The things that we use in everyday life have become such intrinsic parts of our routine that we stopped wondering why they are the way that they are a long time ago. Sometimes even without fully understanding them. So, Bored Panda took a closer look at some of the most common items to show just how much thought was put into designing them. Hopefully, this will allow you to unlock their full potential!

#1

Everyday-Things-That-Have-Hidden-Purpose The pom-poms on beanies and other hats. They might look cute and fluffy now but they had an actual function before. French sailors used to wear hats with pom-poms so that they wouldn't hurt their heads on the ceilings of the ship during rough weather.

randomlies Report

Colin L
Community Member
2 months ago

Head bumpers!

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#2

Everyday-Things-That-Have-Hidden-Purpose Notebook margins. Remember the horror of realizing that “college ruled” notebook paper meant slimmer margins, and therefore left room for more writing? Well, believe it or not, those margins weren’t invented as a guide for how many sentences you could fit onto one page, or even to leave space for note-taking. Manufacturers began to apply margins to writing paper for the purpose of protecting your work. Earlier on in history, rats were a common resident in many people’s homes, and one of their favorite snacks was your paper, in addition to everything else they could munch on. Applying wide margins to paper safeguarded against losing important work by leaving blank spaces around the edges for the rats to chew through first, and to protect the writing on the outer edges from general wear and tear.

Jason Staten Report

Alyssa Fry
Community Member
2 months ago

Wow!

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#3

Everyday-Things-That-Have-Hidden-Purpose A lot of doorknobs are made out of brass because it destroys bacteria. So, these types of doorknobs are essentially germ-proof. Perfect in a household with lots of kids.

Alan Levine Report

Tiari
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

Plus a fun fact: door knobs do not exist is many parts of the world ;)

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#4

Everyday-Things-That-Have-Hidden-Purpose The half-belt on coats and jackets. Nowadays, half-belts are added to clothes mostly for the sake of style. However, they were originally used on oversized military jackets that doubled as blankets to gather up all the extra material so that soldiers could walk without stumbling.

Fuchsia Report

Scagsy
Community Member
2 months ago

Half-belts; forged in war

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#5

Everyday-Things-That-Have-Hidden-Purpose You can use your screwdrivers as wrenches as well. A lot of screwdrivers can be easily slid through a wrench and are used to create more torque. This feature is especially helpful at complicated heights and angles.

thetortureneverstops Report

ebony1k124 touch
Community Member
2 months ago

Good to know.

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#6

Everyday-Things-That-Have-Hidden-Purpose The fabric swatch. If you're curious about the world of fashion like we are, then you've probably wondered about those tiny squares of fabric with buttons in small Ziploc bags that come with new clothes. Sure, you can use the button to replace a missing one and you can use the piece of fabric to patch up a hole. But the main purpose of the fabric swatch is for you to test out different cleaning products on it so you won't ruin your clothes.

RJ News Report

Lola
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

I’ve been buying clothes for a very long time and I have not gotten that little piece of fabric. I’ve gotten many buttons though.

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#7

Everyday-Things-That-Have-Hidden-Purpose The ridges on the edges of some coins. Ridge patterns on coins are a relic of the past when precious metal coins would be as valuable as their weight. However, some sneaky rogues would shave off the edges of coins and use that metal to mint new coins while spending the shaved coins as if they didn't weigh less. The ridges were added so it would be obvious when somebody had shaved off parts of a coin and was trying to cheat the system.

Branko Collin Report

varwenea
Community Member
2 months ago

In some countries, they purposely design in different edges so blind people can tell which coin is what.

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#8

Everyday-Things-That-Have-Hidden-Purpose The tiny buttons on your jeans. These buttons are known as rivets and they're the silent heroes that make your pants last longer. They're placed in the areas that are most likely to tear from movement or strain and help hold the fabric together.

rohit gowaikar Report

Stannous Flouride
Community Member
2 months ago

Developed by Levi Strauss in 1873 San Francisco who took blue denim and made them into work pants. At the time most men's trousers were what we might think of as slacks today. The fabric was so thick that the sewing machines of the day couldn't make strong enough connections at the stress points so he started using copper rivets. The crotch, where four pieces of fabric are joined originally had a rivet and he pooh-poohed complaints about it until (reportedly) he was sitting at a campfire with his legs apart and quite painfully learned first-hand how well copper conducts heat.

