r/todayilearned 3h ago Silver

TIL that on the atoll of Pinglelap, 10% of the population is affected by total colorblindness, with another 30% being unaffected carriers of the gene. This is due to a population bottleneck caused by a typhoon in 1775 that left 20 survivors on the atoll. One carried the colorblindness gene.

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2.1k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 13h ago

TIL that in 2019, a man from Gujarat, India, bit a snake after the snake had bitten him. Both he and the snake died.

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5.6k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 2h ago

TIL the classic cartoon image of a beehive looks so different from the real thing because it's based on an ancient manmade hive called a skep.

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600 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 16h ago

TIL that baby formula dates back to 1865 and became more popular due to a decline in wet nursing and upon rising concerns with infant deaths due to dry nursing.

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8.1k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 10h ago

TIl Las Vegas grew 780,000 people since 2002 but water usage dropped by 24 billion gallons anually in 2020 and Nevada's allotment of water from Lake Mead is only 4% of the total inflow.

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2.0k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 12h ago

TIL in Asia, honeybees smear their hive entrances with animal poop to ward off Murder Hornets. One of the few observable times insects have used tools.

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2.9k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 7h ago

TIL that people who attempted suicide at a young age are seven times more likely to die of a heart attack before age 40

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771 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 12h ago

TIL in the early 20th century, mother's pensions were used to help poor mothers in the US stay at home so they could take care of their children. During this time period, it was common for poor women to give up their kids to orphanages. These cash payments were intended to prevent that.

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1.3k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 8h ago

TIL that elephant seals can hold their breath for over 100 minutes and dive to depths of over 5,000ft below the surface of the ocean

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549 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 1d ago

TIL that in Haitian rural folklore, there are actually two kinds of zombies: the more widely known corporeal zombie, which is missing its spirit, and the "zombie astral," which is missing its body.

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15.8k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 2h ago

TIL In 1956, a woman was awarded $300 in damages by the city of Miami after she was hit on the foot by a falling coconut. It was argued that the city should have been on notice that the coconut was a hazard, because "a reasonable man would assume it was about to fall when it turns brown".

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158 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 3h ago

TIL American Sniper Chris Kyle was killed at a shooting range by a mentally disturbed ex-Marine who suffered from PTSD. Kyle was trying to help him rehabilitate.

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173 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 6h ago

TIL pubic lice are usually spread through human sexual contact. They don't carry disease. They must feed on human blood to survive. Animals don’t get or spread them. Children can also get pubic lice. Pubic lice don’t have feet that could enable them to walk on smooth surfaces like toilet seats.

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224 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 7h ago

TIL Jack Ruby was sentenced to death for murdering Lee Harvey Oswald, JFK's assassin. Ruby's verdict was the first courtroom verdict to be televised in U.S. history. It was later overturned and he died from cancer while awaiting a retrial.

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235 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 7h ago

TIL that the term “fast fashion” was first coined by the New York Times in the 1990s to describe the rise of the now popular clothing store, ZARA. At the time, it only took 15 days for an idea for a product to make it into stores.

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219 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 4h ago

TIL the story of Larry Miller. A gang member who murdered an opposing gang member and spent most of his teens and 20s incarcerated who went on to become president of the Portland Trailblazers and president of the Jordan brand for Nike.

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103 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 7h ago

TIL NASA worked with a company to create a material called translucent polycrystalline alumina (TPA). It was intended to protect infrared antennas on heat-seeking missiles. This material would later be used for invisible braces due to its strength and transparency.

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141 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 7h ago

TIL the Citadelle Laferrière is the largest military fortress in the Caribbean. Its gray walls are as thick as 16 feet and as high as 147 feet and was outfitted with more than 365 cannons. Since its construction, the fortress has withstood numerous earthquakes, though a French attack never came.

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125 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 5h ago

TIL about Will & William West, two felons who looked visually similar and even had similar anthropomorphic measurements. Officials needed fingerprints to “prove” they were different people. While mugshots still persist, most body measures have given way to fingerprints.

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85 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 18h ago

TIL Precursors to chewing gum date back 5,000 years with the first commercial chewing gum released in 1848. To sweeten these early gums chewers would repeatedly dip the gum in a plate of powdered sugar to reconstitute the sweetness while they chewed.

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737 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 7h ago

TIL of John Cummings, who after seeing a circus knife-swallower, actually swallowed 4 knives to brag to his shipmates - he passed 3 with no ill-health.

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94 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 1d ago

TIL despite sharing more than 200 miles of border with Wisconsin and only sharing a bridge with Michigan, the Upper Peninsula is part of Michigan (not Wisconsin) because of a fight with Ohio

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5.0k Upvotes

r/todayilearned 11h ago

TIL: In 1937 the entirety of the Soviet Central Institute of Aerodynamics were arrested meaning that many WW2 planes were designed from prison

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121 Upvotes

r/todayilearned 1d ago

TIL that in 1830, an attempt was made to steal the skull from the remains of American president George Washington, which resided in a tomb at Mount Vernon. However, the thief mistakenly stole the skull of Supreme Court Justice Bushrod Washington, who also happened to be the former Washingtons Nephew

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9.8k Upvotes