“Today I Learned”: 127 Lesser-Known Things About The World That Should Be Common Knowledge (New Pics)

Ever had that feeling of being overwhelmed by the very digital world we currently live in? Information zooming past you faster than a supersonic jet, gadgets updating quicker than you can say “iPhone 23,” and jobs transforming like a chameleon on a rainbow? Well, you’re not alone. A lot of this stuff can escalate to overwhelming levels, especially when you’re using technology to unearth interesting or, more specifically, educational information. I mean, come on, you open Google and the amount of data on just one topic can quickly snowball into a digital avalanche just by skimming through the first page (we don’t talk about page 2 of Google, that’s another topic entirely).

So, what if you want to learn something new? You know, bite-sized chunks of intriguing info, tidbits of knowledge to store in your brain and impress your friends during a sleepover when the topic of discussion becomes something random. Well, look no further than the Today I Learned forum on Reddit as it collects all of that into one large space. And today we are here to share with you, Pandas, some of the most interesting and recent facts that have emerged from there.

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TIL that Walmart tried and failed to establish itself in Germany in the early 2000s. One of the speculated reasons for its failure is that Germans found certain team-building activities and the forced greeting and smiling at customers unnerving.

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TIL there was a briefly popular social movement in the early 1930s called the “Technocracy Movement.” Technocrats proposed replacing politicians and businessmen with scientists and engineers who had the expertise to manage the economy.


TIL That Historians Believe Cats Domesticated Themselves

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TIL in the original German ending of the fairy tale Snow White, the evil queen is forced to put on red-hot iron shoes and dance until she drops dead.

Image credits: Skeleton_Pilots


TIL that ‘Nothing’ was a Shakespearean nickname for the Vulva… ‘Much ado about Nothing’ could just as easily have been called ‘A lot of fuss about Fannies’

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TIL that there is a German man named Marc Wubbenhorst who must drink 20 liters of water every day in order to not die from dehydration. He suffers an extreme case of diabetes insipidus.

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TIL of Ida & Isidor Straus, a couple aboard the Titanic the night it sank. Isidor had a chance to join his wife on a life boat, but stayed behind to give his place away to a child. Ida, refusing to leave her husband behind, too left the life boat. They died together arm in arm when the ship sank.

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TIL In 2013 a couple walking their dog in California found 8 coffee cans containing over 1,427 gold coins worth over $10 million. The original source of the hoard is still unknown.

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TIL that in 2002, Chumbawamba accepted $100k from General Motors for the rights to use one of their songs in a Pontiac commercial. The band then donated it to a corporate watchdog group that used the money to launch an information campaign against GM.

Image credits: archarbor


TIL after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the USS West Virginia battleship was salvaged six months later. During the salvage operation, a calendar was discovered in an airtight room indicating three sailors survived for another 16 days after the event.

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TIL octopus have nine brains – one mini-brain in each arm and another in the center of their bodies. Each arm can independently taste, touch and perform basic movements, but all arms can work together when prompted by the central brain.

Image credits: fiureddit


TIL that in the 17th century, when coffee had made its way to Europe, some people reacted to it with suspicion or fear, calling it the “bitter invention of Satan.” In 1615, the clergy in Venice asked Pope Clement VIII to intervene. He found the drink so satisfying that he gave it papal approval.

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TIL that playing Tetris after a traumatic event can help prevent post-traumatic stress symptoms.


TIL that while filming The Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger went into a LA restaurant in battle-damaged Terminator makeup. He asked for a table in character and since no one knew who the Terminator was yet, the host and everyone in the restaurant started freaking out, screaming, and quickly left

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TIL the earliest known name for a pet was Nedjem, a cat owned by Puimre high priest of Amun in the 15th Century BC. Nedjem translates to ‘the sweet one’, meaning the very first named pet was a Sweetie.


TIL of socialite Ida Wood: in 1907 she emptied her 1 million dollar bank account(21 million in today’s money), declared she was “tired of everything” and shut herself in a hotel room along with her sisters. She stepped out of the room for the first time 24 years later

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TIL orcas cultural fads. In the 1980s one such fad was wearing dead salmon as hats. It spread to three separate Pacific pods before suddenly going out of style.


