These 21 Photos Show Why Things Were Designed The Way They Were

You think that you know the ins and outs of every household item. Brooms, computers, and the contents of your fridge have nothing on your ability to think critically as to how to most effectively use your belongings. But as it turns out, many everyday things have great tips and tricks to them that you would never have thought of. Some incredible people have designed common possessions, and so it makes sense that they would have some additional uses. Welcome to the wonderful world of life hacks via these tips and trips. Get ready to have your mind blown by extra holes, pockets, notches, and so much more!

1. Every Dot Has Meaning.

If you’ve ever looked at your car windows intently, perhaps while a passenger on a very boring journey, you will have noticed that there are little black dots around your car windows. But isn’t it strange that car manufacturers waste their time on putting on this funky design?

Every Dot Has Meaning
Every Dot Has Meaning

Well, these dots actually have a purpose. They are called frits and they help protect the rim of the glass from extreme temperature changes that could shatter it. Thanks, dots!

2. Post-Its.

The idea for Post-its came to be in 1974 by Arthur Fry. He needed a way of holding bookmarks in his hymnal while practicing with his singing group.

Post-Its
Post-Its

Because he was aware of a sticky substance accidentally created in 1968 by colleague Spencer Silver, he knew that he would be satisfied with the results. Today, they are primarily used for pranks, to wild success.

3. The Arrow Next to the Gas Gauge.

Have you ever pulled up to a gas station in a rental car only to sit there wondering which side of the car the gas tank was on? This conundrum needs no longer be. Do you know that little arrow next to the gas gauge?

The Arrow Next to the Gas Gauge

It just so happens to point to the correct side of the car to avoid you driving around in circles of the gas station looking rather foolish.

3. Paper Clips.

When designs for paper clips were submitted, people came up with all sorts of crazy shapes, some being flowers and other complex geometric designs.

Paper Clips
Paper Clips

But the paper clip as we know it today was deemed to be the most effective because it does not at all damage the papers it is meant to bind and can easily be taken apart to use for other purposes.

5. The Fifth Pocket of Your Jeans.

The fifth pocket of your jeans is something you’ve probably used a few times without really understanding what to do with it or why it is so small. You might have stuffed it with some laundry coins or lip balm, but that’s really about it.

The Fifth Pocket of Your Jeans
The Fifth Pocket of Your Jeans

But this tradition actually stems from the mid-1800s, when jeans were at the height of fashion for California gold miners. The mini-pocket was used to keep their expensive and delicate pocket watches tucked in safely. Today, people again hold their watches in their pockets, this time in the shape of an equally expensive and delicate smartphone.

6. The Tiny Hole in Elevator Doors.

No, the small hole in elevator doors isn’t a peephole placed there for you to get a split second advantage by knowing who will be exiting the contraption. It would indeed be nice to have such a thing if you want to avoid your boss.

The Tiny Hole in Elevator Doors
The Tiny Hole in Elevator Doors

Instead, it is there for maintenance purposes, specifically to get people out of the elevator when it malfunctions.

7. The Lines off of a Solo Cup.

Did you ever notice the lines ornamenting the sides of a Solo cup? We hadn’t either until it was pointed out that they could be used to measure the amount of booze in your class.

The Lines off of a Solo Cup
The Lines off of a Solo Cup

To clarify, the first line measured the optimal amount of a spirit, the second was the ideal measure for wine, and the third was for, you guessed it, beer.

8. The Hole at the End of the Tape Measure

Tape measures are full of confusing bits and pieces, especially the kind that has both imperial and metric units on them. But the most mindblowing of features has to be the hole in the end.

The Hole at the End of the Tape Measure
The Hole at the End of the Tape Measure

As it turns out, this contraption is designed for you to hammer in a nail to avoid making mistakes that will seriously delay your carpentry project.

9. A Toothpaste Tube’s Colored Squares

The toothpaste tube’s colored squares at the end aren’t just there as a design feature. Instead, they are simply there to mark where the assembly line machine where to cut and fold the packaging. If those squares weren’t there, the tubes would come out all in one tube, completely defeating the purpose.

A Toothpaste Tube’s Colored Squares
A Toothpaste Tube’s Colored Squares

Many people used to think that the squares showed how chemical the toothpaste was, as in black meant completely synthetic versus green being all-natural.

10. The Hole on a Lollipop Stick.

Any lollipop affectionado will have noticed that the sticks always have a hole in them that’s fun to suck the air out of because it’s slightly sweet.

The Hole on a Lollipop Stick
The Hole on a Lollipop Stick

But the holes aren’t just there for your taste buds; instead, they maintain their place because when the candy is poured into the molds, some of it will seep into the hole and harden, making sure that the candy stays on the stick instead of falling off.

