Nobody has all the answers. Except for the internet.
Today I Learned, or "TIL," is a subreddit for people to share tidbits of information that may not be widely known, but that others may find fascinating. Often with accompanying pictures, too.
While these factoids may not be newsworthy or highly beneficial to our everyday lives, they at least produce a genuine "Oh, I didn't know that, how cool!"
About every two weeks, we at Bored Panda go through the subreddit and handpick a selection of posts we find to be the most interesting and worthy of your time. Below, you will find what we have in store for you this time. To view our earlier pieces on the subreddit, go here, here, and here.
#1TIL that in 1986 an astronomer trying to trace a 75 cent computer time discrepancy for 10 months eventually found a German hacker selling defense secrets to the KGB
Image credits: Skarmunkel
#2TIL a homeless man found a 10 000$ check on the street meant for a real estate broker and found a way to return it. So, touched, the broker awarded him a place to live and arranged for a job interview. A year later, he was on the board of directors of one of their foundations.
Image credits: Emergency_Culture_35
#3TIL Michael Jackson was a virtuoso composer, despite being unable to read music or play instruments well. He wrote the parts to his songs by singing and beatboxing into a tape recorder. “He would sing us an entire string arrangement, every part. Had it all in his head, harmony and everything."
Image credits: Friskyinthenight
#4TIL Nic Cage once crashed a Nic Cage film festival, watched 4 of his own films, did a 47-minute Q&A and read a 10-minute short story
Image credits: Naweezy
#5TIL that in 1948 the Nobel Committee did not award the Nobel Peace Prize on the grounds that “there was no suitable living candidate”, implying that Mahatma Gandhi would have received it if it were not for his assassination earlier that year.
Image credits: Zircon_72
#6TIL In the 1936 Olympics two Japanese pole vaulters (Shuhei Nashida & Sueo Oe) tied for second. Declined to compete against each other, Nashida was awarded silver and Oe bronze. On return to Japan they had the medals cut in two & joined together to make two 'friendship medals' out of silver & bronze
Image credits: sewn_of_a_gun
#7TIL Nordic countries have a "Freedom to Roam", allowing people to enjoy all nature regardless of ownership (within reason)
Image credits: korro90
#8TIL when former NFL safety Dave Duerson took his life he left a note that read, “Please see that my brain is given to the NFL’s brain bank.” He shot himself in the chest rather than his head so as to preserve his brain. Doctors confirmed that he was suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Image credits: Str33twise84
#9TIL During World War II, an American lieutenant, realizing his position was inundated with enemy troops, called in an artillery barrage on himself. Following a US counterattack later that day, the lieutenant's body was found alongside approximately 100 German soldiers. His name was John R. Fox.
Image credits: dansux
#10TIL that 10s of farmers die each year from Grain entrapment, which is when a person is partially or fully submerged in grain, and cannot get out without assistance. In 2019, 67 incidents of grain entrapment took place, of which 39 were fatal.
Image credits: Fruit_Louse
#11TIL there is such a thing as Earl Grey tea intoxication, where drinking 4L per day causes extensive muscle cramps and blurred vision. Cutting down to 1-2L makes the symptoms go away.
Image credits: tamsui_tosspot
#12TIL Elizabeth Swaney, a relatively amateur skier, was able to qualify for the 2018 Winter Olympics halfpipe by accumulating points at qualifying events leading up to the Olympics by doing flawless yet completely simple routines, outscoring opponents who often would crash in their more-ambitious runs
Image credits: holyfruits
#13TIL Charles Barkley was the first black baby born at a segregated, all-white town hospital in Leeds, Alabama and was in the first group of black students at his elementary school.
Image credits: BenSimmonsToTheMoon
#14TIL of all the gold medals won by US swimmers in the history of the Olympics, nearly 10% were won by Michael Phelps. (23/246)
Image credits: scrumbly
#15TIL When his owner died in August 1936, Shep the Dog followed the casket to the railroad station and watched it being loaded onto a train heading to the eastern US. For six years until his own death, he would greet every train that arrived each day, expecting his master to return.
Image credits: tjfergusen
#16TIL that Nazi Germany made a New Testament Bible where they removed the genealogies of Jesus that showed his Davidic descent, removed Jewish names and places, but left any mention of Jews that showed them in a bad light, in an attempt to Aryanize Jesus.
