When we think about learning history, our first thought is usually sitting in our high school history class (or AP World History class if you're a nerd like me) being bored out of our minds.
Unless again, you're a huge freaking nerd like me. But I think we all have the memory of the moment where we realized learning about history was kinda cool.
And they usually start from one weird fact.
Here are a few examples of turning points in learning about history, straight from the keyboards of the people at AskReddit.
Redditor Tynoa2 asked:
"What's your favourite historical fact?"
Let’s start off with some super weird facts that you probably never even considered. These are the best.
Trees are honestly really effing cool.
"For 60 million years trees didn't decay. When they died the just fell over and laid there. For 60 million years trees existed before the enzyme that broke them down when they died. So tons of massive trees in the oxygen rich environment just laid on the ground. Until they burned. That's how we have coal."
Did they believe her though?disney bambi GIFGiphy
"In 1726 there was a woman called Mary Toft who tricked doctors into believing that she gave birth to rabbits."
"There was another woman who would take the eggs from her chicken, etch 'jesus has come' into them and shove them back into the chicken who would then lay it again and people actually thought the chicken was a prophet."
A whole river.
"Some time in around the beginning of the 1500's Leonardo da Vinci and Niccolo Machiavelli conspired to try to steal the Arno river. They both lived in the city of Florence and at the time there was hostilities with the city of Pisa which was nearer to the mouth of the Arno river and controlled trade on it."
"Da Vinci came up with the plan to create a canal to divert the river so it no longer flowed to Pisa which would allow Florence to dominate the whole region. Da Vinci drew up the plans and Machiavelli put them into action. However Da Vinci didn't oversee the project and instead the engineer who did decided to do it his own way."
"Which would take longer and need more people. In the middle of the project war broke out and the project had to be scrapped due to attacks from Pisa so it never came to be. Still a great historical footnote though."
Some of the most stunning facts come from assassinations for some reason. Especially the ones that survive.
"Roosevelt was shot in the chest during a speech and just continued on like nothing happened."
"He was shot just before his speech and he knew it hadn't pierced his lung since he wasn't coughing up blood, so he bandaged it and went to give his speech."
In another timeline, things might have been different.John F Kennedy Democrat GIFGiphy
"It is very possible - and some consider likely - that JFK could've survived the assassination had he not been wearing a thick, girdle-like back brace that kept him stiffly upright when in public. Kennedy had terrible back problems since serving in WWII that were continually worsening."
"The back brace began as early as JFK met Stalin for the first time and wanted to appear tall and strong since it was at the height of the Cold War, however his pain was so bad he often walked around the WH hunched over and looked decrepit. JFK continued to wear the brace to keep himself upright and portray the strong youthful image he crafted."
"When the first shot was fired, the brace made it nearly impossible to move, much less crouch down in the back seat to get out of the line of fire. He was then struck with the infamous shot to the back/throat which rendered him more immobile and finally the headshot that killed him."
"Parkland doctors testified to the Warren Commission how surprised they were at the size and tightness of the brace and how long it took to get off. One remarked it likely made him a "sitting duck" because of how immobile it would've rendered him."
Good to know before she was beheaded.
"When King Henry VIII was still married to Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard(his future fifth wife) was one of Cleves' ladies in waiting. They were close, even after Cleves' divorce. With all the tragedy and abuse from the men in her life, I'm just glad that she at least had one friend to trust."
Here’s the part you’ve all been waiting for- the facts about famous animals. You’re welcome.
The student teaches the teacher.
"Benjamin Franklin had a pet squirrel. As a little girl, I dressed as him, with a squirrel beanie-baby on my shoulder. My teacher had to look it up on the internet to check if I was right. She was amused."
Sounds on-brand for Jackson.happy dr pol GIF by Nat Geo Wild Giphy
"When Andrew Jackson died they had to remove his pet parrot from the funeral because it couldn't stop swearing."
"He also had a comically large cheese wheel."
Lastly, we gotta shout out the presidents. Sometimes they actually did weird sh*t.
I guess we’ll never know.
