From little things to life-changing facts, we learn things every day. So no wonder our series of Today I Learned posts is one of the favorites among our readers. Scroll through mind-expanding facts here, here and here, and make your day well spent.
But this time we’re talking about things that people learned way too late. Think of the fact that birds don’t live in nests. “I learned that at the age of 72,” wrote one Redditor in response to someone asking “What fact did you learn at an embarrassingly late age?” And this is just the beginning.
Scroll down to see some more of the funny, yet all too real responses in the thread and make sure to add your ‘embarrassingly late-learned facts’ in the comment section below!
I was watching Titanic with some friends. When it comes to the part where – spoiler alert – the ship starts sinking and the old couple are in bed together, my friend, let’s call her Amy, goes “why don’t they just go to sleep?”.
There’s a pause as everyone looks baffled before Amy explains that you don’t breathe while you’re asleep so you can’t drown.
Amy was 21 and in university.
Image credits: anonymous
My dad would tell me bulls**t things to mess with me as a kid. Usually he would remember eventually to correct it. Sometimes, however, he forgot.
I went through the first 17 years of my life thinking an artichoke was a nocturnal rodent. Went to Italian restaurant and was horrified to see artichoke hearts on the menu. My girlfriend still gives me s**t for it three years later.
Image credits: xDeezyz
That birds don’t live in nests. Just for rearing their young. I learned that at the age of 72. And I have a PhD in biophysics. Not zoology. Never too late to learn.
Image credits: alanmagid
Until the age of 14, I thought Princess Diana was a famous marine biologist. They always called her “The Princess of WALES” so…..
Image credits: AIRjaram
I thought morning sickness was just that, feeling sick before noon. One Christmas I announced to my entire extended family that I had morning sickness. I was probably 9 or 10. I’m also a guy.
That green, red, and yellow bell peppers are all the same pepper at different stages of life.
Image credits: cosmic_riviera
I always thought that you had to legally be 16 to have coffee. Soon after my 16th birthday I went to the nearest coffee store and ordered one. I was sweating and hoping they wouldn’t ask for id, because I didn’t have any.
Image credits: anonymous
When I first started to grow boobs I thought I had breast cancer, but I was too embarrassed to ask anyone so I just accepted my death.
A week ago I finally made the connection that the hood is short for the neighborhood. I’m 23.
Image credits: gritodedolores1946
I thought cats were a breed of dog until I was about 15.
Image credits: captainnermy
I was convinced cheese grew on bushes till 12-13 years old. My brother is really proud of this.
Image credits: digdat0
I was 23 on a trip with my girlfriend in San Francisco. We were both getting ready for the day in the bathroom and I needed my hair gel, so I asked if she could hand me my toilet treat bag. She seemed confused, I again asked, “Can you please hand me my bag of toilet treats!?” She ran out of the bathroom laughing.
I thought toiletries was toilet treats.
I used to think that when listening to a CD the singer had to physically sing it from wherever they were in the world in order for you to listen
So when it was night time I wouldn’t listen to my Avril Lavigne CD because I didn’t want her to lose sleep for me
Image credits: craniumblood
That the little piggy who went to market wasn’t going shopping for groceries. Last year it hit me. I’m 28.
That you only get milk from cows who have recently given birth. I was told by my father that cows produce milk be eating grass and I continued to believe it until I was in my early twenties
Image credits: mrchaddy
Thought reindeer were mythical creatures, like unicorns, that helped Santa at Christmas. Didn’t realise until I was 18. My mum took me to see real reindeer that Christmas, my mind was blown
Image credits: trolltollwhatyousay
I didn’t learn the difference between miner and minor until I was like, 12. My dad was a miner and I used to freak out about him smoking or drinking because I thought it was prohibited to miners.
I just learned a few months ago that lightning does not happen when two clouds touch each other. That was a very sad, and very disappointing day.
Image credits: anonymous
I thought the Amish were like an old timey group of actors who were just really into it until I was about 18, revealed that, and was promptly made fun of because they in fact are a functioning society who actually live that way, not actors.
Image credits: babisaurusREX
My parents had me convinced that when the ice cream truck played music, it was out of ice cream. I didn’t know differently until I was almost 18.
It’s called “metal” because it’s harder than rock.
Image credits: HiDeAnkTum
For most of my life I assumed Neil Armstrong was a black man, because I’d never seen Neil outside the space suit, but I had seen Louis Armstrong. It never occurred to me that there would be anything unusual about a black astronaut in the 60s.
