We often walk past different everyday things and places without considering our surroundings. But sometimes, it’s a good idea to stop and take a look around to consider how things work. The world is full of tiny surprises and unexpected special details.
So today, we’ll give some of these the attention that they deserve. There are many items and places that we take for granted but have something special about them. It’s the little things that bring people joy. Check out the list below via Buzzfeed.
30. Chewing Gum Art
London’s Millenium Bridge is one of the busiest pedestrian thoroughfares in the city. That’s because it’s close to many famous tourist sites like the Tate Modern and St. Paul’s Cathedral. Most walkers are in a hurry to reach their destination, but that’s a mistake. If they look down as they cross the bridge, they’ll notice a unique art gallery. That’s because artist Ben Wilson has spent years painting on discarded bits of chewing gum. He turned disgusting waste into glorious images with his extraordinary creativity (via Culture Trip).
Kids often draw pictures of cars with massive spoilers on the back. The reason for this is that they think they look awesome. However, they also serve an important purpose beyond the aesthetic value. It’s not just about trying to impress the girls. Car designers include spoilers because they reduce the drag the car experiences. As the car goes faster, the wind will press against it. But the spoiler helps to produce downforce and reduces the impact of the wing. Most standard sedans don’t have these because they don’t go fast enough (via Cars.com).
Millions of pedestrians walk past fire hydrants every day. These red pipes are an iconic feature of American communities. Usually, dog walkers are the only people who think about them but they have some special details. It’s not just about their life-saving qualities either. Surprisingly, fire hydrants are similar to icebergs. That’s because they run much deeper underground than expected. The image above illustrates the length of a fire hydrant beneath the earth. It’s only a small section that rises above the surface (via Washington Post).
One of the best parts of going to McDonald’s and other fast-food chains is the soda machines. Yes, the drinks aren’t exactly healthy, but who cares? If unlimited refills are available then it’s time to ingest more sugar than an unsupervised child in a sweet shop (via Today.com). Furthermore, fast food soda has some special details. Typically, they contain more syrup than conventional bottled sodas. Also, the soda machine is unobtrusive. But behind the plastic casing is a complex network of pipes and electronics. This makes the drink more carbonated for that fast-food restaurant taste.
Most Americans would dispute the fact that Canada is better at anything than the Land of the Free. However, there is one area where the Canucks have a clear advantage. It’s an undeniable truth that Canadians have better passports than their brothers down South. No, we’re not talking about the power of the passport but the aesthetic value. Canadian passports have amazing special details including the ability to glow under U.V. light. This makes them very attractive and more interesting than United States passports (via Traveller.com).
Bowling is a popular pastime in the U.S. Many dedicated players compete in local leagues. Meanwhile, families and adolescents enjoy playing together. However, unless somebody drops a bowling ball on their foot, they probably don’t think too much about it. The inside of a bowling bowl is fascinating. The ball itself is just a shell but they contain different-sized weights like in the image above. This enables users to decide if they prefer a lighter or heavier ball depending on their strength (via Interesting Engineering).
Museums are fountains of knowledge but they often contain special details we don’t expect. First, in major institutions, there are many more artifacts behind closed doors. The curators carefully select which items are most interesting and suitable for public display. The Cleveland Museum of Natural History has a unique detail in its etymology section. There is one insect display with many different species of beetle. However, amongst the insects was a miniature replica of a VW Beetle car (via CMNH.org).
Every day, we take dollar bills out of our wallets but rarely do we stop to look at them. There are many special details about the most common denomination in the U.S. paper currency. Firstly, note the differences in the eagle’s talons. Many people never even notice these. However, they are quite significant. The arrow in the eagle’s left talon represents war. Meanwhile, the right side carries an olive branch for peace. Also, there are 13 arrows in place of the original 13 colonies of the United States (via CBS News).
Starbucks is one of the most popular coffee franchises on the planet. Everybody knows their favorite order but they don’t think about the company’s special details. First, what’s with the name? Many people are surprised to discover that a character in the novel Moby Dick inspired this. The nautical theme also continues with the logo. A woman is wearing a crown with a star on every cup. But a glance to each side of her face shows fishtails. She is a mermaid because the original owner loved the classic book so much (via Starbucks.com).
