Sean Cate
Sean Cate
November 8, 2023 ·  7 min read

24 Surprising Features On Things We Never Knew About

Have you ever looked at everyday objects and wondered if there’s more to them than meets the eye? Life is full of tiny details that often go unnoticed. From peeling oranges to using a microwave, there’s a world of hidden features and alternative uses that you might not be aware of. In this article, we’ll explore some of these surprising features on common items that might just change the way you see the world around you. Get ready to uncover the hidden secrets of everyday things.1

Read: These 10 Collectible Items From The 60s and 70s That Can Be Sold For a Fortune

1. Eating An Orange

Credit: Boredpanda

Peeling an orange doesn’t have to be a messy affair. Next time, try cutting off the top and bottom and then making a cut on the side. Watch as your orange unrolls into neat segments, making it much easier to enjoy.

2. Heating A Meal In A Microwave

Credit: Imgur

When you’re warming up your food in the microwave, here’s a tip to ensure even heating: create a small hole in the middle of your dish. This simple trick allows heat to distribute evenly, so your entire meal will be at the same temperature.

3. Codes On Your Makeup

PAO icon set. Period after opening. 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36 m. Vector EPS 10
Credit: Shutterstock

Ever noticed those numbers like “6M,” “12M,” or “24M” on your makeup products? They represent the shelf life of the product after opening. For example, “12M” means you have approximately 12 months to use the product before it’s time to replace it.

4. Cleaning Blenders

Dirty blades of blender. Making Treacle Pie Series.
Credit: Shutterstock

After blending a smoothie, you might struggle with cleaning your blender. Here’s a clever solution: pour some water into the blender, add a drop of dishwashing liquid, blend, and rinse. Your blender will practically clean itself.

5. Little Metal Plate On A Stapler

Credit: Shutterstock

Did you know that staplers have a surprising feature? The standard setting bends the staple back onto the paper for a tight hold. But if you rotate the base plate, the staple will bend outward, providing a looser hold that’s easier to remove later.

Read: Can You Help Us Identify These 6 Mystery Items?

6. Drink Cartons

Carton box and glass of milk on table in kitchen
Credit: Shutterstock

Pouring milk from a carton can be tricky, but there’s a simple way to make it easier. Pour the milk from the opposite side of the carton, and you’ll notice less splashing, making it easier to keep the carton steady.

7. Extra Little Piece Of Fabric

Female hands washing color clothes in sink
Credit: Shutterstock

That extra button and piece of fabric that comes with your clothes have a surprising feature. Use them to test how the fabric reacts to different detergents before washing your clothing, ensuring they stay in pristine condition.

8. You’re Probably Using Too Much Toothpaste

Close up of woman with tooth brush applying paste in bathroom. Closeup of girl hands squeezing toothpaste on ecological wooden brush. Smiling woman applying toothpaste on eco friendly toothbrush.
Credit: Shutterstock

Toothpaste ads often depict a generous amount of toothpaste covering the entire brush. In reality, you only need a pea-sized amount for effective cleaning. The larger amounts in ads are mainly for aesthetics and product usage encouragement.

9. Non-Wire Hangers

Rack with empty wooden clothes hangers on white wall
Credit: Shutterstock

Wooden hangers are more than just sturdy. They are specifically designed to repel moths and other insects that can damage clothing. The type of wood used in these hangers helps keep clothes wrinkle-free and safe from pests.

Read: Some Drivers are Just Finding Out What the Button on their Seat Belt is for

10. Bottle Bottom Indents

Red, rose and white wine bottles, bottom view
Credit: Shutterstock

Have you ever noticed the indents, or punts, on the bottom of some bottles? These aren’t just for decoration. They serve different purposes depending on the contents. For sparkling beverages like champagne, they help distribute pressure evenly when corking the bottle.2

11. Bobby Pins with Crinkled Arms

Set of hairpin and bobby pin macro isolated on white background
Credit: Shutterstock

Bobby pins aren’t just for hair styling; they’re designed with a surprising feature. The crinkled base is meant to go at the bottom, helping the pin stay in place more effectively.

12. Bumps on F and J Keys on Keyboards

Close and front view of a white mechanical keyboard focused in keys D F G H J
Credit: Shutterstock

Ever wondered about the small bumps on the F and J keys of your keyboard? Professional typists use these bumps to find the “home row” on the keyboard quickly, improving typing efficiency.

13. Fuel Gauge Arrow

Fuel gauge showing full car fuel
Credit: Shutterstock

If you look closely at your car’s fuel gauge, you might notice a tiny arrow next to the petrol pump symbol. It indicates which side the fuel tank cap is on, making it easier to know where to refuel.

