35 New Facts People Shared On The “Today I Learned” Subreddit

Published 5 months ago

The “Today I Learned” subreddit is like a digital classroom where each post unveils a new and intriguing piece of knowledge, making it a delightful journey for curious minds seeking a daily dose of the unexpected.

Scroll below for a virtual treasure trove of the latest fascinating facts and discoveries shared on the thread that may leave you captivated in awe.


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#1 In 1964 a Swedish journalist did an experiment where he had a chimpanzee named Peter make a series of pantings and then submitted them to an art show as by Pierre Brassau to see if critics could tell the difference between avant grande art and art by a chimp. Most critics fell for it.

Image source: nickburrows8398

#2 In September 2020, the last Blockbuster video rental store, which is located in Bend, Oregon, hosted 1990s-themed sleepovers via Airbnb for $4 a night.

Image source: Sandstorm400, airbnb.com

#3 When a Manhattan Project scientist was asked to calculate whether a human being could survive exposure to a very high dose of radiation, she only learned later that the person that had received the dose was her husband.

Image source: TMWNN, Los Alamos National Laboratory

#4 The Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León was killed after being struck by an arrow poisoned with manchineel sap. A present-day Spanish name is manzanilla de la muerte, “little apple of death”. This refers to the fact that manchineel is one of the most toxic trees in the world.

Image source: garamond89, Hans Hillewaert

#5 Mayor in High Wycombe, England are weighted annually since 1678 to make sure that the mayor didn’t grow fat at taxpayer money.

Image source: NewSpray2242

#6 Until 2022, the Japanese public school system’s dress code required students dye their hair black. One student was forced to dye her naturally brown hair black, and was told to re-dye it every time her roots grew back. She was given academic penalties for not dyeing it often enough.

Image source: Do_Not_Go_In_There

#7 Cyndi Lauper sang a parody of her 1985 song “The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough” for the Bob’s Burger’s Season 2 premiere which aired in 2012. The episode is a parody of The Goonies. She said, “My son really wanted me to do it. He loves the show and was like, ‘C’mon, Mom, it’s hysterical. Do it.”

Image source: Forward-Answer-4407

#8 Film composer John Williams is the most Oscar-nominated living person, with 54 nominations. He is also the first person to be nominated in seven consecutive decades.

Image source:  Finbarr_Galedeep

#9 Schools have used infant simulator dolls which are designed to behave like real babies by crying, burping, and requiring ‘feeding’ and diapering, to try to deter teen pregnancy. A 2016 study found that teen girls in schools that used the dolls were about 36% more likely to get pregnant by age 20.

Image source: Forward-Answer-4407, Realityworks, Inc. – Family and Consumer Sciences

#10 Henry VIII’s doctors were too scared to tell him he was dying while he was on his deathbed because of the Treason Act forbidding anyone from speculating about the King’s death. The Archbishop was the one who had to break the news.

Image source: Ok-Indication-5121, Hans Holbein the Younger

#11 The architect Rafael Viñoly was responsible for not just one, but two different buildings that thanks to their curved facade would turn into death rays when the sun shines on them.

Image source: Loki-L, Michael Toporkoff, University of California San Francisco

#12 A man didn’t know that he got drafted by the NFL. The Philadelphia Eagles drafted Norm Michael of Syracuse University in 1944, but could not reach him as he had already enlisted in the US Army. Michael only learned what had happened in 1999, when reading about other Syracuse NFL players.

Image source: TMWNN, Joe Calomeni

#13 There are 56 United States Vietnam War Medal of Honor recipients who received the medal for jumping on grenades and mines to save the lives of their comrades.

Image source: Wolfman92097

#14 On the set of Jaws, Spielberg invited George Lucas to see the mechanical shark still in development. Lucas playfully stuck his head in its mouth, and Spielberg clamped it shut, leaving Lucas stuck. They snuck out of the workshop thinking they broke the contraption after eventually freeing him.

Image source: jamjam1090, Malcolm Hill

#15 During a heated discussion in the Roman Senate, Julius Caesar received a letter. His fierce opponent Cato, thinking it would incriminate Caesar, had the letter read. It was a love letter from Cato’s sister.

