"TIL about Mary Ellen Pleasant, a black woman in the 1800s who amassed a fortune by eavesdropping on investors while working as a domestic"
"TIL outraged Egyptians had once lynched a Roman for killing a cat."
"TIL a bridge in Ireland that was designed to swing open for ships couldn't be opened for four years because someone lost the remote control"
"TIL that Betty White holds the Guinness World Record for longest TV career by an entertainer, with credits spanning 80 years (1939 to 2019)"
"TIL In 1993 a French man driving a Citroen car in a remote area of the Moroccan desert had a breakdown and became stranded. To survive he tore down the car, built a motorcycle from the parts, and rode it back to civilization. When he arrived he was ticketed for operating an illegal vehicle."
"TIL Queen Elizabeth II has reigned longer than her father, uncle, grandfather and great-grandfather combined"
"TIL: Carrie, Stephen King's first novel that launched his career, was rescued from the trash can after his wife Tabatha removed the crumpled up pages, read them and told her husband she wanted to know the rest of the story"
"TIL the British Hedgehog Preservation Society won a campaign in 2006 to force McDonalds to redesign their McFlurry cups due to hedgehogs repeatedly getting stuck in them and dying."
"TIL that owls cannot move their eyes. This is because their eyes are not balls, but cylinders that are held in place by bones called sclerotic rings. This is also the reason that owls have evolved to be able to rotate their head 270 degrees left and right, and 90 degrees up and down."
"TIL that in Churchill, Canada, locals keep their car doors unlocked in order to provide other residents a quick escape, should they encounter a polar bear"
"TIL that in 1945, General George S Patton, upon the liberation of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp in Germany, forced 1,000 local citizens to tour the camp to witness firsthand the atrocities that had taken place within."
"TIL in the mid 1890s, Mary Whiton Caulkins completed all requirements towards a PhD in Psychology, but Harvard University refused to award her that degree because she was a woman."
"TIL: The inventor of shopping carts, Sylvan Goldman, had to hire "decoy shoppers" to wheel the carts around stores and demonstrate their convenience, due to not catching on initially."
"TIL that octopuses have copper-based blood rather than iron-based blood…which makes their blood blue in color. (Incidentally, they also have three hearts to pump that blood.)"
"TIL dolphins sleep with one eye open. Because they have to periodically go up for air and also be aware of predators, they are able to rest only half of their brain at a time and stay always somewhat conscious."
"TIL About the "murder bottle". Many Victorian mothers would use a self feeding bottle to give their babies milk instead of breastfeeding. These bottles were made of earthenware & glass & were incredibly hard to clean which caused severe bacteria build up & caused the deaths of thousands of babies."
"TIL that according to the U.S. Department of Education, 54% of U.S. adults lack proficiency in literacy, reading below the equivalent of a sixth-grade level."
"TIL about Ismail al-jazari wrote the “Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices” where he described 50 mechanical devices along with instructions on creating them. He has been described as the father of robotics and modern day engineering."
"TIL of Titanic survivor Frankie Goldsmith. His father died during the sinking, and when he and his mother arrived in America they settled in Detroit near Navin Field (Tiger Stadium). He never attended a game due to the cheers of the crowd reminding him of the cries of the dying people in the water."
"TIL about Project 100k, where LBJ and Sec of Def Robert MacNamara decided to lower the mental and medical standards to recruit more soldiers to fight in Vietnam. These soldiers died at ~3x the normal rate."
"TIL In 1941, almost 10% of all recruits for the US military were rejected because they did not have 6 opposing teeth on their upper and lower jaws. US dental health was so poor before WWII that it was the leading cause of rejection."
"TIL that in Norse mythology, Loki got pregnant by a horse, he would then later give birth to the eight-legged horse Sleipner which would become Odin's horse"
"TIL that in 1670, against a judge's instructions, a jury refused to find two men guilty. The judge held the jury in contempt; locked them up overnight without food, water or heat; and fined them. On appeal, the Chief Justice ruled that a jury could not be punished for returning the wrong verdict."
"TIL Leonardo Da Vinci saved 13,000+ pages of notes and drawings on anatomy, physiology, engineering, mechanics, geometry, mathematics, bird flight, flying machines, botany, proportions, topology, weaponry, musical instruments, art, and more, all in mirrored shorthand written from right to left."
"TIL the Great cheese riot of 1766 was a reaction to inflated cheese prices. The mayor tried to restore order but was knocked down by a cheese. The military were called & shots were fired, killing one man. He'd been guarding his cheeses"
"TIL Keanu Reeves was offered the lead role in The Matrix after 5 leading actors in 1990s turned it down."
"TIL Uday Hussein, son of Saddam Hussein, was named Chairmain of the Iraqi Olympic Committee in 1984. Athletes who disappointed him were subject to torture and imprisonment"
"TIL the movie Gremlins was so intense that it was responsible for the movie rating of PG-13."
"TIL in order to rescue the kids out of the flooded Thailand cave in 2018, rescuers drugged the kids unconscious then cave dove the the unconscious kids over 1km underwater"
"TIL English words of Hindi or Urdu origin include bandana, bangle, bungalow, cheetah, cushy, dinghy, juggernaut, jungle, khaki, loot, punch (the drink), pundit, pyjamas, shampoo, thug, and typhoon"
"TIL The mongols had a superstition that said that spilling royal blood would lead to great disaster. So instead they had other creative ways of executing such people. Including sewing up your orifices, drown you in molten metal or have horses trample you."
"TIL that a modern highway now runs through the site of the Battle of Thermopylae, where 300 Spartans held back a massive Persian army for three days. A statue of the Spartan leader, Leonidas, stands just a few feet from the road."
"TIL of Adolf Hitler’s Madagascar Plan. The plan was to relocate all the Jews to Madagascar. This idea later was shelved in favor for the mass genocide of the population."
"TIL that a middle school football coach in Oregon was fired for trying to take his team to Hooters to celebrate the end of the season."