“Today I Learned”: 107 Interesting Things People Didn’t Learn In School (New Pics)

We’ve got both good news and bad news, dear Pandas. Learning never ever ends. But, on the flip side—learning never ends! The world is far more interesting and changes at a much faster pace for us to forget about ever learning something new the moment we finish school or college. Education is a lifelong pursuit, and staying _hungry_ for knowledge helps you appreciate everything to the fullest. The daily grind can’t get to you if you’re always curious!

The ‘Today I Learned’ online community is a mammoth of cool, interesting, and uncomfortable facts that people from all around the globe learned only recently. They’re the kind of historical, scientific, and other insights that you probably wouldn’t ever hear at school. We’ve collected some of the best new facts people decided to share on r/todayilearned, so put on your thinking caps and scroll down to check them out. Oh, and don’t worry, there won’t be a test! Who needs grades when the best reward is reigniting your passion for learning?

The TIL community is probably one of the most interesting corners of the internet. We’re huge fans of them here at Bored Panda! Once you’re done absorbing all of the knowledge in this post, you may want to take a peek at our most recent posts about the subreddit here, here, and here.


TIL, in 1997, a Russian poacher, Vladimir Markov, shot and wounded a tiger, and stole part of a boar it had been eating. 12 hours later, the tiger tracked down the poacher at his cabin and ate him.

Image credits: cruisingthoughts


TIL after being scolded by a woman who felt that his shoes were too expensive for kids, Shaq forwent a $40 million deal with Reebok & signed one with Walmart. He then brought in designers from Reebok so that his Walmart shoes would look costlier than the $20 price. Over 400 million pairs were sold

Image credits: suzukigun4life


TIL in 2017, a woman named Chau Smith ran seven marathons in seven consecutive days on seven continents in celebration of her 70th birthday.

Image credits: Canes-Venatici

We don’t want to sound overly dramatic, but to us, there is no Reddit without r/todayilearned. Created all the way back in late 2008, the subreddit has grown into a powerhouse of a community that few can rival.

At the time of writing, the ‘Today I Learned’ community was home to over 30 million members. This number continues to grow. Constantly.


TIL Mr. Snuffleupagus from 'Sesame Street' was originally a friend of Big Bird's that everyone else thought was imaginary, and it was decided that he should be seen by other people to encourage children to talk about any abuse they might have suffered.

Image credits: davetowers646


TIL brussels sprouts used to have a bitter taste until breeders in the 90s started to cross-pollinate different varieties in order to remove the chemicals that caused the bitterness. The result of their work has lead to brussels sprouts' recent culinary popularity

Image credits: wilymon


Today I learned taking photos instead of actually viewing the scene causes your brain to outsource the memory; this causes you to not retain the information as detailed as you normally would. This is called the photo-taking impairment effect.

Image credits: sarcasticslab420

The secret behind the success of the TIL project is brilliant in its simplicity. It’s hard to beat interesting, weird, and niche facts (well, unless you’ve got funny cat pics to share!). Meanwhile, the community members are encouraged to actively participate. No fact is too small to share! So long as it’s backed up by sources, of course.

There are some limits on what info you can share. For instance, you shouldn’t post anything that’s supported by sources more recent than 2 months. Naturally, sources that are inaccurate or unverifiable aren’t allowed. Misleading claims, agenda-pushing, and personal opinions also don’t have a place on r/todayilearned.

The sub is all about interesting facts. So there’s a certain bar when it comes to quality that you have to reach. That’s what makes the community educational, not just entertaining. Combine the two together and you have a recipe for success on the internet!


TIL a wanted fugitive performed plastic surgeries on his face using scissors, a box cutter and a needle with thread in order to avoid capture. Some of the surgeries were done in public restrooms. He evaded arrest for over 2 years

Image credits: RainManToothpicks


TIL: Pac-Man grossed $1 billion in quarters in its first year of release. In the following year, 1982, it earned $6 billion in quarters, which was more than the combined amount of money spent in Vegas casinos and US movie theaters that year.

