27 objects and photos that have hidden signs or symbols

Don't ignore this useful symbol on your beauty products.

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Don’t ignore this useful symbol on your beauty products.
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Chloe Pantazi/INSIDER

  • Did you know that there are three tiny letters hidden on almost every penny in the US? Or that Bluetooth’s symbol is a combination of two ancient Danish runes?
  • Every penny since 1918 has the letters “VDB” engraved on Lincoln’s shoulder; they are the initials of Lithuanian-American medalist Victor David Brenner, who designed the portrait used on the coin.
  • On the package of Hershey’s Kisses, you can spot a mini Hershey’s Kiss in the brown negative space between the white “K” and “I.”
  • There’s a bear cleverly hidden in Toblerone’s logo in the shape of the mountain on the packaging.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

By now, you probably already know that there’s a secret bear in Toblerone’s logo, that NBC’s logo is actually a colorful peacock, and that Burger King’s logo is just a giant hamburger.

But did you know that there are three tiny letters hidden on almost every penny in the US? Or that Bluetooth’s symbol is a combination of two ancient Danish runes?

From Amazon to the USB icon, we rounded up 27 objects, brands, and photos that have hidden symbols, surprising origins, or lesser-known meanings. Check them out below.


Every penny created by US Mint since 1918 has three tiny letters engraved on Lincoln’s shoulder.

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The letters are extremely small.
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Wikimedia Commons and Lucy Yang/INSIDER

The three letters, “VDB,” are the initials of Lithuanian-American medalist Victor David Brenner. Brenner designed the portrait of Abraham Lincoln that has been used on the one-cent coin since 1908.


Coca-Cola’s new winter-themed can features a group of adorable polar bears — plus a few hidden details.

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Take a closer look.
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Cassidy Hopkins/INSIDER

Reddit user sunkist268 recently noticed that the polar bears’ eyes are actually bottle caps, and the shiny marks on their noses are actually small bottles.


There’s a tiny symbol on most makeup and beauty products that tells you how long an item can be kept or used after opening.

Don't ignore this useful symbol on your beauty products.

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The “M” stands for months.
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Chloe Pantazi/INSIDER

The PAO, or “Period After Opening” symbol, appears on any cosmetic product with a shelf life of 30 months or more. It was introduced by the European Commision in 2005.


Amazon’s iconic logo has two different hidden meanings.

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This visual might help you figure them out.
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Amazon and Lucy Yang/INSIDER

Amazon’s current logo was introduced in 2000 to reflect the company’s “customer-centric” mission statement. The yellow smile – which begins under the A and ends with a dimple under the Z – represents “the ultimate expression of customer satisfaction,” Amazon wrote in a press release. It also communicates the idea that customers can buy anything, from A to Z, on the company’s site.


Contrary to popular belief, BMW’s logo was not inspired by the company’s origins in aircraft engine manufacturing.

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This simple circle is one of the most recognizable designs in the world.
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Annopk/Shutterstock

While many have claimed that BMW’s blue-and-white logo represents a rotating airplane propeller, this interpretation is actually a myth, the New York Times reported in 2010. Instead, the logo was likely inspired by the colors of the Free State of Bavaria, the origin and production site of BMW’s products.

According to Dr. Florian Triebel, the propeller myth can be traced back to 1929 – 12 years after BMW’s logo had been created – when the design appeared on two aircrafts in an advertisement. “It’s likely that the new interpretation was intended to support the marketing efforts for the aeroengine product range,” Dr. Triebel wrote in an issue of “Mobile Tradition” published by BMW Group in 2005. “All the available sources suggest that the… purpose of the blue and white areas was to focus attention on ‘Bavaria.'”


Pixar’s movies often feature Easter Eggs that connect the company’s many animated universes.

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Lotso from “Toy Story 3” (left) and the Luxo Ball (right) both appear in “Up.”
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Pixar and Toy Story/Facebook

In January, Disney released a fun video confirming a long-held fan theory – that all Pixar movies are connected. For example, the Luxo Ball – which first appeared in the 1986 short “Luxo, Jr.” – shows up in several different movies from “Toy Story” to “Monster’s Inc.” Chef Skinner’s motorbike from “Ratatouille” shows up in a landfill in “WALL-E.” And a Pizza Planet delivery truck from the “Toy Story” films makes a cameo in “A Bug’s Life.”


Here’s another example from “Monster’s Inc.”

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Blink and you’ll miss it.
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Pixar and Toy Story/Facebook

In this scene, when Boo hands Sully a few toys from her room, we see Nemo from “Finding Nemo,” Jessie from the “Toy Story” movies, and the Luxo Ball.


Disney’s animated films are also full of Easter Eggs.

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Rapunzel and Flynn from “Tangled” both show up in “Frozen.”
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Disney

One fan theory connects the shipwreck in “The Little Mermaid” to Anna and Elsa’s parents’ ship from “Frozen.”


For example, the Magic Carpet from “Aladdin” shows up in “The Princess and the Frog.”

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You can spot it chilling on a balcony.
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Disney

The Magic Carpet also shows in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and possibly, Hercules. To see more of Disney’s best Easter Eggs, check out INSIDER’s video here.


Bluetooth technology was named after a 10th-century Danish Viking king, Harald Blåtand.

