50 New ‘Today I Learned’ Facts That Prove It’s Never Too Late To Learn Something New
It’s always a good day to learn something new. And thanks to the abundance of information we are constantly bombarded with, both on social media and TV, we don’t need to lift a finger for it. Unless scrolling counts. But how many of these claims, arguments and statements we read are true and how many of them are bogus? After all, we’re constantly reminded to have an inner skeptic in charge of fact-checking things and taking them with a pinch of salt.
Alternatively, we can trust the Reddit powerhouse, everyone’s beloved destination for the most random facts, known as “Today I Learned.” With a mind-blowing 27.1 million members, it’s home to a seemingly never-ending collection of specific facts shared by people who just learned them and shared on there.
According to their rules, the sub does not accept facts that are “inaccurate/unverifiable/not supported by source” as well as posts that are “misleading claims and omit essential information.” They also say they don’t support opinions and subjective posts as well as posts that are too general.
TIL 2010 Vancouver luge gold medallist Felix Loch had his medal melted into 2 discs and gave one to the parents of a deceased competitor who died in a practice run on the day of the opening ceremony.
Image credits: Nose_Beers_85
TIL a female reporter attempted to recreate the famous novel “Around The World In 80 Days”. Not only did she complete it with eight days to spare, she made a detour to interview Jules Verne, the original author.
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TIL Martin Luther King Jr was a huge fan of Star Trek. He loved that it showed a future with people of all colors working together in harmony. He bumped into Uhura, Nichelle Nichols, at a convention. She said she was quitting. She ended up staying after MLK urged her to, saying she was a role model.
Image credits: SonOfQuora
Every fact you come across on the internet has to be taken with a pinch of salt. We all know that, but not many of us go forward and actually do the fact-checking. “Fact-checking is important because anyone can say anything on the internet and you want to know that the information you consume is grounded in reality,” Daniel Markuson, a cybersecurity expert at NordVPN, told Bored Panda.
“A general rule of thumb is to make sure that your news comes from established, well-known sources. These outlets get their information straight from primary sources and must uphold their reputation,” he explained.
TIL Hisako Koyama, a female Japanese astronomer who hand drew sunspots every day for more than 40 years. Her detailed sketches aid researchers in studying solar cycles and the sun’s magnetic fields.
Image credits: u/Specialist_Check
TIL Thought destroyed by Nazis, a priceless mosaic owned by Roman emperor Caligula ended up as a coffee table for 50 years in a NYC apartment.
Image credits: Specialist_Check
TIL that since Brazil could not afford to send a team to the 1932 Olympics, they sent the athletes on a ship full of coffee. The athletes sold the coffee along the way to fund their journey.
Image credits: frosted_bite
However, if you’re still not sure, Daniel’s advice is to look into the author, research them, and make sure their credibility is up to par. “It is also important to weigh our own perception and not let our biases skew our understanding of events,” he added.
It’s no secret that social media helps to spread misinformation. The cybersecurity expert at NordVPN explained that it’s because “the business models of the most popular social media platforms are based on increasing engagement. The core problem with this approach is that instead of focusing on providing their users with quality, fact-checked content, social media algorithms feed their users content that is most likely to increase likes, shares, and comments.”
TIL that breast milk can adapt to a babies’ illness and produce more milk with illness-specific antibodies.
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TIL an FBI whistleblower reported multiple problems in forensic cases. After years of the FBI seeking to ruin him, his claims were investigated and a report showed that forensic hair analysis was flawed or inaccurate over 90% of the time.
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TIL that Loving Day in June celebrates the day that Interracial Marriage became legal in the US.
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Turns out that “this usually leaves social media littered with posts that make bold and easy-to-digest statements and skip explaining the situation in detail—a perfect place for misinformation to proliferate.” Daniel argues that most of the time the truth is messy and boring with many actors involved and interpretations of events available.
“On the other hand, rumors, bold claims, and simple fixes are easy to digest and entertaining. The attention-grabbing factor of misinformation combined with social media’s hunger for attention make them a pair made in heaven,” he concluded.