Image credits: theotherbogart


TIL There are only between 150-300 kidnappings of children by strangers each year in the US. The other 200,000 kidnappings each year are by relatives.

Image credits: Ok_Letter_9284

Some time ago, Bored Panda spoke about education and the internet with Steven Wooding, a member of the Institute of Physics in the UK and part of the Omni Calculator Project. He pointed out that the internet is a tool and neutral in and of itself. It’s neither inherently good or evil. “Of course, it can be both,” he told us.

"The internet reflects the world around it, so everything you find in the world will also appear on the internet. I see it as a great shortcut to information (gone are the days of having to visit a library) that can speed up your learning and ability to do things," he told us during an interview, earlier.


TIL in a 2005 Empire article, Henry Cavill was dubbed “the unluckiest man in Hollywood” after losing roles in Bond and Harry Potter franchises.

Image credits: Ajthaking31


TIL nine women, called "The 9 Nanas," kept a decades-long secret that even their husbands knew nothing about. For 30 years, they gathered at 4 a.m. to bake cakes, send care packages to people, anonymously pay bills and buy clothes for those in need.

Image credits: Canes-Venaticii


TIL of Vitalis of Gaza, a monk who paid prostitutes his daily wages to dissuade them from the profession. The women he served later carried him to his grave, processing him with candles and lanterns. The Catholic Church venerates him as the Patron Saint of Prostitutes and Day Laborers.

Image credits: PastPriority-771

According to the scientist, you should set aside specific times for studying and others for fun if you feel that you’ve got a hard time maintaining focus and keep on getting distracted by entertainment. Meanwhile, if you feel that you’re burned out from studying and learning new things, consider gamifying your entire approach to make it more fun.

"My little secret for avoiding apathy is giving myself little challenges, difficulties, or assumptions that I need to stick to during my tasks. This way, I can polish my skills, avoid burnout, and (as a bonus side effect) get better results over time. Try to be conscious of 'the burnout curve'—and adjust your life's challenges so that they always hit somewhere near the top of the curve,” Steven told Bored Panda before.


TIL about Henry Cotton, an asylum director who believed that all insanity was caused by sepsis in other parts poisoning the brain, leading to widespread amputation of his patients' colons, teeth, reproductive organs, and even stomachs in order to "cure" them, with as many as 45% dying as a result

Image credits: BrokenEye3


TIL that the US post office turns children’s letters to Santa into a giant gift registry that allows citizens to fulfill children’s Christmas wishes

Image credits: larsiusprime


TIL Astronauts had to leave unnecessary items behind on the moon so the Apollo lander could lift off safely. These items included golf balls, cameras, boots, a telescope and 96 bags of poop, urine and vomit.

Image credits: greatminds1


TIL a mannequin in a California funhouse was revealed to be a real body when the arm fell off in 1976. It was the corpse of a man named Elmer McCurdy, an outlaw shot dead by sheriffs 65 years earlier.

Image credits: That-Situation-4262


TIL, for a scene in his movie Tenet, where a Boeing 747 plane crashes into (a fictional) Oslo Airport, they crashed an ACTUAL, REAL 747, because Christopher Nolan determined it would actually be cheaper than models or CGI.

Image credits: Comic_Book_Reader


TIL on the morning of July 26, 1184, Henry VI held court at the Petersberg Citadel. The weight of the assembled nobles caused the second story floor of the building to collapse. Most of the nobles fell into the latrine cesspit below the ground floor, where about 60 of them drowned in liquid s**t.

Image credits: The_Critical_Cynic


TIL that after Toyota recalled millions of cars for stuck accelerator pedals, a man was freed from prison after his Toyota caused an accident that killed 3.


TIL that Charles Dickens was a great lover of cats, so much so that when one of his beloved cats, Bob, passed away, Dickens was so upset that his sister-in-law fashioned one of Bob's paws into a letter opener. Dickens kept this at his side as he wrote and he used it every morning to open his mail.

