30 New ‘Today I Learned’ Facts That Prove It’s Never Too Late To Learn Something New

We have long heard about the power of learning new things. It keeps us motivated, confident, and curious about the world around us. No wonder science has shown time and again that learning plays an important role in improving the brain’s ability to cope with damage.

It can also prevent memory loss, and possibly even prevent us from developing dementia. Researchers at the University of Michigan found that the dementia rate in Americans decreased by a staggering 24% from 2000 to 2012. Scientists believe that more years of education are directly linked with this decline.

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And although not everyone has time (or need, for that matter) to take on learning things like chess or language, or memorizing verses from Homer’s Iliad (although this is what high school students do in European countries!), we can keep our mind open for bits of information that get those brain cells tingling! And there’s nothing that does it better than our beloved TIL posts, thanks to Reddit’s powerhouse community known as the ‘Today I Learned’ subreddit where 26.6 million members share facts and factoids to fill your idle or bored mind.

Get your cuppa ready ‘cause below is a freshly baked collection full of TIL amusement, and after you’re done, be sure to check out our previous posts with things to learn today here, here and here.


TIL about Tim Wong who successfully and singlehandedly repopulated the rare California Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly in San Francisco. In the past few years, he’s cultivated more than 200 pipevine plants (their only food source) and gives thousands of caterpillars to his local Botanical Garden.

Image credits: AwesomeFrito


TIL about environmental activist Julia “Butterfly” Hill who lived in a 1500 year old California redwood tree (known as Luna) 180 feet (55 mm) 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: AwesomeFrito


TIL when the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) denied permission to Marian Anderson for a concert at Constitution Hall under a “white performers-only”, First Eleanor Roosevelt resigned from the DAR and arranged for Anderson to perform before an integrated crowd of more than 75,000 people.

Image credits: Iregretbeinghereokay


TIL GM recalled 800k cars in 2014 for faulty ignitions. The cars would shut off while being driven which meant drivers lost power steering/brakes, and the airbags wouldn’t deploy. They knew about the problem since 2005 but never fixed it because it would be ‘too expensive’. 124 people died.

Image credits: rexmons


TIL that Javier Bardem’s performance as Anton Chigurh in ‘No Country for Old Men’ was named the ‘Most Realistic Depiction of a Psychopath’ by an independent group of psychologists in the ‘Journal of Forensic Sciences’.

Image credits: abaganoush


TIL Jurassic Park was meant to use stop motion instead of CGI, but two artists worked on a CGI T-Rex in secret, and once they finished it, they quietly put a video of it on screen when Kathleen Kennedy visited their office. the video convinced Kennedy, Spielberg, and the rest of the team to use CGI.

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Image credits: TotallyJournalist


TIL in 1997 a Danish woman visiting New York City was arrested and strip-searched for leaving her baby in a stroller outside a restaurant while she and the baby’s father dined inside, a common practice in Denmark. She later sued the city and was awarded $66,000.

Image credits: david-saint-hubbins


TIL: When the Titanic rammed an iceberg, William Murdoch, the officer in charge, was portrayed in the film as shooting a passenger and then committing s**cide. In reality, he was last seen trying to fill as many lifeboats as possible and heroically went down with the ship.

Image credits: Leoz_13


TIL When Neil Armstrong first stepped on the moon, inside his pocket was a small piece of fabric from the 1903 Wright Flyer

Image credits: stonermeg


TIL: A camel after standing in 109 F (43 C) heat all day decapitated his absent-minded owner after he remembered to untie him.

Image credits: LimeSugar


TIL that “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” was written by composer Frank Loesser in 1944 for he and his wife to sing at the end of their housewarming party as a way to tell guests it was time to leave. Afterwards, they were invited to tons of parties with the expectation of the song being the closing act.

Image credits: Ben-Stanley


TIL that people with dementia think that stuff like a black doormat isn’t a doormat, but a deep hole in the floor. Due to these visual perception problems, people with dementia avoid stepping the doormat, and this is sometimes used to keep them from leaving their care facilites.

Image credits: simulatislacrimis


TIL Andromeda galaxy has already started merging with our Milky Way

Image credits: csbod


TIL Boris Mikhailov, captain of the USSR hockey team, was offered a $1 million contract to leave Russia in 1980 after the Miracle on Ice. However, he declined as the KGB was standing next to him when the offer was made.

Image credits: MarineKingPrime_


TIL Ian Fleming originally wanted Bond to be an extremely dull, uninteresting man to whom things happened. He chose James Bond because it was the dullest name he had ever heard.

Image credits: puppiadog


TIL Isaac Asimov wrote or edited more than 500 books, 380 short stories and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. He was a professor of biochemistry at Boston University. He had a triple bypass in 1983 during which got HIV from a blood transfusion which was kept secret ’til 10 years after death

Image credits: photoalbumguy2


TIL that nature has evolved different species into crabs at least five separate times – a phenomenon known as Carcinisation

Image credits: harryrose122


TIL The prototype of the Rolls Royce Ghost was so quiet inside that it made test drivers sick. The engineers had to remove some of the noise isolating material, and create seats that vibrated at specific frequencies to introduce some noise into the interior.

Image credits: splityoassintwo


TIL in 1986 a Russian commercial pilot made a bet with the first officer that he could land blind with curtains over the cockpit windows. He lost the bet, crashing and killing 70 people

Image credits: TROLL_CALIBER


TIL studies show the reason why we “click” with certain people is due to people’s brain waves being sync in wavelengths called the alpha–mu band, or what scientists call brain-to-brain coupling, and mirror each other neurologically in terms of what they are focusing on.

Image credits: operator139


TIL the nurse,Caroline Hampton, helped popularize surgical gloves. She almost quit her job as a surgical nurse at John Hopkins due to severe hand eczema caused by surgical disinfectant until her boss bought her custom rubber gloves. Other staff members copied this and found they made work easier.

Image credits: dilettantedebrah


TIL of the Deep Lake Water Cooling System (DLWC), a natural cooling system that extracts cold water from deep within Lake Ontario, and then transfers it through a system of pipes and exchanges to cool downtown Toronto. Compared to a traditional air conditioning system, it uses up 75% less energy

Image credits: NorthNorthSalt


TIL if a camel rejects her new-born or there’s a need to adopt an orphaned calf, Mongol herders use a chanting ritual accompanied by fiddle or flute to coax her into accepting the calf. The camel mother may act aggressive initially, so the herders will change the melody depending on her behavior

Image credits: Brutal_Deluxe_


TIL a cancer treatment known as Dynamic Phototherapy has the side effect of giving humans a slight level of night vision. Under this treatment, the retina becomes able to process light at wavelengths higher than the visible light domain.

Image credits: The_Ry_Ry


TIL a park ranger sat down in his office on Rinca Island and was attacked by a Komodo dragon hiding under his desk. The cleaner had the left the door open the night before. The smell of blood attracted more dragons outside. The ranger was taken to the hospital and survived but he has nightmares.

Image credits: AwesomeFrito


TIL that the violin that was played as the Titanic sunk was rediscovered in an attic and auctioned off for $1.6 million in 2013.

Image credits: Realistic_Work_5552


TIL of Daniel Kish. Blind since the age of 13 months old, he taught himself to navigate by clicking his tongue and listening for echoes, similar to echolocation in bats. Kish and other researchers believe that echolocation produces images similar to sight.

Image credits: IphtashuFitz


TIL that the name George has the same root word as Geography and Geology, and means “Earth worker” or farmer.

Image credits: Thundermijo


TIL A woman put over a million miles on her Hyundai Elantra and was given a special badge and a brand new car

Image credits: icemage27


TIL of Margaret Thatcher’s ‘Britain Awake’ speech in 1976 where she stated the USSR was “bent on world domination”, had failed in economic & human terms, its only recourse to become a superpower was military means. Soviet newspapers dubbed her the “Iron Lady” which she adopted.

Image credits: MarineKingPrime_


TIL that in 2002, two airplanes collided in mid-air killing everyone aboard. Two years later, the air traffic controller was murdered as revenge.

