It’s never too late to learn new things and r/TIL—the internet’s homage is proving this thing. This page is a paradise for all the curious minds who wants to know more about interesting stuff that was not taught in school.
If you are also interested in learning new things, scroll down and soak yourself in a new batch of hand-picked factoids.
TIL: A park bench in Bristol was given an official postal address so doctors could register the homeless as patients
TIL US Airways kicked a blind and his dog off a plane in 2013 after the Dog repositioned itself during a two-hour delay. They canceled the flight after passengers disembarked in protest saying the flight attendant responsible be kicked off instead of the man and his service dog.
TIL In 1802, Napoleon added a Polish legion to fight off the slave rebellion in Haiti. However, the Polish army joined the Haitian slaves in the fight for independence. Haiti’s first head of state called the Polish people “the White Negroes of Europe”, which was then regarded as a great honor.
TIL that during WW1, the MI5 used Girl Guides to deliver secret messages. They used Girl Guides instead of Boy Scouts because they found out that Boy Scouts weren’t efficient enough, boisterous, and talkative.
TIL of Bessie Coleman, the first African American and Native American female pilot who would only perform if the crowds were desegregated and entered thru the same gates.
TIL that Fermilab used to clean its particle accelerators with a ferret named Felicia, who would run through the tubes with cleaning supplies attached and be rewarded with hamburger meat
TIL that at the age of 17, Steven Spielberg directed a sci-fi film called “Firelight”. The budget was $500, and it was shown at a local cinema, with 500 people coming, and tickets cost a dollar each. However, one person paid $2, so the movie made $1, making it Spielberg’s first commercial success
TIL Japanese doctor Tetsu Nakamura devoted his life revitalizing deserts in Afghanistan, making forests and wheat farmland, and contributing to peace. Nakamura was decorated with the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun and the Afghan National Medal.
TIL In 1911 The Rigby family included their cat Tom in their census form. ‘Tom Cat’ was listed as being an 8-year old, married Mouse-Catcher, Soloist, and Thief with 16 children. His birthplace was listed as Cheshire and he was described as being ‘speechless’ in the infirmity section of the form.
TIL that Mesopotamians figured out that the Earth orbited the sun about 1,700 years before Copernicus and Newton. They also figured out that the moon causes the tides and that the Earth rotates around its axis.
TIL that anatomically dogs have two arms and two legs – not four legs; the front legs (arms) have wrist joints and are connected to the skeleton by muscle and the back legs have hip joints and knee caps.
TIL that in 2009 Icelandic engineers accidentally drilled into a magma chamber with temperatures up to 1000C (1832F). Instead of abandoning the well like a previous project in Hawaii, they decided to pump water down and became the most powerful geothermal well ever created.
TIL although Wayne’s World (1992) was released after Freddie Mercury died, he got to see the car headbanging scene featuring Bohemian Rhapsody shortly before he passed away on November 24, 1991. He loved it and foresaw how the use of the song would ignite a comeback for Queen in the United States.
TIL The Godfather’s famous cat-in-lap scene was entirely unscripted. A stray cat randomly wandered onto the set, so Coppola grabbed it and put it in Marlin Brando’s lap without a word.
TIL early-20th-century actress, Maude Adams, wanted to do a film version of Peter Pan but was against doing it in black-and-white. She began working with experts on those obstacles, i.e. lack of color film and inadequate lighting. She earned several electric-light patents in the 1930s.
TIL in 1977, Ben Cohen was a struggling potter & Jerry Greenfield was getting rejected by medical schools. The pair decided to open a bagel shop, but the cost of bagel machines was too high. As a result, they enrolled in a $5 ice cream-making course instead. A year later, they created Ben & Jerry’s
TIL of the Grand Hotel in Scarborough, England, which had 365 rooms for each day of the year, 52 chimneys for the weeks, 12 floors for months of the year, and was shaped in a V to represent Queen Victoria
TIL, the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea is a wildlife haven. While most natural wildlife and rare plants have been killed off in the South, the DMZ hasn’t been touched in over 60 years, which resulted in unique species of flora and fauna to flourish in this area.
TIL when giraffes are born, they fall six feet on their head, but it’s the fall that gets them to start breathing
TIL Certain oak tree populations will synchronize to produce almost no acorns, only to rain them down excessively the following year, known as a “mast” year. The year preceding the mast year is thought to starve off the mammal populations feeding on the acorns.
TIL as a young boy Yuri Gagarin (first man in space) had his village occupied by nazis, his family forced to work while living in a 3 by 3-meter mud hut for 21 months, saw his little brother being hanged (but saved by his parents) and his two older siblings deported for slave labor (who escaped).
TIL that the Amazon River was named after the conquistador Francisco de Orellana was defeated by a few tribes of women, thus naming it after the warrior women of Greek legend.
TIL In 2007, a local Japanese railway station “hired” a cat named Tama as an official, helping the local economy bring in over 1 billion yen during her service. When she died 8 years later, thousands of people came to her funeral.
TIL Caffeine is the coffee plant’s natural defense mechanism. It leaches into the surrounding soil as leaves from the plant drop and are decomposed into the soil. Since caffeine is toxic to other plants, it prevents other plants from growing around the coffee plant and competing for sunlight.
TIL that in 2019, Pope Francis received a bottle of Oban malt whiskey while visiting Scottish priests, and declared it to be ‘the real holy water’. The BBC captured the footage for a documentary, which was censored by the Vatican.
TIL – Mozart has a pet starling (bird) which could sing part of his piano concerto in G Major. He had bought it from a shop after hearing it sing a phrase from a work he wrote six weeks previously, which had not yet been performed in public
TIL during the Golden Age of Piracy, women sometimes became pirates by disguising themselves as men in an effort to take advantage of freedom and rights that men could only enjoy. Anne and Mary were two famous female pirates of that time who fell in love with each others’ disguised manly appearance!
TIL “The road not taken” by Robert Frost, was actually written to mock an indecisive friend and intended to inspire no one.
TIL that a breed of wool dogs existed on the pacific northwest coast. Indigenous people would keep the dogs isolated on small islands to prevent interbreeding with hunting dogs. The wool dogs were cared for and feed a rich diet of seafood to producing strong yarn to make blankets from.
TIL when Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs first opened in 1916, the owner hired people to dress as doctors and eat hot dogs outside his shop, to convince people his hot dogs were healthy.
TIL the eye sockets of the Moai statues in Easter Island used to have eyes made of coral
TIL: During a SAS special operation against Nazi forces in Italy, using a force including Italians, a Scottish bagpiper volunteered to join the attack so that the Nazi’s would think it was solely a British operation and not attack the locals
TIL measles gives your immune system ‘amnesia.’ Exposure to measles leaves the victim with a strong response to the measles virus, but an increased vulnerability to all other pathogens.
TIL that Brazil was a monarchy until Crown Princess Isabel signed a law emancipating all slaves in Brazil in 1888. This was unpopular among the rich plantation owners and the imperial family was deposed in a military coup
TIL Louis Vuitton burn any excess stock at the end of each year to main exclusivity, theft, and avoid discount prices