From ballpoint pens to Chupa Chups lollipops, there are objects we use on a daily basis that contain some weird and quirky attributes.
Here are 42 things that you probably didn’t know about your everyday objects.
1. THINK THE HOLE IN THE LID KEEPS THE BALLPOINT FROM DRYING OUT?
A lot of people think the hole in the cap of a ballpoint pen is there to keep the pen from drying out, or that it’s there to keep a pressure balance that prevents the pen from leaking. The real reason it’s there is much more straightforward:
It’s there to lower the risk of suffocation. If a small child was chewing on the cap and choked on it, the hole keeps their airway from closing up entirely.
2. EVER NOTICE THE LITTLE HOLES IN THE WINDOWS OF AIRPLANES?
That little hole is there for two reasons:
The first reason is to compensate for air pressure. When the plane climbs to cruising altitude, there’s a huge pressure difference between the inside and outside of the plane. The hole is there to regulate some of that difference so that the outer window doesn’t have to do all the work.
The other reason is that it prevents the windows from fogging up.
3. YOU KNOW THAT EXTRA PIECE OF FABRIC THAT COMES WITH NEW CLOTHES?
You probably always thought it was there for patches, right? Wrong! The manufacturer includes that little sample of material so you can test how different laundry detergents will react to your new garment.
4. AND THIS LITTLE POCKET ON YOUR JEANS?
The purpose of that little pocket is obvious to any Wild West cowboys or 19th-century gold miners reading this. It’s where you kept your pocket watch when jeans were first invented.
5. EVER NOTICE THE LITTLE HOLE AT THE END OF A TAPE MEASURE? EVER WONDER WHAT IT’S FOR?
It’s there to hook onto nails or screws so you can measure safely without the tape measure slipping.
5A. AND WHAT ABOUT THE LITTLE SERRATED EDGE?
Pretty obvious now that you see it, isn’t it? Imagine trying to mark where your measurement is, but not being able to because your hands are currently both busy using a tape measure. A little serrated edge would come in handy right then, wouldn’t it?
6. THAT HOLE IN THE HANDLE OF YOUR POT IS USEFUL FOR MORE THAN ONE REASON.
Sure, the main reason that hole is there is for hanging up your pot, but next time you need to set down a messy cooking spoon you’ll know exactly where to look.
6. Many backpacks nowadays come with this diamond-shaped, pig-nose symbol on the front of the backpack. Although many assumed it was merely a fashion statement, it actually serves a purpose! Hikers and climbers alike could attach a rope or a metal loop through it while an athlete ties his shoes, keeping it hands-free!
7. Many old school ballpoint pens have a tiny hole in the middle of the shaft. Some thought it was a production error while others believed it had no purpose. In fact, this hole was designed to let air in to help the ink keep running. This air would allow the ink to run smoothly, and in times when the pen would stop running, all you had to do was remove the shaft from the ink cartridge and shake it a little!
8. The hole in a spaghetti strainer. While the spaghetti strainer may be more commonly used to separate the boiling water from your al dente noodles, the hole in the strainer actually serves as a measuring utensil. If you were to fill the hole with the raw spaghetti strands, that would equate to one full serving. Now you don’t even need a measuring cup!
9. The blue and white eraser. As children, we were told that the blue part of the eraser got rid of our pen errors while the white part took away the pencil marks. But we soon found out that as much as the blue part would hide our ink writing, it would also smudge our papers! In fact, the blue part of the eraser was designed to get rid of pencil marks on art and graphic papers because they are softer and more sensitive.
10. The number ‘57’ on the Heinz ketchup bottle. While some believe this signifies an anniversary or the age of Henry John Heinz when he invented his version of ketchup, the number is actually placed there to help dispense the perfect amount of ketchup. According to the Heinz website: “To release ketchup faster from a glass bottle, apply a firm tap to the sweet spot at the neck of the bottle—the 57. Only 11% of people know this, now you’re in the know.”
11. Although many people tend to hang adornments or car fresheners on the tab of a rear view mirror, it actually serves the purpose of dimming light. When you flip the tab downwards, it helps in reducing light from drivers who have their high beams on. Now you can drive safely without getting blinded!
