A circle can't be turned in such a way that the lid can fall into the hole.
“Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside
them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe.” -Neil Gaiman
They are designed to be used as pizza pans in a pinch, especially by fictional anthropomorphic turtles who live in sewers
Originally Posted by Southern Kross
Its an evil international conspiracy. A round metal plate manufacturer has paid off all local government officials to ensure they are round, thus cornering the market (pun unintended) and eliminating competition with manufacturers of square metal plates.
I imagine you're not far off there. Maybe nobody's actually bribed governments. But I imagine that since manhole covers are allready round most cases it's easier to find a manufacturer making round covers than it is to find a manufacturer making different shapes.
Patches is right about the "real" answer, but the REAL answer is...
because manhole covers are made by a very ancient firm which originated in Greece. The ancient Greeks liked circles, they saw them as the elements our universe was built on. Of course, manhole covers are as essential to the well-being of the cosmos as planet orbits. So they should be round.
Sadly, the more recent manhole covers actually aren't perfect, smooth circles. Usually there is some text or design on them. That's why our world has been suffering from natural disasters.
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I'm female. I just can't draw women
Round manhole covers and rectangular streets are congruent with the ancient Chinese tenet of a round heaven and square/rectangular earth.
It's all about balance...feng shui in our cities. Something to do with this 3000-year-old secret society between the leaders of the East and West. No one really knows details...it's super secret anyway.
The ancient Greeks liked circles, they saw them as the elements our universe was built on. Of course, manhole covers are as essential to the well-being of the cosmos as planet orbits. So they should be round.