Life can be an enticing, never-ending lesson if you have enough curiosity and an open mind to look at the world with fresh eyes, an eagerness to expand your knowledge, and the wisdom to set your ego aside. Many of you Ravenclaws probably already know about the incredibly popular and fast-growing ‘Today I Learned’ community on Reddit, boasting a whopping 26.5 million members.

It’s been an integral part of Reddit since 2008 and has been responsible for reigniting many an internet user’s curiosity about everything from history to science, all the stuff in between the two (and beyond it, too).

Fashion Life is such a big fan of the TIL community that we’ve featured it for your edutainment time and time again, dear Readers. You can read our latest articles about interesting trivia about life on Planet Earth right here, here, and here, once you’re done taking notes on today’s list of intriguing facts. Oh, and don’t forget to vote up the facts that you never knew! Got any TIL-worthy trivia to share with us? You can do so in the comment section.

Fashion Life reached out to parenting blogger Samantha Scroggin, the founder of Walking Outside in Slippers, to hear about how parents can nurture the desire to learn more about the world as kids grow up and how to deal with the constant questions of 'why?' that curious munchkins have all the time. All the while avoiding forcing them to have only the same interests as their parents do. You'll find Samantha's thoughts and insights as you scroll down below.

#1

Good Doggo

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Nicole Sundquist
Community Member
5 months ago

Out of all these posts, this one is by far the best one!!!

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"Kids asking 'why?' is an important part of their natural curiosity. That said, the constant chatter and questions can grow tedious. I am very open with my kids, and answer just about any question they bring to me. But sometimes I tell them, not right now. I need quiet. And they rarely grant me that quiet. But still, I ask," parenting blogger Samantha was very open with Fashion Life about how she tackles her kids' non-stop curiosity.

Children constantly asking you questions about how the world works and why things are as they are is an ongoing situation that many of you Pandas who have families might be familiar with. The important thing is not to stifle your children's curiosity while giving parents enough time to recharge mentally.

Samantha noted that one of the best things that parents can do is to create a safe space for kids to develop their own skills and talents without the fear of being judged. "And to avoid the temptation to push them down a certain path just because it's familiar and more comfortable for us," she added that we have to do our best to avoid forcing our kids to enjoy certain interests just because we're fans of them.

#2

Facts

Facts

TIL that reindeer is the only mammal to change eye colour to adjust the amount of light that enters the eyes in different seasons. They have golden eyes in summer and blue in winter

JoyPaul66 Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
5 months ago

WOW I did not know this. That's interesting!

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#3

Facts

Facts

TIL that the owner of the Café de la Rotonde in Paris would allow starving artists to pay for their drinks with a painting or drawing. In the 1900s the walls of the cafe would have been casually adorned with works now considered priceless.

SilasMarner77 Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
5 months ago

So where is the art now?

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I was interested to understand whether children naturally pick up some of the same interests and talents as their parents growing up. Samantha was happy to elaborate on what things are like in her family.

"The genes are strong in my family. My husband and I are both writers, and my kids are both artsy types. My son, 10, is a little actor and singer who even appeared on Kids Say the Darndest Things this year. My 6-year-old daughter amazes me with her drawing ability," she said.

"Although my kids' talents are not identical to my husband and me, they are likewise little creative powerhouses. We as parents have made them feel safe and comfortable being themselves and expressing their skills. Then there are some abilities that clearly pass on directly from the parents. For example, my son and daughter are both math whizzes like my husband, while math has always been my nemesis."

#4

Facts

Facts

TIL An Australian Fisherman caught a tiger shark and brought it to a local aquarium. The shark puked up a human arm in front of spectators. Investigators were able to distinguish that the arm was not bitten off by the shark,but was cut off and then eaten. The investigation led to a murder charge.

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Pixie
Community Member
5 months ago

Would the shark be a witness or evidence?

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#5

Facts

Facts

TIL A Soviet surgeon removed his own appendix during an Antarctic expedition in 1961. He was the only doctor of the expedition and become seriously ill. Operating mostly by feeling around, the surgeon worked for an hour and 45 minutes.

sylsau Report

Jo Johannsen
Community Member
5 months ago

Different take on "Physician heal thyself."

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#6

Facts

Facts

TIL Neil Gaiman's Coraline almost wasn't published, his editor said it was too scary, but was convinced after her daughter said it was fine. Years later, the daughter said she was terrified but wanted to know what happened next so she never let on

beerbellybegone Report

Mad Dragon
Community Member
5 months ago

Coraline is my daughter’s favorite movie.I think it’s creepy, but whatever.

