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
1 month ago

Head bumpers!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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
1 month ago

Wow!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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
1 month ago (edited)

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

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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
1 month ago

Half-belts; forged in war

View more comments
#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
1 month ago

Good to know.

View more comments
#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
1 month 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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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
1 month ago

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

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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
1 month 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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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
1 month ago

Not all vehicles have these!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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
1 month ago

Definitely was not aware of this.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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
1 month ago

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

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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
1 month ago

I knew this and we still kept baking pans in there

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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
1 month ago (edited)

This feature makes alot of sense.

View more comments
#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
1 month ago

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

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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
1 month ago

wait what???

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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
1 month 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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
See Also on Bored Panda
#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
1 month ago

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

View more comments
#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
1 month ago

Chambermaids have gone but buttons are forever.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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
1 month ago

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

Krazy Kanuck
Community Member
1 month ago

I learned to type on an Underhill 1873 Typewriter, the F & J keys never had the ridges.. although it takes 1.4 pounds to push each key on an Underhill, and as a result, I now type incredible fast..

Load More Replies...
Chris Jones
Community Member
1 month ago

The skin on your fingertips thickens as you age so older people can't always feel these bumps. Older blind people often struggle to read braille for the same reason.

Parmeisan
Community Member
1 month ago

This is really sad. But then again, older non-blind persons often struggle to read printed pages too, so it's not a problem unique to the blind. Still sad though.

Load More Replies...
Peter Bear
Community Member
1 month ago

I was taught this in elementary school, because I'm old enough to remember when computers were a new thing, and when typing was actually taught in schools.

ispeak catanese
Community Member
1 month ago

We had a semester of typewriting and finally got computers in senior year 1987.

Load More Replies...
jamie1707
Community Member
1 month ago

Touch-typists use those to find the "home row keys". But, these days, you can hardly feel them on keyboards. I've looked for a keyboard that has better marks, but I can't find one.

Parmeisan
Community Member
1 month ago

My keyboards all have them, and I still use them. Maybe your fingertips are getting thicker like Chris Jones mentions above?

Load More Replies...
Nicola Roberts
Community Member
1 month ago

Also you have a ridge on the number 5 if your keyboard has a number pad. As a touch typist in finance, I use both :)

El Dee
Community Member
1 month ago

They're called the 'home keys' Before we even had personal computers and lap tops people had to type stuff on paper on a real typewriter. I was taught to do this and when not actually typing you would rest your fingers on the home keys 'asdf' and 'jkl;'

Sue Knerl
Community Member
1 month ago

I have worn the ridges off on several keyboards at work.

ojjunior
Community Member
1 month ago

I have ot in my remote number 5. Dont even need to look at it to change channels anymore.

K.Kobayashi
Community Member
1 month ago

I thought this was the first thing you learn when you learned to touch-type. How can you touch-type without using these??

RaroaRaroa
Community Member
1 month ago

I've never noticed them. I learned to touch type on a typewriter, and they don't have them. I just tested how I find the keyboard location - seems I just glance down once and I'm off.

Load More Replies...
varwenea
Community Member
1 month ago

I knew this one! 😁 Then again, l had designed keyboards.

Susan Parilis
Community Member
1 month ago

Yes. The F & J are known as the "home keys" for touch typers.

b l a n c
Community Member
1 month ago

i really thought everybody knew this, you learn it when you learn how to type

Michael Dworkin-Robertson
Community Member
1 month ago

my keyboard is used so much the ridges have worn away....

Vicki Perizzolo
Community Member
1 month ago

I use that feature all the time. The one on the 10-key too

Susan Parilis
Community Member
1 month ago

The "10" key? I don't have one of those.

Load More Replies...
Robert Ham
Community Member
1 month ago

Did not know this.

Johanne Trudeau
Community Member
1 month ago

We learned that in high school typing class. And I just noticed that those little bars are on my laptop keyboard... Cool!!

Susan Parilis
Community Member
1 month ago

They don't teach typing in high school anymore.

Load More Replies...
Dorothy Cloud
Community Member
1 month ago

Learned that in typing class many, many, many years ago. Especially since they don't teach typing anymore... Let alone much else in schools.

booHguy
Community Member
1 month ago

And there is the same on the 5 of the numeric keypad

Viv Hart
Community Member
1 month ago

Just checked my laptop!

Mildred Thompson
Community Member
1 month ago

Never knew that before - or noticed it.

Geordie Insomniac
Community Member
1 month ago

I think anyone who was taught to type knows this.

CharliAnn Olney
Community Member
1 month ago

Anyone that ever took a typing class knows this.

Susan Miller
Community Member
1 month ago

I didn't know I knew Braille!

Paul Jordan
Community Member
1 month ago

Damned stupid they are... so tiny they don't even register to me. My first real computer had big lumps in the middle of the F and J keyboard. Remember talking to a tech support person for some business software company and he too bemoaned the teensy weensy little ridges.

Rosemary
Community Member
1 month ago

It is just about the first thing taught when learning to touch-type, because once your index fingers are on those home keys your other fingers can hit their keys without any stretching.

Heather Hayllar
Community Member
1 month ago

same on the numeric keyboard section on the right end of the keyboard common knowledge!

Shelby P
Community Member
1 month ago

yeah, any touch typist who learned this in a formal setting knows this

Monika Soffronow
Community Member
1 month ago

Not on my keyboard!

David Jeu
Community Member
1 month ago

Like the 5 on remotes and telephones

Nicky OldfieldDesciple
Community Member
1 month ago

I did a secretarial course years ago and we were taught this when we were learning how to touch type.

Celtic Pirate Queen
Community Member
1 month ago

So you can find "home"position. Does anyone even TAKE typing anymore?

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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
1 month 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!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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
1 month ago

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

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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
1 month 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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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
1 month ago (edited)

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

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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
1 month ago

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

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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
1 month ago

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

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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?

View More Replies...
View more comments
See Also on Bored Panda
#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
1 month ago

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

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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
1 month ago

Ultra violate? Sounds horrifying.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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
1 month 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.

View More Replies...
View more comments

Note: this post originally had 51 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.