TIL Peppers evolved to prefer birds spread their seeds. Capsaicin and pepper colors attract birds. Seeds that pass through the digestive system of a bird germinate at a rate of 370% higher than seeds that pass through mammals who are normally repelled by Capsaicin.


TIL that STAR WARS released a Christmas music album in 1980 and the producers wanted a better lead singer for the track “R2-D2 We Wish You a Merry Christmas” so they asked the 17 year old kid who was sweeping floors at the studio, and he nailed it. His name was Jon Bon Jovi.


TIL that all clownfish are born as males. One female lives with a group of males but only mates with one of them. When she dies her mate will become female. This change is irreversible.

Image credits: Tall_Cow2299


TIL in 2013, Italian surgeons split new residents into two laparoscopic surgery training groups. They found that the group that was ordered to play the Nintendo Wii for 1 hour a day/5days a week performed better on test surgeries than their non-gaming counterparts.


In 2001, a New York couple got married on the deck of the Titanic, in a submarine. They faced criticism that their stunt was in “bad taste.”

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TIL about John Smeaton, a former baggage handler at Glasgow Airport. He helped thwart the 2007 Glasgow Airport attack by kicking one of the attackers in the groin. He was awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal for his actions.


TIL that a set of triplets found each other coincidentally after being separated at adoption for a pyschological experiment, when a college student mistook one of the triplets for his unknown brother. Once the two reunited, the unusual story made the paper catching the attention of the third brother


TIL that International Shooting Union barred women from shooting with men in 1993, after Zhang Shan won the gold medal in Skeet Shooting in 1992 Barcelona Olympics.


TIL of the 1850 shipwreck of the Jenny Lind on a South Pacific coral reef. 28 people survived for 37 days on a tiny patch of sand because a passenger created a water distillation system from salvaged cookware capable of making 25 gallons a day of freshwater.


TIL that the choir in the title sequence of Mr Bean is singing ‘Ecce homo qui est faba’, which translates to ‘Behold the man who is a bean.’ in Latin.


TIL 200,000 to 600,000 pets were estimated to have been left behind in the evacuations from hurricane Katrina, as people were not allowed to take pets with them and pets were not allowed in sheltering places.

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TIL In Scotland, two students went to an art exhibition and left a pineapple on a table to see if it would become art. When they returned four days later, the pineapple was still there and had been covered with a glass display case


TIL that Austrian actress Eva von Berne was presumed to be dead for 70+ years because a PR consultant at MGM accidentally reported her death in 1930. 96-year-old von Berne said in 2006: “It was fortunate that the world thought that I died. So I did not have to deal with autograph hunters.”


TIL that there’s a species of wasp called the horse guard wasp. It is found in the eastern US and acts as a natural biological control by hanging around horses and killing horse flies. Despite their loud buzzing noises, horses are not disturbed by them.


TIL that orcas have a culture that they pass down to their offspring and they also have variations in vocalizations similar to languages and dialects in humans


TIL that they stopped putting missing children on milk cartons because the threat was largely overblown, was mostly ineffective, had no requirements for what missing meant, was emotionally disturbing to families, and was done mostly for the tax credits.

Image credits: ProbablyABore


TIL The Ninja Turtles are a parody of Daredevil (Marvel). Daredevil and the turtles were both created in the same radioactive material accident, and Daredevil fights ‘The Hand’ while the turtles fight ‘The Foot’, and Daredevil’s sensei is called ‘Stick’, while the turtles’ is called ‘Splinter’

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TIL Paris has more than 44000 restaurants, with an approximate population of 2.14 million residents, that’s 48 people for every restaurant.

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TIL The Undertaker was engulfed in flames during his entrance at 2010’s WWE Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, but he remained in character for the entirety of the match, despite being on the receiving end of 1st and 2nd-degree burns and a chest burn that would bubble up during the match.

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TIL game designer Will Wright (creator of The Sims) held the record for the illegal ‘Cannonball Run’ race to drive across the US in 1980, driving from New York to California in 33 hours 9 minutes

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TIL that Rüppell’s griffon vulture has the highest documented altitude of any bird at 36k feet. Unfortunately this information was discovered after a Boeing 747 took the bird into the engine over western Africa.


