40 Fascinating Facts That People Only Learned Now And Just Had To Share With Others (New Pics)
Every once in a while, it can be nice to feed your brain some new information, just as a snack. Whether for your own satisfaction or just some fun trivia to have on hand, it never hurts to learn more about the world that you live in.
So here are some not-so-well-known facts from the “Today I Learned” internet group to tickle your brain. Make sure you are comfortable, perhaps get a pen and some paper to jot down the ones that seem most interesting, and be sure to upvote your favorite facts as you scroll through. And when you are done, share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.
TIL of Triboulet: a Royal jester for King Francis of France who was sentenced to death for mocking the King and Queen. King Francis allowed him to choose his method of death, to which Triboulet responded “… I ask to die from old age.” He was spared and instead banished.
TIL that the loudness of a howler monkey is relative to the size of its testicles. Researchers found that the smaller the testicles, the louder the monkey.
One of the best fonts for interesting new facts about the world comes from insects, which tend to be a bit hard to study, as they are pretty small and interact with the world in a very different sort of manner. Ants, bees, and other hive insects are of particular interest since they approach life in a way that seems so alien to most humans.
For example, you might wonder why they are capable of such complex behavior without seemingly any language. Well, the answer lies in pheromones, which can convey a massive amount of information very quickly. Unfortunately, these insects tend to “overvalue” a pheromone over any other information, leading to comic and sometimes tragic situations.
TIL fairy dust was added to Peter Pan so that children wouldn't hurt themselves trying to fly when they got home from seeing the play.
TIL Spock was originally supposed to be a Martian, but Gene Roddenberry changed his home to the fictional Vulcan because he feared humans will already land on Mars during the show‘s runtime and make it look outdated
TIL elephant trunks are strong enough to lift and hold 770lbs yet precise enough to crack peanut shells without breaking the seeds
You may have seen clips of ants running in a circle, one after another. This isn’t some strange ritual or defense mechanism, this is what is sometimes called the ring of death or “ant mill,” where the ants simply go in a circle, following the ant in front of it. Often, it leads to the death of most ants involved, as they exhaust themselves.
TIL in 2005, a sheep jumped off a cliff in Turkey and 1500 sheep followed one by one. 450 sheep died and the rest survived by landing on the soft big pile of sheep.
TIL that in France, bars can’t have a Happy Hour without also making non-alcoholic drinks cheaper
TIL that the British sitcom Mr. Bean only consists of 15 episodes over a span of 6 years
While it may seem like a silly issue to have, the benefits of pheromones still outweigh the downsides. After all, ants are quite small, which seriously impedes their ability to perceive things. A few blades of grass and their perception of space is completely blocked. Pheromones can spread over a larger area and ignore many obstacles.
TIL Jaws directly contributed to a surge in shark hunting, and consequently a drop in shark populations. Peter Benchley regretted writing Jaws, "Knowing what I know now, I could never write that book today. Sharks don't target human beings, and they certainly don't hold grudges."
TIL that the Japanese have a word "Busshu-suru" which translates as "To do the Bush thing" meaning "to vomit" referring to the time when George H.W. Bush' vomited in Japan's prime minister's lap.
TIL that the makers of Donkey Kong Country wanted the Kongs to be voiced by actual gorillas and spent hours recording some at a zoo, only to realize that gorillas are actually very quiet. Finding themselves without sounds to work with, they had a programmer do gorilla impressions instead.
Once you realize that nearly every facet of life has this sort of potential to surprise and amuse, it can be both daunting and exciting to learn more. The real problem in the 21st century is the overwhelming amount of data and information out there. Where does one even start on any given topic? A Google search won’t work, as you might end up being bludgeoned by multiple encyclopedias worth of data.
TIL that it took Erno Rubik, inventor of the Rubiks Cube, one month to solve his own invention.
TIL ant corpses release a chemical when they die. A scientist once recreated this chemical and put it on a live ant. Its ant friends kept bringing it to the graveyard no matter how much it struggled to return.
TIL: A comedian formed the Union of Conscientiously Work-Shy Elements in Denmark as a joke, but he was unexpected elected with 23k votes and won a seat. His promises were better Christmas presents, the right to impotency, more renaissance furniture at IKEA, more bread for ducks, and better weather.