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#9

Everyday-Things-That-Have-Hidden-Purpose The little arrow-like symbol on a dashboard. It’s not only you who, upon arrival at a gas station, has had to work hard at remembering which side your gas tank is on. It turns out, the answer has been right in front of you.Every dashboard has a little symbol—an arrow or a triangle—placed near the gas gauge. It indicates precisely that which you forgot: which side your gas tank is on. If the arrow is pointing left, look for the filler cap there. If it is pointing right, you know what to do.

Tom Magliery Report

Colin L
Community Member
2 months ago

Not all vehicles have these!

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#10

Everyday-Things-That-Have-Hidden-Purpose The extra eyelets on shoes. If you loop your laces through them, then you tighten the shoe around your ankle and prevent the shoe from moving around. This way you increase the stability of the shoe, decrease impact loading rates, and prevent your foot from moving about while climbing or descending hills and trails. It's great for jogging and hiking!

Kledd Report

ebony1k124 touch
Community Member
2 months ago

Definitely was not aware of this.

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#11

Everyday-Things-That-Have-Hidden-Purpose The holes in pen caps. Some people can't help but chew the caps of their pens (tip: don't do this). However, it's a potential health hazard because you might swallow it and choke. The holes in the caps allow people to breathe in case that happens.

Trounce Report

Scagsy
Community Member
2 months ago

You can also use the plastic tube (emptied) for an emergency tracheotomy

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#12

Everyday-Things-That-Have-Hidden-Purpose Remember that drawer under your oven? The one where you keep your kitchen gear that doesn't belong anywhere else? It wasn’t actually designed for that. Manufacturers originally made that drawer for keeping food warm until you were ready to serve it. Now tell us how many people do you know who actually do this.

osseous Report

wandile dludlu
Community Member
2 months ago

I knew this and we still kept baking pans in there

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#13

Everyday-Things-That-Have-Hidden-Purpose The hole at the top of a lollipop stick. The Hole At The Top Of A Lollipop Stick. This weird little hole emerging after you finish a candy has been bugging us for years. Who would ever put a whistle there if it doesn't work?! It turns out, the reason for this lollipop stick hole has to do with manufacturing. When pouring hot, molten caramel into the mold, some of it seeps into this hole and hardens. It allows the candy to stay on the stick and not to fall off.

lily liu Report

Raine Soo
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

This feature makes alot of sense.

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#14

Everyday-Things-That-Have-Hidden-Purpose The small holes on locks. They help drain water from locks which stop it from rusting and clogging up with gunk. You can also use the hole to oil the lock's inner mechanism and keep it in tip-top shape.

Hannah Giggles Report

Raine Soo
Community Member
2 months ago

Interesting...Now, I'm going to look at my locks.

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#15

Everyday-Things-That-Have-Hidden-Purpose The number "57" on a Heinz bottle. Apparently, the embossed number "57" on Heinz’s bottle is what the company’s spokesperson calls a soft spot. “All you need to do is apply a firm tap where the bottle narrows, and the ketchup will come out easier." No need to punch that bottle too much!

HeinzKetchup_US Report

Summer
Community Member
2 months ago

wait what???

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#16

Everyday-Things-That-Have-Hidden-Purpose You might think that wooden coat hangers are simply a fancier version of the ones made from plastic or wire. But in reality, they actually have a unique purpose to them. These closet hangers aren't just made from any wood. They're from cedarwood, which is known to repel bugs and moths. Not to mention its refreshing scent and durability. These hangers are perfect for heavy clothing that is susceptible to damage from insects, such as coats and jackets or dresses. Especially those that were made from wool.

Curtis Gregory Perry Report

Electric Ed
Community Member
2 months ago

A bit of a generalization here... Closet hangers are made out of any wood (just go to Ikea and see for yourself). Only cedar closet hangers are made out of cedar. I think I have one made of cedar wood, the rest are probably birch.

