No matter how many all-nighters you pull devouring volume after volume of dust-laden encyclopedias, it will never be enough. Because learning is a process, and there’s no end visible on the horizon.

But most of us are just fine with one or two "did you know that?" facts always ready to be served at a dinner table. Except they get old fast and nobody wants to listen to another “banana is a berry,” like, ever.

Luckily, one Reddit user who goes by u/RyanBlitzpatrick did everyone a favor and asked people on r/AskReddit “What's a fact that just blows your mind?” 3.6K upvotes and 3.5K comments later, the results are in and you’d better get your notebook ready, 'cause these are some of the hand-picked knowledge bites that may honestly surprise you.

#1

Interesting-Facts-Mind-Blow When you dream, one part of your brain is making up the story, and another part is experiencing those events and is genuinely surprised by all the twists in the plot.

jayantadey1996 , Quinn Dombrowski Report

DforDorothy
Community Member
9 months ago

Split personality?

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#2

Interesting-Facts-Mind-Blow 2006, which doesn’t feel THAT long ago, saw the death of two colossally old tortoises. The first, Harriet, was reportedly collected by Charles Darwin when he visited the Galápagos on the HMS Beagle. She belonged to Steve Irwin at the time of her death. Charles Darwin and Steve Irwin shared a “pet.” Estimated to have lived 176 years.

The second, Adwaita, was born before the United States declared its independence from England. Think of it: just 14 years ago, there was a land creature alive that was older than our country. Just incredible.

harpo-polo , wikipedia Report

Guild N. Stern
Community Member
9 months ago

Not my country.

SilverLining
Community Member
9 months ago

Why did someone down vote this? There are other countries besides 'merica

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Mark Johnson
Community Member
9 months ago

I was lucky enough to visit this zoo in 2006 and see Harriet before she died. I edited a video of my trip and dedicated it to her.

Csaba Hegedűs
Community Member
9 months ago

What if I told you that trees are also 'land creatures'...

Becca Gizmo the Squirrel
Community Member
9 months ago

I would Thank you for blowing my mind. I'm a big tree person. I love trees.

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Courtney LeDroit
Community Member
9 months ago

There's a shark called a living fossil, it was alive in the 1800's and is still alive today.

Up All Night
Community Member
9 months ago

Along with several even older creatures.

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Nicky OldfieldDesciple
Community Member
9 months ago (edited)

There is a tortoise called Johnathan still alive and well today and living at a plantation house in St. Helena who was born in 1832. This was while Andrew Jackson was president and 5 years before Queen Victoria ascended to the throne.

Ian Milne
Community Member
9 months ago

The Greenland shark is estimate to live up to 500 years. Theoretically there could be one alive today that was alive 200 years before America declared independence.

Dynein
Community Member
9 months ago

I heard that it took awhile for some (Galapagos?) tortoises to be documented as a species... not because people didn't know about them, but because all specimen were eaten before the ship returned to a place with zoologists. Apparently they are/were too delicious to resist... (Was in some QI episode)

Caroleann Mc Callion
Community Member
9 months ago

Yep. QI. Worth watching just for the repeated pronunciation of DeliSHIOUS.Very funny.

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Agnieszka Cichy
Community Member
9 months ago

About first one, well, apparently Charles Darwin and Steve Irwin were Harriets pets, not other ways around :D

Gabor Dvornik
Community Member
9 months ago

To be true that land is originally belongs to native indians just white men stole it. Today's americans are not owners of that land but herited from thieves... imho. Not for offending.

Steve Barker
Community Member
9 months ago

And who did THEY steal it from?

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Theodore Theodora
Community Member
9 months ago

Also, "Adwaita" means "undivided." A lovely name with a lot of spiritual heft.

MiraiJack
Community Member
9 months ago

Admit it Darwin, the whole Evolution Theory was just the tortoise talking about it's grandparents.

Mark
Community Member
9 months ago

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPggB4MfPnk

Khloe Ness
Community Member
9 months ago

it looks suprised to hear that

Niffler_13
Community Member
9 months ago

There was a Quahog Clam that was over 500 years old and probably would have lived longer if the scientists examining it hadn’t accidentally killed it.

That
Community Member
1 month ago

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sunnywills08u44u
Community Member
9 months ago

Nice sound

Dorothy Cloud
Community Member
9 months ago

So amazing.

Denis Brown
Community Member
9 months ago

China and Europe laughed at us. "They think their country is old. HAH! "

Bill
Community Member
9 months ago

Ruth Bader Ginsberg signed the Declaration

Onion rings like to make your breath smelly
Community Member
9 months ago

Must be an honour to be something that old

Michele Clarke
Community Member
9 months ago

WOW! THAN IS CRAZY!

Lisa Chambers
Community Member
9 months ago

That is pretty awesome.

Caroleann Mc Callion
Community Member
9 months ago

Awww, I honestly think it's cute when Americans express surprise at something being older than their country. There are trees everywhere that are older than America, there are trees in AMERICA that are older than America. America, sweetheart, you're really, really, young.

