As one version of the proverb says, “Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back.” It is human nature to seek answers and explanations. And now, being curious is easier than ever, thanks to the Internet. Whether by accident or on purpose (there are approximately 99,000 Google searches every second), we receive new information every day. But not all of it is interesting or worth sharing.
If you are looking for pre-filtered interesting facts, “Today I Learned” (TIL) The subreddit is here for you. Over the years, it has been one of the largest subreddits, and so far more than 26.5M curious people have joined the community. Members of this group are doing us a community service by sharing the best tidbits of information they find. Whether it’s ancient history, immortal animals or current affairs that fly under the radar, this group is as surprising as it is educational, and we love it.
Our curious pandas have put together another list of interesting facts that I’m sure will broaden your horizons. And if you have something you think more people should learn about, please don’t hesitate to share it in the comments. Be sure to vote for your favorite facts, and if you’re eager for more after reading this, you can find our previous articles here , here , and here !
TIL that one of the rarest Yu-Gi-Oh cards in existence is Tyler the Great Warrior. It was created by Tyler Gressel, a boy with a rare form of liver c*ncer. She got to make her own card through the Make-A-Wish Foundation and they printed a card just for her. He made a full recovery.
TIL composer Andrei Tchaikovsky requested that his skull be donated to the Royal Shakespeare Company for use in theatrical performances. In 2008, David Tennant used the skull in Hamlet.
TIL that the longest running lab experiment is the pitch drop experiment. It shows how tar is the most viscous liquid that is 100 billion times more viscous than water. Only 9 drops have fallen in the 95 years since it began in 1927.
TIL 1822 a stork arrived in Germany with an arrow through its neck. The wood was from Central Africa, 3,000 miles away. This convinced zoologists that birds migrated in winter, and disproved other theories such as hibernation under water, or metamorphosis in other animals (such as rodents).
TIL Andre Agassi won 10 of 11 matches after watching Boris Becker’s serve “tick”. Agassi could predict based on where Baker was serving whether Baker stuck his tongue in the middle of his lip or in the left corner of his lip. Agassi told Baker over a pint of beer — after he retired.
TIL Lobsters do not die of old age due to an enzyme called ‘telomerase’ which increases the number of times their cells divide, allowing them to repair their bodies and live unusually long lives.
TIL Velcro is actually a brand name, and they campaigned to get people to stop saying “Velcro”. The correct term is actually “hook and loop”.
After a visit to TIL left him paralyzed except for his left eyelid, Jean-Dominique Bauby (1952-1997) blinked to select each letter in the best-selling book “Diving Bell and the Butterfly”. Hoe wrote because an assistant recited the alphabet to him.
TIL photographer Carol Highsmith donated tens of thousands of her photos to the Library of Congress, making them free for public use. Getty Images later claimed copyright on many of these images, then accused him of copyright infringement by using one of his images on his own site.
TIL A $250,000 diamond placed on the nose of an F1 car was lost in a crash at the 2004 Monaco GP. It is still missing today.
TIL sleep helps clear our mind. Or in the words of the journal Science, “Observations show that when mice sleep, channels between neurons in their brains expand, allowing cerebrospinal fluid to expel debris, such as proteins that cause Alzheimer’s in humans.” associated with the disease.
To the true story of Moby-Dick. A whale sank the main ship of the crew – leaving 3 sailboats. They would survive if they went to a nearby island. Fearing (false) stories of genocide, they tried to return to the mainland. In a tragic irony, they were lost at sea and had to resort to animalism.
The inventor of the TIL television was a 15-year-old farm boy who came up with the idea of scanning the front and back rows of plowing in a field.
TIL: Traditionally the Japanese don’t eat salmon sushi and it was invented by Norwegians in the 80’s to try to sell more of their salmon.
TIL that the ordinary LED light was awarded the Nobel Prize. The 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shoji Nakamura for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes that enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources.
TIL Franz Kafka had very little work published during his lifetime and he burned 90% of his work. Works such as The Trial and The Castle were preserved after Kafka’s willful ex*cutioner ignored Kafka’s request that the rest of his works be destroyed.
TIL responded to the notorious suic*de rate on the Mapo Bridge in Seoul, South Korea, by decorating the bridge with suic*de prevention messages and motivational images. These measures were not implemented by the government, however, and instead the entire project was funded by Samsung’s life insurance division.
TIL most coffee creamers are mostly made with just water, oil and sugar. No milk or cream. Some brands contain casein, an ingredient derived from milk.
TIL: Australia has ‘Firehawks’, which are birds that deliberately set forest fires as a hunting technique.
TIL An Iowa supermarket employee went missing on the job in 2009, only to be discovered 10 years later in 2019 in a gap between a freezer and a wall.
TIL In 1965, an excavation team discovered a Gujian sword in a tomb in Hubei, China. Encased in an almost air-tight wooden box with a skeleton. The sword is over 2500 years old but in perfect condition, tests confirmed that the blade could easily cut through a stack of twenty pieces of paper.
TIL Playing too much Tetris can result in the “Tetris effect” where after playing too much Tetris you see Tetris pieces falling when you close your eyes.
TIL “RIP” Like “RIP” Many ancient Romans had “NFFNSNC”, non fui, fui, non sum, non curo, written on their tombs meaning “I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care”. An epic philosophy.
When snowflakes hit the water, they create a screeching sound that humans (but not some marine animals) can hear. When a flake hits water, an air bubble is released that vibrates in the 50-200 kHz range beyond human perception. Water hitting ice can amplify underwater sound by up to 30 dB.
TIL of Viktor Belenko, the Soviet pilot who piloted the MiG-25 (the most advanced Soviet interceptor of its time), initially believing that his CIA handlers were using him to impress aliens. Made by putting in a wide tourist trap because he could not understand. He was seeing sheer abundance.
TIL that turkeys can sometimes reproduce as*xually, creating near-clones of themselves.
TIL In the UK, the distinction between an actor and an extra is defined by contracts between actors’ trade unions and various commercial production organisations. These state that once an actor says 13 or more words in any scene, they must become a contracted actor in that production.
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