Image credits: hailnaux


TIL that in 1908, Harriet Tubman opened the ‘Harriet Tubman Home for the Elderly’, a retirement home for indigent and aged African-Americans. Among the residents was Tubman herself, who was admitted in 1911, and would remain there until her death in 1913.

Image credits: AbathaCrispy


TIL: In 2019, researchers from Tel Aviv University successfully 3D-printed a human heart using a patient’s own cells. Biological materials were reportedly used to “completely match the immunological, cellular, biochemical, and anatomical properties of the patient”

Image credits: FerretNeuron


TIL 4 Spider-Man suits were stolen from Spider-Man back in 2002. The suits cost $50,000 USD to make and Sony offered $25,000 USD for their return. It lead to a 18 month investigation, and the suits were found in Los Angeles, New York, and Tokyo. It was stolen by a security guard who worked on set.

Image credits: ChaseChaserChased


TIL Ivory Coast’s Murielle Ahoure couldn’t find an Ivory Coast flag so she celebrated her 60m gold with Irish flag given to her by a spectator

Image credits: Zeehammer


TIL that every December 21, the inner chamber of Newgrange a prehistoric Irish monument that predates Stonehenge is illuminated for 18 minutes by the rising sun.

Image credits: InformalCommunity


TIL Dexter, the U.S. Navy’s very last working horse, was stationed in Philadelphia to haul trash, and upon his passing in 1968, he was buried with full military honors.

Image credits: The_Ry_Ry


TIL Meat Loaf’s “Bat Out of Hell” is the 4th best selling record in all of history, with only Michael Jackson’s Thriller, ACDC’s Back in Black and Whitney Houston’s Bodyguard soundtrack selling more.

Image credits: SillyCryptographer


TIL: During the Great Depression, banker Mark Welch Munroe convinced struggling families in Quincy, Florida to buy Coca-Cola shares that traded at 19 dollars. Later, the town became the single richest town per capita in the US with at least 67 millionaires.

Image credits: Leoz_13


TIL that it’s a tradition in Italy to watch the movie Trading Places on Christmas Eve, with millions tuning in every year.

Image credits: greyblacknavytan


TIL that the notion of a “white Christmas” was popularized by the writings of Charles Dickens, whose stories that depicted a snowy Christmas season were based on his childhood, which happened to be the coldest decade in England in over a century

Image credits: Ben-Stanley


TIL that Andrzej Sapkowski sold the rights to CD Projekt Red to create the Witcher video games for a lump sum of $9500

Image credits: StygianUnknown


TIL that former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt was a heavy smoker. He was well known for lighting up during TV interviews and talk shows. He was also charged with defying smoking bans. In 1981 he got a pacemaker. Despite these he died as the longest living chancellor at the age of 96.

Image credits: Lord-AG


TIL about Scott Tucker who set up illegal high interest payday loans in states that banned them. After getting caught, he tried to transfer ownership to Indian tribes who are exempt from payday laws. He is now serving 16 years in federal prison

Image credits: thenewyorkgod


TIL that Olympians can use the OLY lettering on any official documentation after their name much like when one gets a royal honor or PhD

Image credits: cestlavie_27


TIL That during WW2 Heinz invented a self heating soup can that would frequently explode.

Image credits: Ratherlargefeet


TIL that in 2009, French free diver Stéphane Mifsud held his breath underwater for 11 minutes and 35 seconds.

Image credits: MusicSole


TIL about Snap-dragon, a game Victorians played around Christmas. Raisins would be put in a shallow bowl filled with brandy, and the brandy would be lit on fire. Then players had to extract the raisins without burning their hands and then eat the brandy-soaked raisins on fire.

Image credits: CanadianW


TIl the US strategic petroleum reserves are stored in underground caverns carved out of salt. Salt does not react with the oil and is self-healing. The plastic behavior of salt will cause it to naturally close fractures or gaps and prevent any leakage.

Image credits: thenewyorkgod


TIL about the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre aka the Amritsar Incident where in 1919 the British Imperial army opened fire, without warning, on a peaceful gathering protesting the inhumanities of the colonialist government leading to thousand of deaths of unarmed men, women and children.