"Abraham Lincoln once gave a speech which was so good that all of reporters forgot to take notes, still to this day we don't know what exactly he said."
Well-portrayed in the Hamilton musical.
"That George Washington was known as this Really Talented Dancer, and was very in tune with the dances at the time of his being... Idk why I just never woulda thought this at all but it's dope to hear that dancing/socializing was always a thing!"
"Like from the passage I read it seemed like Whenever George was in attendance at the function, everyone knew he was gonna cut a rug and tear the house down.. and the ladies considered themselves lucky to be his dance partner."
When in Prussia...
"August von Mackensen, imperial German field marshal, commander of the death's head hussar regiment (who the SS would later steal imagery from), was born in 1849. He therefore grew up watching telegraph and train systems grow up around him, and would be 9 when the first ironclad warship was commissioned in France (1859)."
"At that time several of Napoleon's famous marshals were still alive. He served in the Prussian and later German military, and would lead the invasions of Serbia and Romania in WWI. He died in November 1945, just before his 96th birthday.
"Having grown up with muzzle loaders, wooden warships, horse carts, and trains only just being adopted, he ultimately witnessed the rise of telegraph, cinema, radio, powered flight, electricity for the home, recorded music and later film, the early theories of the atom, automobiles, submarines, airships, plastics, early computers, the jet plane, and the nuclear bomb."
"He witnessed 6 German regimes, saw both the rise and fall of imperial Japan, being alive while it was still in isolation, and watched the US go from civil war to superpower. That's how much the world changed in a single documented lifetime, from the mid industrial revolution to the end of WWII. The sheer rate of change boggles the mind. He also had a really cool hat."
Little FellaLooney Tunes Animation GIFGiphy
"Stalin was only about 5’4” and wore high raised boots to make himself look taller"
Don't Hit Snooze
"Hitler overslept on D-Day and refused to send reinforcements because he believed it was a decoy."
"Another funny story about him: The Norwegian writer Knut Hamsun became a scumbag Nazi sympathiser in the 30’s and 40’s, which led to him having a meeting with Hitler."
"Since Hamsun’s hearing was very poor, he kept asking Hitler to speak louder, and louder, till Hitler was screaming in rage. Witnesses said they had never heard him so angry, and Hamsun was lucky to live. I think he was declared as a national disgrace. His books were good, too, but he was a despicable man."
Fast & Furious
"Orville Wright of Wright Brothers fame lived long enough to see an airplane fly faster than the speed of sound."
"Yeah it's weird to think about: the first flight was 1903, and we landed on the Moon just 66 years later. That's easily within a single lifetime."
Get the Dogs
"In WWII the Soviets tried to make anti-tank dogs which were dogs strapped with bombs trained to run under tanks. The problem was that they trained on soviet tanks that ran on gasoline when German tanks ran on diesel. So long story short the first field test resulted in them running under their own tanks instead of the Germans and thus ended that wild chapter of history."
"Coolidge also liked to have Vaseline rubbed onto his head while he ate breakfast. Presidential fun facts are wild. One of my favorite ones is Andrew Jackson's inauguration turning into an absolute rager. And him beating the living crap out of his almost assassin with a cane."
"Mary Lincoln had to invite people over for breakfast because Mr.Lincoln would just start working and then forget to eat, which was apparently a very common occurrence. He'd be socially obligated to join everyone for breakfast."
Tag! You're it!scooby doo halloween GIF by Boomerang OfficialGiphy
"Calvin Coolidge, as president, played hide and seek with the secret service."
"The taunt 'kiss my a$' was first recorded being used by a German mercenary lord named Gotz von Berlichingen and nicknamed Gotz of the Iron Hand. (He lost a hand in battle and a blacksmith made him a high tech fake iron hand). He shouted that taunt to his enemy when he was told the surrender a fort he was defending."
"Nobody truly knows who was the first person to reach the top of Mount Everest. Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first recorded people to reach the top, but many think climbers Mallory and Irvine reached the top before dying on the descent."
