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‘Today I Learned’: 118 Interesting Things People Didn’t Learn At School (New Pics)

Learning is a lifelong process. And it can bring so much joy. But schools, workplaces, and all the compliance drills that come with them can make us associate it with arbitrary pass/fail cut-offs and other sinister consequences. Luckily, you can still acquire new information just for the sake of it. The post...

Learning is a lifelong process. And it can bring so much joy. But schools, workplaces, and all the compliance drills that come with them can make us associate it with arbitrary pass/fail cut-offs and other sinister consequences.

Luckily, you can still acquire new information just for the sake of it.

There’s a subreddit called r/TodayILearned. This online community has 24.9 million members, constantly sharing the most interesting random facts they have stumbled upon, and it has become such a vast catalog of trivia, it’s easily one of the best “encyclopedias” online.

So dust off your brain cells and keep scrolling—below are some of the posts that recently went viral on the subreddit. And if you’re like Tai Lopez and can’t get enough of knowledge, check out Bored Panda’s earliest articles on r/TodayILearned here, here, and here.

#1

After the 2011 Japanese nuclear plant in Fukushima was disabled by an earthquake tsunami double whammy, elderly Japanese people volunteered to do repairs to save young people from radiation exposure.

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#2

Aboriginal Australians often traveled to Indonesia for trade, and when British explorers first visited inland Australia they met an Aboriginal man who had already learned English from his visit to Singapore.

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#3

The Curie family is the family with the most Nobel Prizes. Marie Curie won two Nobel prizes in physics and chemistry. Her husband Pierre Curie won a Nobel in physics. Their daughter Irène Joliot-Curie won a Nobel prize in chemistry.

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#4

After Universidad del Mar was closed by Chilean government due to major financial irregularities, artist Papas Fritas managed to enter its vault and burn tuition contracts amounting to $500 million, making difficult to prove students owed the university this money

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#5

Some elephants eat off a specific tree to induce labor – the same tree which kenyan women brew a tea of for the same purpose

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#6

Genghis Khan would marry off a daughter to the king of an allied nation. Then he would assign his new son in law to military duty in the Mongol wars, while his daughter took over the rule. Most sons in law died in combat, giving his daughters complete control of these nations

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#7

Whoopi Goldberg is the only person in the world to have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony, and Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award

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#8

A species of Australian Nocturnal Ground Parrots thought to be extinct for 100 years were found by one man after 15 years of searching. His search began when he found one feather of this bird on a truck and traced it back to the farm of an Old Indigenous Gentleman.

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#9

Elinor Powell was a black nurse who served during WWII. She was assigned to work at a POW camp, like most African-American nurses at the time, and fell in love with a German POW there. They married and had children despite it being illegal in both the U.S and Germany during this time period.

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#10

An 11 year old girl could not afford running shoes, so she wrapped her feet in tape and drew a Nike logo on it. She won several gold medals in local competitions.

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#11

Apple’s policy of refusing to repair phones that have undergone “unauthorized” repairs is illegal in Australia due to their right to repair law

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#12

Paul McCartney let a stranger claiming to be Jesus Christ sit in on a Beatles recording session in 1967. McCartney figured, “Well, it probably isn’t. But if he is, I’m not going to be the one to turn him away”

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#13

In 1936 Orson Welles produced and directed a version of Shakespeare’s Macbeth with an all-Black cast.

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#14

The search to recover debris from the Challenger disaster in 1986 also resulted in the discovery of 13 shipwrecks, two lost airplanes and 25 kilos of cocaine

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#15

Theodore Roosevelt’s daughter Alice had a pet snake named Emily Spinach. She liked to carry it around the White House in her purse and take it out at unexpected moments.

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#16

An ancient Roman oracle once prophesied that “Caligula had no more chance of becoming emperor than of riding a horse across the Bay of Baiae”. After becoming emperor, Caligula ordered ships to construct the largest pontoon bridge in history, and rode his horse across the Bay of Baiae

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#17

Aquariums aren’t allowed to pay to get animals from other aquariums as it encourages poaching. So there is a barter system in place where they swap animals. A New England aquarium traded a dozen penguins for 800 mackerel and their basic unit of trade is the jellyfish

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#18

Oxford University is so old that they don’t even know when exactly it was founded and that the earliest evidence of teaching there goes back to 1096.

