“Today I Learned”: 54 Interesting Things People Didn’t Learn In School (New Pics)

Educational reformer John Holt once wrote that, “Children learn from anything and everything they see. They learn wherever they are, not just in special learning places.” But sadly, many of us lose this child-like curiosity as we get older. We finish school or university and seem to forget that there is infinite information out in the world just waiting to be discovered, researched and shared with others!

So today, we hope you’re in the mood to channel your inner child and learn something new. That’s right, pandas, we’ve gathered another list of fascinating facts from the Today I Learned subreddit down below, so once you’re finished reading, you can feel proud of yourself for learning something new. Be sure to upvote the tidbits of information you plan to pass along to a friend or family member later today, and feel free to share any more fun facts that you’ve recently learned in the comments section. Then, if your brain is hungry for even more knowledge, you can check out some of Bored Panda’s previous Today I Learned articles right here, here and here!

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TIL cats were a common wedding gift among Vikings due to their association with the goddess of luck, Freyja. Men favored women who loved cats, believing that it increased the likelihood of a happy marriage.

Image credits: PianoCharged


TIL that mushrooms are more closely related to humans than to plants.

Image credits: schadenfreudender


TIL Ancient Greece wasn’t full of pure white marble everything. The statues and ruins we see today were actually painted in all kinds of vivid colors that were just stripped bare back to their original white marble by time.

Image credits: josh_k27

As we all know, there are a wide variety of things we can do to take care of ourselves. Eat a diet rich with fruits and vegetables to make sure you get all of your nutrients in. Exercise daily to get those endorphins pumping and to build your strength. Spend time outdoors to connect with nature and breathe in some fresh air. Journal frequently to sort through your thoughts and feelings, and maintain relationships with loved ones to have a community and support system you can rely on. And never stop learning to keep your brain active.

Depending on what you do for a living and how you spend your days, you might not learn something new every single day without trying. But why shouldn’t you? A fun fact a day gives you one more thing to start conversation about with friends or family members, and constantly learning keeps our lives from becoming mundane and predictable. That’s why we love the Today I Learned subreddit here at Bored Panda. This community with over 29 million members can teach you more about millions of things you never even knew you wanted to learn about. So strap in, and enjoy this list! These small, digestible bits of information might even inspire you to further research a huge range of topics that you never even knew would captivate you.    


TIL that in 1518, in the small French town of Strasbourg, a young woman named Frau Troffea started dancing uncontrollably in the street. Her dancing continued for days & on the 3rd day, her shoes were soaked with blood. She attracted 30+ people to join her, which catalyzed the Dancing Plague of 1518.

Image credits: DilankaMcLovin


TIL About 7000 years ago, bananas were not the seedless, fleshy fruits we know today. The flesh was pitted with black seeds and nearly inedible.

Image credits: Zem_42


TIL 27% of Americans 18 and older have cut off contact with a family member.

Image credits: SlowShoes

It’s no secret that being a lifelong learner can be beneficial to various aspects of your life. So to gain some insight on why a commitment to learning is so great and how to keep up a healthy appetite for knowledge, we consulted an article that Madeline Buiano wrote for MarthaStewart.com. Madeline spoke to wellness coach, co-founder of Modern Nirvana Conference, and co-author of the Modern Nirvana Oracle Deck, Frank Elaridi, to hear why it’s so important to exercise the mind. 

“Learning something new helps build new brain cells and can strengthen connections between the cells,” Elaridi says. It’s a great way to keep our brains sharp and improve our concentration, memory, problem solving and lower our chances of developing dementia in the future. “We don’t want our brains to become lazy, because a lazy brain can often have trouble recalling words and ideas,” Elaridi explains.


TIL that potato plants are poisonous. The part that we eat is the only edible part of the whole plant. It’s also a member of the nightshade family.

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TIL some triathletes pee while riding their bike to minimize wasted time.

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TIL that 81% of people say that email is still their primary form of communication at work.

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According to Alexis Haselberger, productivity expert and creator of Alexis Haselberger Coaching and Consulting, Inc., learning new information also fulfills an innate desire that humans have. “Humans crave novelty and growth. Learning something new daily allows you to meet those needs,” she told MarthaStewart.com. When fed, this hunger for learning can help us increase our overall sense of well being, as we feel more competent and confident when we acquire new information. It’s exciting and exhilarating to learn new things. So if you’re in a slump and feeling a bit aimless, start by taking small steps like reading a new book or listening to an informative podcast. Learning about something new will get your brain stimulated, your creativity juices flowing and will likely give you the desire to be more social, as you’ll want to share your new knowledge with others.  


TIL since 1850, more than 5,000 people have gone over Niagara Falls, either intentionally (as stunts or suicide attempts) or accidentally but only 17 are known to have survived.

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TIL that the first recorded labour strike took place in Ancient Egypt, in 1170 BCE, by tomb workers. After the grain supply was repeatedly late, workers stopped working and demanded prompt pay. Because it was the first of its kind, management did not know how to react, and largely caved to demands.

