Fascinating Photos Reveal Secret Design Aspects of Everyday Items

There are so many everyday items we see and use daily. From pens and notebooks to grocery carts, coins, and jeans, we think we know these kinds of items like the back of our hands. Well, the next time you pick up a pen or feel a coin between your fingers, take a closer look! You might be surprised at what you find.

dent on milk jugs
Source: Reddit

It turns out that a lot of seemingly simple items actually have very interesting design features and even secret uses in some cases! Ever wondered about that tiny pocket in your jeans? Have you ever felt the ridges around the outside of a coin and asked yourself why they exist? This list will introduce you to some unique design features of everyday items and maybe make you look at simple things a little differently in the future.

The Mini Pocket on Your Jeans

A lot of people have at least a couple of pairs of jeans. They’re comfortable, durable, and convenient to wear in almost any situation, but have you ever noticed that many jeans have a small and seemingly useless pocket on the side? It’s too small for most things, so you might wonder why it even exists.

A picture of the small pocket in a jeans
Source: Shutterstock

Well, it all goes back to when jeans were at the height of fashion for miners, back in the 19th century. At that time, many people used pocket watches, and that little pocket was designed to keep the pocket watch safe and secure at all times. These days, it’s a lot rarer to see anyone using a pocket watch.

The Ridges Around the Edges of Coins

The next time you hold some coins in your hands, feel them around the edges. You should notice that some coins, like dimes and quarters, have ridges on the edges. Ever wondered why? It’s not just for decoration! In fact, this all goes back to the early days of coins, when each one was made with a different metal, and the weight of each coin was directly proportionate to its value.

Coins in close up
Source: Shutterstock

To try and get more bang for their buck, some people would shave off little bits of the metal and then use it to make more money. So, the ridges were added to prevent this from happening further.

The Lines Around A Solo Cup

Red Solo Cups are super popular all across America, always being used at parties and special events. Most people are too busy drinking and having fun to actually take a look at how these cups are designed, but if you take a closer look, you’ll notice that the outside of a Solo Cup isn’t smooth. It has a bunch of different lines and ridges.

Red solo cup
Source: bestlifeonline.com

Well, it turns out that these different lines are used to help you measure out different drinks. The line at the bottom is perfect for shots of liquor, for example, while the next line up is good for a glass of wine, and the top line is ideal for beer.

The Hole in The Top of a Pen Cap

Most of us do our writing on touchscreens and keyboards these days, but there are still many situations in life that require you to pick up a pen and do some writing the old-fashioned way. Well, next time you hold a pen, take a look at its cap. You’ll see a hole in the top. Why is it there?

The cup of a pen
Source: gosocial.com

Well, you know how most people have a bad habit of chewing on their pens while they think or just when they get a bit bored? Pen makers quickly realized that this bad habit could prove fatal if a child or someone else accidentally swallowed the pen cap and started to choke. So, they added the hole to let air pass through.

Little Loops on Grocery Carts

Shopping carts are so useful when you visit the supermarket or grocery store to stock up on all the food and essentials you and your family need to get through the week, but have you ever spotted the little loops all along the sides of each cart?

Shopping Cart with bags on it
Source: Pinterest

They’re not just a random part of the design, they actually have a function! You see, these little loops can actually be used to hold additional plastic bags around the edges of the cart. They basically give you even more storage space and can help to protect fragile items from getting crushed underneath all the rest of your shopping.

The Margins in A Notebook

If you open up an average notebook, you’ll always see a margin down the side of the paper. You might think that this was created to help people file their papers away more easily in a binder or just as a little extra area for notes. In fact, the truth is far more intriguing!

A notebook with printed margins
Source: Twitter

Back in the day, rats were a real menace to many writers and could chew through paper, wrecking letters, and ruining documents in an instant. One of the ways people came up with to try and keep their documents safe was to invent margins all around their papers and only write in the center. That way, even if rats chewed the edges, the actual text would remain intact.