Image credits: robaato72


TIL about Tommy Manville, the heir to the Johns-Manville fortune. The terms of his family trust granted him $250,000 "when he married." As a result he got married 13 times, giving the women a cut of the proceeds before quickly divorcing them.

Image credits: theHAREST


TIL that somewhere between 3% and 21% of the population have a genetic variation in an olfactory receptor gene (OR6A2) that makes cilantro taste very unpleasant. Those with the variant describe the taste of cilantro as "a combination of soap and vomit" or similar to the odor emitted by stinkbugs.

Image credits: Lagavulin16_neat


TIL that all Ashkenazi Jews are at most 30th cousins because of a genetic bottleneck about 700 years ago.

Image credits: doesntgetthepicture


TIL 69 is the only number whose square (4761) and cube (328509) use every decimal digit from 0–9 exactly once.

Image credits: SaintBiggusDickus


TIL that van Gogh's rendering of the stars in Café Terrace at Night is so precise that the painting can be dated within a day or two of its creation.


TIL in 2010, Washington D.C. held a mock election and invited hackers to test its online voting system. They managed to elect Master Control Program from "Tron" as mayor, Skynet from "Terminator" to Congress, and Bender from "Futurama" to the school board. It took D.C. officials two days to notice.

Image credits: Johnnycockseed


TIL about the Asoh defense, a term for just taking the blame when you're at fault. It’s named after a Japanese pilot named Kohei Asoh, who crash-landed a full-passenger jet in the San Francisco Bay. When asked what happened, he said: “As you Americans say, I f**ked up.”


TIL in 1996 a couple named their son "Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116" claiming it was pronounced "Albin." This was in protest to a $740 fine they'd received for failing to register a name by his fifth birthday.

Image credits: GoodSamaritan_


TIL a reporter at a British newspaper received an anonymous tip telling him to “call the American Embassy in London for some big news” about 25 minutes before JFK was assassinated.


TIL that the 1927 General Election in Liberia had a turnout of 1660%. The winner secured 240,000 votes, when the country had less than 15,000 eligible voters.


TIL about Ted's bottle. Ted d’Auvergne, a New Zealand WW2 soldier was at the pub and late for his embarkation train. He asked the publican to set aside his 2nd bottle of beer to drink when he came home. Ted was killed but the promise was kept and that bottle of beer is still there.

Image credits: Spare-Cap-3152


TIL Longyearbyen, Norway is the world's northernmost settlement with a population greater than 1,000. There is a ban on cats, a monthly alcohol purchase limit, and a requirement to carry a rifle while outside for protection from polar bears.

Image credits: Winger52


TIL that the song Smooth by Santana-Rob Thomas is both the last #1 hit of the 90s and the first of the 2000s

Image credits: ThatOtherFrenchGuy


TIL the top 10% of drinkers in America consume an average of 74 drinks per week. About 30% of Americans never drink at all and another 30% only drink on special occasions, at most once every couple of weeks.


TIL for 50+ years, Australian children in the outback attended school via shortwave radio and sent homework via air mail due to the distance between homes. "Schools of the Air" were many children's first social experience outside their families; its quality equaled or surpassed traditional schools'.


TIL: 2nd POTUS Adams never owned a slave and declined on principle to use slave labor


TIL After the release of OutKast's "Hey Ya" - which contains the line, "Shake it like a Polaroid picture!" - Polaroid had to remind the users of its cameras not to "shake" their photos when they were developing, as this can damage the image


TIL that the theme song from Mission Impossible get is its iconic beat of "long long short short" from the Morse code of "M" and "I", which is long long short short.


TIL Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States, despite being 6'4", had a voice that was described as “a thin tenor, or rather falsetto, voice, almost as high-pitched as a boatswain's whistle.”


TIL a chain of volcanoes last erupted within France 6000 years ago. Until 1750 they were thought to be piles of Roman mining waste or furnaces.


