20 Of The Coolest Facts People Shared In The 'Today I Learned' Community

I don't know about you, but I love it when I get to learn new things. Life lessons or even cool little trivia facts always make me feel so much smarter.

So when the Today I Learned (TIL) crowd decided to share the things they learned, it means we get to know those things, too. Here's a list of cool new things you can learn.

"TIL despite appearing like a root, a potato is actually a modified tuberous stem." - Certified_Cichlid


I actually did know that potatoes were tubers and not vegetables. But just like tomatoes and peppers (which are fruit, by the way), they sort of get grouped in with actual vegetables.

"TIL that, in Ancient Rome, onions were widely believed to heal many ailments such as toothaches, lumbago and even dysentery." - cjm81499

Reddit user AgentElman adds, "They are high in vitamin C and can be stored easily over winter when fresh fruit is not available. So they were probably important for general health."

This is a pretty cool fact. Aren't onions just awesome?

"TIL about Tonsil Stones. They're deposits that grow in your tonsils up to several cm in size." - pmur_****_or_***_plz

"A 2007 study found 75% of participants with bad breath (halitosis) had tonsil stones. They can cause throat and ear infections and a persistent bad taste in the mouth."

Okay look... I've had them a few times in my life, and they aren't fun. They're just...gross.

"TIL, the name Nickelodeon is derived from an old chain of movie theatres in the United States, having over 8,000 theatres at one point." - kieferevans

"The name itself comes from the terms: Nickel for 5 cents, and the Greek word Odeon, meaning a building for Musical Performances."

Apparently, a Nickelodeon used to be some kind of old jukebox, too. So the word has a lot of layers. Cool.

"TIL Drinking a Beer in Space Is Impossible Because It's All Foam." - knullsmurfen

This is according to NASA, so you know it's true. I guess there goes anyone's dreams of cracking open a cold one while in space. I mean, if anyone actually had that dream.

"TIL Universal Pictures nearly greenlit a sequel to *Jaws* called, *Jaws 3, People 0*, a screwball comedy written by John Hughes. Instead they made *Jaws 3-D*, which bombed with critics and at the box office." - szekeres81

Wow, who would've thought? Though, to be fair, there's no guarantee that the John Hughes Jaws would be any better than the sequel we actually got.

"TIL that Yorkshire, England is home to the largest and most expensive fossilised poo in the world deposited by a Viking over 1,300 years ago." - LarryOtter1988

Yep, it's true. This is a... really weird record to hold, especially if you've been dead for well over a millennium. But, uh, good for that viking, I guess.

"TIL in Mariah Carey's early singing career she was a backup singer for Brenda K. Starr who sang the 1988 hit, "I Still Believe"." - dilettantedebrah

"In 1999, Carey released a cover of this song to thank Starr for helping her career and because it was the first song she sang as a pro."

And now, we all know her for her iconic music career, especially that one song that plays during the holidays. You know the one.

"TIL There is a place called the Three Emperors' Corner, which for more than 40 years marked the place at which the borders of three of Europe's most powerful empires – the Russian Empire, Austria-Hungary and the German Empire – met." - Hextor26

And now, none of those empires exist anymore, even if the countries that ran them are still there. The river bend still exists, though it probably doesn't look as magnificent as it once did.

"TIL that Disney had planned on making films based on the video games 'Mega Man' and 'The Sims,' but canceled those plans after Assassin's Creed flopped at the box office." - WouldbeWanderer

Believe it or not, this is true. Personally, I think it was a good call. It's really hard to make movies based off video games that aren't terrible.

...How do you even make a movie based off the Sims?

"TIL according to Harper's Index, the average fruitcake has a 1:1 density ratio with mahogany." - Harrumphulous

Redditor FrannyyU clarified this point a little: "This is a comment on density, i.e. the amount of mass you can fit into a volume. Mahogany has a density of ~0.7g/cm³. This does not seem inconceivable for a UK style fruit cake / Christmas cake."

Fruitcake is pretty dense. But you (probably) won't break your teeth on it, at least.

"TIL - In Milwaukee, it is a Christmas tradition to eat raw ground beef and onions on rye bread." - Sandor17

Apparently, it's called a cannibal sandwich, which sounds terrifying. But on the plus side, you aren't actually eating people, so no harm, no foul? I guess?

"TIL the 1929 film *Atlantic* was filmed three times, each in a different language." - Straw27

This gets a little weirder, too. Apparently, the English and German versions are pretty similar, but the French version has a slightly different plot line. I guess they were trying to cover all the bases?

"TIL that Andrzej Sapkowski sold the rights to CD Projekt Red to create the Witcher video games for a lump sum of $9500." - StygianUnknown

I guess Sapkowski, the author of the original novel series, didn't have very much faith in the company's ability to make the game good. But here we are, with a whole video game series and a Nextflix show.

"TIL 4 Spider-Man suits were stolen from Spider-Man back in 2002. The suits cost $50,000 USD to make and Sony offered $25,000 USD for their return." - ChaseChaserChased

"It lead [sic] to a 18 month investigation, and the suits were found in Los Angeles, New York, and Tokyo. It was stolen by a security guard who worked on set."

How do you end up swiping four different Spider-Man suits without anyone noticing?

"TIL Cats domesticated themselves. They existed unchanged until the Middle Ages; and even now are genetically extremely close to their ancestors." - Velinarae

Man, cats really are smarter than we give them credit for. They're pretty much creatures from another world, even if they're exactly like other creatures from this world.

"TIL: Not all rabid animal bites will be followed by rabies infection. The average risk of infection is 15%, and is greater if bitten in the upper body." - anuku3cm

Yeah, well. Even though the chance of getting rabies is pretty low, that doesn't mean it isn't zero. So you should probably still get that animal bite checked out. You know, just in case.

"TIL A woman put over a million miles on her Hyundai Elantra and was given a special badge and a brand new car." - icemage27

Unsplash | Martin Katler

So that's what happens when you rack up a million miles on your car. Good thing someone out there did it, since I probably never will. You'd have to pretty much drive nonstop to do that.

"TIL the Japanese beetle trap bags cause an increase in damaged plants as it brings more beetles to an area." - bloatedplutocrat

Unsplash | Krzysztof Niewolny

I guess if you're worried about Japanese beetles, don't use the traps. I'm not sure what else you're supposed to do about them, though. Nothing, I guess.

"TIL that reindeer is the only mammal to change eye colour to adjust the amount of light that enters the eyes in different seasons. They have golden eyes in summer and blue in winter." - JoyPaul66

Unsplash | Norman Tsui

That's... actually amazing. I've heard of animals that change fur color during different seasons, but never eye color. I swear, there are so many amazing creatures out in the world.