35 New ‘Today I Learned’ Facts That Prove It’s Never Too Late To Learn Something New
When browsing the internet, not only do we rarely learn anything, but we often also forget things. Think of our long-gone attention spans that social media has cut to the brim, and ask yourself when was the last time you scrolled through something seriously beneficial.
While you wonder, let me tell you there’s the internet’s beloved corner of Reddit which makes karma, or rather our brain levels, even because it actually teaches us something. We’re talking about the 'Today I Learned' online group that celebrates curiosity by sharing some of the most interesting and lesser-known things, facts, and bits of knowledge we all appreciate.
Today is the day for the newest TIL batch, so pull your seat closer and enjoy the ride without guilt. When you’re done, be sure to check our previous TIL features here, here, and here and be sure to share them with your friends!
TIL that when Yoshitaro Shibasaki and his team completed their 1907 ascent of Mount Tsurugi — thought to be the final unclimbed mountain remaining in the Japanese archipelago — they found an ancient sword at the summit that was later determined to have been left there more than 1000 years earlier.
TIL: As far back as 1872, despite practically no women being allowed to vote, Victoria Woodhull of the Equal Rights Party became the first woman nominated for a US Presidential election. Frederick Douglass, a black abolitionist, was even chosen as her running mate
TIL of Lauren Stratford (Wilson) who wrote a book claiming that she was in a Satanic cult in which she sacrificed her own child. After magazine reporters exposed her as never having a child, she changed her name and claimed to be a holocaust survivor, and was exposed again by the same magazine.
TIL A company in the 90's made pencils with the anti-drug slogan "Too Cool to Do Drugs" but had to recall them because, when sharpened, they read "Do Drugs"
TIL George Lucas not only gave his blessing to make Spaceballs, he also handed the movie over to his effects company, Industrial Light and Magic, to provide the space effects and postproduction
TIL The only children to survive the Titanic without a parent were two brothers aged 2 and 4. Their father kidnapped them from his ex-wife and boarded the ship with a fake name. The father didn’t survive and for weeks the boys were known as the Titanic Orphans until their mother was found.
TIL that a 2019 study showed that evening primrose plants can "hear" the sound of a buzzing bee nearby and produce sweeter nectar in response to it.
TIL US President John Adam’s beloved daughter Nabby developed breast cancer and underwent a complete mastectomy without anesthesia while strapped to a chair.
TIL in 1983, NFL Chiefs running back Joe Delaney sacrificed his life in an attempt to save three children from drowning. His number is unofficially retired by the team and a statue was put up in his hometown.
TIL Baseball player Al "The Hebrew Hammer" Rosen was an amateur boxer and known for challenging anyone who insulted his heritage, or used anti-Semitic slurs, to fight. His stated preferred method for dealing with anti-Semitism was to 'Flatten them'.
TIL the boy whose exorcism was the inspiration behind The Exorcist grew up to be a NASA engineer. His work contributed to the Apollo mission in the '60s.
TIL, despite its vastness, it only takes 39-40 digits of pi to calculate the size of the observable universe to an accuracy of 1 hydrogen atom. Because of this, NASA uses only 15 digits of pi in even their highest accuracy calculations.
TIL that Hormel Foods keeps a file of hatemail they've received from American soldiers who had to eat the notorious food product while at war overseas
TIL French secret service agents bombed the Greenpeace ship "Rainbow Warrior in order to stop Greenpeace from disrupting underwater nuclear testing in 1985.
TIL that there are around 50-60 blue faience hippopotamus statuettes that survived from Ancient Egypt. Due to the danger hippos posed in the wild, they often snapped off the legs of hippopotamus statuettes before placing them in tombs, so the hippos wouldn’t be able to eat the soul of the deceased.
TIL Tom Dolan, despite having both exercise induced asthma and a narrow trachea giving him access to only about 20 percent of the air an average person breath—was at one time considered the best swimmer in the world and is a two time Olympic gold medalist and world record holder.
TIL Episodes Five and Ten of 1960s Doctor Who story The Daleks' Master Plan were long considered missing until they were found in the basement of a Mormon church in Wandsworth. Nobody has found out how they got there.
TIL that during World War II, the United States published a spy manual urging middle managers in enemy territory to sabotage their employers by bringing up irrelevant issues, promoting bad workers, haggling over petty details, and holding unnecessary meetings.
TIL of the ancient Greek athlete Theagenes. After his death, a rival athlete who held a grudge would beat his statue. The statue fell on his rival, killing him. It was then put on trial, convicted of murder and was exiled by being thrown into the sea.
TIL about corn sweat, where corn plants release water into the air. One acre of corn can release 3,000-4,000 gallons of water per day, and can raise the humidity level up to 10%.
TIL that SNL called Phil Hartman "The Glue" because his professionalism and comedy skills held together so many sketches
TIL in 2009 British people rebelled against the ongoing trend of X Factor victors winning Christmas number one by purchasing copies of Rage Against the Machine
TIL The professional bowler Chris Barnes once beat a robot optimized to throw strikes
TIL that dandelions are edible and are actually really nutritious and can be eaten raw
TIL traditional grass lawns originated as a status symbol for the wealthy. Neatly cut lawns used solely for aesthetics became a status symbol as it demonstrated that the owner could afford to maintain grass that didn’t serve purposes of food production.
TIL Story Musgrave is the most formally educated astronaut with seven academic degrees and only astronaut to have flown on all five space shuttles.
TIL Consumers lose $3 billion a year in unspent gift cards, with starbucks itself having $140 million in unused gift cards.
TIL Quentin Tarantino directed an episode of CSI in 2005 after word of him being a fan of the show got back to the show's producers.
TIL that the surgeon August Bier tested on his own assistant a form of anesthesia consisting of injecting cocaine directly into the spine, and to check how effective it was, he stuck a needle in his leg, hit him in the shins with a hammer, ripped off his pubic hair and even squeezed his testicles.
TIL that Sigmund Freud was a Cocaine Addict, and he personally prescribed it to his wife and friends
TIL in 1962 boxer Emile Griffith fought Welterweight Champion Benny Paret. At the weigh-in, Paret infuriated Griffith, a bisexual man, by touching his buttocks and making a homophobic slur. Griffith won the bout by knockout; Paret never recovered consciousness and died in the hospital 10 days later.
TIL the original version of The Game of Life had a suicide square
TIL of the Fontana delle Tette in Treviso, North Italy, a XVI century topless statue of a woman sprinkling water from each nipple. During celebrations, it spouts red and white wine, free to drink.
TIL that the highest-ranking US military officer of Vietnamese descent is the only survivor of a family whose killer was photographed being shot in the head in a Pulitzer-winning photograph.