r/todayilearned 6h ago

TIL Charles Barkley was the first black baby born at a segregated, all-white town hospital in Leeds, Alabama and was in the first group of black students at his elementary school.

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17k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 12h ago

TIL a homeless man found a 10 000$ check on the street meant for a real estate broker and found a way to return it. So, touched, the broker awarded him a place to live and arranged for a job interview. A year later, he was on the board of directors of one of their foundations.

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85k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 12h ago

TIL 50 years ago, Ham the chimp was launched into space, where he experienced up to 14.7g during a six-minute freefall. He survived his ocean splashdown (although he nearly drown before rescue crews arrived) and lived 20 more years at a zoo in Washington D.C.

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7k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 17h ago

TIL Nordic countries have a "Freedom to Roam", allowing people to enjoy all nature regardless of ownership (within reason)

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26k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 16h ago

TIL that Military Chocolate was made to taste terrible on purpose, as to have the soldiers actually save it for emergencies instead of eating it prematurely.

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15k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 19h ago

TIL that Nazi Germany made a New Testament Bible where they removed the genealogies of Jesus that showed his Davidic descent, removed Jewish names and places, but left any mention of Jews that showed them in a bad light, in an attempt to Aryanize Jesus.

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52k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 14h ago

TIL Marco Polo became Kublai Khan's diplomat at 21 years old. One of his journeys included 2-year voyage from China to the Persian Gulf where of 600 men, only 18 survived. Altogether, throughout his life he traveled almost 15,000 miles or 24,000 km.

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3k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 2h ago

TIL that pathologist Jack Kevorkian publicly championed a terminal patient's right to die by physician-assisted suicide and because of this was often portrayed in the media with the name of "Dr. Death". He said that he assisted at least 130 patients to that end. He was convicted of murder in 1999.

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279 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 7h ago

TIL Dry thunderstorms, where most/ all of the normal rain evaporates before hitting the ground. This leaves lightning strikes to hit very dry ground, which is a leading cause of wildfires.

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565 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 12h ago

TIL of the German general Ferdinand Schörner, who at the end of World War II abandoned his army group to fly to Austria and personally surrender to the Americans, all to avoid capture by the Soviets. The Americans handed him to the Soviets.

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1k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 13h ago

TIL Giraffes only need 5 to 30 minutes of sleep in a 24-hour period! They often achieve that in quick naps that may last only a minute or two at a time

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1k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 9h ago

TIL Around 1300 people died in a crowd stampede during the 1896 coronation of Nicholas II when it was heard that a limited number of coronation gifts were being distributed.

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531 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 4h ago

TIL that Harvard University’s library has a book bound in human skin. The individual who made the human skin book binding said, “A book about the human soul deserved to have a human covering.”

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220 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 7h ago

TIL that the largest volcanic eruption in the last 25 million years happened at the site of Lake Toba, in Indonesia, about 70k years ago. It caused a decade long global volcanic winter, and might have even caused a population bottleneck and reduced the global human population to less than 10,000

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391 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 1d ago

TIL of all the gold medals won by US swimmers in the history of the Olympics, nearly 10% were won by Michael Phelps. (23/246)

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47k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 19h ago

TIL: That seagrass can convert 20 times more carbon per acre than land forests.

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2k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 2h ago

TIL One study found that job seekers are more likely to be hired if they wear glasses to their interview. Several studies have shown that people who wear glasses are typically perceived as more intelligent, more competent, and more industrious than those without spectacles

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79 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 1d ago

TIL in Scandinavia the Kiruna to Narvik electrified railway carries iron ore down a steeply graded route. On the way down the trains generate large amounts of electricity by regenerative braking, which is sufficient to power the empty trains back up the track and pump excess energy into the grid.

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9k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 16h ago

TIL from 1917 to 1918 British Intelligence paid an Italian journalist the modern equivalent of £6,000 (US$ 8,290) per week to keep up the pro-war campaigning. The cash got him a start in politics, and was also allegedly lavished on his many mistresses. The journalist was 34-year-old Benito Mussolini

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931 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 16h ago

TIL in 1984 and after shooting the video for "Eyes Without A Face", Billy Idol discovered his contact lenses had fused to his eyeballs. The fog machines, harsh lighting, and fire used during three days of filming was partially attributed to his needing to have his corneas scraped and lenses removed.

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1k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 3h ago

TIL In 1983 Barry Marshall and Robin Warren had a research paper rejected showing that the bacterium H. pylori plays a major role in causing many peptic ulcers, Marshall later proved this in 1984 by drinking a broth of cultured H. pylori receiving a Nobel Prize in 2005 for the discovery

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80 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 7h ago

TIL that the worst maritime disaster of the 21st Century was the loss of "MV Le Joola". Some victims were trapped in the hull for 4 hours before the ship finally submerged. Only 64 survived out of a total of 1,927 people on board.

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170 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 2h ago

TIL when the Bolsheviks executed the Romanovs, the daughters Tatiana, Anastasia, and Maria survived the initial gunshots because they had 1.3 kg (2.87 lb) of diamonds sewn into their clothes. They also survived subsequent stabbings with a bayonet but were eventually killed with gunshots to the head.

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66 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 8h ago

TIL that the dedication page at the front of published books was originally used as a way for an author to beg a high-influence person for money.

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203 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 2h ago

TIL It is impossible to wash clothes on board the International Space Station. It would take too much water. The astronauts wear their clothes until they are too dirty and then throw them out. All ISS waste burns up in the atmosphere on re-entry.

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65 Upvotes