Read: How Far Can Your Car Actually Go When It Reaches Zero On The Meter?

14. Unfolding Chinese Takeaway Containers

Spicy Chinese Take Out Food with Chopsticks and Fortune Cookies
Credit: Shutterstock

Next time you order Chinese food, don’t wrestle with your container. You can actually unfold it to create a convenient eating surface. No more reaching deep into the box to get to your meal.

15. Holes on the Side of Some Shoes

Black winter sneakers isolated on white background.
Credit: Shutterstock

Those holes on the sides of some shoes aren’t just for show. They are a surprising feature from basketball shoe designs. They used to be additional lacing holes, allowing basketball players to tie their shoes in a way that provided better ankle support and prevented slipping on the court.

16. Tic-Tac Lid Groove

tic tac
Credit: Imgur

The little groove on a Tic-Tac lid might seem redundant, but it serves a purpose. If you can resist eating the entire container at once, the lid is designed to catch individual Tic-Tacs for easy consumption.

17. Rivets on Jeans

Blue jeans rivets and buttons,jeans pocket
Credit: Shutterstock

The tiny buttons on jeans, often called “rivets,” have a crucial role. They were originally used to keep pockets attached to the main body of the garment. Miners, who carried heavy tools and gold nuggets in their pockets, relied on these rivets to prevent seam damage.

Read: The Volume Buttons on Your iPhone Have Countless Hidden Features

18. Hole at the End of Pan Handles

Black granite pan on white background isolation, top view
Credit: Shutterstock

The hole at the end of pan handles isn’t just for hanging them up. You can use it to hold your cooking spoon while you’re busy in the kitchen, keeping your countertops clean and organized.

19. Holes at the Bottom of Padlocks

padlock unlocked on wooden board
Credit: Shutterstock

Those little holes at the bottom of padlocks have a surprising feature – they’re designed for lubrication. You can use them to inject oil into the lock for smoother operation and to prevent rust and sticking when used outdoors.

20. Tiny Pocket in Jeans

Tiny front pocket on denim pants, close up.
Credit: Shutterstock

If you’ve ever noticed a tiny pocket on your jeans and wondered about its purpose, it was originally designed for pocket watches. In the mid-1800s, jeans were favored by gold miners who needed a safe place for their valuable pocket watches.3

21. Pen Cap Hole

Blue ballpoint pens capped with one uncapped on white background
Credit: Shutterstock

The hole in pen caps has a practical safety purpose. Manufacturers added this feature to prevent children from choking if they accidentally swallow the cap. It allows airflow to the lungs, ensuring safety.

Read: People are just realising what clicking ‘I am not a robot’ really does — and they’re shocked

22. Tape Measure Metal Tab

tape measure isolated on white background
Credit: Shutterstock

The metal tab on tape measures is more versatile than it appears. The wide hole is just the right size to hook over a nail head, allowing you to hold the tape measure in place while making precise markings. It’s a handy tool for various projects.

23. Coin Edge Differences

Pile of euro coins on euro notes.
Credit: Shutterstock

The differences in coin edges aren’t just about aesthetics; they have a historical significance. Coins used to be made from different types of metal and weight, with their value corresponding to their weight. To prevent people from shaving off bits of precious metal coins, mints added these distinctive edges.

24. Grocery Cart Metal Loops

Credit: Shutterstock

The metal loops on grocery carts have a function that goes beyond structural support. They are designed for hanging bags with lighter items, such as bread and eggs, to keep them from getting squashed under heavier groceries.

Read: Student accidentally creates rechargeable battery that could last decades

Functional Design

These hidden features and purposes in everyday items reveal that many objects have practical functions beyond what we typically notice. By understanding these design details, you can gain a deeper appreciation for the items you use in your daily life.

Next time you use any of these objects, you’ll be armed with a wealth of knowledge about the hidden features and clever designs that make these everyday items even more remarkable. So, go ahead and impress your friends with your newfound wisdom, and take a closer look at the world around you. Who knows what other hidden secrets are waiting to be discovered?

Keep Reading: 18 Misconceptions Most People Think Are True (But Aren’t)


  1. 30 Surprising Features On Common Things That Are Not Widely Known.” Bored Panda. Jonas Grinevičius and Mindaugas Balčiauskas. January 1, 2021.
  2. 11 Design Features on Everyday Items That You Never Knew Had A Purpose.” Interesting Engineering. Christopher McFadden. September 12, 2017.
  3. 40+ Everyday Things With Hidden Features You Didn’t Know The Purpose Of.” Shareably. Jessica Adler. December 17, 2018.