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

ElusiveIntrovert
Community Member
1 month ago

So, my brain is playing tricks on my brain??? :O

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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
1 month ago

Not my country.

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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
1 month 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
1 month 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

Iapetos
Community Member
1 month ago

Respect the elderly!

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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
1 month 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
1 month 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

Bardhi's Dad
Community Member
1 month ago

Omg! I have to cancel all my plans after I read this!

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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

Peter Bear
Community Member
1 month ago

True. We don't realize how close 'space' is, really. Our mental idea of distance is generally good in the horizontal plane, but pretty lousy in the vertical.

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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
1 month 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

Chyppa Homer
Community Member
1 month ago

Good. So next power outage I'm gonna fart in the tub and yell at it :D

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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
1 month 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

Tivoli
Community Member
1 month ago

It like God ticking 'uninvite'.

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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

Dorothy Parker
Community Member
1 month ago

I think about that. It's more than just how you identify a color. There are colors in the aqua family I see as blue and my husband sees as green.

KittyComics
Community Member
1 month ago

but what if he sees his green as your aqua? what if his green is actually your bright orange? we will never know

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Malakai
Community Member
1 month ago

Fun fact: language can shape the colors you perceive! There was a study done on people from various societies--one group was from a society with a very limited vocabulary describing colors, and another group was from a society that had a plethora of color names. When tested, the group with the limited vocabulary LITERALLY COULD NOT SEE more nuanced colors such as teal, vermilion, or saffron, while the group with the broader vocabulary was able to identify more colors than the average English speaker (our vocabulary to describe colors is actually quite average, but still pretty varied)

Heather Spears
Community Member
2 weeks ago

inuit do not differentiate blue from green, use word - note mixes in their embroidery etc.

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Betsy Caraco
Community Member
1 month ago

I see colors differently out of each eye.......my left eyes sees colors with a cool tone and my right eye sees things with a warm tone

Val/Malibu/Dante/Bob
Community Member
1 month ago

That's actually really fascinating! Do you know if there is a reason behind it?

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GirlFriday
Community Member
1 month ago

This is so frustrating for me. I had a 35 minute argument with our Board of Directors over a design because two of them saw the plum color differently. I had to explain hex codes and Pantone formulas.

Sent From The Slytherin House
Community Member
1 month ago

I have been wondering about that. If this is true, think about this: we may all have the same favorite color but we have just learned to call it different things.

Roald Andresen
Community Member
1 month ago

According the neurologists, we can be fairly certain that our perception of red, green and blue are the same (assuming a normal color vision) since we have the same red, green and blue color receptors. But all the colors in between are most likely only our individual brains interpretation of mixed colors. So, we know that purple is a mix of red and blue, but we cannot know how each individual brain interprets this mix.

Anne Easterling
Community Member
1 month ago

I think it's pretty clear that we don't all see colors in the same way. Each person sees colors slightly differently. I've known that since I was a kid. To me, the easiest proof of this is that some people can discern variations in colors that I cannot. It's not just a matter of me using different names to describe what I see. I simply cannot see variations in certain ranges of colors that other apparently do. Ditto for sounds, I would assume.

John Wolf
Community Member
4 weeks ago

Could explain tone deafness

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Annabeth Chase
Community Member
1 month ago

Just because I'm curious, tell me what colors you see in those markers (I'm guessing). I see (going down from the top): black, red, purple, orange, brown, lime green, yellow, pink, green, and blue.

Doggo Georgia
Community Member
1 month ago

Same, though in my head I called the purple one lavender.

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Lisa Chambers
Community Member
1 month ago

Apparently we cannot really see magenta. We trick our minds into thinking we can. I still can't quite get that one.

Suzanne Haigh
Community Member
1 month ago

That is something that has puzzled me since I was a kid.

Shadow Kat
Community Member
1 month ago

This one got me thinking like mad.

Khloe Ness
Community Member
1 month ago

hm

Shelby P
Community Member
1 month ago

Does this mean that we see variance of colors differently like a lot of people are suggesting (teal is green or teal is blue) or does it mean that what I call red looks like what someone else calls blue? I mean how out of whack can it be?

CrunChewy McSandybutt
Community Member
1 month ago

I'd have to assume we do not. There are plenty of examples of perception differences, including that ugly dress from a few years ago.

WhatsUpKittyCat? (I wuv dogs too)
Community Member
1 month ago

Black, red, orange and purple, green and brown, yellow, pink, then another blue and green. That is what I see (from top to bottom in horizontal lines.)

WhatsUpKittyCat? (I wuv dogs too)
Community Member
1 month ago

On the pen lid colours

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Turnip and a Frog
Community Member
1 month ago

Was that sentence finished?

Eagle Girl
Community Member
1 month ago

As men who wear "matching" plaid have proven

Uğur Çontu
Community Member
1 month ago

I swear i had thought of it. Who could have proved what i see as red is the same red of someone else...

Onion rings like to make your breath smelly
Community Member
1 month ago

I think about that...

Steve Cruz
Community Member
1 month ago

That goes for all modes of perception.

Julie Bradley
Community Member
1 month ago

I think the way you see colours changes as you age. Flowers that I used to see as purple when I was a child, look bluer now I'm an older adult.

