77 Fascinating Facts To Share With Your Family And Friends From ‘Today I Learned’ (New Facts)

“You live and you learn,” as a saying, remains undefeated. In fact, it’s hard not to, unless you really really enjoy living under rocks, and even there you might discover all sorts of new bugs. Fortunately, most of us actually enjoy discovering more about the world we live in. 

The “Today I Learned” internet group is a gold mine for anyone who enjoys bite-sized nuggets of knowledge. Historical trivia, little-known facts, and cool science details all feature, so get comfortable as you scroll through, upvote your favorite new facts and be sure to comment your thoughts below. 

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TIL Emma Gibson, frozen as an embryo in 1992, was born in 2017 to a mother born in 1991.

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TIL the biohazard symbol didn’t symbolize or refer to anything originally. It’s simply a shape that was picked as being symmetrical, hard to mistake, and easy to remember

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TIL; “Hello” came to prominence as a greeting with the invention of the telephone

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Despite their ubiquity, most people never stop to ask what makes a fact fun. Most of the time, particularly in school, facts were everything but fun, obnoxious, confusing, and on the test, which never really makes anything enjoyable. Even now, most people only enjoy trivia related to topics they are interested in and even then, within limits. 

But the real, original fun facts come from chewing gum, where self-proclaimed tidbits of information would be printed inside the wrapper starting from the 1970s. How fun or not these facts were is a question each person has to answer themselves, but in the pre-smartphone era perhaps entertaining someone, even for a few seconds, was easier. Regardless, the idea, much like gum, stuck and spread to other industries. 


TIL toilet paper wasn’t “splinter free” until the 1930’s

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TIL that when Will Smith was 12 his grandmother found his notebook of rap lyrics with curse words and wrote a note in it telling Will that truly smart people do not have to curse when expressing themselves. As a result he resolved not to use profanity in his music.

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TIL that Edward Teller, the physicist who advocated for Oppenheimer to lose his security clearance suggested using nukes to create artifical harbours, fracking oil and preventing hurricanes

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As with most things in the world, even the word trivia has some degree of trivia about it. The ancient Roman “triviae” described a place or intersection where a road split into two new roads. Naturally, such areas would get a lot of traffic and become “public spaces” which morphed into “commonplace,” as there were no doubt many “triviae” dotted across that road-building empire. 


TIL due to efficient recycling processes, 75% of all aluminium produced world wide is still in use today

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TIL That the Pink Panther cartoon show was created due to the success of the character in the opening credits of the Pink Panther films

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TIL Women’s shirt buttons are on the left-hand side because wealthy women used to be dressed by their maids and it was easier to access.

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These days, trivial is still used to describe things that really aren’t that complicated. The connection between “trivial” and “trivia” comes from Medieval higher education, where “common” subjects, grammar, rhetoric, and logic, were referred to as “the trivia.” Naturally, a student at the time would no doubt have to memorize all sorts of “trivia,” a label that seems to have stuck.  


TIL Carrie Fisher’s ashes were placed inside a giant Prozac Pill

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TIL the humming noise produced by electricity is a different tone in Europe than it is in the US. The American electrical hum is a B-flat whereas the European electrical hum is a G

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TIL that the original Apollo mission was concerned about losing the astronauts and capsule to quicksand on the Moon

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However, about seven hundred years would pass between Medieval students and trivia as we see it today. In 1902, British aphorist Logan Pearsall Smith wrote “I know too much; I have stuffed too many of the facts of History and Science into my intellectuals. My eyes have grown dim over books; believing in geological periods, cave dwellers, Chinese Dynasties, and the fixed stars has prematurely aged me,” reflecting the overwhelming amount of knowledge he had accumulated. 


TIL Arsenic was known to be dangerous and addictive in the Victorian Era, but small amounts in the form of edible wafers were thought to not only be safe but to help one achieve that sought-after pale complexion, giving the skin an “indescribable brilliancy” according to advertisements.

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TIL that the Great Sphinx of Giza’s nose has been broken since at least the 1400s. A 15th century writer blamed the incident on the actions of a zealot in 1378. Archaeological evidence indicates the nose was broken off by rods or chisels.

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TIL that Grizzly bears in Yellowstone help manufacturers to test if their products are really bear-resistant. If a bear were able to get in a container within that 60 minutes, then the manufacturer would have to go back to the drawing board.

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But it wouldn’t be until the 1960s that this idea would really take off as a means of general entertainment. A game titled “Trivia” was published on February 5, 1965, by Ed Goodgold, who also started some of the first contests with the help of Dan Carlinsky. As it always happens, the year, their names, and general information about “trivia” have all become trivia and fun facts. 


TIL Charles Manson hypnotized Danny Trejo when they were in jail together.

