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Top 10 Things You Didn't Know About Everyday Objects

VO: Rebecca Brayton

Script written by Laura Keating.

There are actually a lot of everyday things you probably never realized serve an important purpose. For example, did you know the arrow next to your fuel gauge tells you which side your gas tank is on? The loop on the back of your dress shirt originally served as a hanger so shirts wouldn’t wrinkle? Chinese takeout containers can actually fold out in plates??? We wish we’d known some of these handy facts about everyday things sooner! WatchMojo counts down ten weird facts about everyday objects you probably never knew.

Special thanks to our users EmJay and Abellewis27 for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top%20Ten%20Things%20You%20Did%20Not%20Know%20About%20Everyday%20Objects


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Script written by Laura Keating.

Top 10 Things You Didn't Know About Everyday Objects

Oh, is that what that’s for? Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Everyday Objects.

For this list, we’re looking at household items in a whole new way, uncovering their usefulness – or general use – so that you didn’t have to.

#10: Tic Tac Tops

Only one thing can save you when you realize that tzatziki sauce you had for lunch was way too garlicky or you forgot to brush your teeth before heading out to that crucial first date: exactly one – not two, eight or thirteen – of the small, hard mints known as Tic Tacs. But it’s so hard to get just one into your hand without the rest spilling out! Well, get ready to have this first-world problem solved, because the people behind Tic Tacs have had you covered for decades: its containers come with flip-action living hinge lids that have built-in crevices permitting you to dole out precisely one mint at a time!

#9: Swatch Fabric with Clothing

Ever gotten home from a shopping spree, only to notice that one or more of your new items of clothing has a little square of fabric pinned inside? What’s it for? For patching potential holes? Is it a really matchy-matchy hanky? Actually, it’s for washing. If you’re not sure how your new threads will react to certain detergents, hot or cold water, or the dryer, you toss the swatch in first. When it’s done, you can compare, adjust your washing strategy if necessary and minimize the risk of accidentally damaging your new duds.

#8: Shirt Loops

With most button-down shirts and blouses, you’ll frequently find a little loop on the back between the shoulders. Originally called Locker Loops, they were designed to be used by sailors and laborers who, when taking off their work shirts for the day, would hang them up by this loop on hooks, probably in their lockers, to prevent them from wrinkling, instead of trying to find wire hangers to hang them on. The loop was also used to hang the shirts to dry, because if there were no clothespins handy, a wire or string could be threaded through the loop to keep them up off the floor.

#7: Fuel Gauge Arrow

You’ll never approach the gas pump the same way again. Anyone who’s ever driven a car knows how irritating it can be to pull up to the pump, only to realize that the gas tank is on the other side. If only there were a way to alert you which side it’s on! In fact, there is. On most cars, you’ll see a little arrow or triangle next to the fuel gauge, which tells you which side the fuel cap is on. We wish we’d known this years ago…

#6: Chinese Take-Out Containers [aka Oyster Pail]

It’s embarrassing to realize how long we’ve taken to figure this one out. Do you love Chinese take-out but hate the hassle of getting the last tasty morsels from the bottom? Fret no more. Y’see, those square boxes aren’t meant to stay in that shape; you can easily detach the flaps, unfold the sides and there you go! The whole thing lays out nicely, spreading into a plate, without ever having to move your meal. So now you can enjoy your chicken chow-mein and fried rice right down to the last delicious bite.

#5: Pocket Snaps / Jean Rivets

Ever wondered what the deal is with the little metal snaps, or rivets, frequently found at the corners of jeans’ pockets? The answer’s pretty simple. Back in 1872, tailor Jacob W. Davis used copper buttons on jeans – the standard uniform of factory workers and laborers – to reinforce the areas that got the most wear-and-tear. But he wasn’t rich, so he asked Levi Strauss, the denim supplier, for help getting his riveted denim trousers patented, and the two filed jointly. Because of the snaps, jeans lasted longer than other trousers, and the popularity of denim jeans skyrocketed.

#4: Hole in Pen Cap

The hole in the cap of a ballpoint pen has nothing to do with airflow or equalizing pressure; it isn’t just a quick way to save on manufactured material, and it’s not there so bored office workers have a whistle to amuse themselves with. It’s a safety feature: hundreds of people worldwide accidentally swallow pen caps every year, and that little hole is there to prevent those people from suffocating to death. Bic first first installed the holes in the caps in 1991 as part of a new safety standard. And now you don’t have to worry about choking when you stick your pen cap in your mouth.

#3: Tinfoil or Aluminum Foil Box Tabs

It’s really annoying when you go to pull off a piece of tin foil or plastic wrap, and the whole roll tumbles out. Then you have to twist the amount you don’t want back in place, and it gets all bumpy, or stuck to itself, or it rips. Well, this minor kitchen disaster could’ve been prevented had you bothered to read the packaging: just punch in the tab on the side of the box, and voila! The roll will stay put.

#2: Pot Handle Holes

Most pots and saucepans with handles have a little hole at the end of the handle. While these holes were originally – and for some, still are – used to hang the pots when they’re not in use, they can also be repurposed as spoon and ladle holders. This way, you don’t have to worry about sauce stains getting on your stove or countertops while you’re preparing a meal, and all your excess sauce drips back into the pot. That should make cleanup a breeze!

#1: Spaghetti Ladle Hole

Why did no one tell us this sooner? If you’ve made spaghetti – heck, even if you haven’t – you’ve probably seen one of these bad boys. These ladles specially designed for lifting noodles almost always have a large hole in the middle, but it’s not just for straining water: on many models – although not all – that little hole is the equivalent of one person’s portion of spaghetti. Now that you’re in the know, you’ll never cook too much or too little spaghetti again! Bon appétit.

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