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Did You Know?

Want some fast, fun, and fresh facts to fascinate your friends and family? Don’t miss the “Did You Know” series where we pack short videos chock-full of info for your learning pleasure.
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Overview

If you’ve ever started a sentence with “Did you know …,” then check out Wondrium’s exclusive new series called … wait for it … yup, that’s right … “Did You Know.”

Each clip gives you the full story behind a simple topic or concept from start to finish and is jam-packed with fast, fun, and fresh facts to fascinate your friends and family. Start with our three newest releases right here—and stay tuned, because more will be added on a regular basis!
Did You Know… The Secret to Reading Hieroglyphs?

01: Did You Know… The Secret to Reading Hieroglyphs?

The most common mistake when reading hieroglyphs is believing that they are picture writing. In just three minutes, Egyptologist Bob Brier dispels this misconception of picture words and shows you, instead, how to read the sounds the hieroglyphs represent.

4 min
Did You Know… Johnny Appleseed Helped a New Species Evolve?

02: Did You Know… Johnny Appleseed Helped a New Species Evolve?

Learn on the fly about a new form of flies, thanks to Johnny Appleseed. Known for planting apple trees across America, Johnny Appleseed also likely triggered the evolution of an entirely new species. In this three-minute video, Professor Scott Solomon explains how the abundance of European apple trees resulted in a divergence in a common fly, creating an incipient new species.

4 min
Did You Know… Versailles’s Fountains Warn Against Rebellion?

03: Did You Know… Versailles’s Fountains Warn Against Rebellion?

The fountains of Versailles are more than just a pretty water feature. Wet your toes in history with this three-minute video, as Professor John Greene explains the story behind these symbolic installations. Designed to meet the exacting taste of monarch Louis XIV (known for believing, “The state—that’s me.”), the fountains evangelized his belief that monarchs were divinely appointed and the center of their world, and provided a warning to anyone who would consider dissent.

4 min
Did You Know… How Many Bones Are in the Human Body?

04: Did You Know… How Many Bones Are in the Human Body?

There’s a common misconception that the human body has 206 bones, but this number is just an average for adult humans. The number of bones you have varies as you age. In the third trimester, a fetus can have up to 800 tiny “bones,” while adult skeletons can have as many as 307. Join Elizabeth Murray to bone up on your knowledge of the human skeleton.

6 min
Did You Know… A Bad Drummer Helped the Beatles Find Their Beat?

05: Did You Know… A Bad Drummer Helped the Beatles Find Their Beat?

The Beatles are iconic: John, Paul, George, and Ringo. But that’s not how they started. They used to be John, Paul, George, and Pete. And as a drummer, Pete was not great. Michael Shelden shares the truly illuminating story of how Pete, the dreadful drummer, helped The Beatles become better musicians as they worked harder to compensate for Pete’s failings.

5 min
Did You Know… Muhammad’s Wife Aisha Profoundly Shaped Islam?

06: Did You Know… Muhammad’s Wife Aisha Profoundly Shaped Islam?

Prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam, and his third and youngest wife Aisha were married for 10 years when Muhammad grew ill. At the end, he died with his head resting in her lap. Join Professor Joyce Salisbury to examine how his death was the beginning of Aisha’s extraordinary influence on the future of Islam, as she added over 2,000 hadiths—collections of Muhammad’s words, actions, or habits, which offer guidance on prayer and spiritual life.

7 min
Did You Know… Slinkys Can Defy Gravity?

07: Did You Know… Slinkys Can Defy Gravity?

Invented in 1904, the SLINKY is more than just a fun toy—it’s a physics paradox. Join Professor David Kung to see what happens when you drop a SLINKY from a certain height, and, more important, WHY it happens. You may never look at a SLINKY the same way, again.

5 min
Did You Know… Jane Austen Had a Seventh Novel?

08: Did You Know… Jane Austen Had a Seventh Novel?

Many readers believe that Jane Austen’s surviving body of writings consists of just six novels. However, Austen left unpublished writings behind when she died. None of these lesser-known Austen texts—sometimes referred to as Austen’s “minor” works, to distinguish them from her six major novels—has proven more controversial than Lady Susan, which may be Austen’s most surprising piece of fiction.

6 min
Did You Know… A Black Boxer KO'd White Supremacy?

09: Did You Know… A Black Boxer KO'd White Supremacy?

Jack Johnson began boxing when he was a teenager. By the early 1900s, he was dominating the segregated Black boxing circuit. The “Galveston Giant” was born, and so was the legend of Jack Johnson. Johnson began clamoring for a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship and finally got his chance when heavyweight titleholder Tommy Burns, a white Canadian, agreed to fight him on Christmas Day in 1908.

7 min
Did You Know… Adam Smith Believed in Public Education?

10: Did You Know… Adam Smith Believed in Public Education?

Adam Smith extolled the goodness of a commercial society in which every man is a merchant of his own labor. However, he was also aware of the limits on and dangers of a free market economy. To counter these dangers, Smith recommended public education.

