If you’ve been visiting Reddit for a while, you know a single click in the wrong direction can lead you to a terrible place. But communities like braincels aside, the site has been offering awesome content too.
Take the subreddit Today I Learned (TIL) for example. It’s a place where users submit surprising yet totally legit facts to broaden each other’s knowledge of the world.
Whether it’s the everyday life of former presidents or the recreational use of x-rays in the 1890s, these guys constantly unearth something interesting.
TIL in the anatomy building at Dalian Medical University, where medical student can practice on cadavers, there’s a sign with a quote from a donor that reads “I’d rather let students try something 20 times on me than see them make one mistake on a future patient.”
Image credits: shaka_sulu
TIL that Muhammad Ali went to Iraq in 1990 against the then president George H.W. Bush’s wishes and secured the release of 15 american citizen hostages held in Iraqi prisons, and brought them home.
Image credits: azahran1790
TIL Goku from DBZ in Japan is voiced by an 84 year old woman, who holds world records for her long-running voice acting career
Image credits: succulentknobgoblin
TIL Graça Machel was married to the President of Mozambique until he died in a plane crash, she later married Nelson Mandela while he was President of South Africa. She is the only person in modern history to be First Lady of two different countries.
Image credits: rangatang
TIL 30 years ago a tank crushed a small red car in Osijek, Croatia, as a show of force. In 2011 a monument was built: a tiny red car, crushing a tank.
Image credits: Uggamouse
TIL a defibrillator doesn’t restart a stopped heart. In fact quite the opposite, it actually stops a heart in the middle of a cardiac event, allowing the heart’s natural back-up system to take over and return it to normal sinus rhythm.
Image credits: smileylinzi
TIL a legend goes that during the Thirty Years’ War, a Catholic army wanted to destroy Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Germany for resisting the Count of Tilly. Tilly declared that if anyone could drink a 3.25 L drink of wine in one go, he would spare the town. The local mayor saved the town that day.
Image credits: spark8000
TIL that some hikers and researchers have spotted wild birds swearing. It is belived that birds that escaped from captivity teach other wild birds how to speak and swear in English.
Image credits: AvocadoDemon
TIL that in 1524, a statue of the Virgin Mary at the Cathedral in Riga, Latvia, was accused of being a witch. They put it on trial by throwing it in the river. Since the wooden statue floated, they declared it guilty and burned it.
Image credits: ForgingIron
TIL British banknotes increase in size as they increase in value to help blind people tell them apart
Image credits: gianthooverpig
TIL that FDR’s White House served notoriously terrible meals. First Lady Eleanor wanted to set an example for the country during the Depression by serving economical meals made from scraps
Image credits: archfapper
TIL It is quite common for older homes to have piles of razor blades in their walls.
Image credits: FDR-9000
TIL in 2018, an electrical engineer on board the Bellingshausen Research station in Antartica stabbed a fellow coworker in the chest multiple times because the colleague had been giving away the endings of books available in the research station’s library.
Image credits: unnaturalorder
TIL when the UN’s Nordic Battalion was sent to Bosnia in 1993 it disobeyed orders, broke rules of engagement, faked loss of communication to HQ, and became known as one the most trigger-happy peacekeeper units. This enabled them to achieve their mission objective: to protect civilians at all cost.
Image credits: Brutal_Deluxe_
TIL that energy consumption in the UK is around the same as the 1970s, due to more efficient appliances and domestic solar technology
Image credits: bigbrother2030
TIL in 1948, Milwaukee burger chain George Webb’s said they would give free hamburgers if the local baseball team won 12 games in a row. Since then it’s only happened twice: in 1987, and 2018. They honored the promise and gave out hundreds of thousands of free burgers.
Image credits: 02K30C1
TIL as a prank, a man once climbed Mount Hood in the middle of the night and surreptitiously left a morning newspaper and a quart of milk for his friends, who were spending the night on the summit
Image credits: filthy_lucre
TIL that in 1929, determined to prove his hypothesis, Werner Frossman tricked a nurse, inserted a catheter through his own arm, and walked with the inserted tube to an x-ray lab to photograph his discovery, thereby inventing cardiac catheterization and winning a Nobel Prize for it later.
Image credits: sophia_rodrigo
TIL the first Soviet citizen to visit the White House was a female WWII sniper with 309 confirmed kills, one of which was a sniper she dueled for 3 days.
Image credits: iLiekTaost
TIL of “Janet” Airlines, a secret, full-service airline that carries military and contractor employees to sites such as Area 51.
Image credits: coffeeinvenice
TIL Disney’s Fireworks use pneumatic launch technology, developed for Disneyland as required by CA’s South Coast AQMD. This uses compressed air instead of gunpowder to launch shells into the air. This eliminates the trail of the igniting firework and permits tight control over height and timing.
Image credits: ocdumbos
TIL Denmark received a week’s notice to get a team ready for Euro Cup in 1992, to replace Yugoslavia as it was disqualified due to the Yugoslav Wars. Less than a month later, the underdogs were champions.
Image credits: shashankgaur
TIL capybaras, the largest extant rodent, have adapted well to urbanization in South America, and they can be found in many urban parks and lakes. Capybaras are quite docile and often allow humans to pet them though it is discouraged as the mammals’ ticks can carry the Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Image credits: KimCureAll
TIL nearly all French wine grapes are grown on vines grafted to root stock from Missouri. in the 1860s, phylloxera bugs threatened to destroy the vineyards, but roots from the US were resistant. Hundreds of thousands were shipped in and used to save the French vines.
Image credits: 02K30C1
TIL about Acclimatisation Societies. Groups of people from the 19th century that would purposely introduce exotic species to new places. They are responsible for massive ecological disasters.
Image credits: lambofgun
TIL The Brothers Grimm, being from a lower class, were excluded from university admission & tuition aid due to being poor. But upon publishing their 1st volume of 86 folk tales, they received honorary doctorate degrees from universities in Berlin, Marburg, & Wrocław.
Image credits: MarineKingPrime_
TIL about the Tarantula Hawk, which has a sting that causes “…immediate, excruciating, unrelenting pain that simply shuts down one’s ability to do anything, except scream.”
Image credits: JohnnyRoyall
TIL many whiskeys in the saloons of the Old West contained added Strychnine, a lethal poison. Diluted Strychnine was thought to have curative effects, a belief reinforced by the fact that in many towns the poisoned whiskey was still safer to drink than the local available water.
Image credits: sgtpepper_spray
TIL that in 1923, a man petitioned to change his surname from Kabotchnik to Cabot. Several members of the Cabot family, one of the oldest and wealthiest families in Boston society, sued to stop him, but the judge ruled against them because there was “nothing in the law to prevent it.”
Image credits: escapesuburbia
TIL that when a plane was hijacked over Switzerland in 2014, the neighboring countries of Italy and France had to send their own fighter jets to the scene because the incident happened outside of the Swiss Air Force’s business hours, and even hijackings weren’t important enough to pay for overtime.
Image credits: FiveMinFreedom