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#19

Eight years after JFK’s assassination, Jackie Kennedy avoided the public unveiling of their White House portraits, but the Nixons graciously agreed to a secret, private tour for her and her kids. It was her only return visit

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#20

Whenever we sleep in unfamiliar surroundings, only half your brain is getting a good night’s rest while the other half stands guard.

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#21

Researchers found that a blood test called PanSeer detected cancer in 95% of patients up to 4 years before they got a conventional cancer diagnosis. The test determines if the DNA in blood plasma was shed by tumours based on precence of particular methyl groups.

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#22

In 2015, a plane made an emergency landing after the crew received an indication of smoke in the cargo hold. It turns out to be caused by the 2,186 sheep farting onboard.

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#23

Agatha Christie is the third most widely published author of all time, outsold only by Shakespeare and the bible. Her books have sold more than a billion copies in English and a billion more in 100 different languages.

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#24

The USS New York is a ship in the US Navy forged partially from steel that was salvaged from the World Trade Center after it was destroyed in 9/11. The ship’s motto is “Strength forged through sacrifice. Never forget.”

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#25

Babies can acquire sign language just like they would acquire any language and follows the same patterns as vocal language acquisition, where deaf infants (if exposed to sign language early) start to “babble” 1-2 sign sentences around the time their hearing counterparts start to “babble” words.

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#26

Poncke Princen, a Dutch anti-Nazi fighter who was later sent to Indonesia to suppress an anticolonial rebellion. Princen, after witnessing Dutch war crimes, defected to fight with the guerrillas in 1948. He later helped expose the anticommunist massacres of Indonesian dictator Suharto.

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#27

New Zealand is not part of of any of the world’s seven recognized continents, and is in fact situated upon the submerged continent of Zealandia.

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#28

Penguins can drink saltwater because of glands near their eyes that remove salt from their bloodstream and then they can sneeze out the extra salt.

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#29

The skeletons of medieval English archers were deformed from years of archery. The high poundage of war bows, coupled with years of training in their use from a young age, led to skeletons having over-developed shoulder and arm bones to compensate for the growth of muscle around those areas.

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#30

After denied rights to use “Another One Bites the Dust” for Rocky III, Sylvester Stallone hired Survivor to write an original song instead, which turned out to be “Eye Of The Tiger”

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#31

Duct tape was invented by Vesta Stoudt, a factor worker during WWII and the mother of 2 sons in the Navy. When her supervisors at the factory dismissed her idea for a stronger cloth-based tape, she wrote a letter to President FDR, who then ordered Johnson&Johnson to manufacture her idea.

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#32

Payless once opened a fake luxury store called “Palessi” and invited influencers to see how much people would pay for $20 shoes. Top offer: $640. A markup of 1800%.

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#33

The original drummer of The Offspring became a gynecologist, and during the initial stages of a malpractice trial, he performed CPR and used a defibrillator to save the life of a potential juror. The judge had to declare a mistrial because the rest of the jury would likely be biased in his favor

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#34

Before proposing to Emma Wedgwood, Charles Darwin made a list of marriage pros and cons. Pros- better than a dog, charms of music & female chit-chat. Cons – Anxiety & responsibility, less money for books.

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#35

Mexico was the only country to protest against the German annexation of Austria

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#36

When Ratatouille was being animated, one of the Pixar employees jumped into a pool in a cook’s uniform and apron so that the team could see how the clothing looked when wet.

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#37

When Don Cheadle was first offered the role of War Machine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he was told he only had an hour to decide on the 12-year commitment. When Cheadle responded that he was at his kid’s birthday party, the Marvel rep said, “Oh! Oh, take two hours”

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#38

The West Indie’s top cricketer Kraigg Brathwaite was scrawny as a kid, and got bullied by his Combermere School (Barbados) bus mates. A girl, 4 years his senior, protected him. She beat up the bullies & took Kraigg on her lap. Her name: Robyn Fenty, a.k.a. Rihanna.

