Today is a brand new day and before it turns into yet another small and insignificant spot somewhere in a 365-day bender, there’s time to make it worthwhile. So today, we baked you a special treat of a list that features some of the most entertaining facts you probably didn’t know.
Thanks to our dear friends and the powerhouse of Reddit, “Today I Learned,” we have quite a read to scroll through right below. The group’s whopping 26.2 million members prove that too many of us love that sense of discovery, no matter how big or small it be. And often all it takes is one specific fact to pump up your trivia muscle!
TIL 110 years ago Dr Charles Campbell constructed 30 feet high bat roost to fight malaria. Bats that lived in the roost ate the mosquitoes and Mitchell’s lake municipality was malaria-free in 4 years.
TIL about a man who shot a protected saguaro cactus down with his shotgun in 1982. The cactus fell on him, crushing and impaling him to death.
TIL that the first child protective services organization in the world was created after the founder of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals realized laws protecting animals from abuse were stronger than laws protecting children
TIL Mexico was the only country to protest the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany. To honor that support, there is a square in Vienna named “Mexikoplatz”
TIL that in 2013, Star Wars was dubbed into Navajo, making it the first major motion picture translated into a Native American language
TIL that the song “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” by the artist Skrillex was observed as a mosquito repellent due to its low-frequency vibrations. The scientists also found that mosquitoes exposed to the song had sex “far less often” than other mosquitos without music.
TIL that the FTC actually recommends against organizations using regular password changing policies as it only encourages users to use simple, easy to remember passwords that they then only alter in predictable ways.
TIL that in China 209 BC two generals were going to be late which was punishable by death. They realized that the punish for rebellion was the same as the one for being late, so they decided to rebel and created an uprising.
TIL that Enya lives in a castle in Ireland, and when Bo Burnham wanted to include Orinoco Flow in his film, he had to send her a hand written letter
TIL James Blunt(singer) developed scurvy in university when he ate only meat for two months ‘out of principle’ to annoy vegetarian classmates
TIL The Vatican has its own telescope staffed by priests, and has previously been given awards for the pursuit of scientific research.
TIL of Lady Lucy Houston, a British philanthropist who, after WWI, recognized the need for a strong Air Force… when the British government refused, she funded development of what became the Spitfire. She passed before WWII, and never saw how much that investment paid off.
TIL: President Nixon, wife Pat, and Henry Kissinger took lessons and practiced for months to learn to use chopsticks properly, in preparation for the dinner banquet on his visit to China in 1972
TIL that Filipino churches built during Spain’s colonial period used millions of egg whites in the concrete to make it more durable. This is also why Filipino desserts often use lots of egg yolks- many were developed to use up all the extra yolks from construction projects
TIL the sex of alligator hatchlings is based purely on temperature while incubating. At 86F or lower, the babies will all be female; at 93F or higher, they will all be male. The mother can sense these changes in temperature and will alter the nest to maintain an optimum temperature.
TIL that in 1939 an experiment was conducted at the University of Iowa on orphans in which the purpose was to induce stuttering in otherwise normally speaking children. Dubbed the “monster study”, it caused lifelong psychological issues in some of the subjects.
TIL pepperoni is an American invention. It’s similar to the spicy salamis of southern Italy, but it also has elements characteristic of German sausages (smokiness, beef content, and fine grind). In Italian, “peperoni” just means “bell peppers”.
TIL of garden hermits, people encouraged to dress as druids and live in caves and grottoes on the estates of rich people effectively as decoration in the 18th century, usually receiving room and board as payment. One such hermit was fired three weeks into a seven year term after being found drinking at a local pub.
TIL David Lucas, a producer of the 1976 rock hit “Don’t Fear The Reaper”, really did want more cowbell, while band members felt he was crazy. In a 2005 interview, the bassist recalled that the cowbell “really pulled the track together”.
TIL there is a full taxidermed whale in a Swedish museum that was open to the public until a couple was caught making love inside it (1930’s)
TIL ancient Egyptians would give opium to quiet crying babies. This practice was also a popular way to calm babies in the Victorian era, but it sometimes caused infants to starve to death as they were kept in a constant state of narcotism.
TIL that Stalin struggled with depression and summoned renowned Russian psychiatrist Vladimir Bekhterev to examine him. After the examination Bekhterev said only one word – “paranoiac”. He died on the very next day from what most believed was poisoning.
TIL that the opossum and the possum are not the same animal. The opossum lives in North America and the possum lives in Australia and SE Asia. While they are both marsupials, they belong to different orders. An example of a possum would be the sugar glider, which weighs less than 5 ounces.
TIL that in 1457 golf was banned in Scotland by king James II, because he felt that young men were playing too much golf instead of practicing archery. It remained in banned until 1502, when James IV became a golfer.
TIL that half of all panda births result in twins, however, it is very rare for both cubs to survive as giant pandas almost always abandon a cub if they give birth to more than one
TIL A day on Venus is longer than a year on Venus. It takes Venus longer to rotate once on its axis than to complete one orbit of the Sun. That’s 243 Earth days to rotate once, and 225 Earth days to complete one orbit of the Sun.
Note: this post originally had 69 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.