"TIL cats were a common wedding gift among Vikings due to their association with the goddess of luck, Freyja. Men favored women who loved cats, believing that it increased the likelihood of a happy marriage."
"TIL Steve Jobs responded to an autograph request with a signed letter stating he doesn't write autographs."
"TIL Ancient Greece wasn't full of pure white marble everything. The statues and ruins we see today were actually painted in all kinds of vivid colors that were just stripped bare back to their original white marble by time."
"TIL that the first recorded labour strike took place in Ancient Egypt, in 1170 BCE, by tomb workers. After the grain supply was repeatedly late, workers stopped working and demanded prompt pay. Because it was the first of its kind, management did not know how to react, and largely caved to demands."
"TIL of Hatuey, a Taíno chieftain who, while tied to the stake by Spaniards and waiting to be burned alive, chose not to convert to Christianity in order to avoid meeting his Spanish oppressors in heaven."
"TIL that the popular belief in the United States that Daylight Savings Time was enacted FOR the benefit of farmers is wrong; farmers were actually some of the strongest opponents of its implementation."
"TIL that Japan is working on wooden satellites that can cleanly burn up without leaving debris when they re-enter the atmosphere."
"TIL during his bachelor's degree, Robert Andrews Millikan was asked to teach elementary physics course although he was studying classics. He accepts the offer, studies a physics book during a summer vacation and after 34 years he wins the Nobel Prize for Physics."
"TIL in 1989, many major airlines showed edited versions of the film Rain Man, omitting a scene involving a character's refusal to fly (while mentioning several prominent airliner crashes). However, the scene was shown intact on Qantas—the only airline mentioned as having planes that "never crashed.""
"TIL that in 1518, in the small French town of Strasbourg, a young woman named Frau Troffea started dancing uncontrollably in the street. Her dancing continued for days & on the 3rd day, her shoes were soaked with blood. She attracted 30+ people to join her, which catalyzed the Dancing Plague of 1518."
"TIL that potato plants are poisonous. The part that we eat is the only edible part of the whole plant. It's also a member of the nightshade family."
"TIL that mushrooms are more closely related to humans than to plants."
"TIL British Airways Flight 9 flew through a cloud of volcanic ash causing all four engines to stop. Captain Eric Moody told the passengers that, “We have a small problem. All four engines have stopped. We are all doing our damnedest to get them going again. I trust you are not in too much distress.”"
"TIL that when a massive star goes supernova, it produces a flash of light so bright that can equal the combined light of every other star in the galaxy. One such event happened in 1054, it was so bright the light was visible during the day for a month and was still visible for 2 years afterwards."
"TIL About 7000 years ago, bananas were not the seedless, fleshy fruits we know today. The flesh was pitted with black seeds and nearly inedible."
"TIL we've had electric cars since the late 1800s. Some early electric cars could go as fast as 25mph and lasted 50 miles without needing a recharge."
"TIL 27% of Americans 18 and older have cut off contact with a family member."
"TIL about Shizo Kanakuri, a Japanese marathon runner. During the 1912 Olympics, he disappeared during the marathon race (he pulled out midway and silently returned to Japan). In 1967, he was offered the opportunity to complete his run. He accepted and completed it with a time of 54y8m6d5h32'20"."
"TIL A 50yr old inmate named James Washington confessed to murdering a Nashville woman 17 yrs ago while on his deathbed, presumably thinking he was about to die. He ended up surviving & was convicted for his confession, which he later tried to recant."
"TIL that Alan Turing, the mathematician renowned for his contributions to computer science and codebreaking, converted his savings into silver during WW2 and buried it, fearing German invasion. However, he was unable to break his own code describing where it was hidden, and never recovered it."
"TIL a Dunkin' Donuts marketing campaign in South Korea released coffee aromas while their commercials played on buses and increased sales by 29%."
"TIL some triathletes pee while riding their bike to minimize wasted time."
"TIL about millionaire Wellington Burt, who died in 1919 and deliberately held back his enormous fortune. His will denied any inheritance until 21 years after the death of his last surviving grandchild. The money sat in a trust for 92 years, until 12 descendants finally shared $110 million in 2011."
"TIL China has just one timezone (Beijing time) that covers the whole country. In the westernmost provinces, the sun may not rise until 10am or set until midnight. The border with Afghanistan is the greatest border time change in the world."
"TIL newborn babies shouldn’t drink plain water because it can lead to brain swelling and even death."
"TIL about William Sitgreaves Cox a junior officer aboard the USS Chesapeake who was court martialed for leaving his command when he assisted his wounded captain below decks. Since all other senior officers were wounded, he had become the commanding officer by default, unbeknownst to him."
"TIL that the state of Massachusetts tried to nullify the Vietnam War by passing a law that its citizens could not be conscripted in an undeclared war. The Supreme Court declined to hear their case."
"TIL that 81% of people say that email is still their primary form of communication at work."
"TIL Brad Pitt, while starring as Achilles in the movie Troy, ruptured his Achilles tendon on set."
"TIL since 1850, more than 5,000 people have gone over Niagara Falls, either intentionally (as stunts or suicide attempts) or accidentally but only 17 are known to have survived."
"TIL that in 1996 a 7-year-old Californian girl tried to fly an airplane across the US and crashed in a thunderstorm, killing her. This resulted in a law banning children from flying."
"TIL That the most famous pirate in history: Blackbeard, was only active for 2 years. 1716-1718."
"TIL that after his legendary Motown Awards performance, in which he moonwalked for the first time and launched his career into mega-stardom, Michael Jackson was so disappointed in his performance that he went backstage and cried."
"TIL that most non-human primate infants actively use their hands to help themselves out of the birth canal. Human infants do not, but their grip strength is much higher during the hours immediately after they are born."
"TIL that the mortality rate of BBL's (Brazillian Butt Lifts) is 10 to 20 times higher than the average cosmetic procedure, and it has the highest death rate of any cosmetic procedure."
"TIL, 14-year-old Caleb Rebh accidentally choked himself to death while working as a scare actor after he had tied a noose around his neck to appear more scarier. While Caleb was struggling to untie the rope from his neck, no one helped him because they thought he was acting."
"TIL A study in the UK found that the number of CEOs of top companies with red hair was four times higher than the percentage of persons with red hair in the general population."
"TIL Eric Clapton grew up thinking his mother was his sister, his grandmother was his mother, and his step-grandfather was his father."