‘Today I Learned’: 111 Interesting Things People Didn’t Learn At School (New Pics)

Like Bored Panda showed in its previous article, the subreddit Today I Learned is the place to go to get your daily dose of “Oh, I didn’t know that, how cool!” There, people are constantly sharing random but interesting facts they have just discovered, often including relevant pictures too. From a guy who rode his bicycle to Nepal, climbed Mount Everest alone without Sherpas or bottled oxygen, and then cycled back to Sweden again, to research that analyzed the birthdays of 20 million husbands and wives in England and Wales and failed to reveal any evidence of attraction or compatibility between people of particular star signs—they might not be included in textbooks, but they certainly can broaden your understanding of the world. Continue scrolling and check out some of the most popular recent posts on the subreddit.


TIL that A man named Göran Kropp from Sweden rode his bicycle to Nepal, climbed Mount Everest alone without Sherpas or bottled oxygen, then cycled back to Sweden again.

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TIL that in September 1945 Australian journalist Wilfred Burchett defied US restrictions and snuck into Hiroshima by train. Burchett was the first to tell the world about the effects of radiation on the victims of the bombing, which the US denied both before and after his story was published.

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TIL firefighters that responded to last year’s fire at Notre Dame knew which works of art to rescue and in which order following a protocol developed for such a disaster.

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TIL that Suzanne Somers was fired from ‘Three’s Company’ for asking for equal pay with her male co-star, John Ritter, who was earning five times her salary.

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TIL that when filming the TV series “The Mandalorian” in 2019, the crew ran out of Stormtrooper costumes, so they reached out to the local branch of a Star Wars fan organisation, whose members came to join the filming in their own home-made Stormtrooper costumes

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TIL, That since domestication, dogs’ eyes have changed. Dogs now have eye muscles that make them more expressive and infant-like. These same muscles are absent in wolves, their closest relative.

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TIL after losing her position in her university’s anatomy department in 1938, Rita Levi-Montalcini set up a laboratory in her bedroom and studied the growth of nerve fibers in chicken embryos. This work led to her discovery of nerve growth factor, for which she was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1986.

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TIL Honeybee venom rapidly kills aggressive breast cancer cells and when the venom’s main component is combined with existing chemotherapy drugs, it is extremely efficient at reducing tumour growth in mice.

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TIL: A research that analyzed the birthdays of all 20 million husbands and wives in England and Wales failed to reveal any evidence of attraction or compatibility between people of particular star signs.

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TIL that paper books still outsells e-books by a huge margin, even among young people.

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TIL: there are otter gangs in Singapore who fight for territories. It is well followed by the locals and the press. Each gangs has names and reputations.

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TIL according to Paul McCartney there is no mystery to who broke up the Beatles. John Lennon did. He called a meeting and said he was leaving the band.

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TIL Frank Sinatra died the night of Seinfeld’s finale and his ambulance made it to the hospital in record time because traffic was so light due to everyone watching the show.

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TIL African elephants often bury dead or sleeping humans or aid them when they are hurt. One woman fell asleep under a tree and woke to find an elephant standing over her gently touching her. As other elephants arrived they buried her under branches. She was found the next morning unharmed.

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TIL That Sri Lanka only became an island in 1480, when a cyclone destroyed the land bridge connecting it to mainland India.

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TIL that the Soviets realised that the Americans and British were developing an atomic bomb when they noticed that Western scientists had ceased publishing papers on nuclear science. Correctly guessing that nuclear science had been made a state secret, they began their own program

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TIL a Guatemalan boy saw soldiers come into his village and murder his parents along with the rest of the village, was adopted and raised in an abusive household by one of the men who massacred the villagers, and later gave testimony that sent the killer to prison with a 6,000 year sentence

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TIL David Bowie was punched in the left eye as a teenager, leaving it permanently dilated. He later thanked his friend, George Underwood, for doing so, saying it gave him “a kind of mystique.” This mystique helped enhance some of Bowie’s most iconic images.