Lynn Heyman
Community Member
9 months ago

Feeling insignificant right now! 😵

Amanda Shepherd
Community Member
9 months ago

Older than your country LOL So it wasnt there and inhabited before being 'discovered'

Clarissa Linnitt
Community Member
9 months ago

And then Steve Irwin died a few months later. :'(

CatWoman312
Community Member
9 months ago

Wow!

Jason Doakes
Community Member
9 months ago

This comment has been deleted.

Erik Machado
Community Member
9 months ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

Who cares. Europe sucks

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#3

Interesting-Facts-Mind-Blow November 2, 2000 was the last time all humans were on the planet together. Since then at least one person has remained on the international space station

theguy4785 , nasa Report

Scagsy
Community Member
9 months ago

What about Major Tom?

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I wish it was as easy to remember these facts as it was to scroll through. In reality, we do learn things every day, but not much of that information sticks with us.

But memory is a very complex function. It turns out, much of it is generated not only through recollection, but also through the emotions that are attached to it. Shahram Heshmat, a professor emeritus at the University of Illinois at Springfield, believes that “emotion affects all the phases of memory formation.”

For example, “Attention guides our focus to select what’s most relevant for our lives and is normally associated with novelty.” And nothing focuses the mind more than a surprise which escalates emotional intensity.

#4

Interesting-Facts-Mind-Blow Martin Luther King, Jr. and Anne Frank were born in the same year.

Also, that same year, Betty White was already 7 years old.

Rob_Vegas , wikipedia Report

Scagsy
Community Member
9 months ago

A good year for the human race

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#5

Interesting-Facts-Mind-Blow The oldest living tree in the world methuselah is 4851 years old

social-shipwreck , Matthew Dillon Report

martin Phiri
Community Member
9 months ago

and it had to be hidden so humans don't kill it

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#6

Interesting-Facts-Mind-Blow That the Oxford Univeristy is older than the Aztec Empire

TheRhinoMonk , Samuel M Report

Kit Tan
Community Member
9 months ago

Oxford University established in 1096, the alliance of three city-states forming the Aztec Empire occured in 1428.

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Another interesting thing which escalates long-term memory is not the recollection of a fact itself, but rather the so-called mood memory. Prof. Heshmat explains that “Our current emotional state facilitates recall of experiences that had a similar emotional tone.”

For example, being in a bad mood primes us to think of and remember unpleasant moments.Having said that, most of the things we forget easily have to do with our inability to put them in our long-term memory.

#7

Interesting-Facts-Mind-Blow The sound made by the Krakatoa volcanic eruption in 1883 was so loud it ruptured eardrums of people 40 miles away, travelled around the world four times, and was clearly heard 3,000 miles away.

That's like you standing in New York and hearing a sound from San Francisc

armagoei , NASA Goddard Space Report

martin Phiri
Community Member
9 months ago

loud and deadly

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#8

Interesting-Facts-Mind-Blow If time travel were possible, you would need a time-and-space-machine to survive the trip, otherwise when you travelled back in time, the planet would be at a different point in its rotation around the sun and our solar system would be at a different point in space as it rotates, which means you'd travel back in time and be in an empty part of space

brad-corp , Herman Rhoids Report

JuJu
Community Member
9 months ago

T.A.R.D.I.S.

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#9

Interesting-Facts-Mind-Blow The International Space station is closer to the earth than San Francisco is to L.A

BareassedM , NASA Report

Johnny
Community Member
9 months ago

You can bike from SF to LA in 42 hours, less than the typical 2 day trip to the ISS (though some have been shorter)

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Meanwhile, forcing yourself to memorize things is likely not to be very effective because our brains are not capable of making sense of dense information quickly and forming strong associations.

It's better to use super simple tricks such as visualization (imagine what you are trying to remember), repetition (boring but effective), and learning the opposite things (create associations in your head).

And never underestimate the power of understanding that which you’re learning, because you'll never be able to remember something you can’t explain yourself.

#10

Interesting-Facts-Mind-Blow Arctic foxes can survive temperatures as low as -70 degrees Celsius

Weeneem , Tambako The Jaguar Report

Wubbleyew
Community Member
9 months ago

Look at that smug face. He knows he's tough

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#11

Interesting-Facts-Mind-Blow If an underwater bubble is collapsed by loud sound, light is produced and no one knows why

1 -Mark_YU5MAV- , AleGranholm Report

DforDorothy
Community Member
9 months ago

Don't shout at your underwater fart bubbles!

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#12

Interesting-Facts-Mind-Blow Some people don’t have an inner monologue, like they literally don’t have a voice in their head.

DublD96 , Matt Gibson Report

Lynda Momalo
Community Member
9 months ago

I can't even imagine. Those must be the people who fall asleep easily!

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#13

Interesting-Facts-Mind-Blow A woman once jumped off the 86th floor of the Empire State Building but the wind pushed her back and she fell on a ledge on the 85th floor. She survived.

reddit.com Report

Summer
Community Member
9 months ago

This comment has been deleted.

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#14

Interesting-Facts-Mind-Blow The fact that nobody knows that if we all see colours the same way

anime_fan77 , oh_debby Report

Kit Tan
Community Member
9 months ago

Also, how you can never tell if someone is colour blind and you'll never truly know how they see the world...

