500-year-old California redwood tree (known as Luna) 180 feet (55 m) off the ground for 738 days in order to prevent it from being chopped down by Pacific Lumber Company. She successfully saved the tree.

Image credits: PyrowithJared


TIL about Third Man Syndrome. An unseen presence reported by mountain climbers and explorers during traumatic survival situations that talks to the victim, gives practical advise and encouragement.

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TIL That in 1941, USS New York opened fire on an object, believing it to be a japanese aircraft. Fire commenced until a navigator realized they were shooting at Venus.

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TIL The average life span of a pet cat has risen from seven years in the early 1980s to fifteen years as of 2021.

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TIL mixed-breed dogs live an average of 14 years while purebreds live only an average of almost 10 years.

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TIL that domestic dogs have developed muscles in there brow to "mimic" humans.

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TIL the pajamas that we wear today actually have a story behind it. Because during World War I air raids in England, people began donning pajamas rather than nightgowns so they would be ready to sprint outside in broad daylight and still would look presentable.

Image credits: Lets_Earn26


TIL that in 1554 Elizabeth Crofts hid in a wall on Aldersgate Street, where she pretended to be a heavenly voice. Reputedly 17,000 people came to listen to her give out anti-Catholic propaganda.

Image credits: Kurma-the-Turtle


TIL that dogs intentionally try to make humans laugh. They understand that laughter means play, and play is positive.


TIL On PC/console games, about 60% of the female avatars you meet are played by a male player.

Image credits: 28nov2022


TIL After plagiarizing work for his directorial debut, actor Shia LaBeouf plagiarized a public apology from a Yahoo! answers question about plagiarism.

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TIL Jonathan Goldsmith, AKA The Most Interesting Man in the World from the Dos Equis commercials, has been an advocate for landmine victim support, has assisted the effort to prevent and cure cancer in dogs, save the Siberian Tiger, and end child sex trafficking in Cambodia.

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TIL - The Middle Ages had retirement homes, where seniors could buy residence for the rest of their lives at a monastery with food, shelter and clothing included.

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TIL in the 1800’s bananas were seen as “immoral fruit” because of their shape. Fruit companies began issuing postcards of women eating bananas to advertise the fruit wasn’t taboo.

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TIL That a carbon dioxide bubble in Lake Nyos killed 1,800 people, including livestock and flies. ‘“There were no flies on the dead”; the flies were dead too.’


TIL scientists believe people started wearing clothes between 83k and 170k years ago because that's when clothing lice diverged from head lice.


TIL to finish writing The Hunchback of Notre Dame within an impossible deadline of 6 months, Victor Hugo locked his clothes away, making him unable to go outside and procrastinate which forced him to do anything but finish writing his book.


TIL that Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante went to audition for Frank Zappa's 1988 touring band but left the rehearsal room before actually playing, saying later that " I wanted to be a rock star, do drugs and get girls, and that I wouldn't be able to do that if I was in Zappa's band."

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Today I learned that a rooster was prosecuted in Switzerland for laying eggs and thus, going against the laws of nature in the 15th century and again in the 18th century. The rooster was condemned to be burned alive in public.

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TIL Willie O'Ree, the first black man to play in the NHL, was blind in one eye. It was caused by a ricocheting puck that hit him in the face when he was 18 and he kept it a secret for his entire 21-year career.

Image credits: PyrowithJared


TIL a “ferocious rabbit” ran amok in Central Park in 1917. He terrorized the sheep in Sheep Meadow, maimed dogs, and fought an orangutan in the zoo.


TIL that a thousand years ago Sweden had a guy whose job was to have *ALL* of the law memorized. He was called the Lawspeaker.


TIL that the world's largest rodent "Capybara" are so chill to the point that they can form an unlikely friendship with crocodiles.


TIL The Rocky Horror Picture Show is still in limited release after 47 years making it the longest-running theatrical release in film history.


TIL the only confirmed case of poisoned Halloween candy was in 1974 when Ronald O'Bryan [unalived] his son Timothy by giving him pixie sticks laced with cyanide to collect insurance money.

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TIL Crows are a highly intelligent species, which are self-aware just like humans. They are as smart as Gorillas and have a complex brain which has the ability to reason.


TIL about hysterical strength, a display of extreme physical strength by humans, beyond what is believed to be normal. Examples include a woman saved several children by fighting a polar bear and a woman lifting a car high enough to save a person.

Image credits: Paesano19


TIL in 1575, Don Quixote author Miguel de Cervantes and his brother Rodrigo were captured and enslaved by Barbary Pirates. After two years his family could only afford one ransom, so Rodrigo was freed. Cervantes was freed three years later after a religious charity paid his ransom.