"Evidence pointing to this theory being correct is that Mallory always said how he would leave a picture of his family at the summit, and when his body was found in 1999 the picture was not in the pocket (but other papers like bills and otherwise unimportant notes were found)."
"The last person to see them alive noted that they were determined to reach the top that day and he saw them pushing towards the summit. Mallory's body was found with a pick-axe wound to the head, suggesting that his tool had bounced off a rock when he tried to use it to stop himself from falling, killing him."
The Bardwilliam shakespeare GIF by will herringGiphy
"William Shakespeare, one of the greatest writers, poets and playwrights of British history, could not spell his own name right consistently, spelling it at least six different ways in his lifetime."
As for me, my favorite weird historical fact is that Anne Boleyn had an extra finger. That fact is frequently overlooked in favor of her identity as Henry VIII sixth wife. I could go into that, but they already made a whole musical about it.
Anyway, I hope this made history a little more fun for you. It's not all memorizing dates- sometimes you never know what you'll find in a history book
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Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again.
Everyone has a breaking point.
Even the person who seems to be the calmest has that moment when their patience has run thin, and all it takes is a little more prodding and antagonizing to set them off.
Curious to hear examples of when strangers online were surprised by what they witnessed, Redditor Specktakles88 asked:
"Have you ever seen a normally calm person completely lose their sh*t? What happened?"
A triggering moment unleashed wild behavior.
The Dude Who Had It Coming
"I was chilling at a friend’s house as a kid. His dad was the chillest, nicest guy. That day, my friend’s mom (also super nice) was across the street talking to the neighbor about something that I can no longer recall. Neighbor was one of those guys who never respected common etiquette: music blaring, parking his sh**ty boat in front of other people’s house, cars parked on the lawn. The neighbor started screaming at the mom and we all went out on the stoop to see what was happening. As soon as we got outside, the guy called my friend’s mom a c*nt. Well, my friend’s dad heard that and went full Hulk mode. He ran SCREAMING across the street and just f'king decked the guy and crouched over him shouting warnings and threats. Took a while for his wife to calm him down. I don’t think any of them had ever seen him react to something in that way, maybe even the dad himself."
"I worked as a line cook with a chef who I became really good friends with. Really chill dude, easy going, and actually super fun to cook with. He taught me most of what I know about cooking and I owe him a lot for my success. Never really saw him get mad until one day, we were getting slammed during busy night and one of the servers said something that really ticked him off, not sure if I ever heard what it was, but next thing I knew he had sent the deep fryer basket flying at Mach 1 across the kitchen, nearly missing the dish kid and shattering a light bulb. He stormed off and 5 minutes later after a smoke break, came back and casually continued cooking as if nothing had happened."
"He apologized about it the next day and we never talked about it again. The restaurant industry is a stressful place."
Thing About Grandpa
"When I was in my late teens I was financially irresponsible and borrowed money from my grandparents to move out of my mom's house. We made a plan on how I would pay it back in installments and I only missed two payments, with each one I called my granddad and asked if it was okay. He was always cool about it. One day I got a call from him and he was LIVID. Screaming at me on the phone and I could hear my grandmother crying in the background. He was the angriest I’ve ever heard anyone in my life and I was terrified. He wanted to know why I hadn’t made the payment that month, but I was sure I had. It turns out I had accidentally set the automated payment to be drawn from the wrong account and it hadn’t done it. It was an honest mistake on my part, and I explained that to him. I transferred the money immediately and he instantly calmed down. I later found out he had become an alcoholic after he quit smoking, and he would talk to my grandmother like that regularly when no one was around."
Awakening The Beast
"This is not my story but my dads. Growing up his best friend Leif was a quiet, shy guy that was a bit socially awkward. In school he wasn't physically bullied but this one kid teased him constantly. This would have been late 50's, early 60's so kids were expected to just tough it out. My dad would usually confront the kid but one day a girl runs up to him and says that Leif and the kid are fighting."
"My dad runs over to save Leif but when he breaks through the circle he finds the bully flat on his back, Leif sitting on his chest, holding him by the ears and smashing his head into the pavement over and over. My dad tackles him, wrestles him to the ground and screams at him, asking what he's doing. The thing that stayed with me from that story was how he described it, 'it was like there was nothing in there, I felt like I could see the back of his skull through his eyes.'"
