“Today I Learned”: 30 Interesting Facts You Might Not Know About The World (New Posts)
With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, our minds are always buzzing. Every time we hop online, we’re bombarded with endless amounts of news, data, and entertainment, and it’s bound to make heads spin! While the digital world makes sure our brains never really stop, thankfully, there’s a beloved corner of the internet that helps us feel less overwhelmed by featuring the tastiest bitesize nuggets of information we all appreciate.
We’re talking about the 'Today I Learned' online community, the perfect outlet to pique our curiosity and boost our intelligence. With over 28.8 million members, the group celebrates knowledge by sharing some of the most intriguing and lesser-known things, facts, and truths that can be quickly consumed and understood.
Below, we wrapped up the freshest batch of surprising and valuable tidbits from this powerhouse to add some much-needed value to our feeds. So grab your notebooks and your thinking caps and get ready for an informative ride as you scroll down this list. Be sure to upvote your favorite facts, and then spread some words of wisdom in the comments! Psst! For more goodness from the TIL world, check out Bored Panda's earlier pieces here, here, and right here.
TIL Hummingbirds have an exceptional memory due to an enlarged hippocampus. This allows them to remember the exact location of specific hummingbird feeders along their migration path from North America to Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America.
TIL that at the ancient Olympics, cheating athletes would be fined and the fines used to build bronze statues at the entrance of the Olympic stadium, each inscribed with the name of the cheater and how they cheated
TIL of the 'Fry and Turnbull effect' on prostate cancer in the UK. In 2008 news presenter Bill Turnbull and broadcaster Stephen Fry both had a prostate cancer diagnosis and urged other men to come forward for help. It caused a 36% increase in patients receiving treatment the following year.
TIL that Jimmy Carter, at 97, is the oldest living President, the longest-lived President, and also has the longest retirement ( 41 years ) of any President
TIL Freddie Mercury’s introductory scatting vocal on "Under Pressure" was improvised during an experiment suggested by David Bowie, as Brian May recalls it: "David said, 'Okay, let’s each of us go in the vocal booth and sing how we think the melody should go and we’ll compile a vocal out of that.'"
TIL the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was founded by FDR's New Deal in 1933. In its 9 year existence the CCC employed nearly 3 million men, planted over 3.5 billion trees, and established more than 700 state parks. It was the most rapid peacetime mobilization in US history.
TIL The Carmen Sandiego Show (1991-1995; 295 episodes) was created partially in response to the results of a National Geographic survey that indicated Americans had alarmingly little knowledge of geography, with one in four being unable to locate the Soviet Union or the Pacific Ocean.
TIL award-winning writer William Goldman would make up bedtime stories for his daughters (4yo & 7yo). One of them wanted tales of princesses, the other wanted brides, so he combined them. These stories became his next book: "The Princess Bride"
TIL in 400 BCE Persian engineers created an ice machine in the desert.
TIL For weeks, Ganeshpur, a village in eastern Bihar, India, had to put up with frequent power outages that only seemed to occur a few hours after sunset. It was later revealed that an electrician was cutting the village's power whenever he wanted to see his girlfriend in secrecy in the dark.
TIL that a drop of water spends an average of nine days in the atmosphere before falling back to Earth. If it should fall in the ocean it may take it over 3000 years before evaporating again.
TIL that in 1956, the Comics Code Authority tried to prevent a story from being printed because it involved a black astronaut, even though this was never actually forbidden by the Code. Fortunately, the publisher managed to get the CCA to back down by threatening to take the matter to court.
TIL that when a poisonous gas leak was found at 11:45pm immediately before the Bhopal disaster in 1984 that killed thousands, a decision was made to do something about it after the 12:15am tea break.
TIL The final episode of M*A*S*H was two and a half hours long and was viewed by an audience of 121 million.
TIL Medieval myths surrounding salamanders being resistant to fire were due to salamanders habit of hibernating in logs… putting another log in the fire = salamander scurrying from the fire … leading people to believe they were “born of fire”.
TIL Tonic water was created as an early prophylactic treatment against Malaria (due to the added Quinine) by the British army. They added Gin to improve taste and now we have the G&T.
TIL somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean are the Disappointment Islands. Named by John Byron in 1765, because he found the natives to be hostile towads him.
TIL The Golden Raspberry Awards has made retractions on two occasions. Bruce Willis had his Raspberry category retracted once it was discovered he was suffering from aphasia. Shelley Duvall's nomination was retracted because of Kubrick's mistreatment on The Shining.
TIL: John Michell in 1783, published a paper speculating the existence of black holes, and was forgotten until the 1970s
TIL that if two pieces of similar metals touch in a vacuum like outer space, and if both pieces are perfectly flat and polished, they will indeed fuse to effectively make one new piece. Atoms in the metals share electrons and bond permanently. This is called cold welding.
TIL about rescue buoys used in the English channel in WWII. Designed to provide shelter for the pilots or crew of aircraft shot down or forced to make an emergency landing over water, they contained food, cigarettes, liquor, flares and even board games to pass the time.
TIL the Carthaginian general Hannibal Barca was so terrifying to Rome that they would use the phrase "Hannibal is at the gates" whenever disaster struck. When the romans finally defeated Hannibal, they built statues of him in the streets of Rome to advertise their defeat of such a worthy adversary.
TIL Lal Bihari Mritak is an Indian farmer and activist who was officially declared dead between 1975 and 1994. He fought with Indian bureaucracy for 19 years to prove that he is alive.
TIL: In 1990 a courier was robbed on a street in London, England. The robber made off with bearer bonds to the value of £292 million. Today, this is equivalent to £758 million - or $1.086 billion USD. This is still the highest amount ever stolen in a street robbery.
TIL Hans Christian Anderson was huge fanboy of Charles Dickens & annoyed the hell out of him by overstaying his welcome as a guest
TIL that in 2006, FBI agents attempted to arrest prison guards at the Federal Correctional Institution, Tallahassee, after having learnt the guards were trading drugs for sex with female inmates. One of the guards opened fire with a personal handgun, killing one agent and wounding another.
TIL that in his famous paper, Computing Machinery And Intelligence, Alan Turing recommended that the Turing Test be performed in a 'telepathy-proof room' so the human couldn't use psychic powers to identify the computer
TIL When a horse and donkey mate they make a mule (or hinnie). Mules are stronger than horses and donkeys of the same size and are more resilient to disease.
TIL that the Allstate "Mayhem" actor Dean Winters, died for about 3 minutes, and was then revived. The infection that caused this also led to two toes and a thumb needing to be amputated.
TIL that 95% of all thoroughbred racehorses today can trace their lineage back to a single horse, Darley Arabian, born over 300 years ago.
Note: this post originally had 102 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.