r/todayilearned 3h ago

TIL that when the CEO of discount supermarket chain ALDI was kidnapped, he haggled about his ransom money and claimed the sum as a tax-deductable business expense in court after his release

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9k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 10h ago

TIL British Parliament had an official discussion where they condemned the historical inaccuracies of the film U-571 and the rewriting of history to paint the Americans as heroes in an event they never even took part in. They felt it was unfair on the British sailors that lost their lives.

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67k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 9h ago

TIL Michael Jackson was terrified of the real-life fan who inspired the song Billie Jean, after she sent him a letter with a weapon and instructions to kill himself. He kept her photograph to memorize her face, “in case she ever turns up someplace.”

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8k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 10h ago

TIL the United Kingdom hasn't really required people to pay for bail since 1898. This was to help reduce the number of people remanded in custody simply because they were poor. Nowadays, bail is automatically given unless said person has a risk of absconding or is a risk to the public.

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6k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 6h ago

TIL of Ian Manuel. A man who spent years in isolation after he was condemned to die in prison for a nonhomicide offense at age 13. He won his freedom in 2016 with the help of the woman he attacked. He is now an activist, motivational speaker, and published author.

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2k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 4h ago

TIL two regions of the brain, reward pathways and the hippocampus, physically shrink when we're clinically depressed and gaming reverses that damage. Gameplay hyperstimulates areas of the brain associated with motivation, goals, learning and memory; making it the neurological opposite of depression.

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1k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 4h ago

TIL about the modern 300 - in 1821, during the Greek War of Independence, 120 Greek men held out against 8,000 Ottoman soldiers, causing 900 casualties against 6 of their own deaths. This bought time for the Greek army to regroup.

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1k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 6h ago

TIL Indonesia is the world’s largest island nation it contains thousands and thousands of islands. Indonesia has so many islands it has never been able to fully count or name them. Indonesia is embarking on an ambitious island census to count the islands and registering their names.

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1k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 5h ago

TIL that in France and many Hispanic countries, instead of the Tooth Fairy a little mouse is said to replace the lost baby teeth of children from under their pillow with coins.

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430 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 23h ago

TIL the band UB40 is named after Unemployment Benefit, Form 40 - a form issued to people claiming unemployment benefits. The name was suggested by a friend of the band because all the members were unemployed.

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53k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 16h ago

TIL that the Juno spacecraft orbiting Jupiter right now is carrying three LEGO minifigures made out of aluminum. The first is Galileo Galilea, who first studied Jupiter. The Second is the Roman god Jupiter. The third is the Roman goddess Juno.

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1k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 1h ago

TIL of Sergeant Stubby an American war dog who served for 18 months and participated in 17 battles in WWI. He was the only dog to be nominated for rank and then got promoted to sergeant through combat.

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Upvotes

r/todayilearned 9h ago

TIL that about 16% of wild birds have been known to hybridize with other species of birds. The mallard can hybridize with at least 40 other species. The extent of hybridization calls into question the modern definition of "species".

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454 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 15h ago

TIL that in 1950, the US army dispersed a cloud of bacteria (serratia marcescens), believed to be harmless, in the SF Bay Area in 1950 to test whether enemy agents could launch a biological attack from an offshore location. The test resulted in an outbreak in urinary tract infections and one death.

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1k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 7h ago

TIL that Batwoman and Batgirl were originally created as love interests for Batman and Robin respectively in order to combat allegations that the duo were lovers. Batwoman was later reintroduced as Bruce Wayne's cousin and a lesbian.

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334 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 2h ago

TIL that domestic cats' intelligence may apply "if I fits I sits" even in perceived spaces -- for instance, a cat will still try to sit in a 2D optical illusion that can be perceived as a 3D container (Illusory contours)

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118 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 1h ago

TIL That 99.9% of Calico Colored Cats are Female

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Upvotes

r/todayilearned 6h ago

TIL Sadie Hawkins is based off a comic where a dude has an ugly daughter who can’t find a husband so he forces all the men in town to race and the slowest one marries her

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175 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 3h ago

TIL that starting about 7,000 years ago in Egypt, seasonal rains started moving south until rain only now falls regularly on the Ethiopian highlands. This shift forced nomadic cattle herders to settle along the Nile, leading to the first permanent Egyptian civilizations.

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107 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 5h ago

TIL about Izumi Sakai, the vocalist and de facto leader of the J-Pop band Zard. After she died from an accident while undergoing treatment for cancer, a posthumous single was released and used as a theme song for her favorite anime Detective Conan

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139 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 4h ago

TIL Bob Marley’s father was white: Norval Sinclair Marley, born in Englnd in 1885

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96 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 2h ago

TIL three Englishmen walked from Florida to Nova Scotia in 1569

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56 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 2h ago

TIL that when things didn't go well for film directors (for a variety of reasons) they could choose to "disown" the project and simply dump the credit onto a fictional director named "Alan Smithee". "Alan Smithee" currently has over two dozen projects attached to his name on IMDb.

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57 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 4h ago

TIL of Archaeoindris, an extinct giant lemur of Madagascar that were comparable in size to male gorillas. It was the largest lemur known to have existed.

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77 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 19h ago

TIL Auto-tune was created by Dr. Andy Hildebrand in 1997 and the first song to use the pitch-correcting software on vocals was “Believe” by Cher in 1998.

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1k Upvotes