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TIL that Kathy Sullivan, the first American woman to space walk, became in June 2020 the only person to have visited both space and the deepest place on Earth, the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench.

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TIL that when Stephen Hawking was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in 1963, doctors predicted he had about 2 and a half years to live. Fortunately, the disease progressed much slower that the doctors expected, and Hawking lived up to 76 years before dying in March 14, 2018.

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TIL during the winter, people spend more time indoors with the windows sealed, so they are more likely to breathe the same air as someone who has the flu and thus contract the virus.Days are shorter during the winter, and lack of sunlight leads to low levels of vitamin D decreasing immunity to virus

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TIL that a giant tortoise species was believed to be extinct for 113 years, only for it to be discovered again in Galápagos, 2019.

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TIL that In 2018, A hacker broke into people’s routers (100,000 of them) and patched their vulnerabilities up so that they couldn’t be abused by other hackers.

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TIL: Jim Carey used to get to do stand up in his 7th grade class. He used humor to fit in and his teacher made a deal with him – if he was quiet all day he would get 15 minutes at the end of class where he did stand up using material from life, the class, or doing impressions of faculty members.

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TIL about the symbiotic relationship of wolves and ravens. Ravens will lead wolves to prey so that they can take a portion of the leftovers, play games of tail chasing with each other, and develop individual friendships.

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TIL Curry was introduced to Japan by the British. The British brought curry from India back to Britain and introduced it to Japan after it ended its policy of self-isolation. Curry in Japan is categorized as a Western dish

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TIL in 1896, a bubоnіc plаgue epіdеmic struck Bombay, and the government asked Waldemar Haffkine, developer of the first chоlera vаccіne, to help. After 3 months of persistent work (1 assistant had a nervous breakdown and 2 others quit), a vаccіne was ready, with Haffkine tеsting it on himself first

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TIL Ketamine was given to boys trapped in a cave to keep them unconscious & to prevent them from panicking during their six day rescue

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TIL that legendary Hollywood director Martin Scorsese, best known for his violent gangster films, has used the same female editor, Thelma Schoonmaker, on every movie he’s made since Raging Bull in 1980.

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TIL Rome has major struggles with expanding the subway system in the city because diggers keep running into major archaeological finds. The Metro C expansion has been in the works for the past 40 years and has unearthed Hadrian’s Athenaeum, a military complex, and an amphitheater.

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TIL James Earl Jones decided to go uncredited for his role of voicing Darth Vader because he considered David Prowse’s performance inside the Vader costume to be the more defining of the two performances.

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TIL after the 2011 earthquake in Japan, members of the yakuza gathered supplies and gave food to the victims. Some even opened their offices to people who couldn’t return home. Some people felt like their response was much quicker and efficient than that of the government.

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TIL a man was attacked for having a beard in 1830, then imprisoned for defending himself. He died in 1873, by which time beards were fashionable. His tombstone reads, “Persecuted for wearing the beard.”

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TIL that Kyrgyzstan is more distant from the ocean than any other nation. At a minimum of 1620 miles from any ocean, it is the most land-locked state in the world

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TIL that Jurassic Park’s visual effects were so groundbreaking to filmmakers that it inspired Peter Jackson to begin work on Lord of the Rings, George Lucas to start on the Star Wars prequels, and Stanley Kubrick to invest in his pet project, A.I (Artificial Intelligence). Jurassic Park (film)

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TIL: Tim Burton did not direct “Tim Burton’s A Nightmare Before Christmas.” Henry Selick, director of “James and the Giant Peach” and “Coraline,” carried out the task, due to Burton having prior commitments to “Batman Returns.”

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TIL in 1749 a stage show was advertised a where a man would squeeze his body into a wine bottle. It was a bet between the Duke of Portland and the Earl of Chesterfield that they could advertise something impossible and get fools to pay for it. The sold out theatre rioted when no performer showed up.

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TIL a field of seagrass converts carbon dioxide to oxygen at over 8x the rate of a forest the same size.

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TIL Burger King has the rights to use its name throughout the entire United States, with the exception of a 20-mile radius surrounding a totally unrelated restaurant, also called Burger King, in Mattoon, Illinois.

