Since the very beginning of humankind, we have been coming up with impressively elaborate devices to make our lives just a little easier. We’re a species of inventors and innovators and I don’t want to state the obvious, but modern humans are insanely clever and undeniably the most intelligent animals planet Earth has ever seen.

While our hunter-gatherer ancestors slept in caves with only their cave drawings for entertainment, we sleep in comfy houses complete with warm beds and internet access.

In fact, we’re so great at inventing things that we’ve become an insatiable bunch. We have a stream of needs that big corporations are constantly trying to profit from. And boy have they profited.

Not only do we have everything we need and more, what we often don’t realize is that a lot of items that have been invented for our consumption have very useful features that most of us have yet to discover.

Here are 26 products with potential uses that we have somehow managed to overlook.

1. The indent at the bottom of wine bottles

The indent at the base of wine bottles isn’t just there for the heck of it, or even so the waiter can pour you a glass whilst looking fancy. It actually controls the pressure when the bottle is fitted with a cork.

2. The hole at the end of tape measures

The hole exists so that you can slip a nail or screw through it and ensure the tape measure is securely in place.

3. Winter hat bobble

This isn’t just a questionable fashion choice. These kinds of winter hats were once used by sailors and the bobble was there to ensure there was something in place to protect their heads.

4. Carefully placed signs on the highway

If the exit plaque is aligned on the left, the exit is on the left and if it’s aligned on the right, the exit is on the right.

You might think you know how to use a rearview mirror, however, you probably didn’t know that it contains a tab that’ll prevent other cars’ high-beam lights from blinding you. Check this out…

I bet there are plenty of items I use on an everyday basis that I’ve taken for advantage. Perhaps my pillowcase can also be used as a curtain or maybe, just maybe, my bedside table secretly doubles as an ironing board.

5. The tab on the rearview mirror

The tab helps you to adjust the mirror to prevent the high-beam lights from the car behind blinding you.

6. The arrow next to the pump symbol

If you’re ever unsure of where to find the pump patch, follow the direction the arrow points towards.

7. The hole at the bottom of a padlock

Well, if you ever need to oil your padlock, the hole’s the place to start from.

8. Tiny hole at the back of an iPhone

It’s so tiny, you probably never noticed it before, but it’s actually a microphone for when you take a video with the back-facing camera.

I’m a big fan of Converse but have always wondered what the little holes at the side are. Surely, they’re meant for the laces? Nope, it’s much more useful than that…

If I came up with a cool new creation, I’d want it to have an endless list of functions. And at least 27 of those functions would be hidden – just for sh*ts and giggles.

9. The holes on the side of your Converse

The holes aren’t there for ventilation to prevent your feet from smelling like a bad cheese when you finally take them off. They can actually be utilized with the laces so you tie you Converse even tighter.

10.  The hook on the back of shirts

Their purpose is fairly simple – they’re designed for you to hang your shirt on a peg. Presumably, if you’ve run out of hangers…

11. The cylinder on cables 

Some cables can act like unintentional antennas, broadcasting electrical interference (“noise”) or picking it up. These cylinders are used to drown out noises with an overly high frequency.

I used to think that the only purpose of lids was to simply contain the product within its container, but as it turns out, lids belonging to all kinds of different items have a number of exciting functions…

12. The small hole in a biro pen lid

The purpose of the small hole could be lifesaving. Recognizing that people often chew of their pens, manufacturers put these holes in place to allow anyone who may swallow the lid to be able to continue breathing.

13. Soda tabs as straw holders

On a windy day, you’ll want to place your straw securely in your can.

14. You can unfold your Chinese takeout box into a plate

I eat Chinese takeout at least three times a week, how did I never notice this?

Want to discover the best way to to get your ketchup out of a stubborn bottle? Well, then check this out…

15. The 57 on ketchup bottles

The number “57” doesn’t just stand for the number of varieties, but it also marks the “sweet spot” that you have to tap if the ketchup just won’t come out.

16. The tab on backpacks

They exist for the sole purpose of attaching items as an alternative to carrying them – such as sleeping bags or sneakers.


17. The little bumps and lines on tires

The bumps indicate the minimum safe tread height. When they are worn down, you know it’s time to change your tires.

Toothpicks seem pretty straightforward, right? Surely, there’s nothing more to a toothpick than, well, their ability to pick out food from our teeth? Well, it turns out they have hidden depths…

18. The end of a toothpick

The end of a toothpick can be broken off easily and you could use it as a stand for the toothpick!

19. The mini pockets in jeans

There’s a use for them after all, but it’s not a use that’s relevant to anyone these days. In the 19th century, they were used by cowboys to carry pocket watches.

20. Lids as coasters

Don’t want to leave a mark on your coffee table? Then use the lid as a coaster.

If all these products’ “hidden” features were so useful, you’d have thought we’d have figured them out on our by now. But that just goes to show that although us humans are ingenious inventors, we’re also pretty stupid.

21. The holes in aluminum boxes

The hole allows you to keep the aluminum roll in place inside the box when you go to rip off a piece of foil.

22. The small hole on elevator doors

The hole allows staff to open the elevator in an emergency – a drop key is used to unlock the door.

23. Tic Tac lids

The lids are fit to distribute a single Tic Tac when you shake them out.

If I’d have known about all these everyday objects’ hidden uses, my life would have been a hell of a lot easier. It’s hard not having anywhere to rest my straw when I open a can of soda or pouring all my Tic Tacs into my hand rather than into a Tic Tac lid.

24. The lids on applesauce

Believe it or not, the lids on applesauce are designed for use as a spoon!

25. The neck of a bottle of beer

The neck is designed for you to hold it when carrying it by hand. If you hold onto the body, you run the risk of transferring your body heat to the beer.

26. Saucepan holes

The handles of saucepans usually contain a hole which exists for the primary purpose of resting wooden spoons.

Personally, I think it’s a shame that every one of these items, which we use on a daily basis, is rarely used to its full potential. Hopefully, I’ve informed one or two of you out there as to the many ways in which you can get your money’s worth when splashing out on just about anything.