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Go figure.
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Bluetooth SIG and Lucy Yang/INSIDER

The English translation of Blåtand? Bluetooth. The iconic symbol is also a combination of King Blåtand’s initials, written in Old Norse, or ancient Danish runes.


There’s a bear cleverly hidden in Toblerone’s logo.

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This one’s pretty easy to spot.
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Wikimedia Commons, Toblerone, and Lucy Yang/INSIDER

The bear pays tribute to the city of Bern in Switzerland, where Toblerone was founded.


The USB symbol was inspired by Neptune’s trident.

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You’ll never look at it the same way again.
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Wikimedia Commons, Giorez/iStock, Lucy Yang/INSIDER

In addition, the triangle, square, and circle represent all the different connections you can make using a USB, or Universal Serial Bus.


The power symbol on your computer isn’t just a random circle with a line in it.

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This is less hidden than it is just lesser-known.
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Runish/Shutterstock

According to Gizmodo, engineers have long used the binary system – in which one means fully “on” and zero means fully “off” – to label toggles and power switches. The power button on your computer is a combination of both one and zero, which represents a “standby power state.”


FedEx’s logo has a hidden arrow in it.

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Another hidden symbol you can’t unsee.
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FedEx and Lucy Yang/INSIDER

Designed by Lindon Leader in 1994, the hidden arrow in the logo communicates “forward direction, speed, and precision,” Co.Design wrote.


NBC’s iconic logo is actually a colorful peacock.

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The NBC Tower in Chicago, Illinois.
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Felix Mizioznikov/Shutterstock

Designed by John J. Graham in 1956, the original peacock helped “introduce viewers to color technology” and represented a “thrilling, new era for both the network and the changing media landscape,” according to Advertising Week.


Gillette’s current logo has a hidden detail that represents the company’s main product.

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Have you noticed this before?
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Gillette

The “G” and the “i” both have “razor-sharp cuts” in the text.


The Hershey’s Kisses logo also has a hidden image that represents the product itself.

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Turn the package, or your head, sideways to see it better.
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Hershey’s

There’s a mini Hershey’s Kiss in the brown negative space between the white “K” and “I.”


Unilever’s logo is made up of 25 smaller icons, each of which represents an important aspect of the brand’s business.

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Take a closer look.
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Craig Barritt/Getty Images, Unilever, and Lucy Yang/INSIDER

“Each icon has a rich meaning at its core, and represents some aspect of our effort to make sustainable living commonplace,” the company explains. From a bowl that symbolizes Unilever’s commitment to “healthy mealtimes” to a bee that represents “community spirit,” you can learn what each icon means on the company’s website.


In case you didn’t already know, the Tostitos logo also features some subliminal messaging.

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This one’s pretty obvious.
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Tyler McKay/Shutterstock, Tostitos, and Lucy Yang/INSIDER

The two “Ts” in the middle of the logo are actually two people sharing a chip over a bowl of dip, which is the red dot over the “I.”


Baskin-Robbins rose to success for having 31 original flavors — and the number is even highlighted in pink in their otherwise blue logo.

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Another example of subliminal messaging in logos.
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bargainmoose/Flickr

In case you’re curious, INSIDER taste-tested 34 different flavors at three different Baskin-Robbins locations in August – here are the best ones.


The “G” in Goodwill’s logo is stylized to look like half a smiling face.

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The design is both clever and adorable.
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Goodwill and Lucy Yang/INSIDER

The logo was created by famous designer Joseph Selame in 1968.


The logo for the Tour de France has a hidden figure in its design.

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It seems obvious in retrospect.
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Le Tour de France

Along with the yellow circle in the logo, the “O,” “U,” and “R” in “Tour” make up a person riding a bicycle.


Northwest Airlines, which was acquired by Delta in 2008, had a clever logo with three different hidden meanings.

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Look closely.
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Wikimedia Commons

At first glance, the letter in the circle looks like an “N” for “north.” However, it can also be interpreted as a “W” for “west.” Not to mention the small red triangle at the top right of the letter, poking out of the circle, points northwest.


The “P” in Pinterest’s logo resembles a push pin.

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This makes perfect sense.
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imstock/Shutterstock, Pinterest, and Lucy Yang/INSIDER

The social media platform allows users to “pin,” or save, things they like onto virtual “boards,” or personal collections online.


Intentional or not, the “b” in Beats’ logo looks like someone wearing headphones.

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This visual might make it more obvious.
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Beats and Lucy Yang/INSIDER

Beats is just one among many companies that have hidden messages in their logos.

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The Jif peanut butter logo looks almost exactly the same upside down.

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Did you ever notice this?
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Marie C Fields/Shutterstock

In April 2018, Twitter user SeeDeng went viral after he noticed that that the Jif logo looks almost identical when it’s read upside down.

According to a representative from the J.M. Smucker company, which has owned the Jif peanut butter brand since 2002, the logo was not intentionally designed that way.

“We have no information in our archive that suggests the logo was intended to look the same upside down,” the representative previously told INSIDER.


The number eight is hidden in the middle of the eight of diamonds card.

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Look at the white space between the diamonds.
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Mr. Meijer/Shutterstock

In November, Twitter user PlinketyPlink went viral after sharing a photo of an eight of diamonds card along with the caption: “What age were you when you first saw the 8 in the middle of the 8 of diamonds?”

If you still can’t see the hidden number, take a closer look at the curved edges of the diamonds, which turn the white space in the middle of the card into a hidden eight.