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. Okay, but what about the studs?
When Levi Strauss made his first pair of jeans, it was a pretty common problem for the seams of the trousers to tear due to the stress being put on them by the workmen and miners who wore them.
The rivets just exist to strengthen the trousers at the most conspicuous spots.
6. 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But some people think that because Converse All Stars were originally made as basketball shoes, laces could be looped through the extra holes for a snugger fit.
7. And why do some caps have a little spike in them?
Unscrew the lid, flip it around, and push it in. The little spike will punch right through the protective foil on a new container.
8. 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.
9. And the hole on your pasta spoon?
This one is going to blow your mind. The hole’s primary purpose to strain the pasta and let the water drain out, but on many spoons, the hole is just about the size of one person’s portion of spaghetti.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. What’s that mysterious blue side of an eraser for?
You’ve always heard that it could erase pen ink. Well, it can. But it only really works on very strong, thick paper.
The blue side is harder and more abrasive that the softer pink side, and takes a lot more paper off when you use it, which is why you’ve probably erased clean through the paper any time you’ve tried to use it.
14. And why do wine and champagne bottles have those indentations in the bottom?
It’s not there so that the sommelier can get a better grip while they’re pouring, which is probably what you’ve always heard.
It’s actually there to compensate for the pressure that the contents of the bottle go through during the corking process. The sides and bottoms of bottles are weak spots, and the indentation helps evenly distribute the pressure inside the bottle. That’s why it’s so much deeper on champagne bottles, which are under much more pressure due to the carbonation.