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TIL that a sailor, Gonzalo Guerrero, shipwrecked in the Yucatan years before Cortez began his conquest of Mexico. He eventually became a respected warrior among the Mayans and even led military campaigns. On his suggestion, native tribes ambushed and crushed Spains first expedition into Mexico.

wLjrE TIL that Russian scientists discovered a Nazi base in the Arctic named "Schatzgraber" (Treasure Hunter). Officially a weather station the site was abandoned when staff manning the site was said to have eaten raw polar bear meat that was contaminated with roundworms.
OowV1 TIL in 1960, Fidel Castro nationalized all U.S.-owned businesses in Cuba. The US sent CIA trained Cuban exiles to overthrow him, but failed due to missed military strikes. Castro captured the exiles, but ultimately freed them in exchange for medical supplies and baby food worth $53M.
b6ogZ TIL that the first writing system evolved from accounting practices in ancient Mesopotamia. Over a thousand years later, Chinese writing independently developed from divination practices in ancient China.
69XPw TIL that after John III Sobieski of Poland-Lithuania defeated the Ottomans at the Battle of Vienna in 1683, the Kangxi Emperor of Qing China wrote an eulogy praising the Polish king. John III Sobieski later sent a portrait of himself to Kangxi.
OoEd6 TIL that the opposite of the placebo effect is the ‘Nocebo effect’, where negative expectations reduce effects of treatment on the patient. An example is that warning patients about the side effects of drugs makes it more likely that those side effects will occur!