‘Today I Learned’: 50 Interesting Facts People Didn’t Learn At School (New Pics)
Learning is a lifelong process. And it can bring so much joy. But schools, workplaces, and all the compliance drills that come with them can make us associate it with arbitrary pass/fail cut-offs and other sinister consequences.
Luckily, you can still acquire new information just for the sake of it.
There's a subreddit called r/TodayILearned. This online community has 24.9 million members, constantly sharing the most interesting random facts they have stumbled upon, and it has become such a vast catalog of trivia, it's easily one of the best "encyclopedias" online.
So dust off your brain cells and keep scrolling—below are some of the posts that recently went viral on the subreddit. And if you're like Tai Lopez and can't get enough of knowledge, check out Bored Panda's earliest articles on r/TodayILearned here, here, and here.
After the 2011 Japanese nuclear plant in Fukushima was disabled by an earthquake tsunami double whammy, elderly Japanese people volunteered to do repairs to save young people from radiation exposure.
After Universidad del Mar was closed by Chilean government due to major financial irregularities, artist Papas Fritas managed to enter its vault and burn tuition contracts amounting to $500 million, making difficult to prove students owed the university this money
Some elephants eat off a specific tree to induce labor - the same tree which kenyan women brew a tea of for the same purpose
The Curie family is the family with the most Nobel Prizes. Marie Curie won two Nobel prizes in physics and chemistry. Her husband Pierre Curie won a Nobel in physics. Their daughter Irène Joliot-Curie won a Nobel prize in chemistry.
An 11 year old girl could not afford running shoes, so she wrapped her feet in tape and drew a Nike logo on it. She won several gold medals in local competitions.
Penguins can drink saltwater because of glands near their eyes that remove salt from their bloodstream and then they can sneeze out the extra salt.
Elinor Powell was a black nurse who served during WWII. She was assigned to work at a POW camp, like most African-American nurses at the time, and fell in love with a German POW there. They married and had children despite it being illegal in both the U.S and Germany during this time period.
In 1936 Orson Welles produced and directed a version of Shakespeare's Macbeth with an all-Black cast.
Genghis Khan would marry off a daughter to the king of an allied nation. Then he would assign his new son in law to military duty in the Mongol wars, while his daughter took over the rule. Most sons in law died in combat, giving his daughters complete control of these nations
Whoopi Goldberg is the only person in the world to have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony, and Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award
Aboriginal Australians often traveled to Indonesia for trade, and when British explorers first visited inland Australia they met an Aboriginal man who had already learned English from his visit to Singapore.
A species of Australian Nocturnal Ground Parrots thought to be extinct for 100 years were found by one man after 15 years of searching. His search began when he found one feather of this bird on a truck and traced it back to the farm of an Old Indigenous Gentleman.
Researchers found that a blood test called PanSeer detected cancer in 95% of patients up to 4 years before they got a conventional cancer diagnosis. The test determines if the DNA in blood plasma was shed by tumours based on precence of particular methyl groups.
The search to recover debris from the Challenger disaster in 1986 also resulted in the discovery of 13 shipwrecks, two lost airplanes and 25 kilos of cocaine
In 2015, a plane made an emergency landing after the crew received an indication of smoke in the cargo hold. It turns out to be caused by the 2,186 sheep farting onboard.
Apple's policy of refusing to repair phones that have undergone "unauthorized" repairs is illegal in Australia due to their right to repair law
New Zealand is not part of of any of the world's seven recognized continents, and is in fact situated upon the submerged continent of Zealandia.
Agatha Christie is the third most widely published author of all time, outsold only by Shakespeare and the bible. Her books have sold more than a billion copies in English and a billion more in 100 different languages.
The West Indie's top cricketer Kraigg Brathwaite was scrawny as a kid, and got bullied by his Combermere School (Barbados) bus mates. A girl, 4 years his senior, protected him. She beat up the bullies & took Kraigg on her lap. Her name: Robyn Fenty, a.k.a. Rihanna.
Paul McCartney let a stranger claiming to be Jesus Christ sit in on a Beatles recording session in 1967. McCartney figured, "Well, it probably isn’t. But if he is, I’m not going to be the one to turn him away"
Whenever we sleep in unfamiliar surroundings, only half your brain is getting a good night's rest while the other half stands guard.
Babies can acquire sign language just like they would acquire any language and follows the same patterns as vocal language acquisition, where deaf infants (if exposed to sign language early) start to "babble" 1-2 sign sentences around the time their hearing counterparts start to "babble" words.
Mexico was the only country to protest against the German annexation of Austria
There is a clear ceramic made out of Aluminum that is stronger than bulletproof glass, and has a higher melting point than stainless steel. It is called ALON, and is used for armored windows
The USS New York is a ship in the US Navy forged partially from steel that was salvaged from the World Trade Center after it was destroyed in 9/11. The ship's motto is "Strength forged through sacrifice. Never forget."