Image credits: mayank1193


TIL that in the 1950s, most American shoes stores used powerful x-ray machines as a sales gimmick that allowed customers to observe the fit of their feet inside shoes in real time. The machines often lacked adequate shielding and were commonly used to fit children’s shoes.

Image credits: a2soup


TIL that the majority of silent era films are irrevocably lost and that at least half of all sound films from 1927 to 1950 are lost

Image credits: upsidedownboris


TIL about Erich Hartmann, a WW2 German pilot who was the most successful fighter ace of all time. He was tried and convicted by the USSR after WW2 for destroying “expensive” Soviet aircraft and was sentenced to hard labor, which he refused to do. He was later exonerated of all charges by Russia.

Image credits: iwasomni


TIL about Roland the Farter, a medieval jester for King Henry II. Each Christmas he was obligated to perform a special fart for the kings court. He was compensated with a Manor and 30 acres of land.

Image credits: -Omegamart-


TIL that vanilla beans (like coffee beans) all taste differently based on their country or origin. Some taste like figs, others like cherries, some like licorice and all have a primary flavor of vanilla.

Image credits: zoinksfreddie


TIL Ray Bradbury wrote the first draft of Fahrenheit 451 on a typewriter in UCLA Library’s basement that cost 10 cents for 30 minutes. 9 days and $9.80 later he had a short story titled ‘ The Fireman’ that was later expanded into Fahrenheit 451

Image credits: SickChipmunk


TIL A type of eco burial is a mushroom suit, which digests your body after you die, and Luke Perry was buried in one.

Image credits: 22Bones


TIL about Stephane Breitwieser, an art thief who stole 1.4 billion dollars worth of art. He never sold any of the art, he was an avid art fan and hung them in his house

Image credits: Noah5510


TIL in 2014 An ancient virus called Pithovirus has “come back to life” after lying dormant for at least 30,000 years, scientists say. It was found frozen in a deep layer of the Siberian permafrost, but after it thawed it became infectious once again.

Image credits: Hectrekt


TIL in 1381 over 70,000 peasants from across England revolted against their lords, led by a farmer named Wat Tyler the ‘Peasant Army’ marched into London, sacking parts of the city and killing any wealthy elites they found

Image credits: Bloke22


TIL an American ship is a tourist attraction in Pyongyang, North Korea. Captured by NK forces in 1968, visitors to USS Pueblo are allowed to board the ship and see its secret code room and crew artifacts. Pueblo is the only ship of the US Navy on the commissioned roster currently held captive

Image credits: Brutal_Deluxe_


TIL that, as of 2010, Paul McCartney was making $400,000 to $600,000 a year from “Wonderful Christmastime”

Image credits: FX114


TIL that two years before he passed away from cancer, George Harrison was stabbed more than 40 times by an intruder who broke into his home and attacked him with a kitchen knife.

Image credits: Kinibo


TIL about En Passant in chess where you can capture a pawn that has moved two squares from its starting square as if it had advanced only one square.

Image credits: Tactical_Contact


TIL that the Duff Beer logo is censored in French broadcasts of The Simpsons due to France’s strict laws regarding alcohol product placement. A German brewery makes Duff Beer using the logo from The Simpsons, making it retroactive product placement.

Image credits: Swampyfeet


TIL whale vomit is actually used in perfumes to make scents last longer. It’s called ambergris, and is a product of whale bile duct juices and undigested squid beaks. The hard waxy solid that’s regurgitated floats and if you’re lucky to find a piece, it costs tens of thousands per kilogramme.

Image credits: nasilemak4ever


TIL there was a rumor in the 1960s that Japan made products in a town called Usa which were then exported to the US with the label “MADE IN USA” to make them appear as if they were made in the US.

Image credits: operatingsys2016


TIL that drinking caffeine-containing beverages doesn’t cause fluid loss in excess of the volume ingested.