5 min
Did You Know… Our Brains Are Incapable of Multitasking?

11: Did You Know… Our Brains Are Incapable of Multitasking?

No matter how hard you try to convince yourself, the whole concept of multitasking is a myth. The brain is simply not capable of it. Discover the role of short-term memory in multitasking and why it hinders creating lasting neural connections.

7 min
Did You Know… In Bushongo Mythology, the World Was Vomited into Existence?

12: Did You Know… In Bushongo Mythology, the World Was Vomited into Existence?

Many myths found across the globe wrestle with the concept of how the world started. African mythology is no exception, embracing a variety of philosophies including ex nihilo ("out of nothing") myths, chaos stories, and cosmology tales to explain our existence.

6 min
Did You Know… Chopin

13: Did You Know… Chopin "Stole Time" to Make His Piano Sing?

As context for studying the music of Chopin, delve into the aesthetics of 19th-century Romanticism, its emphasis on self-expression, and its model of the artist-hero. Also glimpse Chopin’s painstaking process of creation in the writing of the preludes. Discover the lyric intimacy, harmonic ingenuity, and expressive nuance of these exquisite miniatures, as each prelude evokes a single emotional environment. Learn how the performance technique of rubato informs and illuminates the music.

6 min
Did You Know… Medieval Lords Got Audited Too

14: Did You Know… Medieval Lords Got Audited Too

One duty of the medieval sheriff was to collect taxes owed to the crown and that the tally would be adjudicated during an official hearing, which led to the term “audit,” from the Latin verb “audire,” meaning “to hear.”

6 min
Did You Know… You’re Eating More Insects Than You Think

15: Did You Know… You’re Eating More Insects Than You Think

You might never have eaten beetle larvae, locusts, ants, or termites, but chances are your ancestors did—just as many people do today. You may be even more surprised to learn that there are insects in many of the foods we eat. A typical chocolate bar can have about 24 tiny bug bits hidden inside.

5 min
Did You Know… How Iceland Got All Its Ice?

16: Did You Know… How Iceland Got All Its Ice?

Look backward in time to learn how Iceland came to have so much ice. Then, plunge into a world of ice tunnels, ice caves, and other extreme features of Iceland’s glaciers that have captured the hearts and minds of photographers, geologists, and mountaineers.

8 min
Did You Know… Southeast Asian Pirates Rivaled the Vikings?

17: Did You Know… Southeast Asian Pirates Rivaled the Vikings?

In the early 1800s, just as piracy was on the decline in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, it was exploding in Asia as Europeans, Arabs, Persians, Filipinos, and many others vied for access to the Chinese markets. See how they set up a vast and well-organized system of piracy.

8 min
Did You Know… What Happened to the Survivors of Pompeii?

18: Did You Know… What Happened to the Survivors of Pompeii?

Around 1,000 bodies have been excavated from the areas covered by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD—accounting for less than 5% of their inhabitants. We know from letters by Pliny the Younger than many people survived the devastation. But where did they go? One historian shares some surprising theories rooted in archeological evidence.

7 min
Did You Know… About Frederick Douglass’s Connection to Baseball?

19: Did You Know… About Frederick Douglass’s Connection to Baseball?

By 1865, Washington, DC was one of America’s fastest growing cities, and attracted tons of Black migrants looking to be closer to the protection of the federal government. It was also a thriving baseball town—and the leader of Black Ball was the son of Frederick Douglass. Learn how Charles Douglass turned baseball into an important part of DC’s Black communities.

3 min
Did You Know… That  Winnie-the-Pooh Is Banned in Some Places?

20: Did You Know… That Winnie-the-Pooh Is Banned in Some Places?

As preposterous as it might sound, the objection to humanizing animals is not an uncommon reason for censoring books. Discover why the classic 1926 book, Winnie the Pooh, has been challenged by religious groups—and even Russia’s Justice Ministry.

4 min
Did You Know… That What Your Parents Ate Can Have Lifelong Effects on Your Health?

21: Did You Know… That What Your Parents Ate Can Have Lifelong Effects on Your Health?

Your parents’ diet during pregnancy can have changed your genetics in ways that altered the course of your entire life. Explore how the fascinating Developmental Origins hypothesis works with a look at the terrible Dutch famine of 1944–1945.

3 min
Did You Know… What’s Written inside the Pyramids?

22: Did You Know… What’s Written inside the Pyramids?

Learn about the gods who played important parts in the formation of the world, beginning with the Ogdoad and the Ennead, two groups of deities in different local traditions. Also encounter the gods Amun, Ptah, and Khnum, and note their distinct roles within the creation mythology.

7 min
Did You Know… The Difference between the Buddha and Other Great Religious Leaders?

23: Did You Know… The Difference between the Buddha and Other Great Religious Leaders?

It is part of the human condition to become overly attached to the things of this world, and that overattachment can cause great suffering. Here, you will consider another facet of disordered love: over-attachment to possessions and power. Begin with a look at the life story of the Buddha and then see how it connects to other stories of greed, power, and selfish desire.

5 min