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TIL that for a while in the 2010s, you could rent the country of Liechtenstein on Airbnb for $70,000 a night. This included hanging out with the monarch, temporary currency, the ability to rename streets and a key to country.

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TIL in 1935, in a newly built Sydney aquarium, a tiger shark vomited a human arm that belonged to a man that went missing recently, which sparked a murder mystery when it was discovered the arm was severed with a knife instead of being bitten off.

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TIL In 1913, The Daily Mail suspected its competitor The Daily Standard was copying its news stories. The Daily Mail published a hoax article claiming the SS Waratah had been discovered in Antarctica. The Daily Standard also published the story and added a statement from the harbourmaster

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TIL after Marcelo Bielsa became manager of Leeds United FC, he found out that the average fan had to work 3 hours to pay for a match ticket. He called his players together and made them pick up litter from around the training ground for 3 hours, to appreciate how the fans laboured for their passion

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TIL that when Die Hard was finally made, Bruce Willis was mostly known for TV. His $5 million fee was seen as a huge risk. The film ended up taking at least $140 million.

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TIL Mr. Rogers loved to fart in public to amuse his wife when they attended boring parties or gatherings. According to Joanne Rogers, “He would just raise one cheek and he would look at me and smile.” She also said Rogers enjoyed listening to her tell dirty jokes

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TIL of the Inughuit of northwest Greenland, the world’s northernmost people. When contact was made in 1818 they had been isolated for several hundred years and were completely unaware of the existence of other humans.

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TIL a South African farmer rescued a baby hippo from a flood and gave it a home. The farmer fed him, brushed his teeth and helped him. The farmer was found dead with severe bite marks from the hippo and his body submerged in the river where he rescued the hippo 6 years earlier

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TIL Macy’s Department Store declined to be featured in the movie “Elf” because they didn’t like the idea that there was a fake Santa working there and felt it would blow the illusion for kids.

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TIL that Tolkien wrote yearly letters to his children as if they were from Father Christmas. They started off as simple Happy Christmas letters but grew more complex including a polar bear sidekick, the man on the moon, goblins, snow-elves, pictures, and he even developed an Arktik language.

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TIL Billy Bob Thornton did get drunk for scenes in Bad Santa. In the escalator fall scene Thornton actually passed out after drinking 3 glasses of red wine for breakfast followed by vodkas and cranberry juice then a few Bud Lights.

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TIL Elvis’s autopsy revealed morphine, Demerol, chlorpheniramine, Placidyl, Valium, codeine, Ethinamate, quaaludes; an unidentified barbiturate, diazepam, Amytal, Nembutal, Carbrital, Sinutab, Elavil, Avenal, and Valmid.

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TIL in the sea between Australia and New Zealand, there’s an island taller than it is wide. Ball’s Pyramid only measures 300m across, yet peaks at 562m in elevation.

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TIL in nightclubs in Ireland in the 80’s & 90’s the music had to be turned off and lights turned on half ways through the night because the nightclub had to serve a substantial meal by law so the clubs could keep their alcohol licence

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TIL George Clooney purchased a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig named Max as a gift for then girlfriend, actress Kelly Preston. When their relationship ended, Clooney kept the pig for an additional 18 years until Max died in 2006. He has jokingly referred to Max as the longest relationship he had ever had

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TIL Tchaikovsky had a patron who gave him enough money to quit his job and become a full-time composer, on the condition that they never meet in person.

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TIL Edgar Allen Poe died mysteriously after having been missing for six days. Though still alive when he was finally found, he was wearing someone else’s cheap clothes and not coherent enough to tell where he’d been. He had disappeared en route to his own wedding.

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TIL that Jason Paige, the singer of the original Pokémon Theme, didn’t expect the song to become popular and knew nothing about the franchise when he recorded it. He considers the song to be a relatively minor part of his career, as he has worked with Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, and Frankie Valli.