Image source: TheHabro, Clark Young

#16 American athlete Florence Griffith Joyner is the fastest woman ever recorded. The record is still standing after 35 years. She passed away at the age of 38.

Image source: JoeyZasaa, Olympics

#17 Campbell Soup considered litigation against Andy Warhol’s soup can paintings but instead embraced them.

Image source: Scruffy_Nerf_Hoarder, Jean-Philippe Delberghe

#18 By the 1970’s the black footed ferret was declared extinct, only for a dog to bring one home to its owners in 1981 in Wyoming, allowing conservationists to find the last remaining popualtion.

Image source: occhilupos_chin

#19 That the moon appearing huge when it’s near the horizon is a trick our brains play on us, you can remove the illusion by bending over and looking through your legs, or standing on your head and nobody is quite sure why.

Image source: -Dastardly-

#20 Trains have tanks of sand with tubes that shoot sand under each wheel to create friction so the train accelerates more efficiently

Image source: frawtlopp, valleymetro.org

#21 Original voice actor for Porky Pig was fired due to stuttering.

Image source: IceCreamSandwich66

#22 In 1998, elementary students in Aurora, Colorado started buying slaves in Sudan to free them, this gained global attention with schools in other countries starting slave buyback programs until it became clear that the money was just helping slavery grow.

Image source: SilentWalrus92, British Library

#23 In 1915 a three minute, long distance phone call cost the equivalent of $500 in today’s money.

Image source: Rasterized1, Alastair Campbell

#24 Radiohead seventh studio album In Rainbows was released under a pay-what-you-want model, in which fans could pay the price they desired, including downloading the entire album for free. Many customers in turned paid and they gained more profits because of this marketing strategy.

Image source: Silent-Lobster7854

#25 A plumber found cash and checks stashed in a wall at Joel Osteen’s Houston mega-church.

Image source: ImNotPostingMyself

#26 Scottish/Canadian man Angus MacAskill is thought to be the tallest “true” giant (not abnormal height due to a pathological condition) in history. He stood 7’9″ tall, had an 80″ chest (also a record) 44″ shoulders and weighed 510lbs.

Image source: HucklecatDontCare, Yurivict (talk)

#27 In 2018, a UK school began enforcing a policy that banned all students from carrying backpacks after two students and a staff member were injured by students carrying book bags that were slung over their shoulders. As a protest, a student carried his books to school using a microwave.

Image source:  Sethcomics_Yt, Jacob Ford

#28 When Disney bought Lucasfilm, they cancelled an upcoming animated Star Wars series which starred, among others, Weird Al Yankovic. They had already made 39 episodes comprising two seasons.

Image source: WiJaMa, Lucasfilm

#29 During the opening ceremony of Ottawa International Airport’s new terminal in 1959, a USAF F-104 Starfighter did a supersonic flypast. The resulting sonic boom shattered nearly all the glass in the airport and caused significant structural damage, delaying the opening for another year.

Image source: ICantDecideMyName

#30 C.S. Lewis and Aldous Huxley both died on November 22nd, 1963. However, their deaths were overshadowed by the more prominent death of John F. Kennedy on the same day.

Image source: Franshesco5

#31 Kiera Knightley was only 17 during filming for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and Love Actually.

Image source: Icy-Performer-9638, The Walt Disney Company

#32 From 1961 to 1993, 6 out of the 7 US Presidents were navy veterans.

Image source: 221missile, Jeffrey F Lin

#33 After Hurricane Sandy in 2012, engineers carried diesel fuel up 17 flights of stairs in buckets to keep the generators running to power a data center.

Image source: Seyon, GEORGE DESIPRIS

#34 About an ancient African tradition where a murderer was punished by an assassin running into him with a spear which had meat on it. The murderer kept his mouth open. The murder victim’s family decides if the murderer is killed by the spear or fed the meat (forgiven).

Image source: Quant3k, Qamar Rehman

#35 Neil Armstrong was filmed as he stepped on the moon with a $2.3 million upside-down camera. Westinghouse built for Apollo 11 a special model that the astronaut deployed by pulling a handle near the ladder he climbed down onto the lunar surface. NASA inverted the image for the TV audience.

Image source: TMWNN, NASA

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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