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I Just Wanted To Dance But TikTok Keeps Teaching Me Things

On my first visit to TikTok, I was confused by teenagers dancing in random locations, annoyed by people clearly stealing other people's content and unbelievably aware that I was fast approaching the old age of 30.

Following advice, I stuck it out and logged in every day. I found talented storytellers, teenage comedians, and bucket loads of nostalgic Australian content.

It started when I stumbled onto the trend of American teenagers picking on the iconic Australian TV series H2O: Just Add Water, complete with terrible attempts at Aussie accents.

Then I discovered a teenager obsessed with creating clothes out of Woolworths reusable bags.

Iconic Australian culture has a big place on TikTok. (Image: TikTok)

Jimmy Giggle of Giggle and Hoot fame was showing his now teenaged fans his little babies, Andy Lee of Hamish and Andy fame was being "Okay Boomer'd" and the Toasted TV hosts were getting attacked for not being Cheez TV.

It was, however, the things I was learning on TikTok that kept me coming back. The app has an interesting subculture of university students, high school teachers and cooks who share their knowledge in one-minute snippets.

In no particular order, here are five things I've learnt on TikTok...

1. How to cook

I discovered @nishcooks when scrolling through a nearly unending feed of girls talking about their crushes on Stranger Things stars. Suddenly, a dry voice began telling me how to make a fried chicken burger and I couldn't look away.

Mum will be so proud of the food I'm whipping up thanks to TikTok! (Image: @Nishcooks)

Healthy food won't be found on this account. This is some of your favourite fast food flavours cooked step-by-step in less that one minute.

2. How to milk a snake

The Australian Reptile Park was most recently in the news for the flooding rain that left them fearing their crocs might swim out of their enclosures. The reptile park on NSW Central Coast has been sharing interesting facts, stories and memes about their wildlife over on TikTok since way before it was cool.

From cute to freaky, the reptile park has game on TikTok. (Image: @australianreptilepark)

3. What's inside a 9V battery

I fell asleep in high school science, but now I'm addicted to Chemistry Teacher Phil, the high school chemistry teacher that sets things on fire, pulls things apart and explains how self-inflating balloons work on his TikTok account.

I wish my high school science teacher was on TikTok PIC: @chemteacherphil

There's a whole heap of "don't try this at home" going on here, but also a lot of "why couldn't my high school science lessons have only been one minute?"

Bring on the future of education!

4. Bubble wrap was originally meant to be wallpaper

I don't have a favourite TikTok account, but if I did it would be Idea Soup. Everything from history's weirdest moments to accidental inventions and all the random facts in between. Seriously, just get TikTok to follow this guy and you'll get excited every time you open the app.

Make sure you watch this before going to a trivia night. (Image: @idea.soup)

5. What living on Mars will actually be like

From how Coronavirus and SARS are different to how organisms are being invented that could deliver medicine into our body, Jack is super smart but also fantastic at sharing his excitement for things like rockets and space travel into really easy to understand, bite-size pieces.

This kid is probably the future Elon Musk. (Image: @nasjaq)

The more of him I watch, the more I'm convinced I'll own my own rocket pretty soon.