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#17

Everyday-Things-That-Have-Hidden-Purpose Double-colored erasers. The different-colored sides are used to erase marks made by different pencils on different types of paper. While the soft pinkish-orange side is used for light grades of paper and lighter pencil marks, the blue side is meant for grainier, tougher paper and darker marks. The blue side was later promoted for removing pen marks because a lot of people didn't understand what it was meant for.

kekkoz Report

Rahul Eluri
Community Member
2 months ago

I still remember damaging paper trying to erase pen with this eraser

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#18

Everyday-Things-That-Have-Hidden-Purpose Aside from the obvious use for buttons, you might have wondered why the ones women’s shirts are on the left. Especially when you consider that most people are right-handed. Turns out, putting the buttons on the left of clothes is an old tradition carried over from a time when buttons represented your social and financial status. If you owned buttons, you probably were being dressed by a chambermaid, and the buttons on your left were on her right when she was facing you.

nushtaev_dmitriy Report

chi-wei shen
Community Member
2 months ago

Chambermaids have gone but buttons are forever.

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#19

Everyday-Things-That-Have-Hidden-Purpose The ridges on the “F” and “J” keys on the keyboard. They help your fingers find their location on the keyboard. This way you can type without having to glance down much easier.

Javier Morales Report

Data1001
Community Member
2 months ago

I'm very surprised if this is not widely known. I make use of that all the time.

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#20

Everyday-Things-That-Have-Hidden-Purpose The holes in the handles of utensils. Sure, they're great when you want to hang your pan or pot on a wall but they're also perfect for holding spoons and ladles while cooking. That way, you won't get your kitchen counter messy!

Acuity_Design Report

Chris Jones
Community Member
2 months ago

Someone told me that if you place a wooden spoon across a pan it stops it boiling over... so I do that instead and so far so good!

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#21

Everyday-Things-That-Have-Hidden-Purpose Long bottle-necks. The shape of a beer or a soda bottle is so familiar, nobody would think twice about it. But it turns out this long bottleneck is shaped this way on purpose.According to “Interesting Engineering,” such a design allows packers to seal off the top with a small bottle cap, reducing the size of the seal and thus saving money. Plus, it’s practical, since a small seal on a beverage container is stronger and more reliable than one which covers a larger area.

joshuaryanphoto Report

mph seti
Community Member
2 months ago

You also don't warm your beer when you grip it on the neck.

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#22

Everyday-Things-That-Have-Hidden-Purpose Have you ever wondered why keyboard letters are arranged the way they are? To find the answer to this question, we need to take a look at the first keyboard ever invented. It belonged to the typewriter. Originally, keys were arranged in alphabetical order but typists got so good at their job that they would end up typing too fast and the key “arms” would get cross-wired and stuck. So, keyboard manufacturers had to randomize the order of keys to intentionally slow down typists to keep the machine running, and we haven’t changed it back to this day.

claybanks Report

Colin L
Community Member
2 months ago

"DVORAK" keyboards are designed for minimal finger movement so you can maximize your typing speed. Culturally, we are stuck with the QWERTY keyboards though.

MrTree1779
Community Member
1 month ago

Repeated tests have debunked the "DVORAK is faster" myth. If you've always been using one layout, it's faster to type with that layout than the other, regardless of which you're accustomed to.

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Themostgod
Community Member
1 month ago

it was not about being "too fast" and QWERTY it was not randomized. The original QWE.TY was carefully designed to get the typebars of commonly used letter away from each other to avoid jam; R and . got transposed later

Tabitha L
Community Member
1 month ago

I'm not sure this explanation is exactly accurate. I believe it was done to keep common letter combinations apart so that the arms wouldn't cross, not to slow down typists.

E Menendez
Community Member
1 month ago

That is correct. What is listed here is a myth that is false! It is a stupid explanation because you can only " confuse " someone for so long before they learn placement of keys. The real reason is as you said - it keeps common letters in locations that prevented the key crossing and locking.

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K.Kobayashi
Community Member
2 months ago

Not quite accurate. The purpose of the QWERTY layout is to minimize the chance of two adjacent keys being pressed in quick succession, because that was what jammed the early typewriters.

Dave P
Community Member
1 month ago

Actually that is incorrect, the original Alphabetical was too inefficient, qwerty was created to increase speed of typing, not slow it down. It was created based on someone manually studying the most common types letters, and then manually calculated how to lay out for the fastest most efficient typing. Later with the help of computers others like dvorak were created, but qwerty was already integrated for 100 years by that point. But this is false and incorrect

M Dream
Community Member
1 month ago

why 'A' is so far in qwerty?

