The Brief: r/todayilearned, or TIL for short, is a place to learn and post fascinating facts.


Forget Snapple caps, r/todayilearned, is a collection of little-known facts guaranteed to knock your socks off!

TIL that a depressed Manchester teen used several fake online personas to convince his best friend to murder him, and after surviving the attack, he became the first person in UK history to be charged with inciting their own murder. from todayilearned

TIL there was an early 1900s act named "Sober Sue", who’s draw was she never smiled. A theater offered $1000 to any one who could make her laugh, attracting big comedians. Crowds came out to watch them try, and fail, giving them a free show. Later it came out that Sue suffered from facial paralysis. from todayilearned

TIL A man created a fake restaurant on TripAdvisor and asked around for good reviews. Eventually, the fake restaurant was the #1 restaurant in London, and was being called up 100s of times daily for bookings. For a day, the man set up a “cafe” in his backyard and served frozen food to rave reviews. from todayilearned

TIL that after Beethoven went deaf, he found he could affix a metal rod to his piano and bite down on it while he played, enabling him to hear perfectly through vibrations in his jawbone. The process is called bone conduction. from todayilearned

TIL Carrie Fisher delivered a cow tongue inside a Tiffany box to a predatory producer who had assaulted her friend. She said, "The next delivery will be something of yours in a much smaller box!" from todayilearned

TIL That the Cuban Missile Crisis began when a CIA operative noticed soccer fields on a Cuban Military Base. “Cubans play baseball, Russians play soccer” from todayilearned

TIL when Nintendo had a fall in revenue from the less successful Wii U its CEO cut his pay in half for 5 months rather than blame workers from todayilearned

TIL of Syndrome K: a fake disease that Italian doctors made up to save Jews who had fled to their hospital seeking protection from the Nazis. Syndrome K "patients" were quarantined and the Nazis were told that it was a deadly, disfiguring, and highly contagious illness. They saved at least 20 lives. from todayilearned

TIL that in 1916 there was a proposed Amendment to the US Constitution that would put all acts of war to a national vote, and anyone voting yes would have to register as a volunteer for service in the United States Army. from todayilearned

TIL that Willie, a parrot, alerted its owner, Megan Howard, when the toddler she was babysitting began to choke. Megan was in the bathroom, the parrot began screaming "mama, baby" while flapping its wings as the child turned blue. Megan rushed over and performed the Heimlich, saving the girls life. from todayilearned

TIL an actor in Nazi Germany lost his job for being Jewish. He went to the Alps, grew a beard, and dyed all his hair by bathing in diluted hydrogen. He returned to the stage claiming to be a self-taught peasant actor and was praised by the Nazis as "proof of the superiority of Aryan blood." from todayilearned

TIL that Billy Joel never sells front row seats in order to see the real fans right in front of him. He gives them away to random people in the cheap seats so that front row isn’t always just wealthy people. from todayilearned

TIL A Japanese company has awarded its non-smoking employees 6 extra vacation days to compensate for the smoker’s smoke breaks from todayilearned

TIL when the Nazis burned Sigmund Freud’s books he said, "What progress we are making. In the Middle Ages they would have burned me. Now, they are content with burning my books." from todayilearned

TIL During the American Revolution, an enslaved man was charged with treason and sentenced to hang. He argued that as a slave, he was not a citizen and could not commit treason against a government to which he owed no allegiance. He was subsequently pardoned. from todayilearned