Image credits: Methisthopheles


TIL Brad Pitt, while starring as Achilles in the movie Troy, ruptured his Achilles tendon on set.

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While it’s great to learn anything and everything we can, you’re not likely to find all topics equally interesting. For example, I can watch countless hours of documentaries about true crime events, serial killers, animal agriculture, climate change and interviews with convicted felons. But if you sit me down and ask me to watch a one-hour special on archeology, I’ll likely be asleep in the first 15 minutes. Frank Elaridi recommends that we all find topics we’re actually interested in to commit time to learning about, to ensure we’re not feeling bored or losing motivation. If we view learning as an obligation or a chore, we’re not likely to get too far. But when we find subjects that “light us up”, as Frank says, it’s amazing how much our brains can retain.


TIL British Airways Flight 9 flew through a cloud of volcanic ash causing all four engines to stop. Captain Eric Moody told the passengers that, “We have a small problem. All four engines have stopped. We are all doing our damnedest to get them going again. I trust you are not in too much distress.”

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TIL newborn babies shouldn’t drink plain water because it can lead to brain swelling and even death.

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TIL that Alan Turing, the mathematician renowned for his contributions to computer science and codebreaking, converted his savings into silver during WW2 and buried it, fearing German invasion. However, he was unable to break his own code describing where it was hidden, and never recovered it.

Image credits: Mega_Dunsparce

If you’re looking to add some more learning into your daily routine, Elaridi also notes that it can be helpful to determine your preferred learning style. “Some people enjoy reading while others, like myself, learn best from experience,” he explains. He also recommends trying various methods, such as listening to podcasts, reading books, watching videos, etc. to determine what you enjoy the most. “When one starts to feel monotonous, switch it up for a day then go back to your preferred method.” You can also switch up which method you choose based on the subject you’re learning about. For example, if you want to learn how to play an instrument, watching videos can only help you so much. You will need to have tangible practice if you ever want to play a song.


TIL Steve Jobs responded to an autograph request with a signed letter stating he doesn’t write autographs.

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TIL Eric Clapton grew up thinking his mother was his sister, his grandmother was his mother, and his step-grandfather was his father.

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TIL we’ve had electric cars since the late 1800s. Some early electric cars could go as fast as 25mph and lasted 50 miles without needing a recharge.

Image credits: LifeLiterate

If you just don’t feel like there’s enough time in the day to learn something new, don’t fret. It can be overwhelming to try to add a new skill or hobby onto your 40-hour work week when you still want to have a social life, get a healthy amount of sleep, and exercise. But don’t underestimate how often you can multitask. If you’re doing chores like doing laundry, mopping, cooking or washing dishes, you can always have a podcast, Ted Talk or a language course playing in the background. When you drive to work, you can listen to audiobooks. This can teach your brain how much fun learning can be too, as you won’t associate it with sitting at a desk, but rather with hiking, running on the treadmill, taking a bike ride or any other activity you like. 


TIL China has just one timezone (Beijing time) that covers the whole country. In the westernmost provinces, the sun may not rise until 10am or set until midnight. The border with Afghanistan is the greatest border time change in the world.

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TIL a Dunkin’ Donuts marketing campaign in South Korea released coffee aromas while their commercials played on buses and increased sales by 29%.

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TIL That the most famous pirate in history: Blackbeard, was only active for 2 years. 1716-1718.

Image credits: LightlyStep

Have you learned something new today already? We sure hope you’re enjoying this list and that you’ll sound like a wealth of information when you go chat with your friends and family members later today. Keep upvoting the fun facts you think all of your fellow pandas would appreciate learning, and feel free to share some more fun facts in the comments section! We’re never too old, or too intelligent, to learn a few new things, so let’s share our knowledge! After all, the more we understand about the world and each other, the greater we will be able to care for one another. 


TIL that Japan is working on wooden satellites that can cleanly burn up without leaving debris when they re-enter the atmosphere.


TIL about William Sitgreaves Cox a junior officer aboard the USS Chesapeake who was court martialed for leaving his command when he assisted his wounded captain below decks. Since all other senior officers were wounded, he had become the commanding officer by default, unbeknownst to him.

Image credits: ClownfishSoup


TIL when Stalin mispronounced a word while giving a speech, all subsequent speakers felt obliged to repeat the mistaken pronunciation in order to avoid the perception that they were correcting him.

Image credits: Keevan


TIL about Shizo Kanakuri, a Japanese marathon runner. During the 1912 Olympics, he disappeared during the marathon race (he pulled out midway and silently returned to Japan). In 1967, he was offered the opportunity to complete his run. He accepted and completed it with a time of 54y8m6d5h32’20”.


TIL during his bachelor’s degree, Robert Andrews Millikan was asked to teach elementary physics course although he was studying classics. He accepts the offer, studies a physics book during a summer vacation and after 34 years he wins the Nobel Prize for Physics.