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The way that we learn things has changed dramatically over the decades and centuries. Lenore Skenazy, the founder and president of the Let Grow nonprofit that promotes childhood independence, and the founder of the Free-Range Kids movement, explained to me earlier that for much of history most people didn’t learn about the world at schools growing up, as they do now.

“In the United States, for instance, school only became compulsory a little over 100 years ago. Previously—for hundreds of thousands of years of human history—kids learned simply by watching, copying, helping, and playing. In other words, they’d hang around the adults, see how they made things like baskets and arrowheads, they’d ask questions, noodle around, and try to copy what their elders were doing,” she told Fashion Life.

#7

Facts

Facts

TIL in 1921 there were 14 million telephones in the US & Canada. On August 4th all of them were simultaneously silenced by the telephone companies for one minute. This was done as a mark of respect for the telephone inventor Alexander Graham-Bell on the day of his funeral.

Kloppite16 Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

We should still do that for 16 hours every single day with ALL the phones! EDIT for all you here who are worried: You can still use your phone for emergencies. Feel better now?

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#8

Facts

Facts

TIL that watching a fire can lower your blood pressure

MysteriousLeader6187 Report

Jo Johannsen
Community Member
5 months ago

I love watching the lit fireplace or a campfire after dark, so very believable.

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#9

Facts

Facts

TIL that when Nichelle Nichols read for the part of a communications officer in 'Star Trek', she had a copy of Robert Ruark's 'Uhuru' with her. 'Uhuru' is Swahili for 'freedom', and when Gene Roddenberry heard what the word meant, he changed the character's name to 'Uhura'.

AbathaCrispy Report

Otter
Community Member
5 months ago

Uhura was all kinds of awesome! Broke so many racial and sex-based barriers, and she was a delight to watch. And she was perhaps the first female military officer to appear on US televesion, and certainly the first one who in a crisis, she didn't run for her romantic interest... she stayed at her post and did her job like an officer.

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“They’d also help out as soon as they could—fetching things, tracking animals, whatever—and in between they’d be playing with a group of mixed-age kids. All these activities were fueled by curiosity,” Lenore went into detail about how kids would learn about the world and life by experiencing everything first-hand and giving their family and community members a helping hand.

“You were motivated to learn what the bigger kids in your group knew, too, because they were so cool. Your entire day consisted of observing and practicing the stuff you needed to know— skills and games. If you weren’t curious, you weren’t going to enjoy life, or succeed at it,” the childhood independence expert said.

“One reason kids might seem less curious today is because most of their education, inside and outside of school, doesn’t require self-motivation, it requires compliance. The drive is extrinsic, not intrinsic. Kids fill out worksheets because they have to, not because these seem interesting, or have any immediate connection to the ‘real’ world,” she said that the trend has reached extracurricular activities as well, unfortunately.

#10

Facts

Facts

TIL the Trans-Siberian Orchestra has donated over $16,000,000 to charity since they started touring

udderlymoovelous Report

Mushroomlover
Community Member
5 months ago

They are amazing in person!

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#11

Facts

Facts

TIL Cats domesticated themselves. They existed unchanged until the Middle Ages; and even now are genetically extremely close to their ancestors.

Velinarae Report

Monday
Community Member
5 months ago

They realized these mostly hairless, two-legged creatures would worship and pamper them if they allowed it. They domesticated us.

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#12

Facts

Facts

TIL Alan Alda met his wife at a mutual friend's dinner party; when a rum cake accidentally fell onto the kitchen floor, they were the only two guests who did not hesitate to eat it.

SettyDub Report

Marc
Community Member
5 months ago

I love Alan Alda. Mash is still my favorite TV show to date. I usually watch it once a year or every two years. My wife's not happy about it. 😅

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“Learning soccer means doing the drills the coach assigns, as opposed to tagging along with the older kids and working hard to get good enough so that they’d start letting you play. The key to curiosity, then, is giving kids enough free, unstructured time for them to find something they love to do for its own sake—not for a grade, or coach.”

Lenore’s advice? We should let our kids explore their curiosity for the sake of it, not because they were told to do so in a formal setting. “Not every interest has to lead to formal instruction, or at least not until a child really wants it. There’s a big difference between running for a coach, and running for plain old fun. Curiosity and self-direction go hand in hand.”

#13

Facts

Facts

TIL for over 300 years Europeans could not grow vanilla seeds since bringing it from South America. In 1836 it was finally discovered that a bee from Mexico was the only capable pollinator of the vanilla orchid.

Shaemir Report

Mazer
Community Member
5 months ago

Co-evolution is fascinating, plants evolving on specific soil types or requiring specific mycorrhizae fungi strains to live.

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#14

Facts

Facts

TIL of Rebecca: a raccoon that had been sent to the White House to be served as the 1926 Thanksgiving dinner entrée. Coolidge instead adopted it as his pet.

