This is inspired by the long-running thread Obvious things about a creative work you realize after the millionth time. Apologies if it’s been done before recently. I couldn’t find by searching a similar thread about real-life obvious things you never realized.
When I was a kid, my mother often made baked beans from scratch, starting by soaking the dried beans you bought in a bag at the supermarket, so I was familiar with those. Also the kidney beans you put in chili, black/pinto beans in burritos, etc. At the same time, we frequently ate green beans. It never occurred to me that there was much in common between these two types of “beans.” They were sort of like “pepper”-- bell peppers vs. pepper the seasoning; two food items which shared a name but weren’t related.
Well into adulthood, I shared a rental house with roommates, and we had a garden. One spring, I decided I was going to plant green beans. So I dutifully went to the garden store and bought a packet of what I thought of as green bean vine seeds. When I got home and opened it up, I was shocked to find that the seeds were… beans! Like the kidney, pinto, or navy variety! :smack: What an a-ha moment. It had never occurred to me that green beans were just the immature, unripened seed pod of the same kind of plant, and the other kind of beans were the mature seeds, what the little tiny green seeds inside the green bean pod grew into if you let it grow.
What other obvious things in real life did it take you a while to realize?