Futurama was the brainchild of The Simpsons’ creator Matt Groening. It was never as famous as the latter and only ran for four seasons. However, the sci-fi animation was a brilliant show in its own right and maintains a dedicated fanbase (via Variety). Furthermore, Futurama DVD cases have special details exclusive to them. A close glance shows the logo 30th Century Fox on the spine of the case. Of course, they are made by 20th Century Fox. This is a brilliant easter egg because the show takes place in the future.
Seattle-Tacoma Airport is one of the busiest in the Pacific Northwest. Usually, air passengers are focused on getting to their destination. Perhaps they’re going on vacation or having an important business conference. They’re more interested in looking at flight notices than down at the floor. But this is a mistake in Seattle, because there are some special details to notice. A river of brass fish embosses the floor in Concourse B. One of them even has a suitcase. This special artwork is subtle but it’s worth slowing down to appreciate it (via PortSeattle.org).
Jeep is one of the world’s most famous all-terrain vehicle producers. Their SUVs also contain a lot of aesthetic easter eggs that their owners don’t expect. These special details change depending on the year and the model of the car. First, most Jeeps contain a message on the accelerator pedal. Take a close look because there are numerous bumps embossed on each one. These are unique messages in Morse code. Also, there are other special details in these cars like spiders and even flip-flops (via Insider).
Branding is important for every company. That’s no different for candy giant Cadbury’s. As one of the globe’s most important producers of chocolate, they know what it takes to stand out. Their Roses range is a popular option during the holiday season. A close glimpse at the box or tin will reveal some special details. In the center of the red rose is a swirl that is the same shape as Cadbury’s logo. Remarkably, a company’s product design team can be so meticulous. But it’s a shame they included fewer chocolates each year (via The Guardian).
Every day millions of people insert their bank cards into ATMs. But they very rarely stop to think about how it works. The facade of the machine eats their card and projects money. Then they walk away. However, these are high-tech systems with a lot going on. As the image above shows, ATMs have a lot behind the cover. First, they’re fast and advanced computer systems. This is crucial because they must dispense cash quickly. Then there are numerous security features to prevent robberies too (via Pay Space).
Nobody wants a golf ball to hit them. They’re like round bullets that soar through the air at high speeds. But what’s inside a golf ball that makes them so flighty? After all, other balls are hard too but aren’t as light as golf balls. Look at the image above. According to Golf Magic, balls contain multiple layers. First, there is the rubber core for the all-important bounce. Expensive balls contain hard materials like tungsten, titanium, and acrylic combine to create a hard external core. Finally, the outside of the ball is a thin plastic cover (via Golf Monthly).
Who doesn’t love a PB&J sandwich? For many Americans, this was the afternoon snack of their childhood. However, there are many details about this everyday product that may be surprising. First, there’s no butter in peanut butter. It’s mostly made from peanuts and oil. Meanwhile, a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter requires about 540 peanuts (via Mental Floss). According to U.S. Federal Law, this delicious spread must contain 90% nuts. Many people consider it a healthy snack because of the high levels of potassium.
A glance at the image above shows a lot of wooden paneling. Most viewers would assume that they are looking at a luxury apartment. Just look at that styling. However, this isn’t the case. It’s actually, the interior of an acoustic guitar (via The Metro). Instrument makers carefully create guitars in a manner that allows them to reach their full potential. The result is this fun outcome that many users never see. Some architects and interior designers even cite guitars as their inspiration because of the aesthetic.
There’s more to spray cans than meets the eye. Most people think of graffiti art when they see them but they don’t know how they work. Yes, it’s simply a matter of pressing the button on the can to release the paint. But there are some other special details. Inside the can is a ball bearing or a marble. The sound is more prominent as the amount of paint in the can reduces. Spray paint is comprised of particles suspended in a liquid. By shaking the can, the ball activates the particles before the paint releases (via Hartford Technologies).
Paisley Abbey has been a fixture in Scotland since the 12th century. However, some people might doubt this claim when a certain feature catches their eye. There are many gothic gargoyles on the abbey but there is one that stands out more than others. This gargoyle is in the shape of the famous alien from Ridley Scott’s movie. This wasn’t around in the 1100s but is a modern touch. In 1991, the abbey carried out renovations and decided to add some special details. The result became a viral sensation (via Classic FM).
Everybody thinks of yellow cabs when New York springs to mind. The taxis are synonymous with the city because they’ve been around for years. Sure, the vehicles have modernized over the decades but they’ve kept the same color scheme. However, some special details about this color may prove surprising. New York didn’t officially standardize it until 1967 (via Medium). That’s because dubious operators were working in the city before this point. However, yellow taxis first drove through the Big Apple in the 1920s.