11. Toothpaste Stripes.

Toothpaste is just full of mysteries these days! Anyone who has ever used brands such as Aquafresh will have noticed that it has several colors to it. Though they come out as one part of the toothpaste, they were labeled as having different purposes in dental hygiene.

Toothpaste Stripes
Toothpaste Stripes

The blue stripe was labeled as being responsible for refreshing and cleaning, while the red one is in charge of plaque control.

12. The Secret Message Hidden in the Exit Sign.

This one seems rather obvious, at least to us seasoned drivers. But to the newbies out there, it’s very good to know that the alignment of the exit signs along the highway isn’t randomly placed.

The Secret Message Hidden in the Exit Sign
The Secret Message Hidden in the Exit Sign

Instead, they’re meant to tell you what side of the road the exit is on. So when the sign is resting to the left, the exit will be on the left, and vice-versa.

13. Silica Gel Packets.

Silica gel packets are designed to absorb around 50% of the moisture around them, which ultimately helps keep your shoes and memorabilia safe. But guess what? They can also be used to rescue your phone that you just dropped in the toilet.

Silica Gel Packets
Silica Gel Packets

So as an alternative to keeping your phone in a bag of rice for three days, consider putting it in a Ziploc back full of these neat little packets

14. A Soda Bottle Cap’s Plastic Liner.

The clear plastic on the top of the soda bottle has a very distinct purpose that far surpasses aesthetics and design.

A Soda Bottle Cap’s Plastic Liner
A Soda Bottle Cap’s Plastic Liner

Instead, they keep the carbon dioxide from escaping, without which you would be stuck with a flat and unpleasant soda as soon as you opened the bottle.

15. The Holes in Converse All-Stars.

Everyone has at some point in their lives owned a pair of Converse All-Stars and has wondered what the devil those two holes on the sides were designed for.

The Holes in Converse All-Stars
The Holes in Converse All-Stars

Some people insist that they are there for ventilation, but in fact they are there to create a snugger fit. This seems quite odd as the shoes themselves fit quite well.

16. The Holes in Lego Heads.

Much like pen caps, Lego toys are a major choking hazard, particularly the heads. So one way that Lego has gotten around this issue is by making sure that there is a hole in each and every part.

The Holes in Lego Heads
The Holes in Lego Heads

Even if the head is lodged deep in a child’s throat, he would still be able to breathe well enough until professional help was located.

17. The Metal Plates On Staplers

The regular stapler user might have noticed a metal plate along the front end of the office essential. It’s not just there to reinforce the staple bending. In fact, it serves as an aid to create stapler settings.

The Metal Plates On Staplers
The Metal Plates On Staplers

The plate is called an anvil and can be spun around until it lines up with the random hole in the metal plate. This creates the possibility of a temporary staple, which guides the arms outwards instead of inwards.

18. Horizontal Button Holes.

The top button on a button-down shirt is the most annoying part of getting dressed for a formal occasion, and yet it is not without its purpose. Having this top button serves as a grip for a tie that could otherwise slip around, causing a sloppy appearance.

Horizontal Button Holes
Horizontal Button Holes

So next time you complain when your wife does your shirt up to the last button, remember that it is ultimately for the greater good.

19. You’re Drinking Your Coke Wrong.

Life is just full of soda hacks. As it turns out, you shouldn’t be neglecting the second hole in your can of Coke. Instead of admiring it as a clever design feature or using it to blow bubbles, consider using it to hold your straw into place.

You’re Drinking Your Coke Wrong
You’re Drinking Your Coke Wrong

Coca-Cola really has thought of everything! Next up: using a Twizzler as a straw.

20. Your Coat and Jacket’s Half-Belt.

If you’ve ever owned military-inspired outerwear or even trenchcoats, you’ll know what we’re talking about. There is a half-belt located on the back of these coats as a Memoriam to soldiers who also used their coats to hold their blankets.

Your Coat and Jacket’s Half-Belt
Your Coat and Jacket’s Half-Belt

The belt was there to contain the extra material into place while the soldiers walked around.

21. The Hole Inside Your Pasta Spoon.

Yes, the main purpose behind the hole in your pasta spoon is to drain out the water. But the nifty household item has one more use. You can measure approximately one serving of spaghetti in that hole, meaning you can avoid making too little or too much pasta for dinner.

The Hole Inside Your Pasta Spoon
The Hole Inside Your Pasta Spoon

On a side note, never, ever break your spaghetti before dropping it in the pot.

 

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