TIL that when Unsolved Mysteries aired a segment on missing child Nyleen Marshall, they were contacted by a man who thought he might have gone to school with Nyleen. This turned out not to be Nyleen, but a different missing child, Monica Bonilla, who had been abducted by her noncustodial parent.


TIL that part of Icelandic Christmas lore is that a giant cat, the Yule Cat will kill you if you don't give or receive clothing on Christmas


TIL that Wayne Gretzky is 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th, and 11th for most points in an NHL season.

Image credits: TheMegaSage


TIL There's a board game called 'The Campaign for North Africa' which can take up to 1,500 hours to complete.


TIL That the white dried dog poop on lawns of the 70s and 80s was related to excess calcium in dog foods at the time. Less commercial bone meal in today's dog food recipes makes it virtually a thing of the past.


TIL Dogs have much more expressive faces than wolves. Dogs make an effort to make eye contact with humans and have notably high control over their eyebrows when compared to wolves. Looking into a dog's eyes has comparable results to a parent looking at their child.


TIL the White House has military social aides who's jobs include everything from escorting dignitaries to providing a dance companion or small talk to lonely guests.


TIL When Enrico Fermi first split an atom in 1934, it was completely by accident. He was actually trying to create new elements by hitting uranium with neutrons. It was only in 1938 that other scientists figured out what Fermi did.


TIL that Catalan families take care of a log named Tio de Nadal from Dec 8 until Christmas, when they hit it with wet sticks and sing songs until it sh**s presents.


TIL: Only two companies have a higher credit rating than the US Government, Microsoft and Johnson&Johnson


TIL John von Newmann was a child prodigy who could divide 8-digit numbers in his head by age 6. By age 8, he was fluent in Ancient Greek, had mastered calculus and would amuse his parents' friends by reciting book pages after just glancing at them. He also developed the modern computer architecture.


TIL in a 2009 episode, Michael Schumacher appeared on BBC's Top Gear as the Stig. Jeremy Clarkson hinted that Schumacher was not the regular Stig which was later confirmed by BBC. Schumacher was there because Ferrari would not allow anyone else to drive the Ferrari FXX featured in the show.


TIL Alpha Centauri, the nearest solar system, is 4.4 lights years away or about 40 trillion km's. It would take roughly 18,000 years to reach it with our current technology.


TIL Dachshund (sausage dogs) were specifically bred to hunt European badgers and spent hours underground, facing the badger straight on and dragging it out by the face.


TIL two different comic strips named “Dennis the Menace” both debuted on the same day: March 12, 1951. They were created completely independently of each other, and neither creator knew of the other’s existence


TIL almost no palm trees are native to Southern California. They were used as a marketing ploy to transform Los Angeles for a cow town to “semi-tropical”


TIL Barry Manilow thought "Last Christmas" by Wham! was so similar to his 1978 hit "Can't Smile Without You" that he took George Michael to court. But the case was thrown out after a musicologist presented 60-odd songs from the past century that had a comparable chord sequence and melody.


TIL that before trees took over the earth the land was covered with Prototaxites, a fungus that became extinct more than 350 million years ago and is believed to have reached almost 9m high and 1.37m in diameter.


TIL Concrete is the second-most consumed substance on Earth behind only water. Thirty-three billion tons of it are used each year, making it by far the most abundant human-made material in history


TIL Indiana Jones was inspired by Scrooge McDuck, not the other way around. George Lucas was a big fan of the comics growing up. The famous boulder sequence in Raiders of the Lost Ark was directly lifted from a 1954 issue of the McDuck comic.


TIL only one person has visited all 193 UN-recognized countries, as well as space. His name is Jim Kitchen.


TIL that the chemist Alexander Shulgin invented over 200 psychedelic drugs, self-administered them and wrote a book the experience he had with each of them.


TIL actors with tattoos may need release forms from the tattoo artist if their work is visible on film.


TIL that the dream of "teeth falling out" seems to be a pattern for citizens living in western countries.