TIL there are 20 mountains over 23,000 ft in the world that have never been climbed.

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TIL Daniel Suhr, who was responding to the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, was the first firefighter killed in the attacks. He was hit by a falling body.

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TIL about Empires of the Deep, an $130 million mermaid movie from 2011 that’s never been released

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Til of E Henry Knoche, A former star college tennis and basketball athlete, he asked for a job with the CIA with no qualifications other than his trophies, 2 years with the navy during WW2 and speaking Russian and an obscure Chinese dialect. When he retired in 1977 he was acting director of the CIA

Image credits: GoodUsernamesTaken2


TIL that the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York City is so long with such tall towers that the top of the towers are 1 5/8 inches farther apart at their tops than at their bases. This is because the distance between the towers made it necessary to compensate for the earth’s curvature.


TIL of Chaser, a border collie whose tested memory was the highest of any non-human animal. She could identify and retrieve 1022 different toys based on name and category.


TIL the world’s oldest terrarium / sealed bottle ecosystem has been thriving since 1960. The 10-gallon bottle is like a mini Earth. It has only been opened once in 53 years to add a bit more water (in 1972). Otherwise it has been sealed without fresh water or air.


TIL Canada geese eggs are “aborted” by coating the eggs with corn oil for population control. Simply removing or destroying the eggs will just result in the geese laying more eggs

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TIL that only $2 was budgeted toward safety training for the crew of MV Sewol, the South Korean passenger ferry which sank in 2014 killing 306 people. This was used to pay for a paper certificate.

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TIL about the Ghost Blimp. In 1942, a crew of two men left San Francisco in a Navy blimp to conduct an antisubmarine patrol. Five hours later, the empty blimp drifted back ashore and crashed into a residential neighborhood. No trace of the crew was ever found.


TIL that when the submarine ARA San Juan disappeared in 2017, initial search crews picked up a banging noise at the search site, like tools hitting metal. After analyzing the audio, it was determined the sound was not from the submarine and was probably from a biological source.

Image credits: PabloTheUnicorn


Til that an entire species of bird went extinct because of ww2 – Wake Island rail. They were flightless birds specific to one tiny island and the Japanese troops there ate them.


TIL – The Onion submitted a 23-page Amicus Curiae brief to the US Supreme Court in 2022 for the case Novak v. City of Parma, Ohio, in support of the protection of parody as free-speech. In the text, The Onion openly parodies the Court and says it is “staffed entirely by total Latin dorks”.


TIL of the United Kingdom’s Locomotives Act 1865, which mandated that motor vehicles abide by a 2 to 4 mph speed limit, be crewed by minimum of three persons, and have man walk at least 55 meters ahead of the vehicle, waving a red flag and sounding a horn.


TIL that Sigourney Weaver only earned $35,000 for Alien (1979) but got $1,000,000 and a share of the profits for Aliens (1986)


TIL the founders of Outback Steakhouse intentionally decided not to visit Australia, as they were concerned that having too much authenticity would confuse customers


TIL that every employee at the Hanford Engineer Works in Richland, WA donated one day’s worth of their pay to purchase a B-17 bomber, as their contribution to the WW2 effort. The plane was christened ‘Day’s Pay’ and flew over 60 missions in Germany


TIL about Yang Jingyu: a Chinese resistance leader who fought the Japanese during WWil. Yang was encircled & killed after 5 days of fighting alone in the wild. An autopsy found only bark and grass roots in his stomach. His desecrated body was later given a proper burial due to fear of his ghost.

Image credits: Consistent_Zucchini2


TIL Diamonds were first discovered and mined in India 3000 years ago. India remained the primary source of diamonds until the 18th century.


TIL: The US Navy used Xbox 360 controllers to operate the periscopes on submarines based on feedback from junior officers and sailors; the previous controls for the periscope were clunky and real heavy and cost about $38,000 compared to the Xbox 360 controller’s cost of around $20.


