35 Obvious Things That People Realised Embarrassingly Late In Life

Published 5 months ago

Sometimes things that seem obvious to one person might not be so clear to someone else, and vice versa. And while we might think that common sense is common, that isn’t always the case. Despite how much we know or how educated we are, we all have gaps in our knowledge that we might not even be aware of. 

Recently, people on an online forum called r/AskReddit shared some funny moments when they realised things that seemed “really obvious” only after the fact. It’s a good reminder that we all have blind spots when it comes to our understanding of information.

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#1 I was at least 50 when I learned that the little piggy who went to market wasn’t shopping.

Image source: HBC3, wikipedia

#2 How the American bail system works. I thought it was a sum of money you paid to avoid jail. I was surprised when I realized you get the money BACK if you show up for your trial.

Image source: Electronic-Pool-7458, Wesley Tingey / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#3 In high school science class we were watching a video and it was then that I realized Reindeer are, in fact, real creatures and not just mythical beings for the purpose of pulling Santa’s sled.

Image source: MoneyCost7188, Henry Ravenscroft / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#4 I was 39 when I realised the pointy bit on a the lid of a tube of something, for example tomato puree.. Was for braking the foil seal. For years I used a fork to break the seal until I watched someone remove the lid , turn it around and place it over the seal. Mind blown.

Image source: villaclarkie1982

#5 I just found out yesterday that I have aphantasia, meaning I can’t visualize images in my mind. When I think about an object I just know that I’m thinking about it, but I don’t see anything when I close my eyes.

Image source: LewieDrewie

#6 I grew up in Poland. When a person was arrested on a crime that was publicized, the media will only list their first name and the first initial of last name, to protect their identity before conviction, e.g. Peter G. My friend thought that all criminals had one letter last names and he was surprised the police wouldn’t just go all Minority Report on them and arrest all people with one letter last names.

Image source: Blimunda, Matthew Ansley / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#7 That sometimes things are just the way they are, you can’t change the situation you’re in, only your actions and your emotions and how you react to them.
I guess I realized that certain situations sometimes feel unfair or are not favourable to your needs and you have to find happiness in the best way you can and live your life. Sometimes you gotta make sacrificies because that’s the only option.

Image source: _BibiGirl_

#8 I learned where “Pulling out all the stops” came from a couple of years ago (watching a documentary on Interstellar’s music). It’s from playing organs…air is blown thru the organ’s pipes to play notes – and you have “stops” in there if you don’t want a particular pipe to play. So when you pull out all the stops, you get all the pipes playing…

Image source: tallpaleandwholesome, Rachael Cox / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#9 I was like 25 when I found out the jugs of washer fluid outside the gas station aren’t free. I was walking out of the gas station with a buddy one day, grabbed a jug of washer fluid, and he asked me “did you just steal that?” And I was like “No, dude, it’s free”. It’s not, I stole washer fluid for nearly ten years of driving and no one ever said anything to me about it.

Image source: BruceWang19, Hamedog / wikipedia (not the actual photo)

#10 Water towers are for water pressure, not just a town putting its name on a tank and saying “Hey look how much dang water WE have.”

Image source: agreeswithfishpal, Amir Mohammad HP / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#11 That sign you see near schools with the two people crossing holding books? I was stuck in traffic a few weeks ago and suddenly realized it wasn’t two women with purses.

Image source: JumboDakotaSmoke

#12 This past weekend, that the girl that invited me to an after party at her place and then asked for me to crash in her bed was not simply just being nice, I am f*****g stupid.

Image source: muchlovemates, Aiony Haust / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#13 The word “bed” actually looks like a bed.

Image source: Sad_Dentist_8730

#14 That the phrase mint condition means like new because it’s the condition coins leave the mint in.

Image source: xtremecute

#15 I’m not “quirky”, I have ADHD. I’m in my 50s.

Image source: sudomatrix, Tara Winstead / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#16 I am 19 and I have had ADHD and a sleeping disorder my whole life. I decided to go to the doctor and figure out wtf was wrong with me after I turned 18. Turned out I wasn’t stupid just undiagnosed going without meds. So now just about every adult looks at me like a lazy bum that fell asleep in every class and couldn’t pay attention or understand assignments. When I got on meds (senior year) I was #16 of my class in the top 20%.

