Pickle jars have always been the wrong shape, and we never knew it

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Struggling to open a jar is one of life’s more ridiculous indignities. But for people who are elderly or disabled, the ordeal can be a real and daily frustration. Why can’t jars be just a little easier to open?

To address this commonplace failure of ergonomic design, researchers in Japan, where 40% of the population will be over 65 by the year 2060, have developed a new shape for glass jars that they say allows older people to open them with ease. They’ve replaced the standard round tube of the jar’s body with a rounded parallelogram cross-section, giving hands an easier shape to grip. Hakuyo Glass plans to use the new design to fashion jars for jam and other food.

Noriko Hashida’s new bottle design, via Nikkei Technology
Noriko Hashida’s new bottle design, via Nikkei Technology

No word yet on whether a parallelepiped jar will prove more or less difficult for an octopus to escape from than a standard jar.