Guinness is one of the most popular beers on the planet. The stout is synonymous with Ireland because it carries the nation’s iconic harp symbol on its bottles. However, it also has some other special details. Inside every Guinness can is a ball called a widget (via Business Insider). Believe it or not, this helps the beer to taste better. The widget has a little hole that also holds beer when the can opens. But it increases the pressure as the can is poured to produce a thick, creamy head. Without the widget, the beer would be flatter. Samuel Adams also uses a similar trick.
Wuppertal isn’t exactly the most famous city in Germany. But it does have one claim to fame. Commuters in the city notice some special details as they’re driving. These take the form of the Lego-Brucke or Lego Bridge. It’s an amazing design that’s a lot of fun. Martin Heuwold designed this bridge because his daughter loves lego. The street artist had the opportunity to participate in the revival of the district. In the end, this amazing artwork was the result. It’s such a minor thing but it brings smiles to people’s faces (via WDR).
People love to style their poodles because it makes them look trendy. But there are some special details about the origins of these haircuts that most owners don’t realize. Originally, hunters used these dogs as retrievers. After the owner shot a duck or another bird, they sent the poodle to claim it. The poodle’s funny hair made it more buoyant. Otherwise, it could struggle to stay afloat in the water. Furthermore, they left specific areas unshorn because they provided warmth for the dog. This reduced the risk of it succumbing to rheumatism and other illnesses (via Slate).
There are special details in every avenue of society. Commuters on metro trains are often too focused on their phones or music to look around them. It’s a good idea to look down when traveling on a Swedish train. That’s because they have a fun feature. Swedish metro trains have vents with an unusual design. As clear from the picture above, the cutouts are in shapes from the Pacman game. It’s a cute detail that surely brings a smile to many people’s faces when they suddenly realize (via Local Sweden).
Diapers aren’t the most glamorous household items. Most parents don’t consider them as recyclable either. They use them for their infant before discarding them in the trash. However, as the image above proves, diapers can serve another purpose. Unexpectedly, it’s possible to make rope from recycled diapers. According to Huggies.com, diapers contain wood cellulose, and other materials. In short, this makes them surprisingly strong. Nothing in the modern world should go to waste as diapers prove.
The hills are alive according to the classic movie, “The Sound of Music.” However, Hampton Lumber in Oregon took this meaning to the next level. That’s because they unusually planted trees near mile-marker 25 in the state. Check out the image above. They used a combination of larch and Douglas fir to create a smiley face design. The former’s needles turn yellow in fall before the tree discards them. This produces a striking visual effect. No doubt these special details also bring joy to many drivers in Oregon (via Oregon Live).
Lots of American households have a basketball lying around. That’s not surprising because the NBA is one of the nation’s most popular leagues. Usually, balls have a distinctive orange exterior. However, this leather and rubber skin is just a cover for what’s inside. Basketballs have a lot going on. There is a rubber bladder inside to make the ball bounce. Then a rubber carcass covers this to increase the size of the ball. Finally, this is contained within the orange skin that we all know and love (via Wilson.com).
For generations, reading has been a popular pastime. But there is one aspect of books that many people don’t think about. Usually, at the end of a novel, there are several plain blank pages. When readers become aware they immediately think it’s just a waste of paper. However, there are some special details about these pages. According to Mental Floss, it relates to signatures. No, we’re not talking about autographs but rather the number of pages a machine cuts at one time. Usually, there are a couple of pages left over, but it costs money to remove them.
Everybody takes football uniforms for granted. After all, there surely isn’t too much to talk about. They have helmets and pads to protect the wearer. But then there are the pants and stockings. It’s a little weird that they wear these because they don’t serve a functional purpose in modern sports. However, they share a similarity to baseball uniforms. That’s because they respect the traditions of bygone years. There are many special details about NFL hosiery. According to league rules, players must tuck their jerseys in. There are also specific regulations about sock colors and the length of pants (via SBNation).
Elongated lighters are very useful for owners of a gas stove. That’s because there’s less risk of the flames jumping up and burning your hands. However, many people are surprised to discover that these common household items have a hidden secret. There are some special details about big lighters but users don’t realize. Inside, they have a standard lighter that activates with the push of a button. It’s often surprising to discover this because people assume that one is separate from the other. But without a standard lighter, the larger version wouldn’t exist (via Bic.com).