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Jo Johannsen
Community Member
5 months ago

Raccoon for Thanksgiving?!?! Yikes!

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#15

Facts

Facts

TIL Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are, once sent an original drawing to a little boy who had written to him. The boy loved the card so much that he ate it.

VonPursey Report

JuJu
Community Member
5 months ago

And the author said it was one of the biggest compliments he ever got.

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#16

Facts

Facts

TIL That the victims of Pompeii had near-perfect dental health due to a low-sugar diet and a local water source rich in fluorine.

VivaNOLA Report

Otter
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

Well, they were also more likely to be prosperous than the average person of that era. Pompeii was a wealthy resort town, where the rich came to relax by the seaside. And then as now, money means better odds of good nutrition and good overall health.

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#17

Facts

Facts

TIL there is one small area in Canada where the ranges of black bears, grizzly bears, and polar bears all overlap.

sn0qualmie Report

Mazer
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

There is evidence of breeding between species. Recent times polar bear -Grizzly bear hybrids have been found. Mostly due to environmental pressures on Polar bears who specialize in predating almost exclusively on marine mammals, the Polar Bear is considered a Marine Mammal

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#18

Facts

Facts

TIL that the second tallest mountain on Earth, K2, is much deadlier to climb that Everest. Approximately one person dies on the mountain for every four who reach the summit

Tox77 Report

Otter
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

Annapurna is even deadlier, because about 99% of its surface is avalanche chutes. I met someone who later went to Annapurna and never left, and yes, it was an avalanche.

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#19

Facts

Facts

TIL that after Lady Diana's death two Slovakian tourists were each given a 28-day prison sentence for having taken eleven teddy bears and a number of flowers from the pile outside the palace. This was reduced to a fine of £200 each.

Lord-AG Report

RaroaRaroa
Community Member
5 months ago

What a nauseating sea of plastic wrapping that was.

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#20

Facts

Facts

TIL that the first Paddington Bear toy was designed by Shirley and Eddie Clarkson in 1972 and given to their son Jeremy, the future presenter of Top Gear & The Grand Tour.

responsible_llama Report

Lauren Caswell
Community Member
5 months ago

Wow ok that is pretty unexpected. I also thought Paddington bear was older than that for some reason 🤷‍♀️

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#21

Facts

Facts

TIL that the Milky Way got its name because the Greek goddess Hera pulled a breastfeeding Hercules off of her boob and milk sprayed across the galaxy.

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Ty Stratton-Quirk
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

Wasn't Hercules born to a human mother? I could be remembering incorrectly, but I thought I read that Hera hated any sign of her husband's infidelity. Edit: never mind, I just looked it up. Zeus was a real piece of work...

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#22

Facts

Facts

TIL Kenny G was one of the original investors in Starbucks and has made more money investing than from his music career.

swiffswaffplop Report

Marcellus II
Community Member
5 months ago

TIL "Kenny G is one of the best-selling artists of all time, with global sales totaling more than 75 million records". I'd never heard of the good man, and after a few YouTube minutes, Buddha willing I'll never hear of him again.

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#23

Facts

Facts

TIL The man who took the first up close photo of a snowflake, Wilson A. Bentley in 1885, also started the concept "No two snowflakes are alike". In his lifetime, he took over 5k photos of snowflakes.

dolmdemon Report

Pixie
Community Member
5 months ago

It's not a concept, but a scientific fact. Since there are about 10 quintillion water molecules which make up a typical snowflake, it is (ok, almost) impossible for two of them to be identical.

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#24

Facts

Facts

TIL the Rat Pack were a group of entertainers who were friends in the 1950's. When one performed in Vegas, others would often come without an official booking and perform at the first one's show. Hotel marquees would read "Dean Martin, Maybe Frank (Sinatra), Maybe Sammy (Davis, Jr.)”

GregJamesDahlen Report

Sheila Stamey
Community Member
5 months ago

The epitome of cool.

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#25

Facts

Facts

TIL, that in 1838 a 14 year old boy nicknamed "The boy Jones" broke into Buckingham Palace and stole Queen Victoria's underwear

eftresq Report

Lauren Caswell
Community Member
5 months ago

Teenage boy teenage boy where have you been? I've been to London to visit the Queen. Teenage boy teenage boy what did you there? I 'knicked' a pair of her underwear 😃

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#26

Facts

Facts

TIL that Hiram Maxim, the inventor of the automatic machine gun, spent so much time test-firing his guns that he became completely deaf. His son Hiram Percy Maxim eventually invented the silencer, but too late to save his father's hearing.