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#39

Surya Bonaly, a French figure skater, landed a backflip on one blade in the 1998 Nagano Olympics. This was banned in 1976 and Bonaly did it despite knowing that it would negatively affect her score. It has not been repeated in the Olympics since.

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#40

John II of France, who was captured by the English, in the Hundred Years War, and held hostage in London. An exchange of hostages occurred, with his son, Louis, taking his place. When John II was informed that Louis had escaped from captivity, he voluntarily returned to England as a hostage.

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#41

Rye and oats were originally weeds which grew in wheat fields, over time their seeds evolved to mimic wheat kernels so closely, they inadvertently became a crop themselves.

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#42

The Worlds oldest mummies are not from Egypt. They are from the Chincorro people of the Atacama Desert, present day Chile, dating back to 5000 BC, nearly 2000 years before the Egyptians

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#43

Koi carps bred outside of Japan live on average 15 years, while the average age of Japanese koi is 40 years and the oldest recorded lifespan is 226 years (the Koi named Hanako lived from 1751 to 1977).

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#44

There’s a spy themed restaurant called the SafeHouse. It was founded in 1966 and it has a hidden location with a secret entrance. A password is needed to enter and if it’s not given, patrons will have to do silly tasks that are broadcasted to people inside the restaurant in order to enter.

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#45

Yoshie Shiratori escaped Japanese prison 4 times. The first time he picked some simple locks, the next time he climbed up a wall and broke a skylight, the next time he dislocated his joints to escape through a small hole, and lastly he dug a hole with a bowl. Every time was different.

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#46

In 1921 a Danish geologist discovered a tiny island on the northern coast of Greenland and named it “Kaffeklubben Island” after an informal academic club held at the Copenhagen Mineralogical Museum. He didn’t know that he had just named the northernmost point of land on Earth after a coffee club

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#47

Neil Armstrong’s heart rate spiked to 150+ when NASA turned the control over to him for the moon landing.

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#48

J.R.R. Tolkien considered a sequel to the LOTR trilogy called The New Shadow. Set 100 years later during the Age of Man, he quickly abandoned the idea because “it proved both sinister and depressing.”

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#49

Charlie no-face is an urban legend of a monster who takes walks during the nights of Pennsylvania, in reality the man (named Raymond Robinson) had a severely disfigured face because of a childhood accident that he couldn’t go in public without causing a panic, so he took night walks.

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#50

Ed Sheeran granted a dying fans wish, which was to hear him sing, by singing to her minutes before she died

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#51

The movie Independence Day still holds the record for most miniature models to appear in one film. Approximately 95% of the movie’s special effects were shot using miniatures and due to the advances in digital technology this record may stand forever.

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#52

The former CEO of Coca-Cola, Roberto Goizueta, was the first person to become a billionaire by being an employee and not a company founder (or heir).

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#53

The Python programming language is named after the BBC show “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” and has nothing to do with reptiles.

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#54

Ethiopia adopted Christianity in 330 AD, just 17 years after the Roman empire. Despite the rise of Islam, fall of the Byzantine Orthodox Church, and being cut off from all other Christians for centuries Ethiopia remained Christian. They remain the only majority Orthodox Christian African nation.

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#55

Tu Youyou, a Chinese Nobel Laureate, discovered a treatment for malaria by reading an ancient Daoist text from 340 CE describing an herbal remedy for “intermittent fevers”

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#56

97% of women traveling 1st class on the Titanic survived, compared to 32% total survival rate of the passengers.

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#57

There is a clear ceramic made out of Aluminum that is stronger than bulletproof glass, and has a higher melting point than stainless steel. It is called ALON, and is used for armored windows

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#58

There’s a beach in Finistère polluted since 1983 by Garfield telephones coming out of a sunk container

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#59

In 408BC an actor named Hegelochus mispronounced a word and, instead of saying “after the storm I see again a calm sea,” accidentally said “after the storm I see again a weasel.” This mistake was so mocked by other Ancient Greeks that over two millennia later we still know his name.