Anna Repp
Community Member
1 month ago

YES! It's been bothering me for years!!! But then - science, color theory and light wavelength!

Thomas Ewing
Community Member
1 month ago

The wavelength of light doesn't change and neither does physics. We all see colors the same.

Susan Mercurio
Community Member
1 month ago

We may see them the same, but we interpret them differently.

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AnnieLaurie Burke
Community Member
1 month ago

And if that's true about other humans, imagine what a load of caca it is when a "scientist" tells you how your cat or dog sees color!

Felicia Dale
Community Member
1 month ago

Anyone who uses color knows this.

Jonathan Schoonbroodt
Community Member
1 month ago

TOTALLY NOT. There has been soooo many discussions with friends about colors, I'm pretty sure this isn't the case lol

Meggy Robertson
Community Member
1 month ago

My eyes see colours slightly differently. Is this unusual?

Morgan Stewart
Community Member
1 month ago

My parents could never agree on what was brown and what was grey.

Parmeisan
Community Member
1 month ago

The hell we don't know. Each of my eyes see slightly differently. I can *NOT* be the only person for whom that is the case.

Gail Morgan
Community Member
1 month ago

I worked in a clothes shop and the guy who worked there thought that RED was one colour, i brought 14 RED clothes together from scarlet to maroon and yes to him they were red

Cathelijne van Weelden
Community Member
1 month ago

We have the answer from people who have had multiple cornea transplants. The answer is that we do know: everyone sees a certain color a bit differently. Fun fact; one of these persons had (after a few transplants that were rejected after a few years) an artificial cornea and he felt he could see it was artificial.

Christina SchweitzerGrigoriou
Community Member
1 month ago

remember the blue vs the brown dress?

Emiel Mostert
Community Member
1 month ago

If you are HSP, high sensitive person, many of them see colours more bright. I used to have a car, all called it grey, I saw it as light blue. I had many arguments about it. In my car papers I later found out it was a blue.

Arachmadi Pambudi
Community Member
1 month ago

my eye still CGA btw

*sigh*, The Yellow Teletubby
Community Member
1 month ago

Yes, this fascinates me! All of our perceptions of color could just be a ~pigment~ of our imaginations!

James Abbott
Community Member
1 month ago

I've had these thoughts since childhood

Courtney LeDroit
Community Member
1 month ago

I've often thought about that. Do we see the same blue sky when we look up?

guy greej
Community Member
1 month ago

The funny thing is where ever that particular color they see as blue appears, they'll always see it as that color. Where ever it appears you'll always see it as the color in how you see it. Both you you will point at it and say that's blue.

m. b
Community Member
1 month ago

This is confusing, we might both call it purple but maybe it is brown from your point of view?!

Jakub Wasilewski
Community Member
1 month ago

We don't really :D There is for ex mutation in some women which makes them differentieta much more different colours then normal population. For ex https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/9/120907-men-women-see-differently-science-health-vision-sex/

Sergio Bicerra Descalzi
Community Member
1 month ago

Remember de Dress Debate?

Bebe
Community Member
1 month ago

I have always thought about this. There is no way to tell..

Jennifer Gould
Community Member
1 month ago

Come to find out everyone's favorite color has been the same all along! lol

Kate
Community Member
1 month ago

I read that in a book by Francis Crick. I had to stop reading after that.

CatWoman312
Community Member
1 month ago

There are a lot of colors like burgundy for example that can seem like different colors to different people

DforDorothy
Community Member
1 month ago

The answer is NO. Just think of the colourblind people, or the ones who confuse them. Also, women see more detailed shades then men. Even our two own eyes perceive slightly different colours. (Shut one aye and look at something colourful, then try it with the other, several times- one might se slightly cooler tones than the other)

ThreeOfAKind
Community Member
1 month ago

Just because we see many different tones doesn’t mean what you know as dark green can’t be what I know as light red

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Kit Tan
Community Member
1 month ago

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

Bob Mccrackin
Community Member
1 month ago

well if that were true then there would be a lot of car accidents now wouldn't there

Scott Coers
Community Member
1 month ago

I know we don't, I'm graphic designer and see color very well, my 20 year daughter could look a 10 different shades of red and pink and only see red. She would say they all look the same.

Truth Monster
Community Member
1 month ago

i know full blind people see color the same way....

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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

Madison Feehan
Community Member
1 month ago

Hope I don't run into any of these people, because we wouldn't be vibin'!

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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
1 month 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

My O My
Community Member
1 month ago

Are they all called Elizabeth?

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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

Bardhi's Dad
Community Member
1 month ago

scary

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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
1 month 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

Indra Servo
Community Member
1 month ago

If you compared Milky Way with other galaxies, it's not that big

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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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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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#24

Strawberries aren’t berries. But bananas are

CallumDudo Report

pei meow
Community Member
1 month 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

Scagsy
Community Member
1 month ago

They may be transmitting in an entirely new form which we don't possess

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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
1 month 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
1 month 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

pei meow
Community Member
1 month ago

I don't want to know how they found that out.

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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

Rissie
Community Member
1 month ago

Those eyebrows.....

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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

Jus
Community Member
1 month ago

I'm more amazed that we consist of atoms with huge spaces in between and we are still in one piece. Wow.

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