Odds are, you probably have duct tape in your house or apartment.
It’s a cheap, versatile tool that’s always good to have around.
- Need to fix something that’s broken? No problem.
- Want to make something look prettier with colored tape? Sure!
- Want to make a prom dress out of duct tape and win a scholarship? Yeah, you can do that.
But here are some things you probably didn’t know about America’s favorite “tool.”
1. It actually was called “duck tape” first. Yes, first.
You might want to correct anyone who says “duck tape” instead of “duct tape,” but technically, they’re not wrong. Apparently, soldiers used to call the tape “duck tape” because it would repel moisture “like water off a duck’s back.”
2. It helped save the Apollo 13 astronauts.
When the Apollo 13 team was struggling to get home, the engineers at NASA created a solution that required cardboard, plastic bags, space suit components, and duct tape. The astronauts created an adapter that filtered out the carbon dioxide in the capsule, essentially saving their lives.
3. Duct tape is an amazing survival tool (even if you’re not a doomsday prepper).
4. You probably shouldn’t use duct tape on actual ducts.
In 1998, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory tested how well duct tape actually sealed ducts. It didn’t perform too well.
5. It prevented infections in hospitals.
Thousands of people die from hospital-acquired infections every year (which are preventable deaths). That’s why the Trinity Medical Center hospitals came up with a solution to keep their staff healthy and improve efficiency. With duct tape, the hospitals would mark “safe zones” outside of a patient’s room, allowing physicians to talk to patients without changing into sterile gear and risking exposure to infection. (This saved the hospital system both time and money.)
6. Using duct tape is easier than you think.
7. There are many, many different kinds of duct tape.
You can buy specialty varieties of duct tape, including (but not limited to) outdoor duct tape, printed duct tape, licensed logo duct tape, double-sided duct tape, glow-in-the-dark duct tape, translucent duct tape, and even nuclear-grade duct tape.
8. It’s great for crafting and DIY, too.
See? There’s a reason almost every homeowner has a drawer full of mismatched duct tape rolls. That stuff is amazing.