TIL heart attack symptoms for women may include Nausea, Sweating, Vomiting, Pain in the neck, jaw, throat, abdomen or back because they buildup cholesterol plaque differently than men


TIL: Antilia is one of the most expensive private residences in the world, costing over $1 billion. The billionaire had his entire family live in the 27 story home which requires 600 servants and has 168 car garage, 9 elevators, a theatre, pool, ballroom, and snow room. It was built on an orphanage.

Image credits: Flares117


TIL That more creative people report greater trauma in their childhood.


TIL that in the 1960s, Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead worked for Jimi Hendrix as his roadie and drug supplier for after-show parties. Lemmy later recalled how he got to see Hendrix perform a whole lot – twice a night for about three months.


TIL that AIDS was initially called GRID – Gay Related Immune Deficiency. It was changed to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome once it was clear that the disease was not confined to the gay community.


TIL Shakespeare’s skull is missing from his grave, which mysteriously does not bear his name, but rather a curse: “Good friend, for Jesus’ sake forbear, to dig the dust enclosed here. Blessed be the man that spares these stones, And cursed be he that moves my bones.”


TIL that Yoko Ono created an experimental film called Self-Portrait. It’s a 42 minute shot of John Lennon’s semi-erect penis. It was shown once at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in 1969, and has never been seen or released since.


TIL about Grizzly 399. A female bear from the Grand Tetons that bucks the trend of living into her old age and giving birth to triplets instead of twins. She chooses to live in close proximity to humans for their protection and has become a social media celebrity and tourist attraction.


TIL “Fatso the Fat-Arsed Wombat” was an unofficial mascot of the 2000 Summer Olympics. He proved so popular that the Australian Olympic Committee attempted to ban athletes appearing with Fatso to stop him upstaging their official mascots.


TIL If a fighter pilot ejects using a Martin-Baker ejection seat, the company provides a tie, patch, certificate, tie pin and membership card for the “Ejection Tie Club” plus a subsidised limited edition Bremont watch.


TIL the bizantines had to deal with a whale that attacked ships in the Bosporus Strait for 50 years


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.


TIL on Fridays, the Swedes love to eat tacos. It’s called Taco Fredag or Taco Friday.


TIL it took 88 skydiving jumps to film the scene of James Bond jumping from an airplane without a parachute in Moonraker (1979), often getting just 3 seconds of action filmed in a jump.


TIL that Albert I, King of the Belgians (b. 1875, r. 1909-1934) commanded the Belgian Army from the front during WWI, while his wife Elisabeth worked as a frontline nurse and their 12 year old son Leopold enlisted as a private and fought in the ranks


TIL the only copies of the Haitian Declaration of Independence are in the UK’s National Archives, Kew. And was only found to be there as recent as 2010 by a student from Duke University.


TIL that a fried chicken factory in Hamelt, North Carolina fell victim to a severe grease fire caused by faulty machinery and made worse by locked emergency exits and the fire was the second deadliest industrial disaster in the history of the state


TIL that Andy Buckley (who played David Wallace on “The Office”) is a former financial analyst in real life, and was chosen for the role specifically due to his familiarity with the intricacies of corporate finance, and continued to work in the field during his time on the show.


TIL that Princess Anne was briefly involved with a man named Andrew Parker Bowles. He would later marry Camilla Shand. Later, Camilla Parker Bowles would have an affair with and eventually marry Prince Charles, Anne’s brother.


TIL it used to be mandatory by law for Indian cinemas to play the national anthem before showing a movie. However, in 2018, the Supreme Court of India decided it wasn’t necessary.


TIL that Brighton, one of the sunniest places in the UK, still has considerably fewer sunshine hours (~1,840) than ‘Rain City’ Seattle in the US (~2170)


TIL Composer Bart Howard’s song “Fly Me to the Moon” made him so wealthy that he was able to ride on it for the rest of his life. Howard curtailed his songwriting efforts and entered semi-retirement, with the occasional concert and cabaret stint


TIL that Pizzly Bears are the offspring of a female Polar Bear and a male Brown Bear. These hyprid Bears are able to breed offspring and to date there have been 8 confirmed hybrids (4 50:50 B:P, 4 75:25 B/P) in the wild. All 4 75:25 came from one 50:50 female and all 4 50:50 came from one female PB.