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a dose of reality
Community Member
2 months ago

And they didn't get used to the new system and type just as fast? This "fact" sounds like BS to me...

Pixie
Community Member
1 month ago

Yes, it is so that the mist used letters are not directly next to each other to avoid the jamming of the mechanical letters

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BlackestDawn
Community Member
2 months ago

I've read that it wasn't "simple randomization" but rather an attempt to maximize alternating between using left and right hand but also to increase efficiency by lowering the need to move the fingers. They would get used to any pattern and get their speed back, so just randomizing them wouldn't be a long-term solution.

Ludwig Michiel
Community Member
2 months ago

Indeed, placing the letters in a way that maximizes alternating between left and right would help to prevent mechanical typewriters jamming.

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Gwinevere von Ludwig
Community Member
2 months ago

There is also a related reason: the keys used less (like Q and Z in English) are in the "hardest" to reach positions because English speakers don't use them as much. However, the French use both letters more... hence it's not QWERTY on French keyboards, but AZERTY (I think? it's been a while) and there are obviously other related changes on the French version as well.

Pixie
Community Member
1 month ago

And in Germany we have QWERTZ

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Tài Trần
Community Member
2 months ago

It also depends on the language.

Fixin'Ta
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

It makes me feel old to realize that there are a stinkin' awful lot of people reading about this who have never used a typewriter. I learned to type on one, was pretty good at it (60-70 words per minute). And I learned -- in typing class -- that the QWERTY board was to keep keys from jamming when typing too quickly. Don't know how correct my high school teacher was, but that's what we were taught.

Richard Davis
Community Member
1 month ago

And the longest word you can type using top row keys only: Typewriter

mph seti
Community Member
2 months ago

Huh. I'm pretty sure QWERTY (and other, less popular patterns) were planned out to make the most used letters the easiest ones to reach...

Parmeisan
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

Absolutely not. Dvorak (and perhaps others aside from Qwerty) was the one designed for that. If your theory was correct, J and K would not be on home row.

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Stannous Flouride
Community Member
2 months ago

Most computers can be adjusted to use a non-QWERTY keyboard that is much faster.

Sonja
Community Member
2 months ago

...and why is different keyboard in every country? in Spain is different than in France, the Czech one, the US or British ?

Stannous Flouride
Community Member
2 months ago

For the same reason that Scrabble games in those countries have different point values for their letters, frequency of use.

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Mandy Delaforce (PC Girl)
Community Member
1 month ago

Gotta feel sorry for the stenographers then - they must be in a REAL fuzzle.

Marek Yanchurak
Community Member
1 month ago

As others have pointed out this is a bit of a myth.

Lisa Chambers
Community Member
1 month ago

What? It is designed to slow me down? WTH.

David Stevens
Community Member
1 month ago

The design was not intended to slow down the typist. Quite the opposite. It was organized so the most used keys had "arms" far apart. This lessened the chance of them interfering at top speed. Ton of engineering went into QWERTY.

Mildred Thompson
Community Member
1 month ago

Hope they don't change it back.

Lisa Anne
Community Member
1 month ago

Then they should change it back for those of us who hunt and peck!

John Shannon
Community Member
1 month ago

Back in the 1980s IBM stuck an extra key at each end of the second row--I think it was called the 88-key keyboard-- one after the caps lock and and another before the return . Typical programmer idea. Hey, wouldn't it be cool if we...! Not realizing that there are several hundred million touch typists. Now everybody is making flat, instead of stepped, keyboards. I'm a fast touch typist and I can't use them. I've bought two extra stepped keyboards for the future. I also rip off the shift lock key to stop those annoying all caps sentences. You can poke it with a pen if you need to.

Rosmarie Epaminondas
Community Member
1 month ago

Not true. Letter were arrange on the typewriter according to frequency of use, and reach of fingers. The once more frequently used were in easier reach. That's why the letters on keyboards in different languages are arranged slightly differently - again: depending on freuqnecy of use and therefore increased speed when typing.

Sofia Monteiro
Community Member
1 month ago

I still own a writting machine with an AZERT "keyboard"

BingeFest1
Community Member
1 month ago

This one should be higher

Pete Wascher
Community Member
1 month ago

i thought it was so that the most used letters were easiest to reach.

