r/todayilearned 5h ago

TIL after ZZ Top's exhausting first major tour, the band went on a long hiatus to recover. When the band finally reconvened after two years of relaxing and decompressing, the two guitarists discovered they had both separately let themselves go and grown long thick beards.

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12k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 8h ago

TIL Leonardo da Vinci wrote “all the branches of a tree at every stage of its height when put together are equal in thickness to the trunk”. In 2011 Christophe Eloy investigated and found that trees which followed Leonardo's rule would be the best at resisting wind-induced fracture.

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9k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 4h ago

TIL the silent P in the word "ptarmigan" has absolutely no reason to be there. The bird's name comes from the Gaelic "tàrmachan" ("croaker"), but in 1684 the Scottish naturalist Robert Sibbald decided to add a p in front to make the word look more Greek.

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1k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 7h ago

TIL in 1936 Jesse Owens a Black American Olympian 4 time gold medalist in track and field who competed in Nazi Germany did not receive any congratulations from then President FDR. Only decades later in 1976 was he finally recognized for his achievements representing America.

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1k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 3h ago

TIL that sugar molecules have "handedness" (like, left hand vs right hand), and that all of them are right handed. There are artificial sweeteners that are left-handed, but still the same molecule, and so cannot be absorbed by the human body. They're still sweet!

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477 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 13h ago

TIL: In 400BC, the Persians invented a way to make ice in the desert using evaporation cooling

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2k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 15h ago

TIL that the "Monopoly Man", the guy in jail and the policeman on the Monopoly Board all have names: Milburn Pennybags, Jake the Jailbird and Officer Mallory

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4k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 2h ago

TIL that despite being right next to one of the most dangerous cities in the world, and despite being one of the poorest cities, El Paso, TX consistently ranks in the top 5 safest large cities in the country

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184 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 17h ago

TIL comedy legend Mel Brooks was an uncredited producer of The Elephant Man, released in 1980. He was left off the credits for fear that fans would believe the movie was a comedy.

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2k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 8h ago

TIL in 1860 a group of 76 Samurai went on a diplomatic tour of the United States. They were the toast of New York.

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454 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 11h ago

TIL about Yatch Support Vessels. Basically a storage yatch someone buys to follow their main yatch. It can house all their toys (Jet skis, helicopters, etc.,) and staff so their MAIN yatch isn't cluttered.

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655 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 4h ago

TIL: research indicates that raptors were not pack animals.

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161 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 6h ago

TIL that in 2017 scientists made a lifelike animatronic baby langur monkey with cameras to observe real monkeys in the wild. When it was knocked down and stopped working, the real monkeys grieved over the "dead" child.

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199 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 1d ago

TIL the idea for the McDonald's Happy Meal originated in Guatemala. Created by manager Yolanda Fernández de Cofiño to simplify the menu for busy parents, it was later brought to the attention of the Chicago office who developed it further and deployed it in the U.S.

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37k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 4h ago

TIL that, owing to a surge in production at the end of the 19th century, oysters became cheaper than meat, poultry, and fish, making them a popular dish on working class tables in the United States and Europe. This period of mass production is known as the Golden Age of Oysters.

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128 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 1d ago

TIL that when John Denver's song Rocky Mountain High first was becoming a hit, some radio stations banned it because they thought it was about drugs. He convinced them that it was about how he felt when out in nature.

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6k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 22h ago

TIL if your name is Isabella, you have lifetime free admission to the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum in Boston, MA, with 2,000 artifacts from around the world owned by a woman addicted to collecting. In 1990 a $500 million (unsolved) art heist left behind empty frames on walls, which still remain.

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3k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 13h ago

TIL Whitewall Tires were not originally an aesthetic choice, but a result of the chemicals used to treat the natural rubber. Natural rubber tires were all-white until carbon black was added to the treads to improve tread wear, resulting in the classic black tread and whitewall look.

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644 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 5h ago

TIL of Stanley Williams, who in the 1970s was simultaneously the Crips' overboss and an anti-gang youth counselor.

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130 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 13h ago

TIL that In 2016, a man left his glasses at an art museum. Shortly after, observers gathered and began taking photos thinking it was art.

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562 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 1d ago

TIL about the Founding Father's love for ice cream. Thomas Jefferson crafted an 18-step recipe for vanilla ice cream that is housed in the Library of Congress. George Washington was said to have spent $200 on ice cream in the summer of 1790.

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20k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 1d ago

TIL that in 2015 authorities in Germany seized a World War Two tank which was being kept in a senior's basement. The Panther tank was removed from the 78-year-old's house in the town of Heikendorf, along with a variety of other military equipment, including a torpedo and an anti-aircraft gun.

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4k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 4h ago

TIL that Norway is the country with the highest number of bronze, silver and gold medals in the history of the Winter Olympics with 368 medals.

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88 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 1h ago

TIL the Simpsons softball episode is credited with saving at least two lives.

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Upvotes

r/todayilearned 11h ago

TIL that East Asians have a gene that results in dry earwax and less body odor and is why deodorant does not sell well in East Asian countries.

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310 Upvotes