74 New ‘Today I Learned’ Facts That Prove It’s Never Too Late To Learn Something New
They say that knowledge brings more knowledge — the more you know, the easier it is to learn new things. Luckily, we have an endless source of information right there at our fingertips, so discovering something novel is as easy as tapping on a few links on our screens. Still, if you’re looking for a reminder to sharpen your mind and expand your mental horizons, the Today I Learned subreddit is here to save the day.
With a mind-boggling 27.2M members and counting, this Reddit powerhouse is on a mission to share "interesting and specific facts about something that you just found out." People there collect precious tidbits of wisdom and continue to share quick and exciting facts every single day.
So let’s celebrate their efforts by taking out our notebooks, grabbing our pens, and allowing ourselves to learn something different, new, and potentially useful. Bored Panda has collected some of the best facts from this online community for you to enjoy, so continue scrolling and upvote the ones you enjoyed most! And when you’re done, be sure to check out our previous posts with more interesting trivia here, here, and here.
#1TIL the wolves/dogs used to film The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005) had to have CGI butts/tails because they were too happy to appear menacing.
Image credits: FntasticJellyBabies
#2TIL in 2015 an Australian woman put a bet on a horse at 100-1 and won $825, she then took a selfie with the winning bet slip, posted it to Facebook, somebody saw it and put the barcode into an automated betting machine and stole her winnings.
Image credits: Status-Victory
#3TIL that two buttons in WWII RAF uniform can be put together to make a mini compass which indicates towards north.
Image credits: LiuKang69
#4TIL that figure skater Mabel Fairbanks, who was was banned from rinks as a child due to her African American and Native American ancestry, went on to coach skating greats like Scott Hamilton, Kristi Yamaguchi, and Debi Thomas, and was the first African American in the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame.
Image credits: RedditPrat
#5TIL that some urban birds like finches and sparrows use cigarette butts as a form of pest control for their nests. The nicotine in the cigarettes helps keep parasites away.
Image credits: Hilla007
#6TIL that during a murder trial in 1994 an English jury got drunk and consulted an Ouija board to determine the killer. This led to a retrial.
Image credits: SilasMarner77
#7TIL Oreo has to call the white center "creme" instead of "cream" because the FDA does not allow manufacturers to use the word "cream" to describe a food that contains no cream at all.
Image credits: nathanthrax
#8TIL Freshwater snails are one of the world's most deadly animals because they transmit the organism that causes schistosomiasis (aka bilharzia), which is, in and of itself, one of the most deadly parasites on the planet! Nearly 230m people were infected in 2014 and there are~200,000 deaths annually.
Image credits: ecstaticadventure
#9TIL about Operation Meetinghouse - the single deadliest bombing raid in human history, even more destructive than the atomic bombing of Hiroshima or Nagasaki. On 10 March 1945 United States bombers dropped incendiaries on Tokyo. It killed more than 100,000 people and destroyed 267,171 buildings.
Image credits: HootOill
#10TIL that the Animal Planet reality series ‘River Monsters’ ended because star Jeremy Wade was able to catch essentially every exceptionally large freshwater fish species on earth, leaving no remaining content for the show.
Image credits: the_freshest_scone
#11TIL the King of Norway's firstborn, Princess Märtha Louise, is a self-described 'clairvoyant'. She has started a school for communicating with angels and dead souls, and is currently dating a self-described shaman.
Image credits: borkborkbutt
#12TIL Rio de Janeiro was once the capital of Portugal. Following the conquest of Portugal by Napoleon, the Portuguese royal family fled to Brazil (1808-1821). They then established the capital of Portugal in Rio de Janeiro.
Image credits: Cogz45
#13TIL that In 2015, that a three-story tall lamp post became so corroded by urine that it snapped and fell over, crushing a nearby car.
Image credits: BringsHomeBones
#14TIL Women have been legally allowed to go topless in public in New York City since 1992.
Image credits: danuser8
#15TIL that smokers whose insula got damaged after a stroke were able to quit smoking easily one day after the stroke, with no relapse and urges, suggesting that this brain region might play a role in nicotine addiction.
Image credits: PBGr12
#16TIL that a proposed 1896 Pennsylvania law required motorists who encountered livestock to: stop their vehicle, disassemble it, and conceal the parts until the livestock were sufficiently pacified.