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TIL Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading medical cause of death in college athletes, especially among males, African Americans, and basketball players

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TIL that the Soviet space probe Phobos-2, , designed to explore Mars’ moons, failed because 2 of its 3 computers died, and since it used a system where the computers voted on any decision, the 1 healthy computer was unable to outvote 2 dead computers

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Til Americans have accumulated $21 billion Worth of unused gift cards. Almost 2/3 of people have a card and half of those will likely lose the gift card before using it

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TIL that priest Father Damien worked in Hawaii for 16 years, providing comfort to the lepers. He built homes and he treated lepers with his medical expertise. He prayed and comforted the dying. He later contracted leprosy but continued to give to the people and helped improve an orphanage.

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TIL playing just one day in the MLB gives players lifetime healthcare coverage while 43 days secures them an annual $34,000 pension.

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TIL that Brooke Greenberg, who died in 2013, had ‘Syndrome X’, which made her remain physically and cognitively similar to a 1 year old, despite being 20 years old at the time of her death.

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TIL that Adolphe Sax, the son of instrument designers, was prone to accidents. As a kid, he fell from a 3-story height, drank acidic water he mistook for milk, swallowed a pin, fell into a frying pan, was burned in a gunpowder blast, and fell into a river. He grew up to invent the saxophone.

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TIL that the least obese country in the world is Vietnam. Its obesity rates stands at only 2.1%, which is lower than Uganda (5.3%), and significantly lower than the U.S. (41.9%)

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TIL the U.S state of Rhode Island changed its name in 2020, and was the first state to ever do so

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TIL that “Pad kid poured curd pulled cod” has been dubbed the English language’s hardest tongue twister in 2018 by researchers at MIT, dethroning the previous champ “The sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick.”

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TIL 98% of passengers involved in vehicle crashes in Dubai were not wearing seat belts

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TIL with the exception of three Canadian cities, Elvis Presley never performed outside the United States

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TIL that the xxx rating in america has never actually been recognised by the mpaa, and it was invented by adult movie studios to imply their films were more hardcore than normal x-rated films


TIL that about a million traffic cones are stolen in the U.S. each year


TIL Song titles can’t be copyrighted. You can legally title a song “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Stairway to Heaven”, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” or any other already used song title.


TIL that Japanese great tits have a unique alarm call for crows, martens and snakes


TIL the Eiffel Tower has been painted nearly twenty times. It’s been shades of red, yellow, brown, and grey, and has never been painted black.


TIL that Marvin the Martian only made five appearances in the original run of Looney Tunes cartoons.


TIL about the “resource curse”, the phenomenon of countries with an abundance of natural resources having less economic growth, less democracy, and less development than countries with fewer resources.


TIL The Goonies director Richard Donner was eager to return home to Hawaii after a hectic shoot with a cast of kids. He said “I love ’em to pieces, but I can’t stand it anymore!’ After shooting wrapped Steven Spielberg put the whole cast on a plane to Hawaii to surprise Donner before he got home.


TIL: Actor, and former WWE superstar Dave Bautista would hide inhalers under wrestling rings, to deal with his asthma, during matches.


TIL at least one of the victims of the Vesuvius Eruption in 79 C.E was found with a vitrified brain. In other words their brain was turned to glass due to the extreme heat.


TIL “The Bladerunner” is a medical crime story that has absolutely nothing to do with the movie Blade Runner. The movie is based on a novel called “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” The producers just liked the name “Blade Runner” and went with it.


TIL just two of Dolly Parton’s songs (“Jolene” and “9 to 5”) gross about $6 million to $8 million per year in royalties


TIL that humans have been wearing clothes for at least 40,000 years. We know this because human body lice can’t survive outside of clothes, and genetic evidence shows that they diverged from head lice 40,000-170,000 years ago.


TIL Buzz Aldrin’s mother’s maiden name was Moon.


TIL that while the use of Lemons as a cure for Scurvy was published in 1753 the British Admiralty refused to use it until 1793, while the Merchant Navy ignored the discovery all the way up to 1867.


TIL that in 1942, Manhattan Project needed 5000 tons of copper, which was in short supply; to avoid delays, it borrowed 430 million troy ounces of silver from US Treasury to be used in magnets. The silver was fully returned by 1970 as the equipment was decommisioned.


TIL in the original sushi type dish, the rice was only to preserve the fish, and was discarded uneaten


TIL; There were no women special agents in the FBI from 1928 to 1972, as J Edgar Hoover banned the recruitment of women in 1924 and eased out the 3 women agents serving at that time


TIL The United States came to the aid of North Korea to fend off a pirate attack in 2007 off the coast of Mogadishu


TIL The Spanish Empire developed a long term plan to conquer China in the 16th century, a crucial part of the plan was to encourage mixed marriages between natives and settlers to turn China Hispanic and so easier to rule over.

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TIL that Ancient Romans added lead syrup to wine to improve color, flavor, and to prevent fermentation. The average Roman aristocrat consumed up to 250μg of lead daily. Some Roman texts implicate chronic lead poisoning in the mental deterioration of Nero, Caligula, and other Roman Emperors.