TIL Of Titanic Thompson, a prolific hustler and golfer of the early 20th century. One of Thompson’s tricks was to play righthanded, win, and offer to play double or nothing lefthanded, he was naturally lefthanded. In his time a professional golfer could earn 30,000$ a year, he earned that in a week.


TIL a mentally unstable man in Canada cut down a rare golden spruce tree, sacred to Indigenous people, to protest the logging industry. His trial was on the island where he cut down the tree. Fearing for his safety, he opted to kayak there solo rather than take a plane. He hasn’t been seen since.


TIL that there were 26 families of passengers on the Mayflower that are known to have left descendants; it is estimated that over 30 million people can trace their ancestry back to those 26 families on the Mayflower.


TIL That there is an Enigma message that hasn’t been broken yet


TIL that the Titanic was the place of discovery for tiny iron eating microbes. These microbes form icicle-shaped “rusticles.” Which consists of 35% iron compounds and a community of symbiontic microbes and fungi. “Halomonas titanicae” is expected to dissolve the Titanic by 2045.


TIL: In 1989, musician Jon Bon Jovi secretly left his tour and headed to Las Vegas to marry his high school sweetheart, Dorothea Hurley. They have four children and are still married. One of their sons is engaged to actress Millie Bobby Brown.


TIL that the Canadian government will send you a flag that has been flown on top of the Parliament buildings. The current waiting list is over 100 years.


TIL McDonald’s closed in Iceland, but the last burger and fries still linger on and are now in a glass encased shrine in a guest house in South Iceland. Twelve plus years later, neither appear to have decayed one bit.


TIL that some Jeeps have “Easter Eggs” of designs of animals and other symbols that are hidden around the vehicle; with some found on the windshield or carved into the dashboard, under seats, and near the gas cap.


TIL Dolphins call each other by ‘name’ using a unique whistle to identify each other. They only respond to their own names, by sounding a distinct whistle back. Researchers believe dolphins are acting like humans: when they hear their name, they answer.


TIL that when Ronald Reagan was shot in 1981, hospital staff cut away his clothing. Finding a laminated card in his suit pocket, they discarded it into his shoe on the floor where it was left unattended. That card was the list of nuclear launch codes.


TIL according to international space law, space is defined as common heritage of humanity, which makes territorial claims in space prohibited. The main purposes of this law are to prevent colonial claims and militarization of space.


TIL that Japanese actor Bandō Mitsugorō VIII claimed to be immune to fugu kimo, naturally toxic pufferfish liver. He ate 4 portions in a restaurant with his friends in Kyoto and died 8 hours later.


TIL that 90% of video game sales in 2022 were digital.


TIL Actor Dermot Mulroney is also an accomplished cellist and has played on many of Michael Giacchino’s film soundtracks, including Rogue One, Jurassic World, and Spider-Man: Homecoming


TIL That when ‘Wayne’s World’ was filming, Mike Myers didn’t know how to drive a car, so he had to take driving lessons from Sears


TIL A camel’s hump does not hold water. It actually stores fat. The camel uses it as nourishment when food is scarce. If a camel uses the fat inside the hump, the hump will become limp and droop down. With proper food and rest, the hump will return to normal.


TIL: That Owsley Stanley, legendary creator of the LSD that inspired Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze and sought after by the Hell’s Angel’s for his amphetamine production was also the key sound engineer for the Grateful Dead


TIL During the first dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, one of the outer window panes on the bathysphere cracked. They opted to continue, and successfully reached the bottom.


TIL the rat filmed breathing liquid in The Abyss (1989) was really done, and not an effect. The rat is filmed in an emulsion of oxygenated perfluorocarbon emulsion, aka “breathing liquid”


TIL that in Japan there are company specializing in helping people vanish.


TIL that filmmaker James Cameron has visited the Titanic 33 times, including once when he was trapped for 16 hours due to on-board technical issues


TIL Chinese checkers is actually called Sternhalma and is not related to Chinese culture or the the game of checkers and was invented in Germany in 1892.


TIL that Lucille Ball convinced Merv Griffin to hire Alex Trebek to host the revival of Jeopardy in 1984 when original host Art Fleming, a friend of Trebek’s, declined to return. Trebek holds the Guinness World Records for most episodes of a game show hosted, hosted the show until his death in 2020.