Image credits: John-Piece
#17Today I learned Dana Carvey underwent heart bypass surgery for a blocked coronary artery, but the surgeon operated on the wrong artery. Eventually he won a lawsuit against the hospital and won 7.5 million dollars, all of which was donated to charity.
Image credits: sephirothreturns
#18TIL that in 1648 an angry mob of Parisians once broke into the royal palace, demanding to see the king. They were led into the bedchamber of Louis XIV, who was pretending to be asleep. Satisfied, the mob quietly departed.
Image credits: argon435
#19TIL When the doctor Alois Alzheimer wanted to share in a meeting his findings of the Alzheimer patology, the attendees where uninteresed and skipped the questions because they were hurried to go to the next talk that was about "compulsive masturbation".
Image credits: RodriPuertas
#20TIL in 1990 Marilyn vos Savant wrote about the "Monty Hall problem" in her column in Parade magazine, correctly answering the statistical brainteaser. Thousands wrote to her to insist she was wrong, including many people with PhDs. Mythbusters even confirmed she was right in a 2011 episode.
Image credits: MyPasswordIsMyCat
#21TIL Poland sent the US a birthday card with 5.5 million signatures to mark the 150th anniversary of the US in 1926.
Image credits: wrldms14
#22TIL the opening crawl to Star Wars begins with a storybook-esque narration ("A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away....") because George Lucas first imagined his films as stories being told by an ancient race of immortals. The immortals were written out for early films, but this vestige remained.
Image credits: WhileFalseRepeat
#23TIL many people in ancient Rome who were among the educated elite were aware that lead was poisonous and some of these people even tried to make others aware of this.
Image credits: randomsnowflake
#24TIL: The United States Department of Defense runs Linux. "In fact, the US Army is the single largest installed base for RedHat Linux and the US Navy nuclear submarine fleet runs on Linux"
Image credits: CelibateSamyaza
#25TIL about “formaldehyde hunger” a well-known phenomenon in anatomy labs where med students get hungry while dissecting cadavers, allegedly due to formaldehyde being an appetite stimulant.
Image credits: FauxPaws87
#26TIL Ford originally wanted to unveil the 2021 Ford Bronco on July 9, 2020. However, the debut was rescheduled for July 13 when it was pointed out that July 9 is the birthday of O.J. Simpson.
Image credits: YourOwnBiggestFan
#27TIL Thomas Jefferson sent a giant moose carcass to Paris to prove that America’s animals were bigger than Europe’s
Image credits: majesticalpha09
#28TIL The famously large President Taft followed a weight loss program. Taft was in contact with Dr. Yorke-Davies for over twenty years and kept a daily record of his weight, food intake, and physical activity. Taft managed to go from 340 to 244 pounds and walked 3 miles to the Capitol every day.
Image credits: joeyjojodoh
#29TIL Charles Dickens' father was imprisoned when he was boy for unpaid debts. At the age of 12, Dickens' was forced to leave school and work 10-hour long days at a warehouse for 6 shillings per day.
Image credits: MarineKingPrime_
#30TIL that P.T. Barnum's famous elephant Jumbo got his name from the Swahili word for chief. It was the elephant who caused the word "jumbo" to mean something large - not the other way around.
Image credits: p38-lightning
#31TIL Owls’ ears are placed asymmetrically – at different heights on the sides of their faces – so the sounds reach each ear at different times. This is essential to identifying the exact direction of their prey.
Image credits: yeahumsure
#32TIL the oldest woman to climb El Capitan is the mother of Alex Honnold (of Free Solo fame) who did it at the age of 66. Her first time in a climbing gym was when she was 57.
Image credits: Adder00
#33TIL During the American Revolution at the Battle of Long Island, 400 Maryland Soldiers repeatedly attacked a superior British force in order to allow Gen. Washington’s army to escape total destruction. Washington said of them, “Good God, what brave fellows I must this day lose”.
Image credits: Jesture4
#34TIL Stingray injuries are almost never fatal. When Steve Irwin was killed in a stingray attack in 2006, he was only the second reported fatality in Australia since 1945. Only one to two fatal attacks are reported each year worldwide.
Image credits: youngster_matt
#35TIL that there is more water in the vapor and clouds above the Amazon rainforest than there is in the Amazon river
Image credits: DigbyChickenZone
#36TIL 50 years ago, Ham the chimp was launched into space, where he experienced up to 14.7g during a six-minute freefall. He survived his ocean splashdown (although he nearly drown before rescue crews arrived) and lived 20 more years at a zoo in Washington D.C.