The Dimples on A Golf Ball

Golf is one of the most popular sports in the world, with countless fans tuning in and following along with the various major tournaments like the PGA Championship and British Open. Well, many years ago, golf balls were totally smooth, but modern-day balls have little dimples all over them.

A golf ball close up
Source: Imgur

Why is this? It’s all to do with the flight of the ball. The dimples actually allow the ball to glide more smoothly and evenly through the air, making players’ shots more accurate and enhancing the competitive element of the game of golf. So those little dimples might seem small but actually have a big impact on the sport.

The Arrow Beside the Gas Gauge in Your Car

Have you ever pulled into the gas station in a rental car or new car and suddenly found yourself unsure which side your gas cap is on? It’s an awkward situation, and many people have encountered this problem over the years. Luckily, there is a solution sitting right in front of you every time you get behind the wheel!

A gas meter in a car
Source: Shutterstock

Take a look at the gas gauge in your car. There’s a little arrow beside the gas symbol pointing either to the left or the right. This actually shows which side the gas cap is located on, giving you a friendly and useful reminder next time you go to get gas.

The Placement of The Exit Sign

These days, thanks to GPS technology and smartphone apps, it’s easier than ever to get around, but we sometimes still need a little help from signs and notices on the roads. The next time you’re on the highway, pay attention to the position of the exit signs.

Exit to Tulsa road sign green color billboard on the highway
Source: Shutterstock

Sometimes you’ll see that the exit signs are on the right, and other times they appear on the left. This isn’t random or meaningless. It actually indicates which side of the road the upcoming exit will be on, giving you time to get into the right lane and enjoy a safe and stress-free journey.

A Small Piece of Fabric with New Clothes

If you spend a lot of time shopping for new clothes, you’ll surely have noticed that many items of attire ship with little patches of fabric stuck to the tag or in one of the pockets. Have you ever wondered what they’re supposed to be used for?

A piece of fabric
Source: womenslife.com

A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that these little swatches of fabric are supposed to be used for repairs if your clothes get holes or tears, but the truth is very different. They’re actually supposed to be used to test out the effects of your detergent to ensure that you won’t wreck your clothes by washing them the wrong way.

The Mini Hole in Elevators

Ever been riding the elevator and spotted a teeny tiny hole in the doors? It looks almost like a peephole, giving you a tiny glimpse into the outside world, but it’s actually got a really serious reason behind its design.

The door of an elevator
Source: Shutterstock

Many people are frightened of getting trapped in an elevator, but that little hole could be what saves you! It’s there to help rescue workers get into the elevator and open the doors if it malfunctions and traps people inside. So, if you ever did get stuck inside, that small hole could make all the difference in your situation.

The Tic Tac Box

Many people love Tic Tacs, the tasty little mints that freshen your breath at any time of day, but did you know that you’ve probably been eating them all wrong? Most people open the lid of the little box and then shake it to get a Tic Tac out.

A package of Tic Tac
Source: bestlifeonline.com

In reality, the box has a really clever and often overlooked design feature that makes it much easier to get the mints out. There’s a little slot in the lid that is just the right size for a Tic Tac to fit into. So, you can flip the box over, pop the lid, and then have a little Tic Tac sitting right there waiting for you.

Tiny Holes in Plane Windows

A lot of people are frightened of flying. Even though countless flights arrive at their destinations without any issues, many of us just can’t fathom the concept of flying around in a big metal tube. And a lot of fliers are especially scared when they spot little holes in the plane windows.

The hole in an airplane window
Source: Shutterstock

But those holes are actually an integral part of a plane’s design. They’re used to regulate the cabin pressure inside the plane, so there’s no need to worry the next time you see them. If you see a crack or a bigger hole on the window, however, be sure to let one of the cabin crew members know about it!

