"TIL of an Australian diver who befriended a baby shark. For years afterwards, whenever the shark would see him, she would swim up to him and demand cuddles"
"TIL that Curly from "The Three Stooges" saved and rescued more than 5,000 dogs during his lifetime. He used to bring stray dogs home and sheltered them until he found a home for them. When the Stooges was on tour, he found at least one stray dog a new home in every town he visited."
"TIL alpacas are being used as bodyguards in some turkey farms, since they instinctively accept the birds into their herd and scare off foxes."
"TIL that even though Henry Heimlich demonstrated his signature maneuver thousands of times throughout his life he never got the chance to use it in an actual emergency until he was 96 when he saved a woman in his nursing home from choking on a burger"
"TIL Agatha Christie has outsold Stephen King and J.K Rowling combined by about 2 billion books."
"TIL James Michael Tyler, who played Gunther the barista on “Friends” was originally meant to only appear as an extra; he remained on the show as he was the only actor there who knew how to operate an espresso machine."
"TIL the ancient Egyptians developed the first recorded early pregnancy test, whereby a woman would urinate on a bag of wheat or barley and, if the bag started sprouting, it indicated a pregnancy. In 1963, researchers measured the test as being 70% accurate."
"TIL A duet sung by Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson remained unfinished because Mercury walked out of the recording. He couldn’t tolerate Jackson bringing his pet llama into the studio"
"TIL: The aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth has a reverse osmosis system capable of producing more than 500 tonnes of fresh, drinkable water from sea water per day."
"TIL David Bowie considered becoming a Buddhist monk, & studied for a few months in 1967 before a Lama told him he should follow music instead. His ashes were scattered in Bali in accordance with Buddhist rituals"
"TIL that in 1997, a 50-pound pumpkin was speared atop a tower at Cornell University, 173 feet in the air. It stayed in place for months. Alumni are still trying to figure out who did it without being noticed -- and how."
"TIL Gordon Ramsay has 16 Michelin Stars. Only two chefs have ever earned more."
"TIL Hippos sleep underwater even though they breathe air. They automatically close their nostrils and surface to breathe every 3-5 minutes. This all happens unconsciously, even in their sleep."
"TIL inventor of the Murphy-Bed, William Lawrence Murphy (1856-1957), created his first hide-away bed as means to convert his one-room apartment into a parlour, specifically to host the company of his future wife. It was considered inappropriate at the time to for a woman to enter a man's bedroom."
"TIL Switzerland has 7 simultaneous "presidents", each with equal power. Every year they rotate control of 7 federal depts & who acts as "head of state" (e.g. when dealing with other countries). They come from various parties — right now it's 2 conservatives, 2 liberals, 2 socialists, and a centrist"
"TIL Swedes have a national weekly eating plan. Thursdays are traditionally pancakes and split pea soup."
"TIL that when Hattie McDaniel became the first black person to win an Academy Award (for her performance in "Gone with the Wind") in 1940, she was seated at a segregated table at the side of the room"
"TIL In 2019, a potato chip factory in Hong Kong found a World War I grenade in a shipment of French-grown potatoes, just as the potatoes were going through their processing machines."
"TIL researchers were able to predict whether or not a couple will stay together with extreme accuracy based on one partner’s reaction to things that excited the other. For example, if a wife says “look at that beautiful bird” and the husband blows it off, that’s a strong indication they’ll divorce."
"TIL that Confederate soldier Willis Meadows survived a shot to the eye at the battle of Vicksburg. 58 years later, he randomly almost choked to death in his own home until he coughed up a 1 ounce bullet. It was the same one that lodged into his head years earlier."
"TIL Mice do not have a special appetite for cheese, and will eat it only for lack of better options; they actually favor sweet, sugary foods. It is unclear where the myth came from."
"TIL that the Luna Moth only survives 6-7 days once reaching adulthood because it has no mouth and dies of starvation."
"TIL Stephen Hawking found his Undergraduate work 'ridiculously easy' to the point where he was able to solve problems without looking at how others did it. Even his examiners realised that "they were talking to someone far cleverer than most of themselves"."
"TIL that Velociraptors were the size of a turkey in real life, not 2m (6 1⁄2 ft) tall as they were portrayed in Jurassic Park movie."
"TIL Italy, France, and Brazil are not even in the top ten highest consumers of coffee. The Nordic countries dominate coffee consumption and are all within the top ten countries worldwide. Further, Finland (the highest consumer in the world) more than doubles the annual consumption of Italy."
"TIL the lyrics at the end of 'Sweet Child of Mine' were literal. Axel Rose and his music producer were discussing what to do with the end of the song and Rose started saying to himself "Where do we go? Where do we go now?" The producer suggested singing that and that's how it made it in the song."
"TIL that the actor who played Charlie Bucket in the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory never acted again, and grew up to be a veterinarian."
"TIL: That most of the fake snow used in the 1980 Movie "The Shining" was repurposed from the ice planet Hoth scenes in "The Empire Strikes Back"."
"TIL in 1978 Emilio Palma was the first person born on Antarctica, making them the only currently living person that was the first person born on a continent"
"TIL Psychologists found that interrogative self-talk, asking yourself a question about a future action increases the likelihood of it happening. For example, rather than saying "I'm going to the gym later." You would say, "Will I go to the gym later?" It triggers more goal-oriented behavior."
"TIL the watch made its migration from the pocket to the wrist during World War I, when soldiers were obligated to attach them to their arms for coordinated attacks, instead of fumbling in their pockets. Before then, the "bracelet watch" had mostly been regarded as a joke and "[email protected]$$ fad"."
"TIL Desert sand is effectively useless for construction. Saudi Arabia imports sand from Australia."
"TIL in 1950 airlines didn’t serve alcohol when flying over dry states."
"TIL that in 2004 at the Smithsonian, Walnut, a rare female White-Naped Crane, fell in love with a zoologist named Chris Crowe, who was able to rear her eggs without Walnut hurting other males. White-Naped Cranes are monogamous and stress easily so Chris must stay until he, or Walnut, dies."
"TIL that the transformation of common metals into gold, a seemingly impossible goal attempted by alchemists for centuries, is now entirely possible using either a nuclear reactor or a particle accelerator. However, the process is so expensive that it is functionally useless."
"TIL When Assyrian priests saw a bad omen aimed at the King they used a ritual called The Substitute King. A commoner was found to replace the king while he went in hiding. The man lived as the king absorbing the evil spirits. When the omen passed the commoner was killed and the king returned."
"TIL the International Space Station is the most expensive thing ever built by humanity at over 150 billion dollars over the course of its construction"
"TIL that drinking Coca-Cola is prescribed as an effective treatment for certain types of bowel obstructions"
"TIL Texas A&M University offers a class on Texas Barbecue that teaches the history of BBQ, cooking methodology, flavorings and seasonings, and different types of BBQ. The class is offered in the fall and is held on Friday afternoons."
"TIL about the highly lethal, hallucinogenic and terrifying effects from consuming the attractive flowers of the Brugmansia (aka angel tears) plant, including a documented case of a young man who amputated his own penis and tongue after drinking only one cup of Brugmansia tea"