What are idle afternoons for if not to think about random things and wonder why they're there? We've all done it. At some point or the other, you may have noticed the seemingly random letters 'YKK' on zippers almost everywhere. Well, if on one of your idle afternoons, you've chanced upon a zipper and wondered about the reason behind these mystery letters, we've got answers for you.

The 'YKK' on zippers stands for Yoshida Kōgyō Kabushikigaisha - the world's foremost zipper manufacturer. According to one estimate, they make more than half the zippers in the world at over 206 facilities across 71 countries.

Source: Continental Machinery Movers

A Japanese businessman, Tadao Yoshida founded this zipper giant back in 1934 in Tokyo. He very shrewdly chose to focus on the manufacturing of just one simple product, the zipper - an essential tool employed in fastening clothes, accessories and other materials together.

And there was just no looking back since then.

Source: Marudhar Agencies
Source: YKK Fastening

The YKK have since expanded into making all sorts of fasteners and snaps along with a few architectural materials. Not only this, they also make the machines that make the zippers.

The largest plant of the company is located in Georgia, USA - which churns out over 7 million zippers per day.

Source: A Geeky World

There you go. This titan of the fastener industry is the reason your pants stay zipped up and now you know it.

Masthead source: Kanye To The, Feature source: Etsy