Oxford University is so old that they don’t even know when exactly it was founded and that the earliest evidence of teaching there goes back to 1096.
Theodore Roosevelt's daughter Alice had a pet snake named Emily Spinach. She liked to carry it around the White House in her purse and take it out at unexpected moments.
Eight years after JFK’s assassination, Jackie Kennedy avoided the public unveiling of their White House portraits, but the Nixons graciously agreed to a secret, private tour for her and her kids. It was her only return visit
Aquariums aren't allowed to pay to get animals from other aquariums as it encourages poaching. So there is a barter system in place where they swap animals. A New England aquarium traded a dozen penguins for 800 mackerel and their basic unit of trade is the jellyfish
Payless once opened a fake luxury store called "Palessi" and invited influencers to see how much people would pay for $20 shoes. Top offer: $640. A markup of 1800%.
Ed Sheeran granted a dying fans wish, which was to hear him sing, by singing to her minutes before she died
Poncke Princen, a Dutch anti-Nazi fighter who was later sent to Indonesia to suppress an anticolonial rebellion. Princen, after witnessing Dutch war crimes, defected to fight with the guerrillas in 1948. He later helped expose the anticommunist massacres of Indonesian dictator Suharto.
Surya Bonaly, a French figure skater, landed a backflip on one blade in the 1998 Nagano Olympics. This was banned in 1976 and Bonaly did it despite knowing that it would negatively affect her score. It has not been repeated in the Olympics since.
Duct tape was invented by Vesta Stoudt, a factor worker during WWII and the mother of 2 sons in the Navy. When her supervisors at the factory dismissed her idea for a stronger cloth-based tape, she wrote a letter to President FDR, who then ordered Johnson&Johnson to manufacture her idea.
The original drummer of The Offspring became a gynecologist, and during the initial stages of a malpractice trial, he performed CPR and used a defibrillator to save the life of a potential juror. The judge had to declare a mistrial because the rest of the jury would likely be biased in his favor
After denied rights to use "Another One Bites the Dust" for Rocky III, Sylvester Stallone hired Survivor to write an original song instead, which turned out to be "Eye Of The Tiger"
The skeletons of medieval English archers were deformed from years of archery. The high poundage of war bows, coupled with years of training in their use from a young age, led to skeletons having over-developed shoulder and arm bones to compensate for the growth of muscle around those areas.
An ancient Roman oracle once prophesied that "Caligula had no more chance of becoming emperor than of riding a horse across the Bay of Baiae". After becoming emperor, Caligula ordered ships to construct the largest pontoon bridge in history, and rode his horse across the Bay of Baiae
Neil Armstrong's heart rate spiked to 150+ when NASA turned the control over to him for the moon landing.
Before proposing to Emma Wedgwood, Charles Darwin made a list of marriage pros and cons. Pros- better than a dog, charms of music & female chit-chat. Cons - Anxiety & responsibility, less money for books.
Koi carps bred outside of Japan live on average 15 years, while the average age of Japanese koi is 40 years and the oldest recorded lifespan is 226 years (the Koi named Hanako lived from 1751 to 1977).
Charlie no-face is an urban legend of a monster who takes walks during the nights of Pennsylvania, in reality the man (named Raymond Robinson) had a severely disfigured face because of a childhood accident that he couldn't go in public without causing a panic, so he took night walks.
South Park co-creator Trey Parker begged his show's executive producer not to air one South Park episode because he was afraid it would ruin South Park. That episode was "Make Love, Not Warcraft" which received critical acclaim and earned a Primetime Emmy Award
The Python programming language is named after the BBC show “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” and has nothing to do with reptiles.
When Ratatouille was being animated, one of the Pixar employees jumped into a pool in a cook's uniform and apron so that the team could see how the clothing looked when wet.
There's a spy themed restaurant called the SafeHouse. It was founded in 1966 and it has a hidden location with a secret entrance. A password is needed to enter and if it's not given, patrons will have to do silly tasks that are broadcasted to people inside the restaurant in order to enter.
The former CEO of Coca-Cola, Roberto Goizueta, was the first person to become a billionaire by being an employee and not a company founder (or heir).
The movie Independence Day still holds the record for most miniature models to appear in one film. Approximately 95% of the movie's special effects were shot using miniatures and due to the advances in digital technology this record may stand forever.
When Don Cheadle was first offered the role of War Machine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he was told he only had an hour to decide on the 12-year commitment. When Cheadle responded that he was at his kid's birthday party, the Marvel rep said, "Oh! Oh, take two hours"
To clean out the sewer pipes that tended to block, the mayor of the city of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe instituted a synchronized flush. Residents who did not comply were fined.
Note: this post originally had 118 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.