Image credits: SomeGuy671
#17TIL that the snow used in the Wizard of Oz was actually asbestos fibre.
Image credits: LatinaNinaa
#18TIL that two dim stars from the Big Dipper served as an ancient eye test. If you had lived in the time of the early Romans and could see them, you would have been eligible to be an archer in the Roman army.
Image credits: transylvanea
#19TIL Jimi Hendrix and Neil Young stole a pickup truck in order to get to Woodstock to play their sets.
Image credits: Coocat86
#20TIL that in the 1990s, actor Marlon Brando would often spend time in AOL chatrooms getting into political arguments with unsuspecting strangers. His account was frequently suspended for ending arguments by telling others to “F*ck Off”.
Image credits: dennismarr
#21TIL that, on average, half of all service dogs fail their training. Due to this poor rate, South Korea experimented with cloning service dogs that had already passed their training. The resulting clones passed at rates much higher than average.
Image credits: Yurekuu
#22TIL Mozart was actually in the top 5% of wage earners for his time. He squandered most of his money by the time of his death, and was buried in a pauper's grave.
Image credits: d1t0m6
#23TIL that In 2010, a black Nigerian couple living in London gave birth to a white, blond haired & blue eyed baby that they called 'The Miracle Baby'.
Image credits: xhqshs
#24TIL that Iceland was once covered in trees until the Vikings came and cut them down to make room for sheep.
Image credits: zahrul3
#25TIL that during a college football game in US, many people gathered upon the roof of a glass blowing factory to watch for free. The roof collapsed, spilling fans onto a furnace. Twenty-three people were killed but the game continued. The event is known as The Thanksgiving Day Disaster.
Image credits: thisCantBeBad
#26TIL that dingoes were brought to Australia by humans around 4,000 years ago, and are actually an ancient breed of domestic dog.
Image credits: BainVoyonsDonc
#27TIL That a journalist accidentally discovered his wife was the world's best Tetris player.
Image credits: scootscoot1477
#28TIL the mother of the last Comanche chief was a white woman who was kidnapped at age 9 & assimilated into the tribe. She later married a chieftain & bore him 3 children before she was found at age 33 & returned to her bio-family. She never accepted white society & committed suicide by starvation.
Image credits: Shark-Farts
#29TIL the samurai Yanagizawa Yoshisato helped his samurai clan pay off their debts by selling goldfish. He took his best goldfish breeders over to the town of Koriyama so they could use its plentiful waters for this. His clan made goldfish more available to the general public and not just the rich.
Image credits: dilettantedebrah
#30TIL that in 1429, King Charles VII of France exempted the town of Domrémy from paying taxes "forever", after a promise to Joan of Arc. Taxes were imposed again during the French Revolution.
Image credits: nunped
#31TIL that actor Gary Busey once refused to perform a scene set in heaven because he said the set design looked nothing like the real heaven he visited during a near-death experience while in a coma.
Image credits: dennismarr
#32TIL that a "Silent Man" in the UK repeatedly gets arrested for standing on a certain road to block traffic. He never speaks a word, not even to the court or his own lawyer. Everytime he is released, he repeats the crime and remains completely silent.
Image credits: Wordlife4461
#33TIL that during his time as the narrator for the US version of the first four seasons of the children's TV show Thomas the Tank Engine, George Carlin spoke his lines to a teddy bear in the booth because he was nervous about performing without an audience.
Image credits: FuriouSherman
#34TIL Eurypterids, an order of arthropods completely wiped out by the world's biggest mass extinction, were scorpion-like giants that could reach almost ten feet in length.
Image credits: wauwy
#35TIL that Michigan police once rounded up a group of local drug dealers by inviting them to the fake wedding of two of the dealers' regular customers, who were really undercover police officers. The arrests got underway after the band (also undercover police officers) played "I Fought the Law".
Image credits: PikesPique
#36TIL The 2005 film ‘Hostel’ damaged Slovakia’s representation and tourism economy so badly that director Eli Roth was invited to an all expenses paid trip to clear false allegations the film made about the country, such as it being a ‘crime riddled, corrupt, lawless, poor and dangerous’ place.
Image credits: Valert1
#37TIL the crawfish farming industry in Louisiana grew after rice farmers began breeding them in their rice fields. They realized that they could farm crawfish throughout the year without it affecting their rice. It also served as an extra source of income for them.
