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6 Incredible Things That SUCK [Infographic]

Derek Hales

Written By: Derek Hales

Updated on:

Some things in life are meant to be good, like good coffee, good weather, or good friends—but some things are just meant to suck. And let’s face it, they’re really great at it! Here is a fun, quick guide of things that suck. Let’s get started!

Vacuum Cleaners and Things that Suck

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In the study of things that suck, let’s first start with animals. Animals use natural vacuums to eat, drink, or sometimes even as defense mechanisms.

The following animals have traits that are unique to them, which allow them to act as natural vacuums.

1. The Elephant Trunk

The trunk of an elephant is sensitive enough to pick up a blade of grass and strong enough to rip the branches off a tree.

The number of muscles elephant trunks contain is simply staggering. Most estimates put it between 40,000 to 100,000 muscles!

The put it into context, a human body contains only 639 muscles in total, and all muscles are supported by bones and tendons.

The elephant can suck up to 14 liters of water and then blow it straight into its mouth! That’s one thirsty elephant!

2. Hawk Moths

Hawk moths aren’t the most svelte or slender fliers, but when you can unfurl a 14-inch long proboscis (tongue), who cares?

With a tongue like this, hawk moths are able to reach nectar inaccessible to other flying creatures.

3. Pigeons

Pigeons may be perched in massive numbers outside New York high-rises, but they have one special trait that sets them apart from other animals.

Pigeons are able to use their beaks like straws to suck up water, while most other birds must rely on getting a few drops in their mouth and then tilting their heads back to let the water trickle down their throats.

RELATED – 15 Amazing Facts about Pigeons

Is the Black Hole a Vacuum?

Contrary to popular belief, the black hole is not a cosmic vacuum cleaner. If the sun is suddenly replaced by a black hole of the same mass, the earth’s orbit around the sun would remain unchanged.

To be sucked into the black hole, one must cross inside the Schwarzschild radius. Basically, that just means you’ve got to be very close to the origin point of the black hole  to be sucked in… good news for all of us

Do Vacuum Cleaners Suck?

The simplest way of explaining how to vacuum cleaner sucks up debris is to think of it like a straw.

When you take a sip of drink through a straw, the action of sucking creates negative air pressure inside the straw; a pressure that is lower than that of the surrounding atmosphere.

Tests have shown that vacuuming can kill 100% of young fleas and 95% of adult fleas.

RELATED – See our favorite vacuums on the best vacuums page.

What Else Can You Do with A Vacuum?

Find Tiny Lost Items

Place old tights over the vacuum cleaner’s hose, secure with a rubber band, and run it in between couch cushions and behind beds to find easy-to-misplace items, like earrings.

Inflate an Air Mattress

If your electric or battery-powered pump is broken or lost, use a bagged vacuum cleaner.

Perfecting the Pony Tail

A (clean) vacuum machine’s hose can double as a brush. Place a hair band on the end of the hose to slide onto the hair once it’s all swept up.

Slowly approach the ends of the hair, carefully making sure that all the hair fits inside the hose. Once most of the hair is inside the hose, slide the hair band onto the pony tail.

Double wrap the hair band to secure the hair in place.

Brushing Your Pets

Want to severely cut down on your allergies? Instead of brushing and then vacuuming up the pile of fur, take the vacuum directly to the dog.

It will feel like a nice massage to him, so long as he’s not one of those dogs already terrified of the vacuum.

Things You Should Never Do with A Vacuum Cleaner

Clean Up Large Pieces of Glass

Big pieces of broken glass are dangerous for your vacuum. They could puncture the bag, get lodged in the hose, or scratch up the interior.

Clean Up Fine Dust

If you’ve recently remodeled, don’t vacuum up sanding residue or other tiny particles since the machine might begin spewing dust back into the air (unless you have a good shop vacuum).

You’ll need to use a more durable machine, like a shop vac, instead. These vacuums have filters and parts specifically designed for this type of construction or outside debris.

MORE – How to vacuum (you’d be surprised what you might be missing)

Clean Up Wet Spills

Your average vacuum cleaner is not meant to pick up anything wet—be it soggy cereal, wet dog food, or even a spill. For cleaning wet spills, check out these best robot mops on the market. We put them to the test to see how they perform against a variety of spills and sticky messes. Alternatively, a good wet dry vac is great for these types of messes also.

Clean Up Fireplace Ashes

These ashes trap heat (and are also fine particles) so don’t suck them up in a normal vacuum.

Let the ashes cool for at least four days, then use a utility or a wet / dry vacuum to clean out the area.

Overall, vacuums serve a variety of unique purposes and are used by animals, the atmosphere, and common everyday homes!

Next time you look around at the environment surrounding you, just think about where all you see vacuums. For something truly remarkable… vacuums sure do sick.

About Derek Hales

Derek HalesDerek Hales is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of He has been featured in Fast Company, Reader's Digest, Business Insider,, She Knows, and other major publications. Derek has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Kansas State University. Hales has been testing and reviewing products for the home since 2014.

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