TIL that the line “There’s one for you, nineteen for me” in the Beatles song “Taxman” was not an exaggeration – at the time, the highest UK tax rate was 95%.


TIL: Until as recently as 2020, tattoos in Japan could only be legally performed by licensed medical professionals. South Korea still has this restriction.


TIL of Kevin Budden, who caught a deadly taipan by hand and hitchhiked to town still holding the snake. He lost his grip and was bitten, but bagged the snake and made the driver promise to get it to researchers. Kevin died the next day, but the snake was used to create the first taipan antivenom.


TIL The first “The Fast and the Furious” movie licensed its title from an old 1954 Roger Corman movie after rejecting other bad titles involving racing and wars. But Corman kept the rights to numerical sequel titles, thus why the franchise has no “The Fast and the Furious 2.”


TIL the person who came up with the concept of a supermodel was the father of the lead singer of The Strokes


TIL: That the first aircraft carrier landing was done with no arresting wires to stop the plane, men on deck grabbed ropes tied to the plane


TIL President Lincoln established the Secret Service on April 14th, 1865. He would be murdered later that same evening


TIL the world’s oldest (still existing) anime was made back in 1917 and is still preserved!


TIL that Gabe Newell, president of the video game company Valve which created steam, owns Inkfish, an ocean-exploration research organisation which currently holds the records for the deepest crewed dives in all five oceans with their deep-submergence vehicle Limiting Factor


TIL that women can give birth to twins with different biological fathers (heteropaternal superfecundation). The frequency has not been established, but one study found it occurred in around 1 in every 42 cases of fraternal twins whose parents were involved in paternity disputes.


TIL in 1925, a forger convinced Portugal’s money printer to make him 200,000 bills, worth ~1% of Portugal’s GDP. They were easily laundered, since they weren’t actually counterfeit. To cover his tracks, he started buying a controlling interest in the Bank of Portugal, but was caught. He was 28.


TIL that Soviet revolutionary Leon Trotsky was not at the funeral of Vladimir Lenin, despite being among the USSR’s top leadership at the time of his death. Trotsky later claimed he had deliberately been told the wrong date for the funeral.


TIL Wilt Chamberlain is the reason players have to stay behind the foul line when shooting a free throw. While at KU, thanks to his 7’ height, 7’8” wingspan, and 50” vertical, he would start from top of the key, leap before the foul line, and dunk the ball before he touched the ground in the lane.


TIL about the CSS Hunley, a confederate submarine that sank three times, killing her entire crew each time.


TIL in 1978, The Beatles record company Apple sued newly founded Apple Inc. for trademark infringement and won. Part of the agreement was for Apple Inc. to never enter the music business. When they created iTunes, a new lawsuit began but The Beatles lost this time (2006).


TIL in 1974 the Cleveland Indians held a Ten Cent Beer promotion that resulted in on-field streaking, fans lighting fireworks in the stands, and pelting of players with hotdogs that culminated in a riot in the 9th inning, a local sports writer interviewing fans after was punched in the face twice.


TIL I learned about the HMS Thesis submarine disaster. It had an escape chamber that saved 4 lives but the fifth person panicked when using it, dooming all 98 others aboard.


TIL that Oceangate blew up a 1/3 scale carbon fiber hull model during 6000 psi testing at the University of Washington, shook the whole building, and had to pay for the pressure sensors destroyed.


TIL that the movie “Flamin’ Hot” is not based on a true story; the LA Times investigated the origin of Flamin’ Hot and it does not match up with what Richard Montanez claims he did


TIL the person who invented dumpsters name was dempster, and they where originally called Dempster Dumpsters


TIL about Prince Mikasa who was Japanese Emperor Hirohito’s brother and repeatedly criticized the regime’s war crimes during and after World War II including proposing that the Emperor resign in 1945 to take responsibility for the war


TIL that there were 26 families of passengers on the Mayflower that are known to have left descendants; it is estimated that over 30 million people can trace their ancestry back to those 26 families on the Mayflower.
Source: boredpanda.com

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