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#60

Ranch dressing was invented by a plumber working in Alaska in the 1950s. He and his wife opened a Dude ranch called Hidden Valley Ranch in Santa Barbara County, California in 1954. 40% of Americans say ranch style dressing is their favorite; it has been the best selling salad dressing since 1992

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#61

Fans of Mass Effect trolled Bioware by sending them 400 cupcakes with the message “The cakes are vanilla, and so is all the icing… No matter what choice you make, it’ll al have the same generic flavor.”

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#62

Just 29 days after the Titanic sank, a silent film was released chronicling the event. It starred Dorothy Gibson, an actress who had survived the sinking. To add to the film’s authenticity, she wore the same clothes that she had worn on the night of the disaster.

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#63

Alejandro Jodorowsky set out to make a film adaptation of Dune that would star Mick Jagger, Orson Welles, and Salvador Dali with a score by Pink Floyd, concept art by Moebius and H.R. Giger, and a run time of 10 to 14 hours. Dubbed “the greatest movie never made”, it failed to secure funding.

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#64

That in Canada coins are only considered legal tender up to a certain amount. For instance, if you attempt to pay for a $50 purchase with a wheelbarrow full of nickels, the local authority can refuse to accept the payment.

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#65

F1 teams don’t own their tires, and at the end of each race teams have to return the tires to Pirelli. Even used tires must be returned to prevent industrial espionage.

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#66

Jeopardy! Contestants stand on adjustable platforms so that they all appear to be the same height on camera.

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#67

After the Salem Witch Trials, the town realised that they had made a mistake and compensated the families of the people they had convicted. More than 200 people had been accused of witchcraft, and 20 of them had been executed

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#68

In 1905, 19 people died playing football. Ten of those killed were aged 17 or younger. People, including President Teddy Roosevelt, called for rules changes. They sought to remove slapping, nosepulling, and biting, but critics thought it would make the players soft.

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#69

Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” was not intended to be released as a single. They were later convinced to do so by Michael Jackson who had attended a Queen concert in Los Angeles and suggested it to Freddie Mercury backstage

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#70

Kraft Foods introduced its boxed macaroni and cheese in 1937 when America was in the throes of the Great Depression with the promise that buyers could feed a family of four for 19 cents. Kraft sold 8 million boxes of its quick-and-easy macaroni and cheese the first year

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#71

In 1964, three physicists who just got their PhDs were tasked with developing a working design for a nuclear weapon using only unclassified information. The goal is to see if a country can develop a nuclear weapon without aid. They accomplished it within 2 and a half years

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#72

A week after Jim Croce died at 30 in a plane crash, his widow received a letter from him promising to stop performing, get a master’s degree, and write short stories and movie scripts. It ended “it’s the first sixty years that count and I’ve got 30 left.”

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#73

ParkWest is an Detroit-based gallery that only sells art in international waters during cruises. They purport to sell original artworks at steep discounts but in reality get bidders drunk to buy reproductions for thousands more than they’re worth. Plus, cruise lines are in on the scam.

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#74

As Spock became popular on Star Trek, William Shatner became jealous and would hide the bicycle Nimoy rode to get around at work. Shatner also felt, as Captain, his intellect should be greater than anyone on the show, even a Vulcan with superior knowledge. So, he began stealing Nimoy’s lines.

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#75

In 2014, New York City had $16 Million in unpaid parking tickets from foreign diplomats. The largest offender was Egypt, with about $1.9 Million. Diplomatic immunity is the main reason that those tickets remained outstanding.

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#76

“World’s leading source of high-grade uranium” was accidentally found in 1966 by a bunch of oil dudes who took a Geiger counter on a plane so they could write off their fishing trips as business expenses.

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#77

Kevin Budden, a 20 y.o. amateur herpatologist died in 1950 when he was bitten by the taipan snake he captured for antivenom research. News of Budden’s death inspired others to capture additional snake species, resulting in the development of five new antivenoms within 12 years of Budden’s death.