"Luckily they were kids so the damage was serious but limited, the bully escaped with stitches and a concussion and Leif had to talk to the school psychologist. My dad and Leif stayed best friends and when I met him as an adult he was still quiet but less shy and awkward."
Work-related stresses really brought out the fury in these people.
"I had a friend who was in his 60's, a functioning alcoholic but he was the most calm and composed guy I have ever known. He never used to raise his voice or swear. Everything was done with meticulous precision."
"He once explained to me that if you use vulgar language and shout all the time, then you will have nowhere to go when you really do get angry."
"I had worked with him for about 3 years, never heard him raise his voice or swear before. The week before he had been shafted on his pay and the manager promised to get it sorted by Friday. Friday rolled around and it had not been sorted. So when my friend walked up to the manager in the open office and declared loudly 'Where the f'k is my money? You promised this would be resolved.' The whole office went silent and the look of dread on the manager's face was haunting. The money was in his account by the end of the day."
"That was him losing his sh*t."
"I used to see this woman in my building every day. Very friendly. We always checked on each other’s lives. We had lunch a few times over the years. It was friendly to a certain degree. A couple years passed. She was much older than me. One day, riding the elevator, she told me that she was saying goodbye. I said I was sorry to see her go and asked why. She said she was retiring that day. I asked if her office was throwing a party or if she was celebrated. She turned to me and her face contorted into an image of rage. She clenched her teeth and said she didn’t tell anyone in her office, including her bosses. She only told the HR person last week. This was her last day and she was never returning to see or talk to anyone in her office again."
The Gentle Giant
"I used to do seasonal work sorting tax returns. Like, 500 people in a warehouse size room sorting through returns, stacking them in boxes, etc. This one guy on my team, huge dude, a gentle giant, really nice. Suddenly one day he smashes the table he's working at, then flips a big box full of paperwork. It flew over my head and twenty feet away. He threw the table out of his way them stormed out. Turns out he was getting his paycheck garnished for something or other."
Rambunctious behavior really set these people off, but it also restored peace.
The Teacher Who Had Enough
"One of my teachers in high school was THE calmest dude. Never yelled, never told kids off, would just laugh and smile and wait for us all to calm down and then continue with his teaching. One day we must have been particularly rowdy and we weren’t calming down like we usually did. He couldn’t get a word in edge ways. I could see him getting increasingly frustrated and eventually he just bellowed SHUUUUTTT UPPPPP And the entire class was shocked into silence. He never had to do it again lmao"
Too Angry To Hold A Knife
"It takes a lot to make my mom yell. On the rare occasion she did yell, it still felt like she had self control. Like she yelled on purpose, because there was a reason to yell (like she needed to be that loud for us to hear us, or one of the kids needed to learn to never run into traffic again.)"
"But one morning when we were teenagers, my brother was being really, really difficult."
"And my very sweet, soft-spoken mother yelled 'GOD DAMN IT SHAWN' and threw a butter knife down so hard it stuck, 1/4 inch deep, in oak hardwood floor. Against the grain. I can still hear the noise it made."
"We were all very, very well behaved for the rest of the day."
"I did eventually ask my mom why she did that. Her explanation was that she felt she was too angry to hold a knife, even a butter knife, and was trying to get it out of her hand before she did something stupid."
Granny's Mean Streak
"Man my grandma has a similar thing. This boy was a couple years older than she was and he was constantly picking on her. He's riding his bike home from school one day and he rides past her and he's shouting at her and she knocks him right off his bike and beat the sh*t out of him. My sweet lil granny. The neighbor that saw it said he was proud as sh*t that she beat the snot out of this shitty kid lol. I think it was the start of my grandma's bad b*tch streak because not much later, she started street racing. She was allegedly a sweet little girl, but man I think she must have had a mean streak in her."