TIL that in 1984 Weird Al Yankovic's single "Eat It" reached number 1 in Australia. It outranked the song that it was making a parody of, Michael Jackson's "Beat It," which only reached number 3.


TIL that Aunt Bethany, from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, is played by the famous actress Mae Questel. Mae is best known for voicing Betty Boop, Minnie Mouse, and Olive Oyl.


TIL about the Glass Armonica, a musical instrument invented by Ben Franklin. Inspired by playing glass cups, bowls were mounted on a rotating spindle allowing a musician with wet fingers to play music. Mozart and Beethoven wrote for it but after 60 years strange rumors spread and it fell out of use.


TIL Stephen King has almost no memory of writing Cujo because of problems he had at the time with cocaine, Xanax, Valium, NyQuil, Robitussin and mouthwash


TIL during a tour of Germany in 1958, Jewish Comedian Groucho Marx climbed a pile of rubble that marked the site of Adolf Hitler's bunker, the site of Hitler's death, and performed a two-minute Charleston.


TIL American rapper Jay-Z stabbed a man in at an album release party, with a 5-inch blade in the stomach, after rumours the man was behind the bootlegging of one of his albums. He later pleaded guilty to third-degree assault, accepting a 3-year probation sentence.


TIL that Douglas Kelley, psychologist who examined the defendants at the Nuremberg Trials, committed suicide in front of his family by taking potassium cyanide.


TIL that former pro skater, Jackass and CKY star Brandon Novak has become a Certified Intervention Professional and professional speaker following a 20 year cycle of substance abuse, and has written two books about his heroin addiction


TIL that since 1976, the New York Yankees have maintained a strict appearance policy that states: “All players, coaches and male executives are forbidden to display any facial hair other than mustaches, and scalp hair may not be grown below the collar. Long sideburns and muttonchops are not banned.”


TIL in 1831 the Swedish Navy planted over 300,000 oak trees with the intention of harvesting them for ships 150 years later. They remain unharvested today.


TIL Retention rates among students studying engineering are among the lowest of all majors


TIL that the person who discovered the double-helix structure of DNA was Francis Crick, who was high on LSD when he deduced it.


TIL that anime director Hayao Miyazaki created a kindergarten specially for the staff of studio Ghibli. The kids are able to freely explore its picturesque interiors and are taught traditional skills like cooking rice over an open fire


TIL The most successful submarine captain of all time was Lothar von Arnauld de la Perière. He only fired 74 torpedos, with 39 hits, but during his career sank 194 ships, totaling 453,000 tones.


TIL Alice Hamilton was the first woman appointed to the Harvard University faculty in any field. During her years at Harvard (1919-1935), she never received a faculty promotion. She was excluded from social activities, could not enter the Harvard Union, or attend the Faculty Club.


TIL in the late 70s, Martin Scorsese was very depressed & struggling with a dangerous coke addiction. Once, while hospitalized w/ internal bleeding, De Niro visited & convinced him to make another movie, to save his life. Scorsese agreed, sure it would be his last film. It was Raging Bull.


TIL Tourism was popular in ancient Rome. The most popular attraction was the pyramids of Giza, where local tour guides fed misinformation to the Romans to draw them in and profit from them


TIL that in 1905 President Theodore Roosevelt threatened to ban American Football after 19 college students died that year playing the game. In response, 62 colleges and universities met in New York City to discuss rule changes, where they formed the athletic association that would become the NCAA.


TIL Ancient Egyptians mixed lead into their eyeliner, resulting in an immune response, killing off bacteria and preventing diseases. It’s also where the color Kohl originated from.


TIL that all representations of the Egyptian god Aten were accompanied by a sort of footnote. It stated that the art was only an imperfect representation of something that transcended nature, and could not be fully or adequately represented.


TIL that the US is home to a major supervolcano at Yellowstone Caldera. If it erupts again it won't wipe out humanity but could severely alter weather and climate patterns to the point where it caused a new ice age.