So if you do enjoy these sorts of bite-sized bits of information, look no further, as Bored Panda has got you covered. Check out our other articles with more facts from “Today I Learned” from this summer to learn more about people from history we should all know more about and interesting animal facts.
TIL: We domesticated the silk moth 5000 years ago for sericulture. They lost their ability to fly, lack fear of predators, & have lost native color pigments since camouflage is not useful as they only live in captivity. They're entirely dependent on humans for survival, including finding a mate.
TIL that the reason you get chills from a fever isn't because you're physically cold. It's the brain setting your body temp higher to fight the infection and tricking your body into thinking the temperature is wrong so the chills can help increase heat.
TIL that for centuries, numerous African populations were purported to be illiterate by European academics. In fact, they'd been using Ajami for literature and communication. Ajami adapts the Arabic script for many African languages, like Roman script is used for European ones...
TIL the smoot is a unit of measure named for Oliver R. Smoot, an MIT student who as a fraternity pledge was forced to measure the Harvard Bridge using himself as a ruler. A smoot is equal to five feet, seven inches.
TIL people didn’t know TNT was explosive for 28 years and used it as yellow dye instead
TIL: In 2019, a lawyer and a software developer brute force copyrighted every possible melody and entered them into public domain to insulate musicians from ‘stolen melody’ lawsuits.
TIL a sheep farmer in France became a national hero, wrote a best seller book and ran for president after he took his tractor and drove it through a mcdonalds as a protest because he hated what the fast food restaurant was doing to farmers.
TIL about the Coastline Paradox which explains that's its impossible to accurately measure the length of a country's coastline and the more precise the measurement the greater the length becomes - to the point of infinity
TIL that in the 2022 World Cup, Qatar became the first host nation to lose its opening match, the first host nation to lose all three of its matches, the first host nation to be eliminated from the tournament in two matches and the first host nation to have 0 points at the end of the group stage
TIL Hawaii is considered the bird extinction capital of the world - Since humans arrived, 95 of 142 bird species found nowhere else in the world have become extinct in Hawaii
TIL that with an estimated pay of $156,000,000 , Keanu Reeves is the highest paid actor in history for a single production since Matrix 2&3 were filmed back-to-back
TIL that the myth of carrots improving your eyesight and helping you see in the dark was WWII propaganda
TIL that in 1947 Canada raised the price of chocolate bars from 5¢ to 8¢ without much notice. Children protested against this 62.5% increase throughout the country, and approximately 200 stormed the legislature building of British Columbia.
TIL that when Andre the giant passed away there was no crematorium large enough in France so his body had to be flown to America
TIL that court dwarfs were strategically positioned next to the king or queen during public appearances and ceremonies, which, due to their small stature, had the effect of visually enhancing the monarch's presence. They were owned, traded, and delivered as gifts to kings and queens.
TIL that, over the course of their lifetime, 1 in 10 Icelanders will publish a book.
TIL, female elephants in Mozambique are rapidly evolving to not have tusks due to poachers.
TIL: After an IVF mix up, 2 mothers gave birth to each other's babies. Four months after giving birth, the California families swapped babies to return the children to their rightful parents.
TIL there is an IQ floor (80 points) to serve in the US Armed Forces and this requirement was relaxed during the Vietnam war. These people died at 5 times the rate of other Americans in the war.
TIL that when U.S. General George S. Patton died in late 1945, the French government offered to bury him beside Napoleon in Paris out of gratitude for his role in the liberation of France and western Europe.
TIL a territorial loophole created a de facto lawless piece of land between the Dutch and Belgian border. This area became known for hosting illegal raves, drug deals and prostitution. The loophole was closed in 2018 after a headless corpse was found there.
TIL that the oxygen for emergency masks on planes does not come from tanks, but instead from a chemical reaction
TIL that Scotland has over 30,000 lochs but only 1 lake.
TIL There existed a Roman Emperor whose face appears on just 2 ancient coins and we otherwise know absolutely nothing about
Today I learned that President Glover Cleveland had a secret surgery removing a tumor in his mouth on a yacht because he worried that news of him having cancer would effect the stock market.