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 16 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.
Sean Gladwell / Getty Images, Phasuthorndesign / Getty Images
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.
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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.
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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.
7. 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!
8. 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!
9. 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!
10. 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.
11. 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.”
12. 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!
13. 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!
14. 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.
16. 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!
17. 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.”
18. 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.