ShabtaiBenOron Report

RaroaRaroa
Community Member
5 months ago

Pretty sure plugging your ears has been an option for centuries. Didn't need to wait for the silencer to be invented.

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#27

Facts

Facts

TIL McDonalds lost the 'Big Mac' naming rights in england after trying to sue an irish company called Supermac (that predated McDonalds) , allowing Burger King to troll them by calling their burgers things such as 'like a big mac, but actually big'

Not_Bill_Hicks Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
5 months ago

Well, "serves" them right.

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#28

Facts

Facts

TIL During WW II the US Army was aware that mail to soldiers was critical for morale, but overwhelmed with the volume and space it took to ship. So the resuscitated a British/Eastman Kodak method where every letter was photographed, and the film was shipped, then printed. It was called V Mail.

greed-man Report

Mad Dragon
Community Member
5 months ago

Short for “Victory Mail,” it drastically reduced the space needed to ship messages and freed up valuable space for necessary supplies.

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#29

Facts

Facts

TIL Mary Shelley published her novel "Frankenstein, the Modern Prometheus" at 19 years old, its themes of birth and death reflecting the deaths of both her first infant child and sister within a short timeframe, followed by pregnancy with another child who she carried throughout the book's writing.

SojourningCPA Report

Mad Dragon
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

She wrote it as a response to a challenge by Lord Byron and her husband, Percy Shelley, to think of a horror story during their vacation. Whoever wrote the best story would be declared the winner.

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#30

Facts

Facts

TIL that Oskar Schindler abandoned his wife after going bankrupt and returned to Germany, leaving her in Argentina. They never saw each other again in the 20 years before his death, though they remained married. The final scene of Schindler's List was her first time ever seeing his grave.

derstherower Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
5 months ago

Schindler continued to bribe SS officials to prevent the execution of his workers until the end of World War II in Europe in May 1945, by which time he had spent his entire fortune on bribes and black market purchases of supplies for his workers. Schindler moved to West Germany after the war, where he was supported by assistance payments from Jewish relief organizations. After receiving a partial reimbursement for his wartime expenses, he moved with his wife Emilie to Argentina, where they took up farming. When he went bankrupt in 1958, Schindler left his wife and returned to Germany, where he failed at several business ventures and relied on financial support from Schindlerjuden ("Schindler Jews")—the people whose lives he had saved during the war. He died on 9 October 1974 in Hildesheim, Germany, and was buried in Jerusalem on Mount Zion, the only former member of the Nazi Party to be honoured in this way. He and his wife Emilie were named Righteous Among the Nations by the Israeli

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#31

Facts

Facts

TIL that Jack Nicholson grew up believing his mother was actually his sister. His mom June was 17 years old and unmarried when she gave birth to him. Her parents agreed to raise Jack as their own child with June acting as his sister. Reporters from Time magazine revealed this to Jack in 1974.

vedvineet98 Report

Sheila Stamey
Community Member
5 months ago

That's a great way to find out. Always classy news media!

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#32

Facts

Facts

TIL that a nuclear worker in Japan was exposed to 17 Sieverts of radiation (twice the amount that should kill a person). He was kept alive for 83 days, suffering serious radiation burns to his body, severe organ failure, and an almost zero white blood cell count.

poppinpuss Report

Mazer
Community Member
5 months ago

Kept alive against his will. ****WARNING, the article is loaded with very unpleasant facts about the accident and the aftermath https://historyofyesterday.com/the-man-kept-alive-against-his-will-647c7a24784

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#33

Facts

Facts

TIL that, due to gravitational time dilation, Earth’s core is about 2.5 years younger than its surface.

Paracortex Report

Lauren Caswell
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

Time dilation has always been frustrating for me, I want to understand but I just don't. I think it means the faster you travel in space the more out of synch your own time becomes relative to your destination or something? Or is time dilation about the universe/time slowing down as it spreads out? So much to Google after reading this list!

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#34

Facts

Facts

TIL all of Teddy Roosevelt’s sons were injured or died serving in world wars. Quentin was killed in aerial combat over France in WWI, Archibald was injured in WWI & WWII, Kermit committed suicide while serving as Army Intelligence in Alaska, and Ted died of a heart attack after invading Utah Beach.

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Jihana
Community Member
5 months ago

TIL Kermit is a legit name

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#35

Facts

Facts

TIL There was a romance novel about KFC, set in medieval England. It launched in 2017 for mothers day, and was called "Tender Wings of Desire".

NeptuneRuler Report

Sheila Stamey
Community Member
5 months ago

Ooh the colonel got some wings himself! Love her medieval purse and hairstyle!

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Note: this post originally had 54 images. It’s been shortened to the top 35 images based on user votes.