Image credits: dilettantedebrah
#38TIL in Minnesota in 2017, a 20 year old woman shot her 22 year old boyfriend through an encyclopedia from about a foot (30 cm) away for a Youtube video and he died. She was sentenced to 6 months in prison.
Image credits: mankls2
#39TIL 12 of the 20 drunkest cities in the US are in Wisconsin.
Image credits: LightAzimuth
#40TIL 45 years ago, ahi (tuna) were caught for fun and ground into pet food. In Japan, tuna was called neko-matagi, meaning “fish that even a cat would disdain”.
Image credits: olagon
#41TIL Professional wrestler Scott Hall was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, years after killing a man in self defense. Hall wrestled away the drunken man’s gun, and shot him in the head, outside of Hall’s place of work.
Image credits: borderbox
#42TIL Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) first started painting when he was in his late twenties. It was only at the age of 27 in 1880 that he began attending art school. Most of his paintings date to just the last two years of his life.
Image credits: John_Denver1
#43TIL in the Red Sea, giant moray eels have been observed hunting cooperatively with coral groupers. The grouper approaches an eel's hiding place and shakes its head rapidly to indicate that it wants to hunt. The eel recognizes the signal and accompanies it on the hunt where they work in tandem.
Image credits: AquamarineCheetah
#44TIL spaces between words in documents first appeared in Irish and Anglo-Saxon Bibles in the seventh century. Paleographers today identify the extinction of 'scriptio continua' as a critical factor in augmenting the widespread absorption of knowledge in the Pre-Modern Era.
Image credits: coffeeinvenice
#45TIL the 1972 Attica prison uprising in Upstate New York, in which the prisoners demanded better living conditions, ended on the 5th day when law enforcement stormed in and killed 29 prisoners and 10 hostages. Prisoners were then stripped naked and forced to crawl through the latrine and beaten.
Image credits: mankls2
#46TIL the Scottish town of Stenhousemuir once boasted a unique example of an intact Roman temple. However, it was destroyed in 1743 because the local landowner needed stone to build a dam with.
Image credits: WilliamofYellow
#47TIL MLB player Oscar Gamble, known for his afro, was not allowed to keep his afro when he was traded to the Yankees because of their strict appearance policy. Gamble had a commercial deal for Afro Sheen and lost the deal when he cut his afro. He was reimbursed $5k by the club owner for the lost deal.
Image credits: AstroRhythm_
#48TIL that when ascending to the throne, royals may pick their regnal name from any of their Christian or middle names. Charles Philip Arthur George could also be King Philip, King Arthur, or King George if he wanted to.
Image credits: nejicanspin
#49TIL that the night before his inauguration as Vice President, Andrew Johnson attended a party in his honor at which he drank heavily. The following morning, a hungover Johnson delivered a rambling, incoherent address in the Senate Chamber as Abraham Lincoln, the Congress, and dignitaries looked on.
Image credits: Pres-John-F-Kennedy
#50TIL the Death Camas plant is so toxic that there is only one known pollinator. The plant is visited by a specialist mining bee, which can tolerate its toxins - others are fatally poisoned. One plant species name is Toxicoscordion venenosum var. venenosum ≈ toxic bulb poisonous poisonous.
Image credits: ForthWorldTraveler
#51TIL Wild Rodents Will Run on Mouse Wheels if You Leave Them in the Woods.
Image credits: SurrealKeenan
#52TIL: Sum41 named their album "Chuck" after the UN Peacekeeper who got them out of their hotel in the Congo near a warzone.
Image credits: Tyloor
#53TIL that the US Navy had the largest naval fleet in history with 6768 ships at the end of World War II.
Image credits: MatijaReddit_CG
#54TIL That the transition of the Ming to Qing dynasty in China took 65 years and cost approximately 25 million lives.
Image credits: Faceless-Pronoun
#55TIL Michael Berryman, known for his iconic roles in horror movies (The Hill Have Eyes), has a very unique physical appearance due to hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia, a rare condition characterized by the absence of sweat glands, hair, and fingernails.
Image credits: Bluest_waters
#56TIL of J. L. Hunter "Red" Rountree, who after his wife passed and seemingly with nothing left to live for decided to commit his first bank robbery at the age of 86. Red blamed banks for making him bankrupt and by the time he passed away in 2004 he had robbed 2 more banks.
