Amazing Secrets Hidden In Everyday Things
There are lots of hidden purposes and secrets of everyday things you might not be aware of. Here are some secrets hidden in everyday things!Secrets
We all have our little secrets, and the objects we use every day are no different. Even supermarket produce, smartphones and backpacks have secret features that, once you learn about them, you’ll never look at them the same again. Let's take a look at these amazing secrets hidden in everyday things.
20. Grocery Cart Loops
Grocery carts seem pretty straightforward at first glance: shopper goes in, shopper pushes shopping cart around, and shopping empties shopper’s wallet. Much like having a child. But have you ever noticed the loops on the back of child seats on shopping carts?
Occasionally, they’ll have straps secured to them, but this isn’t their intended purpose. They’re actually designed to hold additional grocery bags so your more delicate groceries like eggs, veggies and bread won’t get crushed in the cart.
19. Smart Phone Magic
Forget Siri or Alexa, Android phones with ‘OK Google’ enabled have a secret function that blows the rest out of the water. If you have Google assistant enabled, you can use Harry Potter spells as voice commands!
When you have your AI assistant’s attention, you need simply say “lumos maxima” to turn the flashlight on and “nox” to deactivate it. “Silencio” will put your phone on silent mode, deactivating all notifications. But if you throw your phone out of the window and shout ‘wingardium leviosa’ you might regret it; that’s not a command yet.
18. Tape Measure Movement
The metal cap on the end of a tape measure may seem as though it is loose and needs fixing, but this is actually part of the design. The cap is designed so you can get the exact same readings whether you’re using the tape flat against a surface or hooked around something.
When it’s pressing against a wall or other surface, the cap is pushed slightly inwards. Because the distance the cap moves by is roughly equal to the cap’s thickness, this stops the cap’s size from being added to the length measurement.
The opposite occurs when the cap is hooked onto a surface. Because the cap no longer adds length by being in the way, it extends so the measurement can be taken from the exact same point on the tape measure. By accounting for the added or subtracted length of the cap, the reading is accurate every time.
17. Bottle Necks
Beer bottles have a pretty distinctive shape, and many people prefer bottles to cans when consuming their favorite beverages. But though they may not realize it, their preferences come down to a matter of ingenious design.
The neck of a bottle of beer was designed for people to hold, instead of grasping the body of the bottle. By holding the neck, as little body heat as possible is transferred into the beer or beverage, keeping it cooler for longer.
The narrow neck also serves as a built-in funnel in case you’re a true connoisseur and like to pour your beer into boots like me.
16. Hollow Skyscrapers
If you live in a major city, you may have spotted these strange, hollow-looking sections on certain skyscrapers.
These aren’t signs of lazy construction workers, though. They’re sneaky ways of getting around zoning laws that limit the number of floors allowed in a building. As the floor is inaccessible, usually only housing a stairwell or lift shaft, it can add to the height without legally being considered a ‘floor’ of the building.
These loophole floors can be put to good use, though, assisting with airflow. Through a little legal trickery, these hollow floors are the quickest way to turn a 50-story building to a 45-er. Without using controlled explosives, that is.
15. Sign on the Line
When signing a check, you probably assume you're writing on a regular old straight line. But if you look very, very closely at that line, it’s actually made up of repeating print which says, “authorized signature” over and over.
This is called microprinting, where the print is so small that if a document is illegally photocopied, it becomes unreadable. So, if you ever feel you may be signing something dubious of this kind, just break out your magnifying glass.
14. Google’s Secret Game
I don’t know about you, but I tend to use Google on an almost-hourly basis. But considering how regularly people use the search engine, few are aware that the classic Atari game, Breakout is secretly available to be played directly in your search results. Simply search ‘Atari Breakout’ in Google Images and the page will transform into the game.
13. Saw-toothed Turbines
You’ve probably never had the opportunity to get up close and personal with a wind turbine, but if you did, you’d likely be surprised to see that they have spiked blades.
This saw-tooth pattern actually makes them quieter and more efficient by reducing turbulence, inspired by bird wings and whale fins. Renewable energy: you’ll never hear it coming.
12. Backpack Patches
If you’ve ever owned a backpack like this, you’ve almost certainly wondered, ‘is this thing just for looks or does it actually serve a purpose?’ Yes, they do, though few people know about it.
Known as “lash tabs”, “pig snouts” and “hauling loops”, these 4-sided patches were originally designed to pass a string through to attach to equipment like shoes or hiking gear. You can, therefore, secure items to the outside of your pack for easy access or if they’re too big to fit inside. If you’re really crazy, you could even attach another backpack!
11. Watch Twist Rings
These numbered, rotating bezel rings are commonly found on watches, much to the confusion of anyone who refuses to read user manuals.
If that sounds familiar, I’ll do the reading for you: the bezel ring is designed to measure elapsed time. Although you could use it to monitor your work breaks or time spent on tasks, it’s most useful for divers. Because oxygen tanks only last a certain amount of time, divers can set the marker to align with the minute hand at a specific point.