TIL Queen Elizabeth I required 600 horse carts to carry everything she needed for her summer excursions to the countryside. She’d stay with the local Nobles, but if their castle was too small, the nobility would get kicked out to make room. Of course you wouldn’t turn her down, or expect payment.

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TIL that in The Shawshank Redemption, when Morgan Freeman’s character is asked “why do they call you Red?” and he responds with “maybe it’s because I’m Irish”. It’s because the character in the novel was a red haired Irish man. They cast Freeman for the part but added the line as a joke.


TIL Wolfgang Mozart had a sister, Maria Anna, who was also an extremely talented child prodigy in music. Sadly, she was prevented from performing as an adult. Many of her compositions have been lost, including one Wolfgang wrote that he was in ‘awe’ of, contributing to her obscurity.


TIL when an American film has more than one writer, an "&" indicates that the screenwriters collaborated on the script. An "and" means they worked independently on separate drafts.

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TIL that Sea Urchins are called Sea Urchins because Hedgehogs used to be called Urchins until about the 15th century. Sea Urchins are Ocean Hedgehogs.

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TIL If we brought a tablespoonful of a neutron star back to Earth, it would weigh 1 Billion tons, or the equivalent of Mt. Everest.


TIL Shift work is associated with cognitive decline. Shift work throws of the circadian rhythm which causes hormonal irregularities and various neurobehavioural issues. Decline was seen in processing speed, working memory, psychomotor vigilance, cognitive control, and visual attention.


TIL Tolkien assisted on the Oxford Dictionary's first edition, focused on 'W' words waggle to warlock. He "learned more in those two years than in any other"; and certain etymologies continued to puzzle him for years, with many pages of notes written later on 'walrus' for a lecture at Leeds.


TIL In 1941 The Germans allowed the British RAF to drop a prosthetic leg by parachute to a Luftwaffe base in France. The Germans were very respectful of Captain Douglas Bader, who was captured after bailing from his plane with only one of his two prosthetic legs. One got stuck in his damaged plane.


TIL Birds can eat rice safely, they don't explode and die. It was a 1996 urban legend that has been spread every wedding season.


TIL One out of every 21 New Yorkers is a millionaire.

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TIL that Michelin once accidentally gave a Michelin star to a small cafe which shared the same name as the actual recipient.


TIL There are more possible iterations of a game of chess than there are atoms in the observable universe.

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TIL that elephant poaching has steadily decreased in certain African countries causing elephant populations to slowly begin rising.


TIL about the thymus, a small (1 oz.) organ behind the sternum that trains new white blood cells to NOT attack the body's own cells. Only 2% survive this rigorous training program; the rest commit suicide to prevent themselves from attacking friendly cells.

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TIL ENYA has never gone on a concert tour or even performed a solo concert, despite being Ireland’s best-selling solo artist and 2nd overall behind U2.


TIL about Andy, the goose born with no feet. His owner outfitted him with Nike sneakers to help him stand and move, helping him to become a role model for disabled children before he was [unalived] in 1991 under mysterious circumstances.

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TIL that Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo has "slow lane" checkouts for customers who like to chat with the employees.


TIL Babies have about 30,000 taste buds, while adults have only about 10,000.


TIL people were drinking beer and eating blue cheese over 2 thousand years ago according to studies of ancient bowel movements discovered in caves.


TIL that you can buy a room on a cruise ship and live on it. You pay a yearly fee and all amenities are provided like normal cruise ships.


TIL that gargoyles were meant to scare church-goers, lure pagans, divert water in order to preserve stone walls, and date back to ancient Egypt.


TIL that although smoking is prohibited on commercial aircraft, the doors of airplane lavatories must have ashtrays to give rule-breakers a safe place to dispose of their cigarettes.


TIL there was a time when 6 geologists were convicted of manslaughter for failing to predict a deadly earthquake in Italy in 2009. They were later exonerated but faced high levels of shame from the general public afterwards.


TIL beavers are a keystone species, which means they play an important role in ecosystems by modifying the area in a way that is beneficial to plants and animals.


TIL that there are male-only species of clams that reproduce by having their sperm fertilize the eggs of other clam species, kicking out most of the egg's DNA.


TIL that in the State of Georgia there is a 150-foot-deep canyon that formed due to poor farming practices in the 19th century.


TIL New Mexico is older than regular Mexico by over 250 years. It was not named after the country, but in fact both take their name from the ancient Valley of Mexico which was the heart of the Aztec civilisation.

