We believe it's fair to say that there's always something new to learn for every person here on earth. This is why communities like Reddit's 'Today I Learned' (TIL) offer a trove of astonishing revelations that might have escaped our attention.
For instance, were you aware of the local Indonesian mythology bit that suggests Orangutans possess the capacity to communicate in human languages? However, they consciously decide not to, in fear they would be captured and obligated to work (fair on them, to be honest).
Or how about the captivating fact that Brazil holds the record for the most frequent showers? Statistics indicate that an average Brazilian takes a shower roughly every 12 hours. Oh, and if you're considering an investment, it might surprise you to learn that unopened Lego sets typically yield better returns than gold (the more you know, right?). These snippets from 'Today I Learned' are just a fraction of what we have in store for you today, Pandas.
#1TIL: Local Indonesian mythology says that Orangutans actually have the ability to speak human languages, but choose not to, fearing they would be forced to get jobs and work if were they ever caught.
Image credits: SilentWalrus92
#2TIL-WW1 had Mercy Dogs. Mercy dogs were dogs that would locate wounded men in no man's land and bring medicine, food, water and/or stay with the dying so no they wouldn't die alone. Each army had them
Image credits: mojobolt
#3TIL the Australian Navy formally enlisted a six-year-old girl in order to give her medical treatment onboard a navy ship; regulations did not allow for civilians to get medical treatment on navy ships. The girl's official rating was 'mascot', and she was 'discharged' after 8 days of 'service'.
Image credits: Mafhac
#4TIL DeForest Kelley, who played Dr McCoy in Star Trek, wanted to become a doctor, but couldn't afford medical school. He regularly received letters from fans who went into medicine because of him and said "to influence the youth of the country ... is an award that is not handed out by the industry"
Image credits: haddock420
#5TIL The role of April Ludgate in Parks and Recreation was specifically created for Aubrey Plaza after the casting director met her and felt she was the weirdest girl she had ever met in her life.
Image credits: TheQuietKid22
#6TIL Unopened Lego sets have a higher return than gold.
Image credits: Durtbag420
#7TIL that in the 60's the Italian Ministry of Education broadcasted a TV show titled "It’s Never Too Late", aimed to teach older people how to read and write. An estimate of 1.5 million people got their elementary school diploma thanks to it
#8TIL there are no bridges across the Amazon River
Image credits: u/COKEWHITESOLES
#9TIL Brazil is, by far, the country that takes the most showers. On average, a Brazilian showers every 12 hours.
Image credits: Thessiz
#10TIL the United Nations declared drinking water as a human right...in July of 2010.
#11TIL about "Terminal Lucidity." The unexpected return of mental clarity and memory shortly before the death of patients suffering from severe psychiatric and neurologic disorders
Image credits: Psy-Demon
#12TIL that after large animals went extinct, such as the mammoth, avocados had no method of seed dispersal, which would have lead to their extinction without early human farmers.
Image credits: anon
#13TIL that the creator of Rocket Raccoon is institutionalized due to brain damage from a hit and run in 1992. When Marvel made "Guardians of the Galaxy," the compensation package they offered ensured care for the rest of his life.
Image credits: BrickHerder
#14TIL The firm who repaired seat covers on San Francisco's BART trains started paying people to slash the fabric, eventually accounting for 85% of vandalism reports
Image credits: penguinopusredux
#15TIL Mr. Rogers answered every fan letter, starting his day at 5 AM to respond to 50-100 daily, including those from children dealing with personal issues like family deaths.
Image credits: tothewindsor
#16TIL in 1973, a Harvard astrophysicist suggested that we won't discover more advanced civilizations because they don't want us to find them and have the technology to ensure we never do. They have also set aside our planet as a zoo wherein they can observe us. He coined this idea the Zoo Hypothesis.
#17TIL Great White Sharks have poison resistance that defies logic. Samples of shark blood showed levels of arsenic and mercury that should be harmful if not deadly but the sharks were unaffected. Additionally Great Whites' have impressive self-healing abilities
#18TIL space stations smell like “combinations of antiseptic, garbage, and body odor.”
Image credits: EverbodyHatesHugo
#19TIL 1 out of every 8 Americans is Californian.
Image credits: Nodebunny
#20TIL Bed bugs were all but eradicated in the developed world in the 1950s but had a resurgence in the 1990s due to factors including increased international travel, lack of public awareness
#21TIL an Austrian man was held for 18 days without food or water (the world record for surviving) because the police forgot about him. He lost 53 lbs (24 kg.)
Image credits: u/snowflake247
#22TIL 601 Lexington Avenue—once the 7th-tallest building in the world—was in danger of being toppled over by high winds due to a structural error. It was secretly fixed and the public had no idea anything was wrong until an article about it came out decades later.
#23TIL in 1815 B.C. it took about a year for Sumerian scribes to learn how to multiply. They also signed and dated their homework.
#24TIL By the 1700s, aristocrats started eating tomatoes, but they were convinced the fruits were poisonous because people would die after eating them. In reality, the acidity from the tomatoes brought out the lead in their pewter plates, and they actually died of lead poisoning
#25TIL Louis Braille faced resistance towards and doubts about his writing system for the blind, called Braille. His school burned books he and his classmates had transcribed into Braille, since the school thought that the effectiveness of Braille was a threat to their revenue.