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TIL about millionaire Wellington Burt, who died in 1919 and deliberately held back his enormous fortune. His will denied any inheritance until 21 years after the death of his last surviving grandchild. The money sat in a trust for 92 years, until 12 descendants finally shared $110 million in 2011.

Image credits: bfm211


TIL of Hatuey, a Taíno chieftain who, while tied to the stake by Spaniards and waiting to be burned alive, chose not to convert to Christianity in order to avoid meeting his Spanish oppressors in heaven.


TIL no child has been harmed or ki***d by poisoned or dangerous Halloween candy.

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TIL that most non-human primate infants actively use their hands to help themselves out of the birth canal. Human infants do not, but their grip strength is much higher during the hours immediately after they are born.


TIL that the state of Massachusetts tried to nullify the Vietnam War by passing a law that its citizens could not be conscripted in an undeclared war. The Supreme Court declined to hear their case.


TIL in 1989, many major airlines showed edited versions of the film Rain Man, omitting a scene involving a character’s refusal to fly (while mentioning several prominent airliner crashes). However, the scene was shown intact on Qantas—the only airline mentioned as having planes that “never crashed.”


TIL even traveling at the speed of light, it would take us 25,000 years to reach the center of our galaxy.

Image credits: ryraps5892


TIL that when a massive star goes supernova, it produces a flash of light so bright that can equal the combined light of every other star in the galaxy. One such event happened in 1054, it was so bright the light was visible during the day for a month and was still visible for 2 years afterwards.

Image credits: Sysion


TIL A 50yr old inmate named James Washington confessed to murdering a Nashville woman 17 yrs ago while on his deathbed, presumably thinking he was about to die. He ended up surviving & was convicted for his confession, which he later tried to recant.


TIL that the popular belief in the United States that Daylight Savings Time was enacted FOR the benefit of farmers is wrong; farmers were actually some of the strongest opponents of its implementation.

Image credits: plexxer


TIL A study in the UK found that the number of CEOs of top companies with red hair was four times higher than the percentage of persons with red hair in the general population.


TIL many commonly used statistical methods, such as Student’s t-test, were invented by the head brewer at Guiness Brewery for quality control.


TIL American fried rice is a dish consisting of rice, tomato ketchup, meat, and raisins in Thailand. May include other ingredients, such as pineapple and croutons.


TIL On 5th November families, schools and communities across the UK burn an effigy of a man who tried to start an insurrection.


TIL that the mortality rate of BBL’s (Brazillian Butt Lifts) is 10 to 20 times higher than the average cosmetic procedure, and it has the highest death rate of any cosmetic procedure.


TIL that in 1996 a 7-year-old Californian girl tried to fly an airplane across the US and crashed in a thunderstorm, killing her. This resulted in a law banning children from flying.


TIL that after his legendary Motown Awards performance, in which he moonwalked for the first time and launched his career into mega-stardom, Michael Jackson was so disappointed in his performance that he went backstage and cried.


TIL there IS a price for happiness, or rather for avoiding unhappiness! Researchers found that a salary of $105K allows US residents to eliminate financial woes as a source of unhappiness. But the US ranks 10th globally. Who has the highest income satiation point, aka price for happiness? Bermuda!


TIL That in 2019, some criminals were caught and 36 BTC was confiscated. The authorities valued the worth at €127,000 at the time and was sold 2 years later for €1.5 million. The criminals were returned €1.3 million due to the fact that the amount was expressed in Swedish Krona, not BTC.


TIL the last recorded Black Widow death in the United States of America happened in 1983.


TIL Homer Simpson’s official job title at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant is “Nuclear Safety Inspector” but he has also had at least 188 different jobs in the first 400 episodes.


TIL A Lot of the movie “Elf” Was Actually Shot in Closed Down Mental Institution.

Image credits: LeftFieldBlue


TIL The average male height in the Netherlands is 6ft 1/2″ (183.8cm).


TIL Powerball changed its odds in 2015, from a 1 in 175 million chance of winning the jackpot to a 1 in 292 million chance. Its first billion dollar jackpot occurred the next year.


TIL that according to the FBI and Homeland Security, over 100 firefighters in the US are convicted of arson every year, and many of the cases are swept under the rug, downplayed or completely ignored.


TIL, 14-year-old Caleb Rebh accidentally choked himself to death while working as a scare actor after he had tied a noose around his neck to appear more scarier. While Caleb was struggling to untie the rope from his neck, no one helped him because they thought he was acting.


TIL that when he was 27 years old, Grover Cleveland met Frances Folsom, the infant daughter of his good friend Oscar Folsom. When Oscar died in 1875, Cleveland became Frances’s guardian. Ultimately, the two married in 1886; Cleveland was 49 and Folsom was 21.


TIL 24 of the 50 US states have Native American derived names (many through French), 1 is Hawaiian, 4 directly from Spanish, 11 named after people, several of various origins (English, French, Latin), and at least 6 of unknown origin.
Source: boredpanda.com

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