Image credits: printflour


TIL that hundred thousands of kudzu plants were planted in the US South to fight erosion. The vine can spread over one foot a day and spread through runners, rhizomes and by vines that root at the nodes. It is now overtaking entire areas, outcompeting all other plants including trees

Image credits: PresidentSpanky


TIL super weaners are elephant seal pups who, in an attempt to slow their weaning, will steal milk from nursing female elephant seals (“milk thieves”), or be adopted by another nursing mother elephant seal (“double mother-sucklers”). Super weaners are usually male, and may weigh up to 600 lbs.

Image credits: crazy_gnome


TIL In 1956 a trader named Vince Kosuga cornered the national onion market, purchasing 30 million lbs. After dumping his stockpile it led to a public outcry, Congress passed the Onion Futures Act. As a result onions are the only commodity where the trading of futures contracts are banned.

Image credits: UndyingCorn


TIL that smoking dead scorpions to get high is a practice in certain regions of Pakistan, with most users mixing dried dead scorpions with either tobacco or hash, and that the high lasts for almost 10 hours.

Image credits: meme_stealing_bandit


TIL a schoolboy allergic to cheese died after a student threw a piece of cheese at him.

Image credits: iceTreamTruck


TIL that Jill Dando, presenter for the BBC “unsolved crime” series Crimewatch, was murdered during her time as host for the show. Crimewatch reconstructed her murder and a suspect was convicted. However, the conviction was overturned, he was acquitted upon retrial, and the case remains unsolved.

Image credits: ez2remembercpl


TIL That the North Pole doesn’t have any landmasses. It’s only ice floating on water.

Image credits: SuperRuffe


TIL the 1959 movie Some Like It Hot featured LQBTQ themes, including cross dressing, and as a result was produced without approval from the Hays Code, a popular set of self-censorship guidelines used for decades in Hollywood. The success of the film is one of the reasons behind its abandonment.

Image credits: photoalbumguy2


TIL that putting live birds in a pie was a form of entertainment in the 16th century. An Italian recipe book of 1549 described how to make a pie so that the birds survived and ‘flew out’ when it was cut open. This practice was also found in 1725 in a cookery book by John Nott.

Image credits: Caravansaray


TIL Dissecting human bodies was taboo in antiquity up to the 16th century. The only people to systematically do it before then were Erasistratus and Herophilus from Alexandria. Their work pioneered medicine and anatomy but was criticized by contemporaries, especially their practice of vivisections

Image credits: Ainsley-Sorsby


TIL that Die Hard, much debated over whether or not it is a Christmas film, was first released to cinemas in the middle of July 1988. Its distributor, 20th Century Fox, had greenlit the screenplay in June 1987 because they needed a summer blockbuster for the following year.

Image credits: InmostJoy


TIL that the Aztecs modeled their capital on the nearby ruins of Teotihuacan, regarding it as “the city of gods”. It was one of the largest cities in pre-Columbian America and in the world at the time, and it was abandoned about a thousand years before the Spanish came to Mexico.

Image credits: nmxt


TIL pineapples burn your mouth because it contains bromelain, which breaks down the proteins in your mouth

Image credits: Dodoboomer


TIL The main accusers of The Salem Witch Trials were a group of girls and young women from Salem Village who are often referred to as the “afflicted girls” because they claimed that witches were afflicting them by attacking them and making them ill.

Image credits: ohdamnyourarat


TIL That due to falling hamburger sales on Fridays. A McDonalds Franchise owner created the Filet-O-Fish sandwich to meet the demands of Western Christians who observed a “No Meat” Friday.

Image credits: muadeebpaul


TIL – Watergate was not just a break-in but there were 69 people indicted and 48 people—many of them top Nixon administration officials—convicted.

Image credits: paulfromatlanta


TIL that Disney had planned on making films based on the video games “Mega Man” and “The Sims,” but canceled those plans after Assassin’s Creed flopped at the box office.

Image credits: WouldbeWanderer


TIL actress Olivia Wilde, born Olivia Jane Cockburn, chose to change her last name in high school to honor her relatives who were authors who used pen names. She chose Irish author Oscar Wilde and she spent her childhood summers in Ireland and studied acting in college in Ireland as well.

Image credits: photoalbumguy2

Source: boredpanda.com

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