Image credits: clayt6
#37TIL that a crocodile from Burundi named Gustave has killed as many as 300 people. He has evaded numerous capture and kill attempts, and has obtained near-mythical status in the region.
Image credits: kj450
#38TIL that on October 18, 1963 French scientists launched a rocket into space, containing a cat named Felicette. She orbited close to 100 miles above earth, then descended safely to the ground via a special parachute. Felicette has the high honor of being the only cat launched into space thus far.
Image credits: aimilah
#39TIL that Bethesda set up a challenge that would reward any couple free Bethesda games for life if they gave birth on Skyrim's 11/11/11 release date and named the baby Dovahkiin. One couple took up that challenge and their son's now called Dovahkiin Tom Kellermeyer
Image credits: SuperAlloyBerserker
#40TIL when sonar was first invented, operators were puzzled by the appearance of a ‘false seafloor’ that changed depth with the time of day and amount of moonlight. It was eventually identified as a previously unknown layer of billions of lanternfish that reflect sonar waves and migrate up and down.
Image credits: Meninaeidethea
#41TIL a woman named Pamela Kreimeyer died at a gender reveal party after her family members filled a steel umbrella stand with gun powder, but instead of it emitting a shower of sparks, the metal pipe could not take the overpressure; acting like a pipe bomb.
Image credits: violetdragons
#42TIL that Military Chocolate was made to taste terrible on purpose, as to have the soldiers actually save it for emergencies instead of eating it prematurely.
Image credits: redditcardkey
#43TIL that when the allied forces were at the edge of the city, Hitler ordered the destruction of Paris. The Nazi commander of Paris couldn’t bring himself to execute the order and surrendered the city a few days later.
Image credits: ser_antonii
#44TIL The population of Rio de Janeiro was so unsatisfied with its politicians during the election of 1988, that a well-known local monkey from a zoo received over 400,000 votes.
Image credits: dansux
#45TIL the Statue of Liberty almost wasn't built in New York because the governor wouldn't use city funds to build its pedestal, but Joseph Pulitzer's newspaper articles inspired 160,000 people to donate. Though a majority of donations were less than $1, they raised over $100,000 in just five months.
Image credits: ShocketRip
#46TIL that In 1889 a lion escaped from a travelling show in Birmingham and ran into the sewers. When an angry mob formed, Frank Bostock, the owner secretly snuck another lion out the back. He then returned with the lion clearly visible and was hailed a hero. The escaped lion was still in the sewers!
Image credits: UnknownAlien123
#47TIL that contrary to popular belief, sweating does not remove toxins from the body. Dehydration from excessive sweating can actually make it harder for your body to remove toxins.
Image credits: DookieDemon
#48TIL Baby horses are born with "feathers", AKA faery fingers or golden slippers (real name eponychium). They protect the mother's uterus during gestation and birth canal during parturition from damage from the otherwise sharp and dangerous hoof kicks. They harden and fall off very soon after birth.
Image credits: DariusMDeV
#49TIL spiders tune their webs like guitar strings, tightening and loosening strands so they can read the different frequencies caused by intruders and determine where/how big the intruders are, if they are predator or prey, or if they’re just a potential mate flirtatiously strumming their strings.
Image credits: ShocketRip
#50TIL talk-show host Stephen Colbert half-jokingly ran for US President in the 2008 election. He stated that he would only he run if he received a sign, which came when Viggo Mortensen, who played Aragorn in Lord of the Rings, appeared on his show and gave him a replica of the the sword, 'Anduril'.
Image credits: szekeres81
#51TIL the first reported successful blood transfusions were performed by the Incas as early as the 1500s. Spanish conquistadors witnessed blood transfusions when they arrived in the sixteenth century
Image credits: italblack
#52TIL: The ADA exclusively recommends "soft" bristles for toothbrushes. Medium or firmer brushes are considered harmful because they can erode teeth enamel and damage your gums.
Image credits: ctsims
#53TIL: It only took one week in 2000 for the Olympic Village to run out of 70,000 condoms. Olympians have been shown to have need for more and more condoms as the years go by, requiring over 100,000 in 2012.