Image source: Excellent_War5193, National Cancer Institute / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#17 I feel so dumb for this but I just learned that ‘Rainbow Baby’ is a mother’s next baby after having a miscarriage. I just assumed it was a term of endearment for a queer baby. I know. I know. ??‍♀️

Image source: Advanced-Win8418, Omar Lopez / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#18 My car key remote isn’t broken, the battery died after nearly 10 years.

Image source: MykeCecc, Reinhart Julian / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#19 I can’t eat any type of nut. It messes with my stomach lining. I genuinely thought nuts just made everyone sick after eating them. Like salsa. Edit: I’ve discovered something about salsa today.

Image source: h3lls1ng3r, Maksim Shutov / unsplash (not the actual photo)


Image source: Kjeik, Ashkan Forouzani / unsplash (not the actual photo)

I’m Norwegian, and was at least thirty before I realized that the tomatoes crossing the road schoolyard joke (two tomatoes cross the road, one gets run over, the other says “Come on, catch up”) has, in what I assume is the original English, a punchline. Well, for a schoolyard joke, anyway.

Norwegian kids tell the same joke, but there’s no catch up/ketchup pun in Norwegian, so they just tell a joke where the squashed tomato is now ketchup. At some point a kid who knew enough English to have heard the joke but not enough for the pun told it to younger kids, who assumed it was funny because an older kid was telling it, and it has been repeated between children for generations.

#21 I am not responsible for other people’s lives. Feels a little better accepting that I don’t have to stress too much over supporting my family. I shouldn’t feel too overwhelmed to the point of having suicidal ideations just from the stress alone. Edit : No, I don’t have kids. I’m single, been supporting my family (parents, siblings) for 10 years.

Image source: AdventurousSort3250

#22 My mom was doing her best.

Image source: hopstopandroll, guille pozzi / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#23 That the drummer for Nirvana really was Dave Grohl, and not just a guy that looks really similar.

Image source: kristenrockwell, Morten Jensen / flickr

#24 Not me, but my 21yo cousin just realized he is mildly allergic to peanut butter, and has been his whole life. Up until now, he had assumed EVERYONE’S throat closed up a little while eating a pb&j sandwich, but they just fought through it.

Image source: itisverboten, Freddy G / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#25 That the best time to start saving for my future really was all those years ago.

Image source: eggmayonnaise, Towfiqu barbhuiya / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#26 A pickle is a cucumber that’s been pickled.

Image source: chim800, SuckerPunch Gourmet / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#27 Heard this on a podcast yesterday, Fes from that 70s show, FES= foreign exchange student.

Image source: DadEoh75

#28 Colonoscopies aren’t just for looking for cancer and other issues. It’s preventative for cancer because they remove the polyps where it starts. I’m pretty up on medical stuff, didn’t know that.

Image source: Bitter-Basket

#29 My sister learned recently that when you’re at the grocery store and opening the egg carton that you’re checking for cracked eggs and not just making sure that they are in fact eggs in the carton.

Image source: everett640, Jakub Kapusnak / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#30 When I was a kid I thought it was ultra violent light instead of ultraviolet light. As in, that sun can really f**k up your skin if you don’t wear sunscreen. Bahahaha! So violent.

Image source: AmaryllisBulb, Tony Sebastian / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#31 Learned I was allergic to latex from talking to my friend. She told me that since I’m allergic to some citrus I may be allergic to latex and asked me if condoms bothered me. I responded and said yes but they bother everyone who uses them. That’s how I learned that burning and itching and a road rash are not normal after coitus with a condom. ? (I’m 26).

Image source: sydneyyasmine, Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#32 I recently realized that “Howdy” is short for “How do you do?” I actually just googled it, and it’s technically short for “How do ye?” However, my realization still makes sense.

Image source: OneCoolStory

#33 That cows have to get pregnant before they can make milk.

Image source: burgerbob272

#34 It’s called a “funny bone” bc it’s a humerus.

Image source: zoitberg

#35 I know “felix” is the Latin word for “happy,” but only recently did I discover the name Felix is also known to mean “lucky.”

Now I’m getting the irony of naming a *black cat* “Felix the Cat.”

(For those who don’t know, Felix is an old cartoon, and there’s a superstition that a black cat crossing your path is very *un*lucky.)

Image source: ThePurityPixel

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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common sense, general knowledge, obvious, TIL, Today I Learned
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