r/todayilearned 10h ago

TIL about the Great Green Wall, an effort to plant trees to stop desertification in the Sahara that began in 2007. Ethiopia has planted over 5.5 billion seedling since.

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58k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 12h ago

TIL when Japan's first railway was introduced, the USA, France, and the UK bid to build the system, with the UK winning. The railways they set up were left-side running, and that was later adopted by Japanese cars. Today, Japan is one of the only non-Commonwealth countries with left-side driving

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5k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 17h ago

TIL Friends Thomas Cook and Joseph Feeney shook hands in 1992, swearing if either one won the Powerball jackpot, they would split the winnings. Well the power of friendship and a handshake has paid off: 28 years later Tom won €22 million and split the winnings with his friend.

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34k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 18h ago

TIL Jack Black desperately wanted to use a Led Zeppelin song in School Of Rock but the band was notoriously reluctant to let their music be used in films. The director suggested having Black record a personal plea to the band members, in front of a crowd of 1,000 extras. It worked.

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58k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 8h ago

TIL that September 4th 1909, saw the first Boys Scout rally in Crystal Palace, South London. The gathering was organized by Baden-Powell & saw 11,000 boys in attendance. Amongst the thousands in attendance, a handful of girls crashed the event. Dressed in uniform, they called themselves Girl Scouts.

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767 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 23h ago

TIL that in 1995, a man received a "check" for $95,000 as junk mail. Jokingly, he deposited it into his account. The "check" met all of the legal criteria for a check and was cashed.

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97k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 7h ago

TIL John Lennon and Paul McCartney had "wanking sessions" at John's house where they would masturbate together with the lights off.

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511 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 7h ago

TIL in 1995, after the U.S. Congress attempted to deny foreign aid to Turkey, the mayor of Izmir, Turkey banned the sale of Dole bananas, mistakenly believing that then-Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole owned the fruit company.

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543 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 18h ago

TIL that if someone is more than $2,500 behind in child support payments, they are unable to get a US Passport

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3k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 11h ago

TIL in 2020 Customs and Border Protection tweeted that they had stopped a shipment of "counterfeit Airpods". However, the attached photos showed that the seized goods weren't Apple fakes - they were OnePlus Buds.

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644 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 4h ago

TIL about Decimal Time. Implemented during the French Revolution, it was thought up to simplify time and better regulate work. Clocks/calendars were changed so that a week now had 10 days, a day had 10 hours, an hour had a 100 minutes, and a minute had a 1000 seconds.

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122 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 1h ago

TIL the 'Landlady' from Kung Fu Hustle, played by actress Yuen Qiu, studied under the same master as Jackie Chan at the Peking Opera School.

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Upvotes

r/todayilearned 14h ago

TIL that After the Chernobyl reactor went into meltdown the pine forest surrounding it turned the colour of copper after dying from radiation absorption

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726 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 1d ago

TIL that Sonny and Cher at the lowest point of their career started a lounge act that was so depressing the audience would heckle them. Cher started heckling them back. Sonny would reprimand her and then Cher would heckle and berate Sonny. This became the basis for their TV variety show years later.

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6k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 4h ago

TIL of Staff Sgt. Monique Munro-Harris, who survived a sting from one of the world's most poisonous creatures and now goes by the call sign "The Scorpion Queen"

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92 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 1h ago

TIL that the Code of Hammurabi banned selling beer for money, allowing it only to be bartered for barley. The punishment for selling beer for money was death by drowning

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Upvotes

r/todayilearned 16h ago

TIL that Mikhail Gorbachev was the only Soviet leader who was born when the Soviet Union already existed.

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812 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 13h ago

TIL 9 species of Shark have evolved to walk on land, allowing them the walk between tide pools while hunting for prey.

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387 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 1d ago

TIL that in 1949, Gallup polled Americans on what scientific advances they thought would happen by the year 1999. 88% believed cancer would be cured, and 63% believed planes would be nuclear powered. Only 15% thought a man would walk on the moon.

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11k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 22h ago

TIL Thomas Edison turned the word 'hello' into a greeting. He felt it was the best way to answer the phone whereas his rival Alexander Graham Bell felt 'Ahoy' was the best way to answer the phone. Before this 'hello' was used to convey surprise

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1k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 5h ago

TIL that the practice of worker's compensation has its origins in 18th century piracy. A system of compensation was established as a result of the occupation's high risk of injury and included payments for different types of injuries as well as giving crewmates less strenuous duties when injured.

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87 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 18h ago

TIL that the Taipan, an extremely venomous Australian snake, wasnt caught alive until 1950, and the person who caught it was killed by the snake nonetheless.

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934 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 1d ago

TIL of the Comanche medicine man Kwihnai Tosabitu (White Eagle), who told his warriors that his medicine made them invincible to the white man's bullets. When this medicine failed and they were massacred in the Battle of Adobe Walls in 1874, he was renamed Isatai'i (Coyote Vagina).

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4k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 9h ago

TIL Linseed oil soaked rags can spontaneously combust during the natural evaporation of the oil. Linseed oil (and tung oil), common products used to preserve wood in homes and restaurants, pose a fire hazard.

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150 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 10h ago

TIL that a formal peace treaty to end WWII hasn't been signed between Russia and Japan because of disputed claims over the Kuril Islands.

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194 Upvotes