Image credits: Kingflares
#54TIL of the Heart Attack Grill restaurant in Las Vegas, which serves high fat/sugar food. Customers wear hospital gowns, waitresses are dressed as nurses, and customers over 350lb in weight eat for free. There is in fact a history of people dying there from cardiac arrest.
Image credits: noctus_exterreri
#55TIL that there are ancient languages that are considered untranslatable or ‘extinct’ because we have no descendant languages to use as a frame of reference for translation. One example is the Etruscan language of Italy that belonged to people who lived in Italy before the Romans.
Image credits: Squaragus_Asparagus
#56TIL for centuries, Poland was home to the largest and most significant Jewish community in the world. Poland sheltered Jews persecuted and expelled from various European countries. About three-quarters of the world's Jews lived in Poland by the middle of the 16th century.
Image credits: redwhiterosemoon
#57TIL Mariah Carey wrote and recorded a secret grunge album under the pseudonym "Chick" because Sony thought it would ruin her image
Image credits: HallowGoob
#58TIL Thomas Jefferson said that his Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom was “meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew, the Gentile, the Christian and the Mahometan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.” It's on his grave as 1 of 3 great accomplishments.
Image credits: Johnny_Banana18
#59TIL that In 1915, a man named Charles Hatfield convinced the town of San Diego that he could create rainfall using a secret mix of chemicals. The city offered to pay him $10,000 if he could end their drought, and the result, a few days later, was the town’s worst flood of the 20th century.
Image credits: UnknownAlien123
#60TIL Hummingbirds are one of the fastest animals on Earth relative to their body size. They can cover more body lengths per second than any other vertebrate and for their size can outpace fighter jets and the space shuttle – all while withstanding g-forces that would make a fighter pilot blackout.
Image credits: WhileFalseRepeat
#61TIL Martin Luther enrolled at the University of Erfurt at age 17 to study law which he described as a "beerhouse and whorehouse". He gave up law for philosophy but eventually left university altogether, sold his books, & became a monk.
Image credits: MarineKingPrime_
#62TIL that Teddy Roosevelt enjoyed boxing while president. His sparring partner punched him so hard he lost vision in his eye for the rest of his life. Roosevelt never told the other man what had happened.
Image credits: TrueBirch
#63TIL in the 1990’s, a group of Mazda engineers created a suitcase “car” from a large Samsonite suitcase and a pocket bike; the suitcase car took just a minute to assemble and had a top speed of 30 km/h (18.46 mph)
Image credits: johnnylgarfield
#64TIL Alcatraz's prison guards created the myths about man eating sharks and deadly waters of San Francisco to discourage prisoners from escaping. There is only one recorded shark fatality in San Francisco in 1959
Image credits: Historicalhysteria
#65TIL the role of Hannibal Lecter was turned down by Sean Connery, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro & others. Silence of the Lambs would go on to be the 3rd film in history to win all "Big 5" Academy Awards & upon release in 1991 on VHS, became the most rented film in the United States.
Image credits: MarineKingPrime_
#66TIL Steve Jobs purchased a company from George Lucas in 1986, named it "Pixar", and its first client after being incorporated was Disney.
Image credits: NiltiacSif
#67TIL the explosion that led to the Chernobyl nuclear accident was chemical, driven by gases and steam generated by the core runaway, not by nuclear reactions. No commercial nuclear reactor contains a high enough concentration of U-235 or plutonium to cause a nuclear explosion.
Image credits: f_GOD
#68TIL There was a mysterious culture in Eastern Europe between 5,500 to 2,700 BC which constructed sophisticated, organized, densely-populated settlements - only to burn them to the ground every 60-80 years to rebuild the same settlement as before
Image credits: HydrolicKrane
#69TIL that before Terry Crews was a football player or actor, he was a courtroom sketch artist. He covered the worst murder case in Flint, MI history.
Image credits: LuckyLaceyKS
#70TIL after an obese umpire died during a game, Major League Baseball decided to enforce weight limits. In 1999 under this policy, umpire Eric Gregg was fined $5,000 for exceeding 300lbs.
Image credits: Ok-Needleworker-8876
#71Today I learned that the CIA secretly owned a Swiss company called Crypto AG that maintained offices all over the world and sold products with secret backdoors for the US government and key allies.
Image credits: malayan88
#72TIL Screenwriter Tom Schulman was hired to rewrite the script for Honey I Shrunk the Kids, given only 7 days to overhaul it from a drama into a comedy.
Image credits: SoccerHorse