The things we’re used to often hide many mysteries.
This is even more true with everyday objects. In fact, many of them are hiding secrets or have a story you don’t know. Although your goal may be to use them to save time or make some tasks easier, it would be good to ask yourself a few questions about them.
Today we offer you 7 bits of information that you don’t already know about common items and objects. You may be in for a surprise!
1. The mysterious zigzag on a tram
Surely you’ve never really given it much attention. Or if you have, you’ve never really asked the question of why the tram’s overhead contact line goes in a zigzag shape.
This line of contact is called the pantograph. It is attached to the roof of the train. The upper part often gets worn and has to be changed regularly. In order to be able to remove it easily, the cable isn’t installed in a straight line, but instead in a zigzag pattern, so it wears down more slowly and evenly.
2. The secret of the King of Hearts
A classic deck of cards is hiding a secret about the King of Hearts. He’s the only one who doesn’t have a mustache or a beard, and he’s the only one holding a weapon on his card. There have been several theories on this subject:
In the very first card decks, the King of Hearts brandished an ax. But after erroneous copies of decks were made and over time, the ax was replaced by a sword.
It would seem that the King of Hearts was inspired by Charles VII, who was known to be mentally ill. According to the legend, he stabbed a sword into his head, because he was afraid of being poisoned.
Another theory, on the contrary, affirms that the King of Hearts was inspired by Ajax the Great, and the Queen of Hearts was Helen of Troy, considered at the time to be the most beautiful woman in the world. Ajax was in love with Helen, but she did not share the same feelings. So, he killed himself with his own sword, wounded by deep sorrow.
3. The Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom
You may have already noticed that the illustrations on the English coins were strange on the one, two, five, ten, twenty, and fifty pence pieces. They actually represent the Royal Coat of Arms. In fact, when you put the "puzzle" pieces together, you’ll be able to form the shield. On the other hand, only the one-pound coin shows the entire coat of arms. The idea is rather original, don’t you think?!
4. Open jar symbols with a number and an “M” on cosmetics
This is the PAO (Period After Opening) symbol, or the expiration date. In fact, all cosmetics are not usable for an unlimited period. This information informs consumers of the advised period of time a product may be used after opening.
The number and the “M” indicate the number of months: 6 M = 6 months.
5. The Statue of Liberty’s crown
Who doesn’t know the Statute of Liberty? Very few people! But something that many are unaware of is that the 7 spikes on her crown represent the 7 oceans and the 7 continents of the Earth. This reinforces the universal concept of liberty. Another little piece of information: each spike weighs exactly 150 pounds!
6. Blank pages in books
If you have ever read a book, you should have realized that they all have some blank pages at the beginning and/or end. But do you know why?
Books are printed on A4-size or larger paper. This way, publishers can save money, and above all, simplify the task of assembling and bonding a book. That's why some pages are blank. Sometimes you will find the word "Notes" on it, so you can take notes on it, but it’s really there to let you know that it’s not a publishing mistake.
7. Why does toothpaste have colors?
Although there are white and blue toothpastes, some of them have three colors: blue (or green), white, and red. In reality, each color has its own purpose.
Fluoride is the major ingredient in toothpaste. It can be used to whiten teeth and effectively remove dental plaque. This is represented by the color white.
The antimicrobial and breath freshening gel is represented by the color blue (or green depending on the brand).
The color red was added later. It contains a substance that takes care of the gums.
Know that although some are only one color, they are not less effective. This colorful strategy is in fact only a marketing strategy to attract and delight the customer.