The Neck of Beer Bottles

What if we told you that you’ve been drinking beer all wrong? Well, it might be the case. You see, beer bottles and soda bottles too are designed in a super smart way, but many people don’t even notice the genius of the design. You’re supposed to hold your bottle by the neck rather than the body.

Man holding a beer bottle
Source: gosocial.com

This is because if you hold it around the neck, the actual liquid in the lower section stays cool and fresh for longer. Meanwhile, if you hold the bottle around the body, the heat from your hand will warm up the drink and make it less enjoyable.

The Half-Belt on Jackets and Coats

You might not have noticed this one before, but there are certain coats, jackets, and other forms of outerwear that come with a kind of half-belt around one side. It’s not just a fashion statement, nor is it a mistake. It’s actually done on purpose and has special significance for those with military pasts.

A women wearing a coat with half-belt
Source: Pinterest

Many years ago, soldiers used these belts to carry their blankets while they walked around. They’d tuck the blanket under and over the belt, holding it in place to free their hands for other things. Many modern jackets are made with this design to pay a special kind of homage to soldiers of the past.

The Hole at The End of a Tape Measure

Tape measures are very useful little items to have around the home, especially if you’re someone who does a lot of DIY projects and needs to measure things often, and when you look closely at a tape measure, you can see all kinds of little extra symbols and things on it.

a measuring tape
Source: Twitter

One of the most interesting parts of a tape measure is the hole at the end. This might seem mysterious and confusing to many people, but it’s actually very useful for your DIY sessions. It fits perfectly around the head of a nail to let you hammer it in at just the right measurement for those super precise DIY moments.

The Colored Squares on Toothpaste Tubes

The next time you brush your teeth and get bored, take a closer look at the tube of toothpaste in your hand. Ever noticed how it has a little colored square at the base? Well, that’s not just a random little design quirk, it actually has a reason for existing! The colored square is used on the assembly line to let the machine know where to cut and fold each tube.

Close up on a toothpaste
Source: Imgur

Without those squares, the tubes wouldn’t be made properly. Funnily enough, many rumors and pieces of misinformation have spread about these squares over the years. Some people believe that the color of the squares lets you know how many chemicals are inside the toothpaste.

The Hole in A Lollipop Stick

When was the last time you enjoyed a lollipop? They’re a classic treat for kids, but we tend to stop eating them as we get older, so most people don’t even notice that the average lollipop stick usually has a little hole at one end.

the hole in a lollipop stick
Source: thechive.com

Well, just like everything else on this list, that hole isn’t just a random mistake or oversight. It has a purpose. It is put there intentionally so that a little of the lollipop candy flows into it and hardens when the treats are being made. This allows the candy to stick to the stick, rather than just falling off.

The Bumps and Ridges on Plastic Cup Lids

As we move towards a greener world, we’re starting to see fewer and fewer plastic cups actually being used, but you can still see them in a lot of cafes and other places around the world. Usually, you get a little lid with your cup, and you might think that the only use of this lid is to place on top of the cup, right?

The Bumps and Ridges on Plastic Cup Lids
Source: fool.com

Well, there’s actually a whole other use for these lids! They have special bumps and ridges inside them, so you can place the lid down on a flat surface like a table or desk and then put the cup on top of it. It should snap right into place, turning the lid into a coaster and protecting your surfaces from any little spillages that might occur.

Colored Toothpaste Stripes

Toothpaste is something that we all use each and every day to keep our teeth clean, fresh, and cavity-free. There are many brands to choose from, and Aquafresh is one of the most popular options, famous for its three-stripe design. When you squeeze a tube of Aquafresh toothpaste, you see the classic red, white, and blue stripes appear.

Colored Toothpaste Stripes
Source: womenslife.com

Well, those different colors aren’t just for show or to give the brand a cool gimmick. They actually contain different elements and have different effects on your teeth! The blue stripe is used for freshening the breath and giving the teeth a shiny look, the white stripe is for whitening, and the red part is in charge of getting rid of plaque.