"Jerry Springer Christmas"
"My mom. We had what we now refer to as the 'Jerry Springer Christmas' when I was 7 or so. One aunt hated her sister in law and started screaming at her, then shoving started, husband's got involved, then it just continued to devolve from there. My mom went straight into mediator mode and tried to calm everyone down but it wasn't working. She decided to come check on us kids and found my cousin and me holding each other and sobbing because we were scared. The next thing I hear is her scary mom voice screaming over everyone 'listen here you motherf'kers. My kid is in there crying on Christmas because her family can't keep their sh*t together for one the one day a year we all see each other. You're gonna march your a**es into that room single file and apologize to each kid individually, then you're going to shut the hell up until I get them out of here. We're going to go find look at lights and this family better be the picture of goddam Christmas joy by the time we get back.' My mom never really cussed in front of me and only ever used gd when things were really bad. That side of the family didn't celebrate Christmas for a few years after that."
"Edit: thank you for the awards and kind words! Ma is tickled pink at all of the comments about how wonderful she is. I tell her every day how lucky I am to have her."
Rage is something that exists in all of us.
Some people are good at letting small things run off their back, while others have no patience for the smallest of grievances.
The lesson to be learned here is, never underestimate the calmest people. They might be the ones to really look out for. You don't want to be the reason for them to break their patience streak and unleash all of their built-up fury on you.
Be kind to others, and just don't be a prick.
Songwriters base many of their songs on love because the relatable emotion makes it easier for artists to connect with their audiences.
Whether that applies or doesn't apply in our own lives, we listen to the songs conveying these experiences to take us back so we may relive these affirmative moments from the past.
Curious to hear what's on the moody playlist of strangers online, Redditor udontknowmegurl asked:
"What is the saddest song you've ever heard?"
These iconic artists really touched the hearts of many people through their music.
Dolly's Love Anthem
"I will Always Love You by Dolly Parton, you can really tell she f'king lived that song."
When Mom Went To Heaven
"The night my mama died, my dad sang Elvis' Can't Help Falling in Love to her in the back seat of the car on the way to the ER. She died of fully metastitized pancreatic cancer 18 days after diagnosis."
It Gets Deeper With Age
“'Landslide' by Fleetwood Mac I find that the older I get, the more meaning this song has."
Leave it to Disney to have us reaching for the tissue box.
"That song from UP makes me cry every time and it doesn’t even have lyrics."
When She Loved Me
"That one Jesse sings in Toy Story 2"
And let's not forget these emotional tunes that resonated with many Redditors.
Irish Folk Song
"‘Danny boy’ at a friends funeral 10 years ago. He, his sister and his gf all passed away in a house fire all in their early 20s. It was an Irish wake and the mix of grief and whiskey joy was something else."
When Love Moves On
"Into Dust by Mazzy Star gets me."
When You Want To "Disappear"
"How to disappear completely by Radiohead. Haunting instrumental, depression dripping through everyline of lyrics 'im not here, this isnt happening.'"
Ray Of Light In The Darkness
"You Are My Sunshine"
"Everything but the chorus is heartbreaking. Few people know anything but the chorus though."
From A Powerful Album
"Sylvia - The Antlers"
"Actually that whole album, Hospice, breaks me but this song in particular just leaves me in a mess every time."
When Love Fades
"The Night We Met by Lord Huron."
"No matter where I am, if I’m happy, who I’m with, etc. I’ll bawl my eyes out if that song plays. It’s so painful and true because one day they’re there and they’re your everything and then they start slipping until they’re gone and you wished you could go back to before you met them so you wouldn’t have to go through the pain of losing them. Just the lyrics 'I had all and then most of you, some and now none of you' hit this. People falling out of love in relationships, growing apart with friends, family members passing, etc. is what this hits for me and it hits hard."
One of the saddest songs I've heard is not connected to a personal experience, but the story being told is heartbreaking.
It's called "The Queen and the Soldier" by Suzanne Vega. The song is basically about a lonely, repressed virgin queen who keeps her heart closely guarded.
When a soldier enters her domain and challenges her internalized emotions, it's too much for her and has the soldier executed.