Image credits: mrbooze
I learned that I grew up in a white-trashy family around 10 through television. One night, I was watching tv and Jeff Foxworthy came on. I was a very content only child who to the best of my knowledge got everything they ever wanted and had no idea about things could/needed to be otherwise. Well, ole Jeff was well into his skit and I was avidly listening. “If you watch TV on a TV that sits on top of a broken TV, you might be a redneck.” Wait, what? I’m watching tv sitting on top of a broken TV. “If you have a broken down car sitting in your front yard that hasn’t been moved in years, you might be a Redneck.” We have 5 of those, wth this isn’t normal? “If you have appliances in your yard… If you’ve got shacks in your yard… If you live in a trailer next to a house… If… Etc… You might be a redneck.” I looked around and painfully realized that I was living all of those things. So, that was the day I found out I was a redneck.
I thought lingerie was a fancy word for laundry for way longer than i care to admit. Explains why my mates gave me a weird look when I told them I had to fold my lingerie
One time in 7th grade science, my class was having a discussion about volcanoes and then out of nowhere, a kid in the back yelled in the most surprised voice ever “wait! Volcanoes are real!?”
Image credits: Thebenwheeler66
I re-named a goldfish “rainbow” when I was 7 because it kept changing color every few months. I told friends about this fish for years like it was some mystical kaleidoscope fish. It hit me in the face a couple months ago that the fish wasn’t changing color…my parents were just replacing it when it died without telling me.
Image credits: christinaorr
Just talked to a coworker the other day who didn’t know his name was Jason until 3rd grade. His initials were JT and his family called him by that and so he thought that was his name.
During roll call in class the teacher was asking for a “Jason” and he just sat there thinking “some sucker is late for class”. Then the name JT was never called and confusion ensued.
Image credits: Yivoe
When I was a young boy I had a black football coach (I’m white).
I asked him, “hey coach, do black people get hotter in the sun than white people”
And he responded “well I dono I’ve never been white”
And then it hit me. “Ohhhhhh”
What lesbians are. I thought they were from Romania. I was 17.
Image credits: TonyPepperonis
When I was 18 I learned that the thing on the bottom of your rear view mirror was used to dim lights from cars behind you at night. I was complaining about a car behind me and my buddy in the Army told me to flip the mirror thing. Mind Blown.
It’s “For all intents and purposes”
Not “For all intensive purposes”
Learned at age 30.
i thought that when people lose a body part their organism could regenerate the missing part until i was 13+-. if i saw someone with a half of an arm missing i thought “good s**t, his arm is almost complete”
I don’t know if the realization I’ve had when I was around 6 years old is something that everyone experiences, but I was completely blown away when my great-grandmother told me that she wasn’t always old and was, in fact, a kid once, and so was everyone else. That was the day I learned about the process of aging.
There actually ARE carrots in carrot cake. I assumed it was a joke because it’s orange and we were all in on it.
Somehow the conversation of superhero names came up with my girlfriend (29) the other day, and she mentioned Wolverine being named after wolves. I kinda looked at her and said “Wolverine was named after wolverines.” She stared back blankly. One google images search later and I had taught a biology major about a new animal.
That there are literally different seasons in different places in the world. I always thought about it as of a fact that I mislearned but it turned out to be true about a year ago. I’m 23.
Image credits: ferglicious
I thought I was allergic to cactus because they hurt me when I touched them, didn’t find out that cactus have thorns until I was 12
Image credits: LuminousRain
I’ve known multiple people that thought the sun and the moon were the same thing, one was 20, the other 18.
I thought that all dogs were male and all cats were female for the longest time.
Image credits: LuminousRain
A few weeks ago I learned that hens lay infertile eggs so roosters aren’t necessary. I’m 21.
Image credits: FlatTyres
You know the towel hats the woman wear after taking a shower? It took me much longer than I’m willing to admit to realise that their hair is in the towel.
Image credits: MrTurtle7091
That girls had nipples. Until I was 13 I thought it was all smooth. That changed when I went to NYC with my parents and saw a lady protesting equal rights with no shirt on. It was quite an experience.
That a blanket doesn’t provide it’s own heat. Yes, it genuinely took me a while.
Image credits: TheForgottenPages
The Domino’s logo is not two dice.
Ray-Bans are called that because they “Ban” the suns rays from entering your eyes.
Image credits: anonymous
When I was a young kid I thought attractive people and celebrities didn’t have toes. I thought their feet were perfect like the feet of a Barbie. I wanted to be famous so I could have feet like a Barbie, I thought toes were gross.