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TIL Pekin, Illinois was named under the mistaken belief that the city is on the opposite side of the globe from from Beijing, China. It is actually opposite the Indian Ocean.

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TIL that during Prince's Super Bowl halftime show volunteers accidentally ran over and severed three power cables during the stage set up, so a member of the lighting crew stripped the ends and held the cables in place by hand for the entire 12 minute show in the rain.


TIL that Anne Frank's stepsister is still alive. Eva Schloss and her family lived in the same apartment block as the Franks, and she often played with Anne and Margot. She and her mother survived Auschwitz, and her mother resumed her friendship with Otto Frank after the war. They married in 1953.


TIL The autocorrect feature in Excel, which converts certain combinations into dates, has mangled up to 30% of published papers, causing significant issues. As a result, at least 27 gene symbols have been forced to change to prevent further errors from occurring.


TIL Lego was flirting with bankruptcy, and the release of Bionicle, which accounted for 100% of their profits in 2003, saved them from going under.


TIL that during Dean Smith's tenure as head coach of the North Carolina Tar Heels, 96.6% of his players received their degrees and he also helped pioneer desegregation by recruiting their first black scholarship player, Charlie Scott.


TIL that New York City is reintroducing millions of oysters into their harbor to help clean the water and create marine habitats. They've been collecting used shells from local restaurants to create new homes for juvenile oysters.


TIL Concorde airplane flew so fast, if you left London (or Paris) in the evening flying west towards New York, to the passengers in the plane, the sun would actually appear to begin rising again shortly after reaching cruising speed. The plane flew faster than the Earth's rotation.


TIL that George Washington signed the 1794 Slave Trade Act, which banned U.S. ships from participating in the Atlantic Slave Trade, as well as forbid the exportation of slaves for foreign sale. It was the first major piece of legislation against slavery passed by the United States government.


TIL the Higgs-Boson Particle, aka "the God Particle", was actually called "the Goddamn Particle" by physicists because it was so difficult to detect. Publishers forced the rename, resulting in a confusing tie to religion for the particle which is nearly universally hated by physicists.


TIL Lacrosse descends from a version played by Native Americans in the 17th century. Games could last several days with as many as 1,000 players per team, on a field with goals up to 6 miles apart. Sticks were so treasured, players were often buried with them upon death.


TIL most audio recordings contain a background "mains hum" from electric power grid oscillations that can be matched with grid readings to date the clip to the second it was recorded.


TIL Grapefruits were invented in 1693. A man named Captain Shaddock shipped some pomelo seeds to the West Indies, he planted seeds next to some orange trees. After some cross pollination, the grapefruit was born.


TIL A Seattle nursing home houses a child care center of 125 tots and is a place where a 5 year old can have playtime and learn with a 95 year old. Children under 5 don't grasp the concept of death so residents dying don't need to be fully explained.


TIL that the writers on Futurama created and proved a new mathematical theorem as a plot point for a body-switching episode.


TIL National Geographic editor Bill Garrett was fired from the magazine in 1990 because he wanted to publish more controversial features that raised production costs and stories about AIDS, Exxon Valdez oil spill were published under his direction.


TIL you're completely blind for about 40 minutes a day because of Saccadic masking. Without it, your life would be like watching a constant movie that's filmed with a shaky, handheld camera.

Image credits: GoatChad


TIL the average annual household income of a Broadway theater attendee is $261,000.


TIL Uwe Hohn is the only person in history to throw a javelin 100m. His world record of 104.8m was declared an "Eternal World Record" as it will likely never be broken due to the IAAF redesigning the javelin in 1986 and resetting the WR to coincide with the change.


TIL scientists don't know what makes the stones curl across the ice in Olympic curling and despite a number of studies, it remains an unsolved mystery for physicists.


TIL that following the D-Day invasion the USS Texas intentionally flooded part of itself to allow the ships guns to fire further inland.


TIL Hugh Hefner tried countless times to get Raquel Welch to pose nude, and she kept rejecting the offer. Welch did eventually pose for Playboy with her clothes on. Hefner then called her boring, but still had to pay her.


TIL that in the first edition of the Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory novel, The Oompa Loompas were Black pygmies imported from "the deepest and darkest part of the African jungle".


TIL that Henry Ford refused for years to make any significant improvements to the Model T. When his designers surprised him with a new prototype, he destroyed it in front of them with his bare hands.


TIL that during residency, prospective doctors work around 40-80 hours per week, with some far exceeding that level.