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TIL that the Japanese, other than nobles or samurai class families, did not have surnames until 1868, when the government required commoners to adopt surnames. Names were chosen based on locations, occupations, or simply were made up, explaining the diversity in Japanese surnames (100,000+ present).

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TIL President Kennedy was prescribed a rocking chair for back pain. He found one he liked so much he bought 14 copies for the Oval Office, Camp David, Air Force One, and homes of his family. He also gifted them to heads of state.

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TIL a woman sued a TV weatherman after he predicted a sunny day, causing her to go out lightly dressed – and when it turned stormy, she caught the flu, missed 4 days’ work, spent $38 on medication, and suffered stress. The case was settled out of cоurt for $1000, and the weatherman apologised to her

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TIL Lillian Brown, the makeup artist of nine US presidents, stopped Richard Nixon’s sobbing before he was about to go on national television to announce his resignation by telling him a funny story so that his makeup wouldn’t be ruined.

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TIL Dave Thomas named the hamburger chain “Wendy’s” after his daughter Melinda. Wendy was actually born Melinda Lou Thomas but her siblings had difficulty pronouncing her name and called her “Wenda.” Thus, the nickname Wendy was born.

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TIL the 1947 classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” was a box-office flop, and didn’t become popular until the late 70’s when its copyright expired and TV channels could play it for free.

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TIL [in 1926] Overcome with grief after the death of his wife, famed sharp shooter Annie Oakley, Francis Butler refused to eat and died of starvation 18 days later at the age of 78.

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TIL about Hannah Sabata, a 19 year old Nebraska woman who stole $6000 from a bank in 2012. After the crime she immediately posted a video to YouTube titled “Chick Bank Robber” where she held bundles of cash up to the camera and bragged about what she’d done. She was caught the same day.

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TIL why Five Guys gives extra fries at the bottom of the bag. They do it so the guests think they are getting a good deal. However, the extra fries are already factored into the menu price. Founder Jerry Murrell also says it is better for customers to feel that their serving of fries was too large.

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TIL that English cricket great Denis Compton was renowned for his absent-mindedness. He once arrived at a match without his kitbag, so he used an antique bat from the stadium’s museum; and during a major celebration in honour of his 70th birthday, his mother rang, telling him that he was only 69

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TIL that Jamie Foxx got the stage name of Jamie when he was starting out in doing stand up comedy and found out that female comedians usually got called up first on stage to perform. By choosing a more feminine sounding name, he tricked the promoters into putting him higher in the performing order.

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TIL that Eratosthenes, a Greek mathematician and astronomer (276 BC), measured of Earth’s circumference by using the shadow angles from the sun in two locations. He calculated it was 39,375 km, which is 1.4% less than the real number of 40,076 km

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TIL scientists developed an experimental “universal treatment” for allergies. While still being tested, it works by wrapping allergens in a nanoparticle which sneaks it past the immune system. This helps the body understand it to be harmless. They so far successfully cured mice with egg allergies.

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TIL when actor Nick Frost (Cornetto Trilogy) was young his parents’ business tanked. They had to move into a neighbours’ home and his mother suffered a stroke from stress. Nick dropped out of school and worked to support his family. He was just working as a waiter when Simon Pegg cast him in Spaced.

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TIL the reason snow is able to absorb sound is because it is porous. Snowflakes are six-sided crystals, and they are filled with open spaces.Those spaces absorb sound waves, creating a quieting effect over a blanket of snow.

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TIL the Make-a-Wish Foundation granted a child to visit the set of Thor: Ragnarok. When Thor sees Hulk enter the arena on Sakaar, the child said Thor should say “He’s a friend from work!”

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CIA revealed a “heart attack” gun in 1975. A battery operated gun which fired a dart of frozen water & shellfish toxin. Once inside the body it would melt leaving only a small red mark on the victim where it entered. The official cause of death would always be a heart attack.

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TIL, the Brussel sprouts grown today taste better because they are genetically different. In the 1990’s a Dutch research identified heirloom varieties that are less bitter and bred them to be tastier and have a higher yield.

