We take a lot of the objects around us for granted. It would almost be weird to start paying attention to them… like, perhaps, to ask why the stem of a lollipop has a hole in the side? Or why hats sometimes have pompoms?
But when you learn these 10 items’ intriguing secrets you’ll be amazed, most of all, at how interesting these commonplace things are!
1. Hats with pompoms
Originally, the pompoms weren’t just a passing aesthetic. They actually had a purpose: in the 18th century, French sailors wore hats with “bobbles” to protect their heads in case they bumped their heads on the low ceilings below deck. That wasn’t uncommon when the sea was choppy, but with a little padding up there, the sailors didn’t get quite so banged up.
2. The “pocket” in your panties
The inside material on women’s underwear is supposed to be made of extra soft material. While the sides are sewed on, the back and front are left open so it looks like a pocket. The reason is that an extra seam would be pretty uncomfortable against the skin — at that particular spot!
3. The little hole in your smartphone
The little hole between the camera and flash on the back of your smartphone is a microphone! It’s there to improve the quality of sound recording and help with voice recognition.
4. A hole in the lollipop stem
A lot of lollipop sticks have a little hole on the side. This helps keep the candy fixed to the stem. During production the liquid candy mass doesn’t just harden around the stem but also fills up the hole, rendering the attachment more stable.
5. The number on a ketchup bottle
According to the manufacturer, when the ketchup refuses to pour, you shouldn’t pound on the bottom. Instead, you use the side of your hand or fingers to tap against the numbers printed in the glass. When it reads “57” it’s not a secret message: it refers back to an old ad campaign.
The creases in well-pressed trousers aren’t some fashion necessity: they came into being completely by accident. In order to transport as much fabric on container ships as possible, pants started to be folded and pressed tightly together towards the end of the 19th century. The resulting crease was just about impossible to get out later, so it soon became a trendy feature.
7. Signs on cosmetics
You’ve probably noticed this sign on a cosmetic container: a little picture of a jar with an open lid, next to a number and the letter M. The number indicates the number of months you should use the contents after opening. That’s actually super useful!
8. Box cutters
Turns out, you can remove a box cutter’s blade really easily and safely: you take off the plastic cap at the far end of the knife and use it to break off the tip of the blade — right along the line the manufacturer made for just this purpose. That way you can keep the knife for much longer, and just refresh the blade as needed!
9. The patch on your backpack
A lot of backpacks have a leather patch on them. For normal days this just serves as a design accessory but if you’re going hiking, it will suddenly come in much more handy: it’s there so you can tie or hook things to the outside of your bag. Such a nifty addition.
10. The switch on your rearview mirror
The interior rearview mirror is dimmable, to protect the driver from getting momentarily blinded by the reflection of someone’s brights right behind you. Those people who leave their brights on aren’t just annoying, they’re a menace! But when you have that switch it means you can turn the mirror to anti-glare mode. Fortunately lots of new cars’ mirrors do this automatically!
Check out some of the explanations above, plus more interesting facts, laid out in this video: