Have you ever learned something simple — perhaps from a friend, a coworker, or even an article like this — and been left totally bamboozled, thinking, Oh my god, how have I been alive this long without realizing this???
Well, you're not alone! Redditor u/PralineStriking did the world a favor and asked, "What did you learn at an embarrassingly late age?" Here are 21 unexpected things people were shocked to their core to learn:
2. "It wasn't until I was 21 — when I drank lactose-free milk for the first time and DIDN'T go sit on a toilet for an hour afterward — that I realized I am lactose intolerant. I thought it was normal to shit constantly after drinking milk."
4. "I was almost 40 years old when I learned I am somewhat allergic to bananas. I thought everyone’s mouth got itchy when they ate them."
5. "That puffer fish don't use air to inflate." They actually inflate by sucking in water, which in turn puffs their stomach up and makes them look inflated.
6. "That Abuela and Abuelo were not my Cuban grandparents' actual names."
Abuela and abuelo are the Spanish words for grandma and grandpa.
8. "I didn't know I really needed glasses until I was 21. My friends were hassling me about being dyslexic because I kept getting words mixed up. I couldn't actually see the individual letters of a word — I'd just been reading by looking at the shape of words and guessing based on the context and wider story."
"I had been reading this way for years and survived university before finding out my prescription was +1.50. The optometrist said it was amazing I hadn’t noticed. When I put the glasses on, everything was in 4K Ultra. I can now see individual letters."
9. "That menstrual pads stick to their underwear and not to their bodies like a Band-Aid."
10. "Growing up, I always heard that sports teams 'draft' people. I'm tall, so as a kid I was constantly afraid I’d get drafted for the state basketball team out of the blue, like a military draft. I was like 10 or 12 when I learned this wasn't the case."
12. "That you can flush used toilet paper. Growing up, my parents taught us to throw the paper in the trash so it wouldn't back up the toilet. It wasn't until I got to college that I realized my parents did that because they had shitty plumbing where they grew up in Central America, and that people in the US don't do this too."
13. "That narwhals are real. I thought they were cute mythological creatures, until I saw a brooch a friend had and asked if it was part of the company's mythological line. She asked me if I thought narwhals were myths, like unicorns. I laughed, because of course they are. Nope. I was 35."
14. "That if you wear a white bra, you can see it through a white shirt, but if you wear a nude-colored bra, you can’t. I was 40 when a coworker shared this with me."
15. "That steak is expensive. My parents kept us shielded from the cost of everything growing up, especially when we went out for dinner. So, I would go out to eat with my friends' families and order steak and lobster, because I liked it. I had no idea I was consistently ordering the most expensive shit on the menu and was extremely embarrassed when I learned this as a teen."
16. "That the saying is 'for all intents and purposes' and not 'for all intensive purposes.'”
17. "I thought the 'D' is Disney was just some random symbol, kinda like a backward G. It took me until seventh grade to realize it's a 'D.'"
18. "That our next-door neighbors were lesbians and not just 'good friends.' They were lovely people, but I didn't put two and two together until I was in college,"
19. "That Washington state and Washington, DC are two different places."
20. "That 'rotating tires' doesn’t mean spinning them around in place like you’re in a Fast and the Furious movie. It means you swap each of their positions on the car."
21. "I didn't know that people could see stars until I was 12 years old. I knew they existed, but I thought no one could see them without a telescope. Turns out, I just needed glasses."
"For years, I though the night sky was pure black with a blurry moon. The first time I saw stars after getting my glasses, I was thoroughly confused."
Now it's your turn! Is there anything you were totally shocked to learn and were a littttttle embarrassed it took you so long to figure out? If so, tell us about it in the comments below!
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.