TIL Leonard Nimoy refused to join Star Trek the Animated Series without George Takai and Nichelle Nichols claiming they were proof of ethic diversity in the 23rd century.
Image credits: Aluliman
TIL of The Great Hanoi Rat Massacre of 1902. The French wanted rats exterminated from the sewer system. They set a bounty for each dead rat tail. Thousands of tails were submitted per day but the rat problem only grew worse. They found the hunters were breeding, not hunting, rats for their tails.
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TIL that to save the Hawaiian culture and people from disappearing, Kalākaua, the last king of the Hawaiian kingdom, went on a world tour in 1881, and travelled to Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the United States, and he became the first reigning monarch to circumnavigate the globe.
Image credits: Jay21-1-10
TIL that Mississippi did not make child-selling illegal until 2009, after a woman tried to sell her granddaughter for $2,000 and a car and it was discovered that there was no law to punish her under.
Image credits: ob-With-One-B
TIL Emerson Romero was a silent film actor who was deaf. When movies with sound were invented, deaf actors got less roles and the intertitle text was removed. This led him to make an early form of movie captioning in 1947 so that movies would still be accessible to deaf people.
Image credits: dilettantedebrah
TIL that the work of Charles Drew, a pioneer in preserving blood, led to large-scale blood bank use, U.S. blood donations to Britons in WWII, and the use of bloodmobiles. He resigned as chief of the first American Red Cross blood bank over a policy that separated the blood of black and white people.
Image credits: RedditPrat
TIL that 1604, King James I wrote ‘A Counterblaste to Tobacco’, in which he described smoking as a ‘custome lothesome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs.
Image credits: vrphotosguy55
TIL Thankful Villages (also known as Blessed Villages) are those few villages in Britain to which suffered no casualties in the First World War. These villages had lost no men in the war because all those who left to serve came home again when war ended.
Image credits: Four_Minute_Mile
TIL that in the 1950s, a psychiatrist had three paranoid schizophrenic patients who each believed they were Jesus Christ. He put them in a room together to see if their beliefs would change after confronting each other. They did not, in fact, change their beliefs but each individually came to the conclusion that the other two men were insane. They made a movie about it, called Three Christs.
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TIL in 2009 Burger King ran the “Whopper sacrifice” campaign, which gave a free whopper to anyone who deleted 10 friends on Facebook. Facebook suspended the program because Burger King was alerting people letting them know they’d been dropped for a sandwich.
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TIL Black Panthers are not a real species. They are jaguars and leopards who have “Melanism”, which causes them to have black skin. It’s the opposite effect of having albinism.
Image credits: VinumNoctua
TIL that Tarzan actor and Olympic swimmer Johnny Weismuller and his brother were swimming in Lake Michigan when they saw a boat capsize. They pulled at least 14 people from the water, and 11 of those people survived.
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TIL Finland used a lot of resources and logistics during WW II to bring the fallen to their home parishes for a proper funeral, instead of using mass graves in the battlefield.
Image credits: MFromBeyond
TIL More than 30 million viewers in Britain tuned in to watch the BBC “Royal Family” documentary in 1969, such that during the intermission, the flushing of toilets all over London caused a water shortage.
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TIL that Willie O’Ree, the first black man to play in the NHL, was blind in one eye. It was caused by a ricocheting puck that hit him in the face when he was 18 and he kept it a secret for his entire 21-year career.
Image credits: FuriouSherman
TIL that In World War II, British spies plotted to spike Hitler’s food with oestrogen to make him less aggressive.
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TIL that Paul McCartney is the only artist to reach the top of the UK charts as a solo artist, duo, trio, quartet, quintet and musical ensemble.
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TIL: In 2020, Colombians shipped 130 grams of cocaine to Italy, inside individually hollowed out coffee beans. They were caught when a customs official noticed the “sender” shared the same name as a mafia boss in John Wick.
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TIL Brendan Fraser is the first American-born actor to be inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame.
