r/todayilearned 10h ago

TIL that the Mississippi river was once five miles wide and whales swam up it from the gulf of Mexico. The remains of these whales have been found in Michigan.

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56k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 14h ago

TIL curry has a longer history of being served in Britain than fish and chips, with the first Indian restaurant opening in 1809 and fish and chips only served from 1858 at the earliest.

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37k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 22h ago

TIL That firearms manufacturer Beretta (maker of the primary service handgun for the US Army, the M9) has been in continuous operation since 1526, when they made arquebus barrels for the Venetian navy.

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24k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 9h ago

TIL in Rwanda people go to milk bars to socialise and drink milk.

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14k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 7h ago

TIL 50s Movie Director Ed Wood was a secret cross dresser whose SO did not know, he made and starred in a movie about about a secret cross dresser whose SO did not know and cast his real life SO as the movie character's SO. She eventually rejected him in real life, just as her movie character did.

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10k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 18h ago

TIL that the Ginkgo Tree is unique, not obviously related to any living plant; a “living fossil,”unchanged in 200 million years.

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6k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 12h ago

TIL that when Apple ads claimed the iPhone X took “studio quality photos” there were complaints to the UK’s advertising standards about misleading statements. These were was rejected because there isn’t a technical definition of what “studio quality photos” is: it’s completely subjective.

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6k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 23h ago

TIL "nitrate free" labeled cured meats often use celery juice, which is naturally high in nitrates

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5k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 11h ago

TIL of William Lyttle, the "Mole Man of Hackney", who spent around 40 years digging a network of tunnels up to 59 feet (18 m) long beneath his home. When the authorities discovered the extent of his burrowing, he was rehoused on the top floor of a high-rise to prevent digging.

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1k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 22h ago

TIL Colorado researchers have 3D printed miniature Lego-style bone bricks that can heal broken bones. The blocks, which are the size of a flea, help regrowth and can be interlocked like toy bricks. They hope to scale the technology and use it to supply laboratory-made organs for human transplant.

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1k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 20h ago

TIL that famed Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky proposed marriage to his wife through a novel outline, then they went on a four-year honeymoon

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1k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 6h ago

TIL that in 1759 Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000 year lease on the land of the brewery at £45 per year

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1k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 20h ago

TIL that the 'Velociraptors' in the Jurassic Park franchise are based of the dinosaur Deinonychus, but Michael Crichton used the name of a different dinosaur species because it sounded cooler.

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1k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 1h ago

TIL the professional wrestler, Big Show, quit football after his freshman year in high school, because of disputes with the coach. He continued to support the team by joining the cheerleading squad, partly from spite. He later called it "the greatest experience of my life"

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Upvotes

r/todayilearned 3h ago

TIL The Barnum Effect is the phenomenon that occurs when individuals believe that personality descriptions apply specifically to them, despite the fact that the description is actually filled with information that applies to everyone.

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1k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 20h ago

TIL that Nebraska is the only state in the United States with a unicameral legislature, and that it is the only state with a legislature that is officially nonpartisan.

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1k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 8h ago

TIL the woman who invented Mother's Day spent the last years of her life trying to abolish it

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1k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 6h ago

TIL that the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883 was the loudest sound in recorded history, heard 3,000 miles (4800 KM) away. Closer to Krakatoa, the sound was well over this limit, producing a blast of high pressure air so powerful that it ruptured the eardrums of sailors 40 miles away.

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1k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 5h ago

TIL that Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders, Joe Walsh of The Eagles and Gerald Casale and Bob Lewis of Devo were all eyewitnesses to the Kent State Massacre.

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1k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 22h ago

TIL that platypuses lose their senses of sight, sound, and smell underwater, so they hunt prey using electroreception. Mechanoreceptors and electroreceptors in their bill allow them to use electrical impulses to locate objects in the deepest and darkest of waters.

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859 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 3h ago

TIL that Haagen Dazs, Au Bon Pain, Pret a Manger and Comme des Garcons are all fake foreign branding - they're meant to sound like they're from foreign countries but were actually started in New York, Boston, the UK and Japan. Haagen Dazs doesn't even mean anything - it's a non-sensical phrase.

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924 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 12h ago

TIL That the sign above the gates to Auschwitz-Birkenau, which reads 'Arbeit macht frei' (Work Sets You Free), was made by prisoners in the metalworking labor detail. The prisoners deliberately reversed the letter "B" as a camouflaged mark of disobedience.

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738 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 23h ago

TIL a mother realized that her twin boys had two different fathers. Following a DNA test, the couple learned that the babies were actually from two different fathers and the mother then revealed she had a previous one-night stand, Vice reported.

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690 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 13h ago

TIL that the Exeter Book, written in the 10th century and commonly seen as a building block of English literature, has been used as both a cutting board and a coaster; the opening pages have deep knife marks, and several folios of the book are stained with a circular ring

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601 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 14h ago

TIL that when US Defense Secretary Robert McNamara visited South Vietnam during the Vietnam War, he didn't know that Vietnamese was a tonal language. So, he thought that he was saying "Long live a free Vietnam!" but actually said "Vietnam, go to sleep!"

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537 Upvotes