A lot of people think the hole in the cap of a ballpoint pen is there to keep the pen from drying out, or that it’s there to keep a pressure balance that prevents the pen from leaking. The real reason it’s there is much more straightforward:
It’s there to lower the risk of suffocation. If a small child was chewing on the cap and choked on it, the hole keeps their airway from closing up entirely.
The first reason is to compensate for air pressure. When the plane climbs to cruising altitude, there’s a huge pressure difference between the inside and outside of the plane. The hole is there to regulate some of that difference so that the outer window doesn’t have to do all the work.
You probably always thought it was there for patches, right? Wrong! The manufacturer includes that little sample of material so you can test how different laundry detergents will react to your new garment.
The purpose of that little pocket is obvious to any Wild West cowboys or 19th-century gold miners reading this. It’s where you kept your pocket watch when jeans were first invented.
When Levi Strauss made his first pair of jeans, it was a pretty common problem for the seams of the trousers to tear due to the stress being put on them by the workmen and miners who wore them.
The rivets just exist to strengthen the trousers at the most conspicuous spots.
But some people think that because Converse All Stars were originally made as basketball shoes, laces could be looped through the extra holes for a snugger fit.
It’s there to hook onto nails or screws so you can measure safely without the tape measure slipping.
Pretty obvious now that you see it, isn’t it? Imagine trying to mark where your measurement is, but not being able to because your hands are currently both busy using a tape measure.
Sure, the main reason that hole is there is for hanging up your pot, but next time you need to set down a messy cooking spoon you’ll know exactly where to look.
This one is going to blow your mind. The hole’s primary purpose to strain the pasta and let the water drain out, but on many spoons, the hole is just about the size of one person’s portion of spaghetti.
Maybe you’ve never even noticed it before, but that little arrow is secretly the most convenient feature on any car. It indicates which side of the car the gas cap is on. Believe me, it comes in handy when you’re driving a rental car.
That’s an easy one! The grooved side is the bottom of the pin and should face toward the scalp. The grooves help the hairpin hold the hair better.
That little hole is there for a few reasons. The first is that it lets water drain out of the lock if you’re using it outdoors, so it won’t rust in the rain or freeze and break in the winter. The hole can also be used to oil the lock to keep it working well.
Those little cylinder-shaped lumps are ferrite cores or chokes, and they’re essentially just chunks of magnetic iron oxide that are there to suppress high-frequency electromagnetic interference.
Have you ever heard weird interference when your cell phone goes off too close to a speaker? Well, ferrite cores are there to keep that from happening to your monitors, power supplies, and everything else.
Take a close look at the blade on your box cutter or utility knife. Notice the little score lines? You can break off the end of the blade to give yourself a fresh, sharp blade whenever you want.
To do so, take that back cap off, slide the blade out the back end, and use the cap to snap off the end of the blade before putting it all back together again.
Unscrew the lid, flip it around, and push it in. The little spike will punch right through the protective foil on a new container.
Most trained typists will already know what they’re there for. In 10-finger typing, the “F” and “J” keys are the home keys, where your index fingers rest. The little bumps let you find your way back to the home position without looking down at your keyboard.
The wings flip up to give you something to wrap the cable around. Start by wrapping the thicker section of cable around the power block, then the thinner part of the cable around the wings, and secure the whole thing with the little clamp on the very end.
Maybe you’ve noticed the little indentation on the lid of a package of Tic Tacs before and figured it was there to tightly seal the container, right? Well, it also serves as a dispenser that gives you one Tic Tac at a time.
Have you ever pried one of them out and found that your bottle still closes fine? What purpose could they possibly serve then?
They’re there to create a seal that keeps EVERYTHING in that bottle, both liquid and carbonation. Without it, that soda would go flat in no time.
You’ve always heard that it could erase pen ink. Well, it can. But it only really works on very strong, thick paper.
The blue side is harder and more abrasive that the softer pink side, and takes a lot more paper off when you use it, which is why you’ve probably erased clean through the paper any time you’ve tried to use it.
It’s not there so that the sommelier can get a better grip while they’re pouring, which is probably what you’ve always heard.
It’s actually there to compensate for the pressure that the contents of the bottle go through during the corking process. The sides and bottoms of bottles are weak spots, and the indentation helps evenly distribute the pressure inside the bottle. That’s why it’s so much deeper on champagne bottles, which are under much more pressure due to the carbonation.