The song has continued haunting me ever since I first heard it.
An almost guaranteed phase of entering adulthood is unintentionally making it clear how much older you are than some present company.
This could be by the way you dress, talking about seeing a movie in its initial release when the person you're talking to wasn't born yet, or more than likely, by the way you talk.
When you say a slang term or phrase which was common place when you were a child, but today would likely be met by looks of confusion, or even disgust, should you use a term which is not only outdated but now considered offensive.
But then, shaking these old fashioned, or just plain old, terms and phrases might be a difficult task, so engrained are they in our vocabulary.
Redditor InfiniteDrafts was curious to hear what phrases people continue to use, despite knowing how quickly it will date them, leading them to ask:
What slang do you use regularly that is totally outdated?
Maybe rethink alternative words for "awesome"...
"I called a taco 'the Shizznit' a few days ago."
"I instantly felt 90 years old."- fattydad075
Not as "radical" as it once was...
"Righteous and radical."- king_7__Colors Flashing GIFGiphy
Language is eternal!
"None of MY slang is outdated, it's today's youth that are wrong!"- hotasphalt
How long have you got?
"I say things are the bees knees on the regular."
"Is 'on the regular' dated?"
"I also call the ocean 'the drink' for whatever reason."
"Picked that up at some point."- Paradigm6790
"This sub is making me extremely paranoid about my words now bc I say pretty much all of these words still."- jjjjjjj30season 10 friends GIFGiphy
Charming once, vulgar now...
"HAULIN’ A**."- f*ck_korean_air
Nah, come closer.
"Far out."- PaulClifford
A bit off
"Right on."- bombaderogato
Does anyone still even eat popsicles?
"When I'm ready to leave I say 'Let's blow this Popsicle stand."
"To be honest I'm not even sure what a posicle stand is."- B-Sdetector69Popsicle Freezer Pop GIFGiphy
It's hard not to feel self conscious around the younger generations who might laugh at your dated vocabulary.
But one should just remember, in 10 years or so, they'll likely find themselves in the exact same position.
And won't feel as "groovy" as they once did.
Who doesn't love a theme party?
When you not only get to dress up in something completely over the top, but also get to bear witness to everyone else's zany outfits in-keeping with the party's theme.
Be it Regency era, glam rock, or fairy tale villains.
Or what if the challenge is just to be blatantly inappropriate?
"You are going to a party. The theme is dress inappropriately. Who or what do you dress as?"
And not on your foot, one imagines...
"Nothing but a tube sock."- Sanguiniutron
"Dress normally, because if the theme is to dress inappropriately, and you dress appropriately, technically you're the one being inappropriate for the occasion."- GoAwayImHereForMemes
"I've actually been in a completely opposite situation."
"Was invited to a art exhibition, came in well dressed. It was basically porn but the person I went with forgot to mention that."
"I felt very malplace standing around people wearing next to nothing."
"So I would probably do that again because what's more inappropriate than being appropriate at an inappropriate event?"- cccantyousee
"I mean, if dressing inappropriately is the appropriate attire, then dressing appropriately would be inappropriate for the party, thus, making it appropriate."
"Now that I think about it, it's an unsolvable paradox."
"You could never appropriately dress inappropriately."- MUNKIESSGetting Ready Jimmy Fallon GIF by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy FallonGiphy
It's all in the details
"With the pants cuffs rolled up, wearing tevas with gym socks."- BitPoet
And they say you can only wear it once...
"Bridal gown."- fromhelley
Depends on your surroundings...
"Imma wear a parka."
"In South Texas."
"In August."- Ahshalon_TeniskParka GIF by moodmanGiphy
The question is, what aren't you wearing...
"Nothing I'd just show up in lingerie."- cloboehobo
Wrong on so many levels...
"A two sizes to small wrestling singlet, and crocs."- thirdtimer_2020I Like Swimsuit GIF by MOODMANGiphy
There's little more fun than facing the challenge of dressing to impress.
Or, in this instance, un-dressing to impress.
And if you are greeted by a round of shocked expressions, you know your choice of outfit was a success.