12. Tic Tacs: If you have ever had trouble controlling yourself to one Tic Tac, have no fear, the Tic Tac company actually designed something to help control your cravings. The tab on the back of the opening of the Tic Tac box perfectly fits one Tic Tac. By tilting the box at an angle, one Tic Tac will perfectly sit on the tab. Voila, instantly fresh minty breath!
13. The headrest of a car. Although many people already know the benefits of a headrest, there is one more use that many may have neglected. In an unfortunate scenario where you are trapped in your car and desperately need to get out, all you have to do is remove the headrest and wedge it into the window sill of your car. Make sure the metal tongs are wedged into the window, and by cranking it lightly, the window will shatter allowing you to make a hasty escape.
14. Have you ever wondered why some gas stations have this weird metal gauge located at the top of the pumps? Well, these metallic joiners are created for those who forget to take the gas pump out before driving off. To avoid explosions, magnets are employed so that the gas nozzle will easily detach from the pump when the driver decides to speed off.
15. Whenever you go to a fast food restaurant, you are always given a throw-away cup with those plastic lids. Now it is evident that those lids help prevent spills both on you and in your vehicle, but they also double as coasters! By placing the plastic lid face up on the counter, your plastic cup will fit perfectly into the lid and serve as a complimentary coaster!
16. According to health standards, the inner layer of men and women’s underwear must be made with a special soft tissue. But women’s underwear are designed in such a way that this extra piece of fabric cannot be sewn in (because it will be highly uncomfortable for the person wearing it). Thus, one side of the undergarment is left without being sewn, thereby creating a “secret pocket.”
17. The punt at the bottom of wine bottles helps a wine bottle balance and stand upright. The punt also also allows the sediment that is in a wine bottle to fit into a tight space which circles around the base of the bottom, preventing it from being released into the wine as it is being poured.
18. If you’ve ever noticed a little hole in the bottom of most padlock keys, you’ll be happy to know that they are there for a reason. The little hole at the bottom of a padlock key is there to help oil the lock if it becomes rusty. It also works as a drain to drain out any liquids that may go into the lock.
19. If you love drinking soda or even diet soda, this bit of information may come as interesting to you. The tab of a soda can is actually there for a reason. If you turn the tab backwards, you can place a straw into the hole so that it balances and stays perfectly in place as you drink your soda.
20. Have you ever noticed a little plastic disc in the bottom of your soda caps? Well, it’s not just there for decoration, and it’s not just there to give you a secret prize when contest season comes around. It’s actually there for a reason, and that reason is to prevent the soda from going flat.
21. Have you ever noticed a tiny little hole in the between the lens of your camera and the flash on the back of your iPhone? Well, if you’ve ever wondered what it’s for, it’s actually a microphone. An iPhone has a total of three microphones, and the purpose for the one on the back is to help you capture better audio when you are taking a video.
22. If you’ve ever drank from a plastic lid, you probably know that there are usually a row of buttons on top of them. The reason these little buttons or tabs are on plastic lids is to help distinguish one drink from another. For example, if you purchase a diet soda and your friend purchases a regular soda, one of you can depress the button to tell the two apart.
23. Did you know that there is a reason the neck of a beer bottle is designed that way? Well, the reason it is designed this way is so that the bottle is easier to hold. It is also shaped that way so that as little body heat as possible is transferred from the person drinking it to the beer itself.
24. You may have noticed that ice cream scoopers can sometimes come in various different colors. The reason they come in different colors is to indicate the size of a specific scoop. These sizes are all based on the amount of scoops it would take to fit a 32 ounce container.
25. The little loop that is on the back of most of your shirts is there for a couple of reasons. Firstly, and probably the most obvious, is to hang your shirt on a hanger. In the past, men would also cut this loop off of the back of their shirts if they began dating a girl to signal that they were in a relationship.
26. Have you ever wondered what the cylinder at the end of your laptop power cable is for? No, it’s not for decoration, which is typically what most people might think. It actually helps to suppress high frequency noise within the electrical circuits. It’s designed that way to protect it so that it doesn’t get damaged.
27. If you’ve ever been flying on an airplane and suddenly freaked out when you saw a tiny hole in the window right beside you, have no fear! The reason the holes are there is to help regulate the air pressure which is passed through the window’s inner and outer panes.
28. The extra eyelets that you see on a lot of sneakers or running shoes are there to help hold the shoes in place when you are running or doing any kind of physical activities. They help prevent the shoe from rubbing against your skin and also offer a lot more ankle stability.
