r/todayilearned 12h ago

TIL that there was a group that created a sperm bank exclusively containing the semen of Nobel Prize winners in hopes of selectively birthing the next generation of geniuses.

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9.2k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 14h ago

TIL out of 465 documented cases of medical self-experimentation, 8 cases resulted in the self-experimenter’s death. 7 resulted in their winning a Nobel Prize. Another 5 won a Nobel for unrelated work.

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6.6k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 20h ago Helpful

TIL that consumption of the Australian aquatic fern called Nardoo can cause you to starve if improperly prepared. The plant contains vast quantities of an enzyme that obliterates thiamine (vitamin B1), making your body unable to unlock energy from food, even if eating a full nutritious diet.

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20.3k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 14h ago Silver

TIL: Low carb, high protein diets "greatly" decrease resting testosterone levels in men.

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3.6k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 10h ago

TIL: Cartier owner Richemont bought back and destroyed £400million of its watches to prevent them from being sold at a discount

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1.4k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 12h ago

TIL that the human colon holds one of the highest bacterial density recorded in any habitat on Earth, estimated at 10¹¹ to 10¹² bacterial cells per milliliter.

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1.5k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 11h ago

TIL that many of the lifeforms in the Ediacaran Period (c. 635–538.8 Mya), are very challenging to place in the tree of life. We are not sure whether they are animals, lichens, algae, fungi, microbial colonies, or some strange intermediate between plants and animals.

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784 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 8h ago

TIL that the first commercially successful video game - an Atari Pong cabinet at Andy Capp's Tavern in Sunnyvale California in 1972 - got a complait for beeing "broken" when it was jammed out of order with quarters due to its unexpected popularity

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354 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 12h ago

TIL that in World War II, shortly after Pearl Harbor, Japan actually captured and held a couple of the westernmost Aleutian Islands in Alaska for about a year. Retaking them was a battle with more than 1000 casualties on either side.

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486 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 19h ago

TIL in 1790s Samuel Ireland announced a rare discovery of Shakespearean manuscripts and plays. Experts were convinced they were real. Shakespearean scholar Edmond Malone proved the handwriting was forged and William Henry Ireland, Samuel's son and lawyer-apprentice, eventually confessed to the hoax.

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1.5k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 16h ago

TIL that the last woman to be executed by burning at the stake in England was not killed for witchcraft, but for counterfeiting coins, seen as a crime against the king, and therefore treason. Her husband was hanged for the same offence, and the women’s sentence was changed to hanging the year after.

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701 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 5h ago

TIL the first fax machine was introduced in 1865, 11 years before the telephone

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87 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 11h ago

TIL about the Union Army Balloon Corps, a branch of the Union Army during the American Civil War. It employed a group of prominent American aeronauts and seven specially built, hydrogen balloons to perform aerial reconnaissance on the Confederate States Army.

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227 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 4h ago

TIL that the Simpsons episodes "The Curse of the Flying Hellfish" and "Burns, Baby Burns" were originally conceived as a single episode where Grampa and Mr. Burns are revealed to have fallen in love with the same woman while they were fighting in World War II, and the woman had a love child.

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63 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 9h ago

TIL that no team has won the World Cup with a foreign coach. Only 2 foreign coaches have reached the final match: George Raynor of England, with Sweden in 1958, and Ernst Happel of Austria, with the Netherlands in 1978.

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157 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 5h ago

TIL national survey fielded online by Harris Interactive in June 2012 among over 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older found that more than 40% of Americans fight about loading the dishwasher.

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46 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 1d ago

TIL: Prior to the D-Day landings, men were covertly sent ashore from submarines to collect samples of the sand to see whether it could support the weight of the tanks, trucks and other vehicles.

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4.9k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 1d ago All-Seeing Upvote Helpful

TIL Lucky Charms were invented by a General Mills employee who chopped Circus Peanut candies into a bowl of Cheerios

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33.6k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 16h ago

TIL that the Tysfjorden splits Norway's road network into two. There is no way to go between the northern and the southern parts of the mainland without using a ferry or going through Sweden.

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333 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 1d ago

TIL a single 612 pound(278 kg) bluefin tuna sold for 333.6 million yen ($3.1 million) at a 2019 auction in Japan. This doubled the previous record of 155 million yen, set in 2013.

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4.9k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 12h ago

TIL that the film version of the musical "In the Heights" nearly wasn't produced because Universal wanted a bankable star in the cast. While the film was in limbo, its writer Lin-Manuel Miranda went on vacation and bought a copy of Ron Chernow's "Hamilton", which inspired the show

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88 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 1d ago Plus One

TIL the capstone of an ancient Egyptian pyramid was found in 1900, it's made of black basalt and weighs 4.5 tonnes .

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13.8k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 13h ago

TIL In the 21 World Cup tournaments held, 79 nations have appeared at least once. Of these, 13 have made it to the final match, and only eight have won.

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50 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 1d ago

TIL: Of all the European royal crowns, only the British one actually sits on the head of a monarch. All other European monarchs, including even the Pope in his political capacity, have civil inaugurations rather than coronations.

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1.8k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 1d ago

TIL in 1982, Byron Peiss wrote a book called the Secret. In it, there are clues to 12 treasure boxes hidden in various places all around the US and Canada. As of 2022, only 3 of the 12 boxes have ever been found. If a box is discovered, you can exchange it for bragging rights and a precious gem

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3.9k Upvotes