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TIL that Ethiopia has a unique calendar which is 7-8 years behind the rest of the world. The current year in Ethiopia is 2014.
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TIL about the liking gap, which is that people you meet like you more than you think. Psychologists found that “people systematically underestimated how much their conversation partners liked them and enjoyed their company.”
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TIL when Charles Darwin was sent some flowers from a friend he noticed one flower was extremely long and bet some moth with really long mouth parts exists to pollinate it. A few years later that moth was discovered.
Image credits: DriveGenie
TIL in the 1980s, the last 29 Guam kingfishers were captured in an effort to save the species from total extinction caused by non-native brown tree snakes. Through the dedicated effort of zoos, there are now 140 around the world with the aim of reintroducing them back to the wild one day.
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TIL that an average of 2 amputations occur weekly at US meatpacking plants.
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TIL that unlike most animals, goats have excellent object permanence and are able to remember where objects are hidden without being able to see or smell them.
Image credits: BringsHomeBones
TIL that Poppy flowers became associated with the military after a Canadian poet was inspired by a field of poppies near a mass grave in Belgium following World War 1. The poppies grew there after the bombing and trench warfare churned up the soil, exposing dormant poppy seeds to the sunlight.
Image credits: TheTriviaPage
TIL until the mid-1990s the Italian-American mafia controlled trash collection in New York City, fixing prices by extorting or murdering competitors or requiring them to join the price-fixing cartel. After an undercover operation convicted the leaders, trash collection costs dropped by $600 million.
Image credits: SojourningCPA
TIL a man in San Francisco deposited a junk mail check written for $95,000 dollars, received the money, and built a career off of the event.
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TIL a grown cat can jump between 5-8 times it’s height. That would be the equivalent of human ability to jump from the ground up to 3rd or 4th floor!
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TIL the way the sun “gives” people vitamin D is by converting cholesterol in the skin to vitamin D.
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TIL that dolphins will come together to form mega-pods which can consist of over 10,000 dolphins.
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TIL President Harding literally saved the U. S. Constitution which was deteriorating improperly stored at the State Dept. He had it preserved in a glass case.
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TIL that in the early days of crossword puzzles, the game became an object of cultural hysteria. Newspapers and magazines from the 1920’s – 1930’s warned of a “crossword craze” gripping the country’s minds. The trend was described as an “epidemic,” a “virulent plague,” and a “national menace.”
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TIL about the woman who was hanging out with friends at the American Legion in a small Minnesota town. Her car slid off the icy road into a ditch. Trying to walk to a friend’s house, she ended up freezing (solid!) in her friend’s yard. She lived, was fine actually, and still lives in Minnesota.
Image credits: Shavered22
TIL Jeff Cohen who played Chunk, the chubby kid in the Goonies went on to study law and entertainment law later co-founding the Cohen & Gardner firm in Beverly Hills. Earlier he asked Goonies director R.Donner for a recommendation for his college application Donner and his wife offered to pay for it.
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TIL that French schools used to assign ‘Le Symbole’ to kids caught speaking minority languages (i.e. Breton, Occitan, Basque, etc). The only way to rid oneself of the symbol is to snitch on a fellow student. At the end of the day, the student with the symbol will receive some form of punishment.
Image credits: DylTyrko
TIL Wayne Gretzky’s stats were so far ahead of his peers’ that if you cut his entire career number in half he’s still one of the top 20 players of all time.
Image credits: DriveGenie
TIL the US-Canada border is the longest international border in the world, and that Alaska’s portion alone is about 38%.
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TIL: Migraines are 3 times more common in women than in men.
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TIL The Big Ben’s unique tone is because the bell had cracked in 1859, barely two months after its inauguration. The bell is since oriented in such a way the hammer doesn’t strike the ‘crack’.
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TIL in 1970 Robert White successfully transplanted the head of a rhesus monkey onto another decapitated monkey. It survived for eight days, able to smell, hear, see, and move its mouth. But it was paralyzed from the neck down, as White was unable to reconnect the severed spinal cord.
Image credits: SojourningCPA
This content was originally published here.