Pom Poms on Beanies

We’re all familiar with winter hats and beanies featuring fluffy little pom-poms on top. They look like little rabbit tails and are accepted all around the world as a key part of the classic hat design. But why do they exist and what was the logic behind their creation in the first place? Well, it wasn’t just for fashion, and the story of pom-poms actually takes us all the way to the military!

Pom Poms on Beanies
Source: BuzzFeed

When Navy soldiers were working onboard a boat below deck, they often hurt their heads on the ceiling because the ceilings were low and they were too tall to move around comfortably without needing to bend down. So, they started wearing hats with pom-poms on top to provide a little protection to the tops of their heads.

Silica Gel Packets

Whether you’re buying a new pair of shoes or some other item that can be damaged by moisture, you’ll often find little silica gel packets inside the packaging. They’re pretty small and insignificant at first glance, usually with messages like “Do Not Eat!” written on the side. They’re used to absorb moisture from the air and help to keep your shoes and all kinds of other items dry and safe, but they have another special use too!

Silica Gel Packets
Source: Shutterstock

If you ever happen to drop your phone or another electronic item in water, don’t blast it with a hairdryer or place it in a bucket of rice. Instead, put some silica gel packets around it in a Ziploc bag. They’ll absorb all that moisture and maybe bring your device back to life.

Bumps on Certain Keys

Keyboards have become an integral part of our existence in the modern era, and most people can spend hours typing away each and every day while browsing their internet, doing their work, or just chatting with friends. Have you ever noticed how a couple of the letter keys on your keyboard feel a little different from all the others?

Bumps on Certain Keys on a keyboard
Source: Shutterstock

Specifically, we’re talking about the F and the J. They have little bumps at the bottom. This is the same across all keyboards and is done intentionally so that people can find their way around the keyboard without even needing to look at it. If you want to type efficiently, your index fingers should always start off on these keys.

Hangers Made of Wood

Coat hangers usually have more or less the same shape, but can come in different materials. There are metal hangers, plastic hangers, and wooden hangers too. Believe it or not, the difference between these different materials isn’t just about aesthetics, and there is actually a big advantage to choosing wood hangers.

Clothes hangers
Source: Shutterstock

They’re made from cedar wood, which actually helps to repel bugs like moths, keeping them away from your clothes and preserving your outfits for years to come. Not only that, but cedarwood smells great too. So, if you want your clothes to stay fresh, neat, and smell great all at the same time, cedarwood hangers are the best possible choice for you.

Plastic on Soda Bottle Caps

Earlier on, we saw how the shape of soda bottles is designed to help the drink stay cool and fresh when you hold them around the neck, and now here’s another fun fact about soda bottle design that might surprise you!

Soda Bottle Cap
Source: Pinterest

The next time you crack open a bottle, check out the cap. You’ll see a little layer of plastic on the inside. This actually works to keep the carbon dioxide in your drink. If that carbon dioxide got out, the soda would lose all of its bubbles and fizz, becoming flat, boring, and bland very quickly. This is why it’s important to drink sodas quite soon after opening them.

The Hole in Soda Cans

Sticking with the soda theme, now let’s take a look at a typical soda can. On cans all around the world, you might notice that the little pull tab you use to open the can has a hole in it. That’s not just for giving you something to grab onto when opening up the can.

The Hole in Soda Can
Source: Twitter

It can also be used as a straw holder! The hole is actually just the right shape and size for a straw to pass perfectly through the center and into your drink, and its way more hygienic to use a straw than placing your lips on the side to drink straight from the can.

The Holes in Converse

Converse All-Stars shoes are some of the most popular footwear options on the planet. Pretty much everyone has at least owned or tried out a pair of Converses at some point, and they’re instantly recognizable with their shape and form.

holes in Converse
Source: Imgur

But what about those holes on the side? Well, over the years, fans of the brand have invented all kinds of conspiracy theories and rumors regarding the meaning of these little holes. Some people think that they exist to provide ventilation and let your feet breathe, but they’re actually there to provide a snugger and tighter fit. Those holes allow the shoes to hug your feet and make it more comfortable to walk around.