TIL That Lewis Carrol's nonsense poem "Jabberwocky" requires great creativity on the part of translators as they need to invent nonsense words that evoke similar feelings to each made-up word in the English original.


TIL dogs can smell up to 100,000 times better than humans due to 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses.


TIL that after the American Revolution, British Sir Guy Carleton argued with George Washington who wanted Carleton to return American slaves that Carleton felt obliged to free. Carleton freed the slaves and promised that Britain would compensate the slave owners, but Britain never did.


TIL virtually all communion wafers distributed in churches in the USA are made by one for-profit company (Cavanagh Company).


TIL Claire Danes is considered a persona non grata in the Philippines after making derogatory comments about the country.


TIL in 2010, following slumped sales after the Financial Crisis of 2008, Gap decided to redesign their 20-year longstanding logo, costing an estimated $100M. The amount of public backlash was so great, that Gap took the decision to revert back to their old 1990 logo after less than one week.


TIL Vulfpeck was one of the first ever bands to sell out Madison Square Garden without a manager or record label.


TIL I learned that in England, there are "wavy" brick fences. This shape uses fewer bricks than a straight wall. The waves' arch support allows the wavy wall to stand strong while a straight wall requires at least two layers of bricks to do the same.


TIL The USS Indianapolis delivered the enriched uranium and parts for the "Little Boy" atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima, but no one onboard knew the contents of this cargo. The uranium was secretly monitored by a radiologist throughout the trip to make sure the sailors would not be poisoned.


TIL Jack Valenti, the President of the MPAA, regretted giving South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut an R rating, wishing to have labeled it with the NC-17 rating.


TIL Founding Father and author of the Bill of Rights James Madison stopped the Virginia Assembly from establishing Christianity as the state religion with the help of Thomas Jefferson.


TIL Texas A&M University used to have an annual bonfire. In 1999, 12 students died when the Aggie Bonfire collapsed upon them during construction. The deaths led to the end of the tradition as the University faced a series of lawsuits and couldn't afford the expected $2 million per year insurance.


TIL that singer Cass Elliot, better known as 'Mama Cass', did not like her 'Mama' moniker a single bit - to the point where she named her 1973 live album and TV special “Don’t Call Me Mama Anymore.” This is why her solo career in the 1970s is billed as 'Cass Elliot'.


TIL there were no former US presidents alive at the time of NIxon’s resignation.


TIL a South Park video game was completely finished for the Game Boy, but was personally cancelled by Trey Parker and Matt Stone who felt the adult content didn't suit the console. The developers then reskinned the game's artwork, and released it as a Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen game.


TIL The most powerful commercial radio station ever was WLW (700KHz AM), which during certain times in the 1930s broadcasted 500kW radiated power. At night, it covered half the globe. Neighbors within the vicinity of the transmitter heard the audio in their pots, pans, and mattresses.


TIL that Clint Eastwood - at the height of his "silent and violent gunslinger" fame - starred in a big-budget western musical called Paint Your Wagon. At nearly 3 hours long, the film was not well reviewed. Eastwood's song "I Talk to the Trees" was singled out for derision.


TIL about Goldbach's conjecture, one of the oldest and best-known unsolved problems in mathematics. It states that every even natural number greater than 2 is the sum of two prime numbers. The conjecture remains unproven despite considerable effort.


TIL that ligers (the offspring of a male lion and female tiger) are the largest big cat because, unlike lionesses, female tigers do not possess growth-limiting genes to counter the growth-maximising genes of male lions.


TIL that 51% of births are male because female fetuses are more likely to die during pregnancy.


TIL Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes) was so enamored of yogurt’s effect on gut health that he promoted a pint of yogurt for his patients: half to be eaten and the other half to be administered via enema.


TIL The Sultan of Brunei owns over 7000 cars and his official car is gold plated Rolls Royce.


TIL The thick white rind on the outside of a wheel of brie cheese is actually mold, Penicillum candidum.


TIL about Bountygate - a scandal in the NFL during the 2011 season which involved New Orleans Saints players gambling over the severity of injuries they could cause the opposing teams players. The result was the head coach being suspended for a season as he was found to have condoned the behaviour.


TIL that the founders of video game maker "Acclaim" named their company so it would be listed alphabetically before their former employer "Activision" and before "Accolade" another company founded by ex-Activison employees. Activison itself was founded by ex-Atari employees based on the same logic.


TIL It's estimated that after the Civil War, up to 20,000 Confederates emigrated to Brazil from the US South. Today, roughly 260,000 Brazilians descend from these American Confederates.


TIL the state of Texas keeps a database of over 500 executed inmate's last words going back to the 1980's.