TIL of how a woman successfully sued a casino for her winnings when they claimed it was a machine error. She later donated the full sum to charity.


TIL Papyrus 115 (which is the oldest preserved manuscript of the Revelation as of 2017), give the number of the beast as χιϛ, 616 and not 666.


TIL Joseph McCarthy falsely claimed participation in 32 aerial missions in order to qualify for a Distinguished Flying Cross and multiple awards of the Air Medal, which the Marine Corps chain of command decided to approve in 1952 because of his political influence.


TIL about "corner crossing," a legally ambiguous method of entering public land that has otherwise been deliberately blocked off by a private party for their exclusive use.


TIL Richard M. Daley authorized the midnight bulldozing of Meigs Field, a small, downtown, lakefront airport in Chicago. This stranded 16 planes on the ground including several Fire Department helicopters. The FAA fined the city $33,000 for not giving 30 days notice ahead of an airport closure.


TIL that a pair of man-made structures which are older than the pyramids, one of which has been dated to be the among the oldest known human structures on earth, are located on the LSU campus and were used for tailgate parties as recently as 2010.


TIL That Alfred Eisenstaedt, the man who took the infamous "Eyes of Hate" photo of Joseph Goebbels, also took the well known "Victory Kiss" photo


TIL President Gerald Ford once tried to eat a tamale without taking off the corn husk while campaigning


TIL after graduating from McGill medical school in 2018, NFL lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif unsuccessfully petitioned the NFL to add "M.D." to the nameplate on the back of his jersey.


TIL that when Peyton Manning was 5, his mother took him to a Saints game, as his father Archie was the quarterback. Due to Archie's poor performance, the crowd started booing him. Peyton's mother was worried that seeing his father booed would upset Peyton, only to see that he was also booing Archie.


TIL that before it was "Donner and Blitzen," it was "Donder and Blitzen," and before that it was "Dunder and Blixem," which is colloquial New York Dutch meaning "Thunder and Lightning."


TIL one of the earliest escape attempts to bypass the Berlin Wall was by Heinz Meixner in 1963. He removed a convertible's windshield and deflated its tires as low as possible. He, with his fiancee and her mother hidden, then drove up to the boom barrier, sped under it, and escaped into West Berlin.


TIL about the 100-Man Kumite, a martial arts challenge wherein a challenger endures 100 consecutive sparring matches against fighters of equal or higher rank. Since 1965 there have only been 30 total victors, the last being in 2020.


TIL Mickey Mouse's original name was Mortimer until Walt Disney's wife, Lillian, objected that the name was "sissified" and suggested Mickey.


TIL that approximately 1,000 copies of the Ultimate Toy Box edition of the movie Toy Story 2 were shipped with a processing error that included a scene from an R-rated film 'High Fidelity', which featured the usage of the word "F**k" several times.


TIL The Silver Snoopy award is given out by NASA to those with achievements in safety or aided in mission success. Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz was a big fan of the space program and did the art for free.


TIL That C4 is relatively stable unless detonated by a blasting cap, meaning it was used as an improvised fire starter in the Vietnam war, where it simply burned like a piece of wood


TIL the Beatles last public concert played at Candlestick Park San Francisco in 1966 was a major flop and not even close to a sellout with over 20% of the tickets left unsold. The Beatles never performed before a paying audience again.


TIL Apollo 11 astronauts had to sleep on the cold lunar module floor but astronauts from Apollo 12 on were provided with adjustable hammocks which helped reduce the cooling effects of contact with the cabin floor


TIL over 20 years ago AOL Instant Messenger had a "AI" bot called Smarterchild. One of the first consumer facing machine learning interfaces that was publicly available!


TIL That the reason you can see corn in poop is because corn kernels are coated in cellulose, which is strong enough to withstand the rigors of the human digestive system.


TIL that during his retirement, George Washington was so intent on staying within 25 miles of his Mount Vernon Estate that he declined to attend the wedding of his nephew Lawrence Augustine Washington.