John Norris
Community Member
1 month ago

Digital and online seem governed by no such convention, leaving me sometimes giving me trouble when searching for the next letter to type.

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#23

Everyday-Things-That-Have-Hidden-Purpose In the 1970s, cleaning the mouth to keep it healthy wasn’t enough; people wanted something in the toothpaste to freshen the breath, too. Aquafresh answered the call by adding in a blue stripe to their paste to indicate that it could do both. After people began paying more attention to the health of their gums, the brand added a 3rd red stripe to their product, indicating that their paste now had triple action; cleaning, freshening, and plaque control. Even though solid white toothpaste offers the same benefits, companies continue to add stripes to their paste because it still sells.

bradleypjohnson Report

Tiari
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

This is not really “A Hidden Feature Most People Fail To Notice“...

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#24

Everyday-Things-That-Have-Hidden-Purpose If you fly a lot, then maybe you’ve rolled over the possible uses for the tiny hole in your airplane window a time or two before. It actually serves two purposes: first, it allows airflow through to keep from too much pressure building in the plane and busting the window as it rises in altitude, and second, it keeps the windows from fogging up with all the warm breath of the passengers.

Lenny DiFranza Report

Scagsy
Community Member
2 months ago

Life's scary enough without HOLES IN PLANES. Argh!

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#25

Everyday-Things-That-Have-Hidden-Purpose The delicious Toblerone candy bar was first manufactured in Switzerland, so it is easy to see why people assume that the odd triangular shape of the candy bar is a shout out to the Swiss Alps. Actually, the design of the chocolate bar is all about function, not aesthetic. The pieces are in triangles so that if you press on one of them with your thumb, it will snap off easily and leave you with the perfect sized serving.

Maria Eklind Report

chi-wei shen
Community Member
2 months ago

The perfectly sized serving of Toblerone is one complete bar at least (unless it is one of those giant bars).

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#26

Everyday-Things-That-Have-Hidden-Purpose The brushes on the sides of escalators aren’t for polishing your shoes. You may have been using these escalator brushes to clean your shoes, however, these bristles are actually a big safety feature. One of the biggest reasons for escalator mishaps is people getting their clothes and bags stuck in them when they stand too close to the sides.

These nylon bristles play with your mind and make you keep your feet away from the escalator’s skirt panels, hence avoiding accidents.

Theen Moy Report

kathryn stretton
Community Member
1 month ago

Did anyone really ever think that they were for brushing shoes?

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#27

Everyday-Things-That-Have-Hidden-Purpose The little slot at the end of measuring tape. Most measuring tapes come with a metal stub with a small slot on the end. In case all your hands are full, hang the slot on a nail for measurement. If you look closely, you will also notice that the stub is slightly serrated on one side. It can be used to mark the points without a pencil.

r. nial bradshaw Report

Scagsy
Community Member
2 months ago

Also, you can use the long yellow section for measuring the length of things. Fact.

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#28

Everyday-Things-That-Have-Hidden-Purpose A teeny-tiny pocket that's seemingly pointless. If you’re wearing a good ol’ pair of jeans, chances are it has a teeny-tiny pocket above the regular pockets on the front. The same place where you get your thumb stuck now and then. It was originally meant to tuck in a hand watch. Levi’s points out it has served more purposes throughout the years, like storing coins, matches, and tickets.

liz west Report

Daniel Lewis
Community Member
1 month ago

Wow, I always thought it was originally meant for a pocket watch.

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#29

Everyday-Things-That-Have-Hidden-Purpose What Are These Circles On A Window Of A Bus And What Do They Do?

Fred330 Report

mph seti
Community Member
2 months ago

Ultra violate? Sounds horrifying.

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#30

Everyday-Things-That-Have-Hidden-Purpose When you see a person with bobby pins in their hair, they’re usually wavy side up. This is because they probably assume the curves in the pin are there for fashion. The true purpose for the little waves, however, is to grip the pin into place by catching it to the underlying bulk of hair. In other words, wavy side down.

garann Report

SashaAlexandra
Community Member
2 months ago

Saw that info everywhere but that is not true. If you see that pin - the end of the wavy side is bent up. If you wear that wavy side down - that end would point to your skin directly. And the coat of those ends usually fell off. So you will get a sharp metal scratching your skin while wearing it.

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