The Holes in Lego Heads

Legos are one of the world’s most popular toys. They’re so fun to play with, enjoyed by folks of all ages. Even adults who grew up with Legos still like to play around with them from time to time, and as the years go by, we’ve seen more and more amazing kinds of Legos and even Lego movies!

Holes in Lego Heads
Source: thechive.com

So, what are those holes in the top of little Lego heads actually for? Well, it’s just like the pen caps we spoke about earlier on. The holes are in place to let children breathe if they accidentally swallow a piece of Lego, and it gets stuck in their throat.

Door Knobs Made of Brass

Door knobs are items we use pretty much every day without even thinking about it, and they come in all shapes and sizes and styles. You can find wooden and plastic doorknobs, as well as knobs made of various forms of metal, including brass.

Door Knobs
Source: fool.com

As well as being super stylish and quite elegant in appearance, brass doorknobs have a special secret ability. In essence, brass has strong anti-microbial properties, killing germs more quickly than other materials. This makes it a great choice as a doorknob material since so many people touch doorknobs with dirty hands each and every day. Brass doorknobs can, therefore, help to keep people safe.

Brown Glass Beer Bottles

When you walk around a liquor store or buy some bottles of beer from your local supermarket, you might notice that some of the fancier options out there are served in brown glass bottles. Brown isn’t really the most appealing color for a bottle, but lots of craft beers and artisanal beers are served in this way. Why? Well, it’s all because of the sun!

Brown Glass Beer Bottles
Source: Shutterstock

You see, the dark brown glass is actually stronger and more resistant to UV light. This means that the glass can act as a barrier, protecting the beer from sunlight and preventing UV rays from breaking through and affecting the flavor. Beer bottles all used to be brown until shortages during World War II made some companies switch to green instead.

Chinese Takeout Boxes

Many people love to get Chinese food from their local takeout restaurants. But have you ever thought about Chinese takeout boxes? They come in quite an unusual shape. It seems like the design is made so that you can open up the top and reach inside with ease, but there’s actually another secret usage for these boxes.

Chinese Takeout Boxes
Source: BuzzFeed

You can actually open up the Chinese takeout boxes and then fold them out to form a large paper plate for your meal. It’s not quite as fancy as using a real plate, but it gets the job done and saves you the trouble of cleaning up afterward.

The Shape of Light Bulbs

These days, light bulbs have changed shape a little, and most modern bulbs are formed in a spiral-like shapes to be more efficient and better for the planet, as well as saving money on our electricity bills. In the past, however, the main light bulb shape was the classic bubble or balloon form. Why were these bulbs made in such a shape?

The Shape of Light Bulbs
Source: bestlifeonline.com

Well, there are a few reasons behind it! One of them is that, because light bulbs are made from glass, and glass has to be blown, it was really the only shape that could be produced in great quantities at the time. Not only that, but the classic shape of a light bulb has no tensing area on its surface, making it super safe to use.

Low Frames on Women’s Bikes

Back in the day, if you wanted to buy a bike, you needed to be careful to get one that was appropriate for your gender. Bikes designed for women and girls tended to have frames that were lower down to the ground, while bikes designed for boys and men had higher frames. You might be wondering why this design was so different from one gender to the other.

Low Frames on Women's Bikes
Source: theeartweb.com

Well, it’s because women used to wear very long skirts and dresses almost all the time. It was easy for those dresses to get caught in the frames while cycling, so manufacturers started to lower them down to reduce the risk of women getting their clothes all caught up while trying to ride their bikes.

The Sticky Strip on Post-Its

Post-Its are so useful! They’re found in almost every home and office around the world, perfect for making little notes or leaving little messages for yourself and your friends, as well as being quite funny to use in different pranks as well. But how did the idea for these little sticky papers come about?