Image credits: Status-Victory
#57TIL that a tiger went on an 800-mile journey to find a mate, crossed 11 villages and there was a solitary incident with a human, only when the villager came to take a selfie.
Image credits: xanedro
#58TIL Miranda Gibson lived on a small platform 60 metres above the ground in a 400-year-old Eucalyptus tree to protect the surrounding forest. A bush fire forced her to evacuate after 449 days but Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area was officially extended by 170,000 hectares a few months later.
Image credits: Str33twise84
#59TIL a Canadian transit fare box repair man stole 37 tons of coins worth $2.4 million from fare boxes using a magnet attached to a car radio antenna and telling bank employees that the coins came from a vending machine business.
Image credits: aerostotle
#60TIL: The U.S. Airforce assigns aircraft to be "Wild Weasels". These aircraft act as bait to draw anti-aircraft fire, allowing the squad to locate and destroy the anti-aircraft batteries. Their motto is "YGBSM" or "You Gotta Be Sh*ttin' Me".
Image credits: DoomGoober
#61TIL that by 400 BC, Persians had developed Yakhchal, Ancient Refrigerators capable of storing solid ice in the summer in the desert.
Image credits: Severe-Draw-5979
#62TIL that prior to the 1920s, up to 70% of children in parts of the United States had goiters due to iodine deficiency.
Image credits: queen_oops
#63TIL that the first Supreme Court confirmation hearing was held in 1916 - because President Woodrow Wilson nominated a Jew for the seat.
Image credits: ManOfLaBook
#64TIL: For The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., Bruce Campbell auditioned by grabbing himself by the collar, then performing a forward-flip, a trick he and Raimi had taught themselves back in high school.
Image credits: Dudegabebrown
#65TIL during WW1, Canadians exploited the trust of Germans who had become accustomed to fraternizing with allied units. They threw tins of corned beef into a neighboring German trench. When the Germans shouted “More! Give us more!” the Canadians tossed a bunch of grenades over.
Image credits: yohananloukas116
#66TIL about Johnny Clem, who joined the Union Army as a drummer boy at age 10. Clem became a legend when he shot and killed a Confederate Colonel at the Battle of Chickamauga in 1863.
Image credits: DiosMioMan63
#67TIL that early in Edgar Allen Poe's writing career, he published an essay exposing a fake chess-playing automaton that was actually operated by a chess master hidden inside. The essay employs a method of deduction called 'ratiocination' which is used by C. Auguste Dupin, Poe's fictional detective.
Image credits: TheTriviaPage
#68TIL the record for the longest name ever used was held by a German-American man. The name is so long it can't fit in this title but was abbreviated as Hubert B. Wolfe + 666 Sr. The name has its origins in his Great-Grandfather's sarcastic response to a law mandating German Jews take a second name.
Image credits: Ornery-Jackfruit-510
#69TIL about Frieda Caplan, a pioneer in the world of produce who built a successful business in the 1960s by promoting items that, at the time, were relatively unheard of in the U.S. such as mangoes, shallots, and a New Zealand fruit originally called "Chinese gooseberry," which she dubbed the kiwi.
Image credits: PikesPique
#70TIL the modern gas container, the jerry can, was invented in 1937 Germany. In the start of WWII, the UK used leaky, flimsy tin containers called "flimsies" but soon captured jerry cans and the Allies started copying the German design.
Image credits: Specialist_Check
#71TIL That Sheep fighting is an illegal sport in Algeria where two sheep fight. There is no gambling on the fights, but the loser is sentenced to slaughter while the winner has its value increased. The sheep are given names that inspire fear, like Hitler, Ebola or Lawyer.
Image credits: Not_Daniel_Dreiberg
#72TIL Tetrachromats (mostly women) can distinguish up to 100 million colours since they posses a 4th type of cone cell, apart from having the regular RBG cone cells.
Image credits: whomDev
#73TIL Chinese checkers was invented in Germany in 1892 and called 'Chinese' as part of a marketing scheme.
Image credits: meanturing
#74TIL: Robin Williams autopsy revealed he had about 40% loss of dopamine neurons and almost no neurons were free of Lewy bodies throughout his entire brain and brainstem from Lewy body disease (LBD).
Image credits: Whitn3y