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TIL Canada developed the Ross Rifle because the British wouldn’t give them Lee-Enfields during the 1899–1902 South African War. After the war the British urged Canada to switch to the Lee-Enfield but Canada refused. Ross Rifle proved ineffective in WW1 and Canada switched to the Lee-Enfield in 1916.


TIL a study on cocaine use challenged the belief that the drug induces weight loss by suppressing appetite. Cocaine users ate way more food than non-users yet this didn’t increase their fat mass and they didn’t gain weight. Researchers concluded that cocaine reduces the body’s ability to store fat.


TIL In 1978, a bolt got lodged in a bottlenose dolphin’s (named Mr. Spock) throat during tank maintenance. With surgery ruled out as too dangerous, Northen CA theme park, Marine World, reached out to the Golden State Warriors 6’9″ center, Clifford Ray, to use his long arm to retrieve the bolt.


TIL that Bud Light’s big marketing push in the 80s was Spuds Mackenzie, a dog presented as “a cool dude”. Spuds was played by a female dog, named Honey Tree Evil Eye.


TIL Crows and other bird species will coat themselves in ants. Researchers aren’t sure why birds do this, but have called the process “anting”.


TIL that in 2005, a Ph.D. student at the University of British Columbia nominated a fire hydrant to run for the Board of Governors (and even acted as its “translator”). The hydrant pulled in 900 votes, missing a seat by six ballots.


TIL In 1973, Keith Moon, the drummer for rock band The Who, passed out in the middle of a show. A random guy from the audience named Scot Halpin walked on stage and filled in on drums to finish the show.


TIL: Every year, about 30,000 people in the US lose a finger. The two most common causes: doors and power tools.


TIL that in 2019 the highest-paid public employee, in 40 out of the 50 United States, was a college football or basketball coach.


TIL Blur’s “Song 2” was intended to be a joke on their record company. To their surprise, the executives loved the song, released it as a single and it became one of their biggest hits.


TIL Lego almost went bankrupt in the 1990s but was saved in part by the unexpected success of Bionicle.


TIL Teófilo Stevenson, widely regarded as the greatest Olympic boxer of all time, was offered a million dollars to defect from Cuba and fight heavyweight world champion Muhammad Ali. Stevenson declined, asking “What is one million dollars compared to the love of eight million Cubans?”


TIL the most dangerous animal in australia is… horses! 7.7 deaths a year. Followed by cows then dogs


TIL the name “Great Sphinx” was given roughly 2,000 years post-construction. The original name given by its creators remains a mystery, as no inscriptions detailing its construction or purpose have been found.


TIL that bodies left in wet, cold conditions (often large bodies of water) go through a process of saponification, and fat deposits turn into soap.


TIL that the place Julius Caesar was murdered, “Torre Argentina,” is now a cat sanctuary.


TIL Irish-American dancer and Michael Flatley’s shows have grossed over a $1 Billion. He was forced to retire in ’16 due to an irreparably damaged spine, injured left knee, a torn right calf, two ruptured Achilles tendons, a fractured rib, and a recurring broken bone in his foot.


TIL Of Xenophon, who was described as the greatest general that preceded Alexander the Great. Xenophon was the father of retreating and successfully led his 10,000 men out of Persia following betrayal and constant attacks by the Persians.


TIL the meerkat is the world’s most murderous mammal with 20% of all meerkats being violently killed by another meerkat, most commonly their mother, sister, or aunt


TIL during WWII, German pilot Walter Nowotny managed to shoot down ten planes in one day twice and five planes in one day 17 times.


TIL that the band Len was given $100k to film the music video for “Steal My Sunshine.” They flew two dozen friends to Florida and broke their hotel elevator loading all their alcohol into it. Then they just filmed themselves relaxing and riding around in the afternoons when the hangovers wore off.


Today I learned that, after Phil Hartman’s death, the Simpsons staff considered casting Harry Shearer as the replacement voice actor for the character Lionel Hutz, but decided to retire Lionel Hutz instead.


TIL that Lake Superior holds 10% of the world’s surface fresh water


TIL health professionals are more likely than the public at large to buy generic painkillers, because they realize that they’re just as effective as name brands


TIL the T.V. show “The Simpsons” was originally meant to be set in Springfield, Oregon. The show’s creator Matt Groening decided he liked the idea of a town that is ambiguous about its state, so he didn’t keep that aspect of the lore.


TIL; Flushing a toilet with the lid down could reduce airborne particles by as much as 50%.


TIL that the town of Liberal Kansas was named after a local landowner who was called a liberal because he was very generous with his well water during droughts.


TIL former US President John Tyler joined the Confederates in the American Civil War. Tyler’s death was the only one in presidential history not to be officially recognized in Washington, because of his allegiance to the Confederate States of America.
Source: boredpanda.com

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