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How to Open a Can Without Any Tools

How to Open a Can Without Any Tools

A recurring theme in the nightmares of many preppers and zombie apocalypse aficionados is a scenario in which survivors hunker down in their bunkers, surrounded by cans of food that should help them wait out the storm, only to realize that they’ve forgotten to pack a can opener. Quite a frightening thought, isn’t it? Well, it doesn’t have to be—there’s an easy way to open a can without any handy little implements, and the only thing you need in order to do so is a material that’s found all over the world:

Concrete.

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If you have any canned goods in the house, take a quick look at the cans’ tops for a second. You’ll notice that there are two edges that have been sealed together in order to keep the contents fresh and edible, which is why people generally use a can opener or other sharp blade to pierce through to the tasty contents within.

To get to the delicious niblets inside those cans without any tools, you need to break through that bonded seal, and that can easily be done by rubbing the top of the can over a concrete surface. The way this works is quite simple: if you’ve ever fallen on concrete, you might have ended up with scraped knees, elbows, hands, etc. Why is this? Because concrete generally has a rough texture that is as ideal for opening cans as it is unkind to skin surfaces.

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Opening the Can

To open your can, place it top-side down onto a piece of concrete. This could be a cinder block, a sidewalk, or any other cement surface that happens to be nearby.

Place the palm of your hand on the bottom of the can, apply a fair bit of pressure to it, and then scrape the can back and forth across the concrete surface. Doing so will wear away the seal on your can, but be patient—it’s better to take your time and wear it down slowly than to scrape it too hard, too quickly. You don’t want to end up forcing the seal open and getting concrete dust and grit in your food.

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Once you’ve worn away the seal, all you have to do is squeeze the sides of the can gently and the top should just pop open. If it doesn’t, scrape away at it a little bit more and then try again. I know this sounds almost too simple to be true, but I’ve tried it myself and it does actually work.

Be careful after popping the edges apart as they may have been sharpened by the friction and you probably don’t want to slice your hand open. In situations where you may not have immediate access to medical supplies, getting tuna juice or beef stew into an open cut is an invitation for some nasty infections. Let’s consider this a reminder to ensure that you always have a basic first aid kit in the house: not only can you patch yourself up with its contents, but you can use an alcohol swab to clean off your concrete surface if any canned goods spill out over it. Keeping things as clean as possible will lessen the chance of illness from rotting food particles and cross-contamination.

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If you’re having difficulty visualizing how this could work at all, check out this video. In it, a couple of terribly cool Russian guys (they call themselves “Crazy Russian Hackers”) give a demonstration on this very technique.

Just think of all the people in zombie films and Cold War shelters who could have benefited from knowledge of this technique! Talk about a true life-hack. Although some people may laugh off this technique as being ridiculous or extreme, you really never know when you might be in a situation where it might come in handy.

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Catherine Winter

Catherine is a wordsmith covering lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

The 20 Most Creative Instagram Accounts That Will Inspire You

The 20 Most Creative Instagram Accounts That Will Inspire You

Instagram allows you to see exactly what inspires people and how creativity is drawn from their everyday life. We use Instagram to capture what makes us smile, what brings joy to our life, and what we are passionate about, and the accounts listed below are sure to inspire you in turn.

Here are our 20 top creative Instagram accounts that you should be following today.

1. Humans Of New York

Brandon Stanton walks the streets of New York City taking street photography, and he gets his subjects to open up about life details that even many family members may not know about them. It makes you smile and connect with the images at a new level.

 2.  Paris in Four Months

Carin Olsson moved to Paris and is documenting every part of her experience, from the macaroons to the Eiffel Tower with all of its shimmering lights. If you want to go to Paris but can’t get there today, Carin will take you.

3. Civilized Caveman Cooking

George Bryant offers up more than his love for cooking Paleo cuisine as he shares more about life, joy, and happiness. His coined hashtag is #hugsandbacon.

4. Andrew Knapp

Andrew has taken the world by storm with his adorable version of Where’s Waldo? His version is Find Momo, and stars his border collie.

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5. Idafrosk

Ida Skivenes has developed a knack for food art. From the world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Strawberry Fields Forever, she has recreated it all with food.

6. GrandmaBetty33

Grandma Betty is fighting cancer and is inspiring others to smile and be happy in life. She brings a smile to your face instantly and is like having your grandma right beside you.

7. Maya_on_the_Move

Tania Ahsan captures the world of her cute bulldog, Maya, on her adventures in New York. Maya makes appearances that will make you smile, laugh, and inspire you to go out and create something special.

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8. Leoleoparis

Leo captures the life on the streets of Paris. Most of his work is done in black and white, offering that iconic Parisian look.

9. Jacob Santiago

Jacob Santiago creates stunning, vibrant images around New York City, showcasing the architecture and streets. I’m sure you haven’t seen the streets of NYC like this before.

10. Julie’s Kitchen

Julie Lee showcases how everyday produce can create colorful art designs. At first glance, you think it is just a design; then, a second take illustrates that it is really fruits and vegetables.

11. iloveplaymo

iloveplaymo brings together photography and Playmobil toys in action. The images are up to date with current world events and everyday life.

12. “Red” Hong Yi

Red Hong Yi loves to paint without a paintbrush. Her style uses daily items to create lovely images.

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13. Alexis Diaz

A breathtaking artist from Puerto Rico who loves to paint murals. Alexis’s work is featured all over the world.

14. Murad Osmann

Murad Osmann is a music video producer, but his claim to fame on Instagram has been his photographs with his girlfriend leading him by her hand.

15. Simone Bramate

Simone Bramate is a storyteller who just so happens to take delightful photos as well.

16. Willie Kessel

Willie Kessel brings beach life right to your smartphone. Amazing surf and lifestyle images that take your mind off of all of the work and stress in your life.

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17. Nick Ulivieri

Nick Ulivieri is a talented photographer who loves to capture the windy city of Chicago and skies, especially during storms. His images are gorgeous and make you realize how wonderful life really is.

18. Jo Jerry

Jo Jerry’s landscape photos around Santorini, Greece, make you want to book a flight immediately. The bright colors and simplicity in the images make his photos stand out from the rest.

19. GoPro

GoPro uses fan-sourced images on their account that are all captured with a GoPro. Creativity to the max is used in these images and range from the grocery store to incredible surf.

20. Vin Farrell

Vin Farrell is a creative who works on the agency side for large clients and has a knack for photography. His iPhone captures amazing aerial images around NYC and the world.

Featured photo credit: Andy via flickr.com

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