Image credits: lauquinn
As a kid I loved Mr. Bean. My mom took a trip to England to visit relatives and came back with an autographed postcard from him, I didn’t realize until my twenties that it was in her handwriting. :/
I only learned this year that ponies aren’t just baby horses.
Image credits: Up_from_below
My ex wife did not know helicopters could hover until around age 23. She saw a copter over a scene in San Diego and asked me “how is that helicopter just floating in one spot??” I was like “wut?”
Image credits: thewitt33
I thought the term “prima donna” was “pre-Madonna.” I always wondered what happened before her that would demand a new term. A friend also asked me why Ellen was named Ellen “The Generous.” He said “I get that she is generous, but she isn’t that noteworthy. It’s not like she’s Alexander the Great or something.”
Image credits: Alvarez_Rules
I thought that Dalmatians were a hoax-a perfect pupper made by Disney to sell movies. I thought they were actually white dogs with black spots painted on. I just saw found out last summer.. I’m 19
I referred to my forehead as a “forkhead” until maybe grade 1 or 2. In other words, until kids laughed at me for being dumb. I confronted my mom about it a few years ago, and she said “I wanted to correct you, but it was just so funny and cute.”
Chocolate milk doesn’t come from chocolate cows. I thought there were chocolate cows until I was a college senior.
Image credits: monkey_swagger
One of my mate realized when he was 17 that hard boiled eggs were not a different “variety” of eggs. He just assumed hens could make both kinds somehow…
Image credits: blackmumb
My dad came bounding out of the bathroom to excitedly tell me that if the shower isn’t hot enough then you can turn down the cold tap instead of turning the hot tap on more.
He must’ve been 50 when that revelation struck.
That the tag inside clothes is always on the left. My wife gave me this gem when I was dressing our third child. She must have loved watching me dress the other two.
I didn’t know that dusters were used for cleaning dust off furniture until I was in middle school. When I misbehaved, my mother would beat me with a duster so I assumed its only purpose was to be a beating stick. I figured the fuzzy part of it was to provide comfort for my mother’s hand as she hit me.
That the word “teenager” comes from the “teen” in the numbers “thirteen to nineteen”.
Maybe I’m a moron, I don’t know, but I’d never made that connection before. I found out when I asked my friend, aged twenty, “when do you stop being a teenager?”. You will not guess what his reaction was.
Pickles come from cucumbers
Image credits: germinik
I thought it was “war war I” and “war war II” instead of “world war”. everyone always just said it like “war war” because Texas.
Image credits: natlay
When I was cleaning my last apartment the day before moving out, I ran out of paper towels cleaning counter tops. I thought I couldn’t continue without going to the store for more, until over the phone, my mother asked why I didn’t just use a towel.
Paper towels and towels can serve the same function.. I am 30.
When I was 21 I realized that the numbers on the toaster are actually minutes. Not toaster crispyness settings.
My friend thought cows had to die to produce milk. She didn’t realize until 8th grade when she decided to go vegetarian and her mom told her she could still drink milk.
I was 23 when it came to my attention that an engagement ring and a wedding band are two separate things 😐 isn’t one expensive symbol of uniformity enough?!
That “www.” means world wide web. Yeah not too proud about that one.
That you can use a toilet brush to clean the bottom of the bowl. You don’t need disposable rubber gloves and a sponge to scrub it with….
A co-worker was helping me move something outdoors and he suddenly is staring at the sky bewildered. I asked if he was ok and, I s**t you not, he says “Whoa! I can see the moon….and it’s day.” He’s 24 and I had no idea how to respond to that.
That it’s called a pony tail because it looks like a horse’s tail
That your body creates more blood and your not just left with 8 pints for life.
Discovered when I asked why she hadn’t died after all the periods she has :/
That there is more than one whale called Shamu. I was in my mid-twenties, had just moved to Texas, and a Seaworld commercial came on. I mentioned how surprised I was that they shipped Shamu all the way across the country just to make appearances here.
My wife and mother in law still won’t let me live it down.
I didn’t realize you were supposed to chew sunflower seeds to get the seed inside… I thought you just ate the black seeds whole…
I didn’t realize that Mike Meyers plays both Austin Powers and Dr Evil till the third Austin Powers movie came out
I was 34 before I realized that The Beatles spell their name Beatles, because it has the word Beat in it. I never really considered it before, just kind of thought it was a funny way to spell beetles…
That my mom didn’t actually take my dog to go live on a farm.