Here’s something that you probably haven’t spent much time pondering: why are the toilet seats shaped differently in public restrooms than what you have at home?

Turns out there are actually a few good reasons for the design, which has been in place across the United States for a few decades.

The U-shaped seat is hygienically better, leaving extra space so genitals don’t come into contact with the seat plus giving more room so women can wipe, notes Lynne Simnick from the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials.

And while it might be cheaper to produce, there’s also an added benefit: it’s less likely to be stolen; guests at your home would know exactly where you got the seat.

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