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#78

NYC once had a “Divorce Coercion Gang” made up of Ultra Orthodox Jews who would kidnap and torture Jewish men who were refusing to divorce their wives

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#79

George H.W. Bush disliked broccoli so much that he banned it from Air Force One. Afterwards broccoli growers sent the First Lady 10 tonnes of broccoli, most of it was donated away.

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#80

A town in Colorado offers an open air funeral pyre as an option instead of cremation or regular burial

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#81

The oldest known written complaint in the world – around 1750 BC a man in Babylon named Ea-nasir sold substandard copper ingots to a man named Nanni and treated Nanni’s servant rudely. The tablet is one of several found in the same building, all of which are complaints about Ea-nasir.

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#82

The excess skin/fat on a cats belly is called the ‘primordial pouch’ and apparently it’s is to protect a cats organs in a fight

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#83

In the 1930s, bridge construction projects expected one fatality for every $1 million in cost. So, the Chief Engineer of the Golden Gate Bridge enacted the most stringent safety measures in history. He even formulated diets to help fight dizziness and sauerkraut juice “cures” for hangovers.

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#84

98% of all Japanese adoptions are employers adopting the adult men on their staff, not children. By doing this, they are able to choose the person they wish to run their company when they no longer.

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#85

A man sued PepsiCo, alleging he found a mouse in his Mountain Dew can. PepsiCo’s defense won by proving that a mouse would dissolve inside the soda in the days after being put in the can.

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#86

The owner of a brand name can lose their legal protection for it if people started using it as the common or generic name for a type of product or service. This is what happened to Cellophane, Escalator, Flip Phone, Frisbee, Hovercraft, Kerosene, Sellotape, Trampoline, and Videotape.

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#87

The Great bison belt is a tract of grassland that ran from Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico around 9000 BCE, which allowed the bison to outlive other Ice Age animals and let the animal become the staple food of the Plains Paleo-Indians

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#88

Torakusa Yamaha founded Yamaha in 1887 due to his obsession with western technology and science. After successfully fixing a school’s reed organ, he realized the business opportunity of instrument brand, since at the time there were no Japanese makers of Western instruments

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#89

After most of Manchester United’s starting line-up died in a plane crash in 1958, Real Madrid offered to loan out Alfredo Di Stéfano, the world’s best player, to Manchester United. All the parties agreed, but England’s FA blocked the loan, because “it would halt the progress of a British player”

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#90

To clean out the sewer pipes that tended to block, the mayor of the city of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe instituted a synchronized flush. Residents who did not comply were fined.

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#91

Project GUNMAN – the discovery of primitive keylogging technology installed by the KGB into the IBM Selectric typewriters used in the US Embassy in Moscow, enabling the Soviets to steal US secrets for eight years.

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#92

YouTube was created because co-creator Jawed Karim couldn’t easily find a place to view a clip of the Janet Jackson Super Bowl halftime breast incident online

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#93

When Diana Ross performed the Super Bowl halftime show in the middle of her last number, a helicopter landed in the middle of the field, she boarded it, and continued singing “take me higher, I will survive” as she flew out of the stadium.

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#94

The only word in English that ends in -mt is “dreamt”, and its extensions like daydreamt and redreamt.

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#95

See-through wood is treated to become as clear as glass and is a potential alternative to regular windows. It is 5 times as insulative and 3 times as durable while also being lighter, making it perfect for cold weather structures.

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#96

South Park co-creator Trey Parker begged his show’s executive producer not to air one South Park episode because he was afraid it would ruin South Park. That episode was “Make Love, Not Warcraft” which received critical acclaim and earned a Primetime Emmy Award

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#97

The concept for having a “credit score” to judge if you could receive a loan didn’t exist until 1989

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#98

Marlon Brando was paid $3.7 million and an amazing 11.75% backend to play Jor-El, for 13 days work and less than 20 minutes onscreen. In comparison, Christopher Reeves earned $250,000 in the title role, dominating most of the 143-minute running time.

