“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.
#1TIL 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.
Image credits: shaka_sulu
#2TIL 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
#3TIL 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
#4TIL 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.
Image credits: my__name__is
#5TIL 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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#6TIL 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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#7TIL mixed-breed dogs live an average of 14 years while purebreds live only an average of almost 10 years.
Image credits: Splashlight2
#8TIL that domestic dogs have developed muscles in there brow to "mimic" humans.
Image credits: Doomncandy
#9TIL 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
#10TIL 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
#11TIL that dogs intentionally try to make humans laugh. They understand that laughter means play, and play is positive.
#12TIL On PC/console games, about 60% of the female avatars you meet are played by a male player.
Image credits: 28nov2022
#13TIL 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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#14TIL 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.
Image credits: meep_launcher
#15TIL - 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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#16TIL 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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#17TIL 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.’
#18TIL scientists believe people started wearing clothes between 83k and 170k years ago because that's when clothing lice diverged from head lice.
#19TIL 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.
#20TIL 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."
Image credits: a3poify
#21Today 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.
Image credits: askingrytquestions
#22TIL 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
#23TIL 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.
#24TIL that a thousand years ago Sweden had a guy whose job was to have *ALL* of the law memorized. He was called the Lawspeaker.
#25TIL that the world's largest rodent "Capybara" are so chill to the point that they can form an unlikely friendship with crocodiles.
#26TIL The Rocky Horror Picture Show is still in limited release after 47 years making it the longest-running theatrical release in film history.
#27TIL 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.
Image credits: Aerron
#28TIL 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.
#29TIL 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
#30TIL 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.
#31TIL 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.
Image credits: triviafrenzy
#32TIL 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.
#33TIL 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.
#34TIL 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.
Image credits: griefofwant
#35TIL that Sea Urchins are called Sea Urchins because Hedgehogs used to be called Urchins until about the 15th century. Sea Urchins are Ocean Hedgehogs.
Image credits: visiblecustomer2021
#36TIL If we brought a tablespoonful of a neutron star back to Earth, it would weigh 1 Billion tons, or the equivalent of Mt. Everest.
#37TIL 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.
#38TIL 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.
#39TIL 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.
#40TIL Birds can eat rice safely, they don't explode and die. It was a 1996 urban legend that has been spread every wedding season.
#41TIL One out of every 21 New Yorkers is a millionaire.
Image credits: BarCzar86
#42TIL that Michelin once accidentally gave a Michelin star to a small cafe which shared the same name as the actual recipient.
#43TIL There are more possible iterations of a game of chess than there are atoms in the observable universe.
Image credits: PhonedVenus21345678
#44TIL that elephant poaching has steadily decreased in certain African countries causing elephant populations to slowly begin rising.
#45TIL 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.
Image credits: Iestwyn
#46TIL 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.
#47TIL 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.
Image credits: Seevian
#48TIL that Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo has "slow lane" checkouts for customers who like to chat with the employees.
#49TIL Babies have about 30,000 taste buds, while adults have only about 10,000.
#50TIL people were drinking beer and eating blue cheese over 2 thousand years ago according to studies of ancient bowel movements discovered in caves.
#51TIL 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.
#52TIL that gargoyles were meant to scare church-goers, lure pagans, divert water in order to preserve stone walls, and date back to ancient Egypt.
#53TIL 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.
#54TIL 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.
#55TIL 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.
#56TIL 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.
#57TIL that in the State of Georgia there is a 150-foot-deep canyon that formed due to poor farming practices in the 19th century.
#58TIL 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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#59TIL 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.
Image credits: Unleashtheducks
#60TIL 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.
#61TIL 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.
#62TIL 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.
#63TIL Lego was flirting with bankruptcy, and the release of Bionicle, which accounted for 100% of their profits in 2003, saved them from going under.
#64TIL 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.
#65TIL 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.
#66TIL 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.
#67TIL 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.
#68TIL 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.
#69TIL 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.
#70TIL 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.
#71TIL 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.
#72TIL 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.
#73TIL that the writers on Futurama created and proved a new mathematical theorem as a plot point for a body-switching episode.
#74TIL 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.
#75TIL 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