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TIL a study from Yale found that kids who watched ‘Mr. Rogers Neighborhood’ retained more information than children who watched ‘Sesame Street.’ They also had a higher ‘tolerance of delay’, meaning they were more patient

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TIL Zach Galifianakis had a two-week trial run as a writer on “SNL” before being let go. He wrote a sketch with Will Ferrell being the bodyguard of Britney Spears’s belly button that bombed so bad in the writer’s room that Tina Fey put her hand on his shoulder to comfort him.

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TIL that there are no Wendy’s in Europe due to a local Dutch snackbar owner owning the Wendy’s trademark in Europe. They have been in a legal battle for years and Dutch courts side with the snackbar every time.

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TIL There’s a natural phenomenon known as “thundersnow”, which happens when thunderstorms form in wintry conditions, giving rise to heavy downpours of snow, thunder and lightning.

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TIL Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) was a dirt poor Scottish kid who immigrated to the U.S. where he became the richest man in the world. He gave away $350 million, nearly 90 percent of the fortune he accumulated through the railroad and steel industries.

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TIL Carrie Fisher was a highly regarded Script Doctor; someone who does uncredited rewrites on screenplays. She did rewrites on Hook, Lethal Weapon 3 and The Wedding Singer among many others

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TIL That Milhouse from the Simpsons was named after U.S president Richard Milhous Nixon. The name was the most “unfortunate name Matt Groening could think of for a child”. Later in the series, it was also revealed that Milhouse’s middle name was Mussolini

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TIL in 1714, 2 gunships fought for 14 hours, before one ran out of ammunition. The captain messaged his opponent, thanking him for a fine duel, and asking for more ammunition, so that the fight could continue. His opponent refused, but they then agreed to sail away in opposite directions.

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TIL Not long after Julius Caesar was assassinated, a comet shone for seven successive days. This signified Julius Caesar’s ascension to Godhood, and propaganda for Caesar’s nephew. The comet was described as: “To make that soul a star that burns forever, Above the Forum and the gates of Rome.”

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TIL about “Myst Island” a proposed theme park at Disney World. A limited number of guests would get ferried to an 11-acre island designed like Myst. They’d spend hours there, exploring areas and discovering clues non-linearly. Theoretically, no 2 guests would have the same adventure.

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TIL: Movile Cave is an ancient cave that had been sealed off for over 5.5 million years in Romania. It contains an endemic ecosystem based completely on chemosynthesis rather than photosynthesis. To date over 69 unique species of flora and fauna have been discovered.

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TIL:In January 1960, white jazz pianist Dave Brubeck canceled a twenty-five-date tour of colleges and universities across the American South after twenty-two schools had refused to allow his black bassist, Eugene Wright, to perform. He also canceled a tv show where they didn’t want to show him.

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TIL:”A Fistful of Dollars” from Sergio Leone, which was a nearly shot-for-shot remake of “Yojimbo” by Akira Kurosawa was never authorized by Toho/Kurosawa. The letter Kurosawa sent to Leone contained the line ‘I’ve seen your movie. It’s a very good movie. Unfortunately, it’s my movie.’.

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TIL eccentric 18th-century American businessman Timothy Dexter authored a book complaining about politicians, the clergy, and his wife. The book contained no punctuation, so in the second edition, he added a page with 11 lines of punctuation marks, for the readers to distribute them as they pleased

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TIL Will Smith was about to declare bankruptcy until he was picked to star in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and had to pay the IRS 70% of his salary over the first three seasons

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TIL I learned the first American soldier to land on the beach durning the invasion of Normandy was shot twice and not only survived, but lived to be 90 years old.

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TIL I learned Sue, the most complete T. Rex skeleton, was discovered by paleontologist Sue Hendrickson when she and her crew got a flat tire at the end of their field season. During repairs, Hendrickson found bones at a cliff face leading the discovery of larger bones in the cliff’s formation.

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TIL Chuck E. Cheese Pizza was created by Atari founder Nolan Bushnell. Bushnell created the pizza & arcade restaurant to serve as a distribution network for his Atari games.

