Toasters. Pretty simple right? You put bread in. Push a lever. Shortly after, the bread comes out as toast. Et voila.
Except for one little thing.
The wheel of mystery.
What exactly is this wheel? Is it degree of toastiness, or is it, as a popular meme making the rounds on the internet suggests, actually the amount of MINUTES the toast is cooked for?
DUN DUN DUNNNNNN.
The internet is still abuzz about what exactly the wheel of mystery means, but luckily for us, one YouTuber has solved the problem with a little simple experiment.
Using multiple toasters all set to "level two" and a stop watch, Tom Scott gets to the bottom of it.
The timer thing. It's a myth. A meme that blows our minds then takeths away.
But one question remains - what is the wheel set to? Well, as Scott explains:
“Toasters don’t have timing chips in them. They’re far too cheap for that. What they have is a bimetallic strip. Two bits of metal back to back that heat up and expand at different rates, so the strip slowly curves. What you’re changing with these dials is how far that strip has to curve before it triggers the thing that pops the toast up again,"
Yep, the number on the dial will determine how much that strip can curve, and therefore, how toasty your toast is. As Scott also points out in his video a timer on a toaster wouldn't even make sense because you would still have to experiment with how many minutes your type of bread would need, in order to be your ideal toastiness level.
So where to from here? In the wise words of toaster-avenger and saviour of our sleepless nights, Scott:
“Someone is wrong on the internet and now you can correct them.”
Bravo to you, Scott. Bravo.
Did you know about what the toaster timer actually meant?