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#99

The human body literally glows, emitting a visible light in extremely small quantities at levels that rise and fall with the day, scientists now reveal. Past research has shown that the body emits visible light, 1,000 times less intense than the levels to which our naked eyes are sensitive.

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#100

Turkish counterfeiters were once busted for faking popsicle sticks. They allegedly exchanged the sticks for free ice cream, then sold the ice cream at half-price. They were active for 3 years, but were caught when a local ice cream firm noticed they were receiving more sticks than they produced.

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#101

Disney composer Alan Menken came from a family of dentists and trained at medical school. He was a poor student, “wild hippie” and barely finished NYU. 8 Oscars, 10 Grammys, 7 Golden Globes later, Menken is now a star at NYU with a doctorate and scholarship in his name

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#102

The smelliest substance on earth, Tioacetone (CH3)2CS, smells so bad that it can effect areas up to a half-mile in radius. “When it was accidentally made it was followed by cases of vomiting, nausea and unconsciousness in a radius of 0.75 kilometres (0.47 mi) around the laboratory”

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#103

Indian intelligence first confirmed Pakistani covert nuclear weapons program by collecting hair samples from the floors of local barber shops in Kahuta.

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#104

Tamales were once as popular across America as hamburgers and hotdogs. And the height of their popularity was known as The Tamale Wars, as vendors at times were so competitive that it caused murders, riots, and shoot outs.

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#105

The USSR considered Darwinian evolution a lie created by “bourgeois capitalism”, and instead opted for Lamarckian evolution for political reasons. The failure of Soviet biologists to acknowledge natural selection resulted in a series of crop failures and food shortages.

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#106

Giovanni Cassini measured the size of France accurately for the first time during the reign of King Louis XIV. The true size turned out to be much smaller than Louis had expected, and Louis quipped that Cassini had taken more of his kingdom from him than he had won in all his wars.

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#107

Scientists have been able to use a unique gene therapy to cure the herpes simplex virus in mice with plans to move into human clinical trials in the next three years.

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#108

Out of 30,000 known edible crops, only 170 crops are grown on a commercially significant scale today and just 3 staple crops (rice, wheat & maize) provide 40 % of our daily calories intake.

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#109

Crypto AG was a Swiss company that produced encryption devices and sold them to 120 countries for 50 years. In 2020, their products were revealed to have contained backdoors that allowed them to be compromised by Crypto AG’s real secret owners – BND and CIA.

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#110

Joyce Vincent, the woman who died in her apartment and lay undiscovered in front of her TV which kept running for three years, was actually very popular in real life but somehow, no one noticed when she died.

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#111

Author and radio host Amy Krouse Rosenthal publicly announced that she had ovarian cancer by writing a modern love essay for the NY Times that was a dating profile for her soon to be widower husband. She died 10 days after publication.

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#112

Breakdancing has become an Olympic sport. “Breaking” officially added to the medal events program at the 2024 Paris Games

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#113

Chickens used to be fitted with tiny glasses to prevent eye-pecking and cannibalism. Rose-colored glasses were especially popular as they were thought to prevent chickens from seeing blood and becoming enraged.

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#114

Denmark and Sweden holds the world record for most wars fought between two countries, with around 30 wars fought since the 15th century.

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#115

Despite selling 30 million albums and having 9 top ten hits, Creedence Clearwater Revival were only together for four years

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#116

Ronald McDonald isn’t allowed to tell children where the hamburgers really come from, “if they asked where the food came from [we were told to say] that the hamburgers grow in a patch with the French fries next to them”

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#117

Beverly Hills, originally a Spanish lima bean ranch, was founded by a group of investors who failed to find oil and, upon finding water instead, founded the town. Black and Jewish people were forbidden from owning property.

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#118

Prince’s death helped save 2 lives. Grammy-winning singer Chaka Khan and her sister were both addicted to fentanyl. Khan told the Associated Press they entered an intensive rehab program because “the tragic death of Prince” made them realize it was “time to take action to save our lives.”

Image credits: reddit.com

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