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TIL that Frank Sinatra Jr. was once kidnapped. His captors demanded all negotiations be conducted by payphone. During these conversations, Frank Sr. became concerned he wouldn’t have enough coins to keep talking, prompting him to carry 10 dimes in his pocket for the rest of his life.

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TIL America recruited 29 Navajo speaking men during world war 2, who later came to be called, Navajo code talkers. They had created a brand new set of code words in Navajo language, which even if intercepted could not be translated by the enemy forces.

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TIL The Three Stooges performed at the very first Super Bowl Halftime Show. During their performance, Larry Fine spotted a football player hitting on his wife. He flipped him the bird, and for this he got in trouble with CBS and had to pay a fine of $42.50.

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TIL of the Kengir Gulag Uprising, where inmates assumed control over a camp. Due to the large body of educated inmates the 40 days of freedom saw the creation of plays, an ex-noble organizing a café, priests organizing marriages, engineers creating improvised radios and a hydroelectric powerstation

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TIL NBC executives hated the script for the Seinfeld episode, ‘The Chinese Restaurant’, and only agreed to allow it to be filmed after co-creator Larry David threatened to quit. It is now considered a ground-breaking episode of TV, and the best example of Seinfeld’s ‘show about nothing’ premise

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TIL The Earth’s rotation and speed changes with the weather and geological events. This means atomic time and solar time may not be identical. Sometimes leap seconds are needed for an adjustment. On 31 Dec 2016, a leap second was added, and the time 23:59:60 existed.

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TIL Janis Joplin’s will stipulated that $2500 go to throwing a hard-partying funeral for her. The funeral was held in a popular rock venue she used to have shows at and many of her musician friends performed. The 300 attendees got drunk and partied hard.

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TIL Because of a typographical error, a “wicked bible” stated that “thou shalt commit adultery.” Published in 1631, this Bible is also known as an “adulterous Bible” or the “sinners’ Bible.” Only several hundred copies remain and they’re worth $100,000 to collectors.

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TIL that when dreaming, hardcore video gamers have been reported to be able to toggle between first and third-person point-of-view; readily take control over and even enjoy nightmares; and have more dreams that involve far-fetched or impossible scenarios, like imaginary characters or space travel

Image credits: malalatargaryen


TIL that Prince’s “Breakfast Can Wait” album cover features Dave Chappelle impersonating Prince. Chappelle said he had to appreciate the way his joke was co-opted. “That’s a Prince judo move right there.”

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TIL that in 1990, a man named Iben Browning predicted a massive earthquake would hit New Madrid, Missouri on December 3rd. The prediction sparked a panic. Schools in 5 states closed, and over 200 media outlets sent reporters to the area. Browning had no seismology expertise, and nothing happened.

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TIL Henry Cavendish, noted for his discovery of hydrogen, was a “notoriously shy man”. He communicated with his female servants only by notes. By one account, Cavendish had a back staircase added to his house to avoid encountering his housekeeper.

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TIL Frederick the Great, Prussian Monarch from 1740 to 1786, known for his tactical genius on the battlefield, is considered by historians to be primarily homosexual in orientation. Following a demoralizing defeat, he wrote “Fortune has it in for me; she is a woman, and I am not that way inclined.”

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TIL In 1939 a 24 year old Orson Welles attempted to adapt Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’ but had to cancel due to budget constraints. The studio asked him for a more conventional project. He suggested a B film of his, an exploration of a newspaper tycoon’s rise and downfall. He called it Citizen Kane.

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TIL “Sardines” aren’t a specific fish. The word is used for multiple species of small, oily fish. The definition for what constitutes a sardine varies by government and region with the UN citing 21 different species classified as sardines.

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TIL Drew Carey had eye surgery in 2001 and no longer requires glasses but continues to wear them as part of his celebrity persona.

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TIL there was a product sold in the 80’s and 90’s called the “Electric Worm Getter”. It was sold to fishermen for the collection of earthworms for bait. It sent an electric shock through the top layer of soil forcing the worms to surface. It had to be recalled in 1993 after 30 people died using it.

Image credits: skooter1992


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