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#15

Interesting-Facts-Mind-Blow That there are people in the world who don't like music. Not one specific type, but music as a whole.

That both blows my mind and disturbs me

IncertRandomNameHere , Eugene Peretz Report

Bardhi's Dad
Community Member
9 months ago

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and they are called people with disability

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#16

Interesting-Facts-Mind-Blow I still can’t get over the fact that teddy roosevelt got shot and continued to give a three hour speech

stevew32 , wikipedia Report

Hunter
Community Member
9 months ago

i remember learning about that i think it went like I don't know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot; but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose

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#17

Interesting-Facts-Mind-Blow Ant biologists still don't know the maximum life span of most ant queens. They just live too long to keep track, and they're not too easy to keep in captivity. The longest one on record is like 30 years old, and there could easily be species that live longer than that

Broflake-Melter , yokohamayomama Report

Summer
Community Member
9 months ago

yaz queeennnnn

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#18

Interesting-Facts-Mind-Blow There is a termite colony in the Amazon Rain Forest that is the size of Great Britain and is almost 4,000 years old. There are also hundreds of millions of termite mounds

Redditor_2017 , cell Report

Summer
Community Member
9 months ago

woaaaaahhhhh

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#19

Interesting-Facts-Mind-Blow The U.S government has an official for a Zombie apocalypse. CONPLAN 8888 also known as Counter-Zombie Dominance was written in 2011. And just in case you think it's weird bureaucratic humor, the first line reads, 'This plan was not actually designed as a joke.'

sdsanth Report

Wubbleyew
Community Member
9 months ago

A plan for Zombies but no real plan for covid. Nice work

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#20

There are more trees on Earth then there are stars in the Milky Way galaxy.

Confirmed by NASA.

Spajster Report

pei meow
Community Member
9 months ago

But everyday more trees are being cut down

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#21

Interesting-Facts-Mind-Blow A neutron star is so dense that a teaspoon of material from one would weigh around 10 million tons

ladies-pmme-nudespls Report

pei meow
Community Member
9 months ago (edited)

🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯

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#22

If the timeline of the universe (up to now) was compressed into a year starting on new year's day, Homo sapiens would appear at 11:54 pm on December 31st

vsbobclear Report

Nagawa (Cofa) Kishiki
Community Member
9 months ago

We really mess up a lot in less then a second.

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#23

Mitochondria is only passed down by mother so there's a concept of mitochondrial eve, all humans today have their mitochondrial dna derived from her

k110111 Report

Dorothy Parker
Community Member
9 months ago

Hold onto your hats if you're a white supremacist. The place or origin is believed to be East Africa.

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See Also on Bored Panda
#24

Strawberries aren’t berries. But bananas are

CallumDudo Report

pei meow
Community Member
9 months ago

Bananaberries!

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#25

The Fermi Paradox.

With the number of potentially habitable Earth-like planets in our galaxy alone, it’s very strange that we haven’t detected alien signals of any kind so far.

There’s lots of theories as to why that is, but my favorite is called the great silenceDark Forest (which sounds way cooler). Basically everyone else out there is being quiet and not transmitting because they know of some danger that we are unaware of, and they don’t want it to find them. Gives me chills.

Edit: It’s interesting that most of the replies here, joking or serious, correspond to legitimate theories on the Fermi Paradox.

azermanus Report

Dorothy Parker
Community Member
9 months ago

But you failed to share the responses.

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#26

Interesting-Facts-Mind-Blow That the biggest bacteria species known, Thiomargarita namibiensis, can have a maximum diameter of 0.7 millimeters, which is big enough for you to see it without a microscope.

That's insane if you consider that your average bacteria species has a diameter of 0.001 millimeters.

Cachuchotas , wikipedia. Report

KittyComics
Community Member
9 months ago

wow

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#27

How a computer does what it does. Blows my mind how 1's and 0's can do so much. Maybe I'm uneducated, but still mind blowing

VeryAutisticWeeb Report

Johnny
Community Member
9 months ago

The 1's and 0's aren't so amazing, binary math is easily understood -- the amazing thing to me is the timing, the fastest CPU's can reach 5Ghz, that's so fast that light can only travel around 2 inches with every CPU clock tick.

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#28

A pig will eat a whole human body except for the teeth

TheTommyKnockerZ Report

Hunter
Community Member
9 months ago

ive watched criminal minds i knew that ( still a really cool fact)

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#29

Interesting-Facts-Mind-Blow The way the human brain works. These cells that are powered by tiny jolts of electricity are collectively having conscious thoughts, coming up with morals and empathy and every human behavior

pigeon_q , Jerimee Richir Report

ThreeOfAKind
Community Member
9 months ago

Electricity also causes the heart to keep beating

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#30

Interesting-Facts-Mind-Blow That Neutrinos have mass and every second of every day about a billion of them are going through every square inch of your body - but the space between your atoms is so huge there's pretty much a 0% chance they will ever hit you

ProbablyNotArcturian , Ryan Report

Iapetos
Community Member
9 months ago

And if, you probably wouldn't notice.

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Note: this post originally had 59 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.