They can either set it to the time the dive began or the time their oxygen will run out. Then, it’s just a matter of keeping one eye on the watch, and the other on any sea monsters that are coming too close for comfort.
10. Toothpick Trick
Though most toothpicks might look like the wooden-hilted sword of a hamster Samurai, the reality is not quite as exciting. The first groove on the toothpick is weak and can be broken off easily. This allows it to serve as a stand after use, helping avoid contact with the table or the tablecloth and keeping things a little cleaner and classier.
9. Backpack Blowers
That strange protrusion on the side of your backpack’s fastening clip isn’t a weird manufacturing error. A surprisingly large number of people don’t realize this is actually an emergency whistle.
Many backpacks include them on the chest strap clips for immediate, easy access. You know, in case you get lost in the woods, or are called to referee a soccer match last minute. It happens to the best of us.
8. Oven Storage?
Many freestanding ovens have a drawer beneath them, and many of these drawers are filled with cookie sheets, pots, and pans.
While it may be the perfect size, that’s not actually the drawer’s intended purpose. These drawers are actually meant to keep food warm, or in some instances even slow-cook foods at lower temperatures than the main oven provides.
7. Brown Beer Bottles
It may surprise you to know there’s a very good reason behind the coloration of different beer bottles. Most beer bottles were green until the 1930s, when it was discovered that brown bottles were far superior at blocking out light.
This was handy, as prolonged exposure to different kinds of light causes a chemical reaction in beer that results in some pretty potent aromas when the drink is finally opened. With brown bottles, this effect is filtered out effectively.
That said, some green and clear bottle brands intentionally keep the skunky smell, as it’s become strongly associated with the familiar experience of drinking their beer. I’m looking at you, Desperados, you stinky, delicious devil.
6. Quick Tips
Winglets, Sharklets, Little DooHickeys. These are all names given to the upturned tips at the end of aircraft wings.
Far from just an aesthetic choice, these upturned tips save airlines a pretty penny in fuel expenses every year. They help reduce the amount of drag pulling against the wing and create more lift, helping to streamline airflow, increase efficiency and consequently reduce fuel costs. And, let’s be honest, they look pretty cool too.
5. Flying Spikes
While we’re on the topic of airplanes, their mighty wings are also commonly equipped with little metal spikes running up and down their lengths.
These are known as static wicks, and provide a low-resistance point to discharge static electricity that can build up while flying through air and clouds. Not only does this prevent navigation and radio interference, but it also considerably reduces the chances of a plane being struck by lightning. So, yeah, these spikes are your friend.
4. Window Holes
Let’s go for the aviation triple-whammy, with these tiny holes at the bottom of airplane windows. If you’re like me, you’ve probably thought, ‘isn’t a hole the last thing you want in an airplane window?'
Well, they’re actually there to regulate the pressure between the outside of the cabin and the inside. Airplane windows actually have three panes and the hole helps to ensure a balance of pressure between them, placing most of the load on the outer pane. The hole also stops the windows from fogging up, and so is responsible for all those awesome cloud-top views.
3. Cryptic Produce
For most of us, those little stickers on fruit are just a mild inconvenience. But, for those in the know, they’re actually a handy way to make sure you’re getting what you pay for. The stickers usually feature numbers which contain essential information about the produce.
For example, if the sticker has a 5-digit number where the first number is a 9, the food is organic. If there’s a 4-digit number beginning with a 3 or 4, the item has been conventionally farmed. And if the sticker features a 5-digit number starting with an 8, the produce has been genetically modified. Maybe a ‘mutant veggie’ sticker would be more suitable for those last ones.
2. Roadside Rumblers
If you’ve ever had the jarring experience of driving over these bumps in highway roads, you’ve actually experienced them working precisely as intended.
These raised bumps, known as sleeper lines or rumble strips, are there to keep drivers alert. If a driver begins drifting off to sleep at the wheel, when their car starts to veer off-course, their wheels hit the rumble strips.
When they do, loud noises and vibrations are emitted throughout the vehicle to wake up the sleepy or distracted driver. More annoying than a regular alarm, but a potential life-saver, nonetheless.
1. Colorful Toothpaste
Ever wondered why so many toothpaste varieties have different colored stripes? The practice has its origins in the 1970s, when consumer demand rose for toothpaste that not only prevented decay but also freshened breath.
So, toothpaste brands added different colors to their product, representing different aspects. There was the "white" fluoride base for cavity and decay protection; a blue "aqua" gel for fresh breath; and a red gel for healthy gums and plaque prevention.
Interestingly, with many brands of striped toothpaste, each colored component is actually composed of the same substance, fulfilling the same role. The different coloration is just a marketing choice to create a distinctive look, and most non-striped toothpaste brands offer nearly identical hygienic benefits.
But decades of market research have proven that many buyers prefer the stripy variety over the plain old white product. So, it’s fair to say, colorful toothpaste has earned its stripes.
I hope you find these hidden purposes useful. You might also want to read our entire secrets hidden in everyday things series. Thanks for reading!