#26TIL the highest coefficient of inbreeding among the Habsburg dynasty was 0.3053 from Maria Antonia of Austria. Her coefficient was higher than that of a child born to a parent and child, or brother and sister.
#27TIL that the Pythagorean theorem must have been known before Pythagoras, because it is used in a proof on a Babylonian clay tablet dated about 12 centuries before the birth of Pythagoras.
Image credits: yoyo456
#28TIL in the United States, obesity rates decline the higher above sea level an area is.
Image credits: Ethanlac
#29TIL that some pirate codes forbid the crew from seducing a woman, sneaking her on board the ship and taking her out to sea. This offense was punishable by death.
Image credits: OldSailor74
#30TIL that If two pieces of similar metals touch in a vacuum, and if both pieces are perfectly flat and polished, they will indeed fuse to effectively make one new piece. This is called cold welding.
Image credits: solvingproblem_
#31TIL the US Navy sold 2 obsolete aircraft carriers to scrap dealers for a cent each because they were very expensive to dismantle and recycle.
Image credits: Algrinder
#32TIL that the Rolling Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards has a pre-show ritual, where he must eat a shepherd’s pie. In 1989, when the band was set to perform in Toronto, Richards noticed that someone ate his pie. He refused to go on stage until a new pie was baked for him by the band’s culinary staff
#33TIL Nissan Motors sued an individual, Uzi Nissan, over ownership of the "nissan.com" domain name. Uzi ultimately won the legal battle, but it took eight years and cost him $3 million.
Image credits: instilledbee
#34TIL that our voice has a considerable influence on how we are perceived by other people. A single spoken word is enough to obtain personality ratings that are highly consistent across independent listeners. Based on voice samples, AI can predict how a speaker tends to be perceived by other people
Image credits: u/VarunTossa5944
#35TIL elephants are the only wild animal that understands pointing without human training
#36TIL that Shattered was a British TV series where ten contestants were challenged with going without sleep for seven days. Due to sleep deprivation contestants became hostile and irrational and one believed himself to be the Prime Minister of Australia. The winner was awake for 178 hours
#37TIL Freshwater snails carry a parasitic disease, which infects nearly 250 million people and causes over 200,000 deaths a year. The parasites exit the snails into waters, they seek you, penetrate right through your skin, migrate through your body, end up in your blood and remain there for years.
Image credits: Motor-Anteater-8965
#38TIL wild blueberry farming in Maine traditionally involved burning the fields every year, a technique learned from the Passamaquoddy tribe, since most of the plant mass is underground
#39TIL that when Thomas Jefferson was in the White House he kept a flock of sheep on the White House lawn and one of them took the life of a small child
#40TIL that the domain name "CarInsurance.com" holds the record for being the most expensive domain name ever sold, fetching a price of $49.7 million in 2010.
Image credits: bringmeturtles
#41TIL that roughly 1/3 of Japan's population live in just the Tokyo Metropolitan Area
#42TIL that instead of taking their usual salaries for ''Twins'', Schwarzenegger and DeVito both agreed with the studio to take 20% of the film's box office returns which resulted in them receiving the biggest paychecks of their film careers ( movie made $216 million worldwide)
Image credits: cartstanza
#43TIL when US President Harding died unexpectedly in 1923, Vice President Calvin Coolidge took the oath of office at 2:47 AM, and promptly returned to bed.
Image credits: firstpc13
#44TIL giraffes only sleep about 4 hours a day in 5-15 minute power nap sessions (because lions)
#45TIL: During the filming of 'Dexter,' actor Jimmy Smits accidentally grabbed a real knife and stabbed a stuntman in the chest; the stuntman survived unharmed due to the blade hitting a post-it note sized piece of plastic covering his heart.
Image credits: FairchildIV
#46TIL about Tim Friede, the Venom Man. Tim flatlined from two back to back cobra bites in 2001. He was revived and decided to become immune to snake venom in hope of creating a universal antivenom. He has taken 200+ fang bites and 500+ needle injections from lethal cobras, mambas, kraits and taipans.
#47TIL that in 2011 a court in the U.K. banned a man with a 48 IQ from having sex determining that he didn't have the mental capacity to understand the health risks associated with his actions.
Image credits: tyrion2024
#48TIL that 21 out of the last 31 U.S. elections, the tallest person was elected President
#49TIL In the 18th century, there was a practice in England known as "wife-selling." This unusual custom involved a man publicly auctioning off his wife to the highest bidder, often in a marketplace or a tavern. It was sometimes seen as a humorous way to escape an unhappy marriage
#50TIL the average's person's metabolism doesn't decline until their 60s
Image credits: Oapish
#51TIL That Spanish noble women used to eat clay pots, the habit caused a paler complexion (due to anemia), which was considered attractive, It also served as contraceptive (Since the negative health effects caused a delay in menstrual cycles). Eating the clay pots caused death in some cases
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