29. If your wear jeans often, you’ve probably noticed the little pocket that is placed within the big pocket of most jeans. If you’ve ever wondered why on earth those little pockets are there, here’s why. Although those tiny pockets don’t have much use today, they used to be a place for people to place their tiny pocket watches in the late 1800’s.
30. The extra piece of fabric or material that comes with your clothing isn’t there as a backup in case you rip your material, like most people think. It’s actually there so that you can test the the material with your laundry detergent or washing machine to see if it will have any negative effects on the material.
31. To many, the bobble located on the top of a winter hat is just a fancy fashion statement. Whether it is to accentuate an outfit or simply to state your loyalty for a team, most winter hats nowadays contain this little bobble at the top. But its origin story speaks of its usefulness. French marines would wear a sailor hat with a bobble on the top to prevent themselves from hurting their heads on the low cabin ceilings. The furry bobble would soften any head blows dealt by an unwary sailor or it could act as a warning signal if you felt your bobble grazing across your scalp. Later, they were used to define different branches of the military based on the size, shape and color of the bobble. The word was later changed to pompoms and the first people to have ever worn hats with pompoms are thought to be Vikings. Pictures depicting Viking gods regularly showcased them wearing caps with pompoms and to this day it is still a key component of Scandinavian folk costume.
32. The colors of the lines at the bottom of tubes of toothpaste were at first thought to denote the type of toothpaste (organic or non-organic). But in reality, they are just bar codes used by light beam sensors at the factory to designate where the tube should be cut and folded.
33. The popular lollipop brand Chupa Chups is known not only for its delicious candy but also for that weird hole at the top of the stick. Although many thought it was for children to whistle through or to prevent choking hazards, they are actually created to stop the candy from being pulled out. This makes the candy harder to swallow by accident. In the production phase, and while the candy is still in liquid form, the hollow stick is inserted into the liquid so that when it hardens, it does so through the hole first to prevent the candy from falling out.
34. The hind legs of a keyboard (or the stands) were at first thought to add to the ergonomics of typing. In reality, they were designed to help computer users see the keys they were hitting. The purpose of the stands were to place the keyboard at an angle allowing the user to better see the keyboard. Bonus tip: it is actually more ergonomic for your wrists to type on a flat keyboard.
35. It is almost inevitable that a pair of dress pants or trousers are going to contain some folds and creases. But where did they originate from and what is their purpose? Well, back in the 19th century when European factories had to ship their clothing to other countries, the clothes had to be shipped via a shipping container. In order to save space and to send more clothes, items had to be folded in order to maximize the room. When the clothes finally got to their destinations, the pants and shirts would be so creased and folded that it became a part of the daily attire.
36. What are those little holes in Converse All Stars there for?
The main reason they’re there is the most obvious one: ventilation.
But some people think that because Converse All Stars were originally made as basketball shoes, laces could be looped through the extra holes for a snugger fit.
37. Why is one side of a bobby pin bent into a zigzag?
That’s an easy one! The grooved side is the bottom of the pin and should face toward the scalp. The grooves help the hairpin hold the hair better.
38. Ever notice a little hole in the bottom of a padlock?
That little hole is there for a few reasons. The first is that it lets water drain out of the lock if you’re using it outdoors, so it won’t rust in the rain or freeze and break in the winter. The hole can also be used to oil the lock to keep it working well.
39. Why does an Apple power cable have wings?
The wings flip up to give you something to wrap the cable around. Start by wrapping the thicker section of cable around the power block, then the thinner part of the cable around the wings, and secure the whole thing with the little clamp on the very end.
40. And while we’re at it, what’s the dot next to the camera on an iPhone for?
It’s a microphone for when you’re using the back camera.
41. Have you been eating Tic Tacs wrong this whole time?
Maybe you’ve noticed the little indentation on the lid of a package of Tic Tacs before and figured it was there to tightly seal the container, right? Well, it also serves as a dispenser that gives you one Tic Tac at a time.
42. And the little disc under the lid of a plastic bottle?
Have you ever pried one of them out and found that your bottle still closes fine? What purpose could they possibly serve then?
They’re there to create a seal that keeps EVERYTHING in that bottle, both liquid and carbonation. Without it, that soda would go flat in no time.