The Sticky Strip on Post-It
Source: Shutterstock

It all started in 1974 with the inventor of Post-Its, Arthur Fry. He wanted to find a way of holding bookmarks in his hymnal while practicing alongside his singing group. He had a colleague named Spencer Silver, who had accidentally invented a sticky substance and decided to make use of it to make his world-famous sticky notes.

Spill-Proof Milk!

The dent on a milk jug has two purposes. The first is that it absorbs the shock if and when the jug gets dropped. The other is to expand when there is excess gas in the jug, thus letting the consumer know when the milk has spoiled.

The dent on a milk jug
Source: Reddit

Excess pressure in the jug from dropping can cause the plastic to split. If these dimples are in the jug, the dimples will bow outward as pressure builds inside the jug, relieving some of the pressure.
Since the pressure has been spread out over time, there is less chance that the jug will split. They are not trying to short you out of a little bit of milk. There is still a gallon in there.

The Thermos

When you think of a Thermos, you probably think you know why it was invented. Most people use a Thermos for keeping coffee, tea, and other hot liquids at a nice warm temperature even while they’re out and about for picnics and more, but that’s not actually why the Thermos was invented in the first place.

The pieces of a thermos
Source: Pinterest

It was invented by a Scottish scientist named James Dewar. Dewar wanted to create something that could keep chemicals at a stable temperature for his experiments, so he made a vacuum flask: The Thermos. It was only later on that he realized it could be used for keeping other things at a stable temperature, too, like soup and coffee.

Paper Clips

You’ve probably used countless paper clips throughout your life, especially if you work in an office or handle a lot of papers. They’re such useful little things, but they’re so small and simple we barely even stop to think about how they were made or why they’re so effective at what they do. Well, back in the day when paper clips were first being designed, creators were testing out all kinds of different shapes.

Paper Clips
Source: Twitter

Some of them were being made to look like flowers, while others were formed in various geometric shapes. However, it turned out that the simple design we all know and love was the most successful because it didn’t pose any risk to the paper and could keep lots of papers in place at once, as well as being easy to slip on and off as needed.

Round Manhole Covers

If you happen to look down at your feet as you walk around big city streets, you’ll notice many manholes covers dotted around. The vast majority of manholes all over the world are always the same shape: round. Why is this? Well, there are actually a few different reasons behind it. One of the main reasons behind why manhole covers are round is the fact that it’s the best shape to resist compression of the Earth around them.

Round Manhole Covers
Source: Imgur

Not only that, but round shapes like manhole covers are easier and cheaper to make in general. Plus, they’re easy to move because you can roll them along the ground, rather than needing to lift and carry them like you would with a square cover. However, the real reason behind the circular covers is in case it is not flat in its place when a car drives over it, it will easily fit back into place without blowing any tires with a corner or anything.

Horizontal Button Holes

Many guys have felt the frustration of buttoning up a shirt and then getting to the top button, only to see that instead of a vertical hole, the button needs to pass through a horizontal hole instead. It’s a lot trickier to get the button through those horizontal holes, but there is a reason for it.

Horizontal Button Holes of a shirt
Source: thechive.com

The top button is there to serve as a grip for men wearing ties to prevent the tie from slipping around and falling out of place. They also allow a little more to give in either direction, preventing your collar from feeling too tight around your neck when the button is done up.

A Little Hole on the iPhone

iPhones are famous for being some of the most expensive smartphones around, so people who pay up those high price tags expect amazing designs and awesome features in each device. But what about that little hole on the back of the iPhone? Well, it’s not a mistake, nor is it some kind of reset button for your device.

The hole in the back of an iPhone
Source: fool.com

Instead, that little hole is actually holding a teeny tiny microphone in place. This allows you to make voice notes and calls from all sides of the phone and still deliver that same crisp, clear audio quality no matter what. It’s a super-smart feature and many people don’t even know about it.