'Door close' buttons on most elevators don't work for a reason

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It is often tempting to press the door-close button in an elevator, but that effort will likely not make the doors move any faster.

This is because, as the New York Times reports, these buttons became largely obsolete in the early 1990s soon after the Americans with Disabilities Act was put into effect.

According the article, because the law specifies that elevators must give disabled people enough time to get on, the mechanism to potentially disrupt that transition was no longer maintained.

And as elevators are typically overhauled every 25 years or so, the likelihood that any functioning close buttons remain is low.

Interestingly, the buttons still exist for mental health purposes; the New York Times piece quotes a Harvard psychologist as explaining, "Perceived control is very important. It diminishes stress and promotes well being."

Similar so-called "placebo buttons" are also known to exist at many pedestrian crosswalks and building thermostats, notes Science Alert.

RELATED: If you thought that was weird, check out these weird items confiscated by customs:

14 PHOTOS
NTP: Drugs in food, weird things found by Customs
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NTP: Drugs in food, weird things found by Customs
This October 2015 photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows an array of food products concealing cocaine in Newark, N.J. A U.S. citizen arriving from Peru at Newark Liberty International Airport in October had an assortment of food in his luggage that customs officials found also included 10 pounds of cocaine. Customs officials found a package of cocaine stuffed inside a nougat cake, and scattered throughout various other food and drink items. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP)
This November 2014 photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows bags, marked as holding powdered dairy products, that hold cocaine in New York. A woman arriving at Kennedy International Airport in New York from Guyana was found with six bags of milk and custard powder that were filled with cocaine. Customs officials said they found 13 pounds of drugs in her luggage, with an estimated street value of $230,000. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP)
This October 2015 photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows a packet of cocaine hidden in a bag of ground coffee in Miami. Three bags of roasted, ground coffee arriving at Miami International Airport in a package from Guatemala in October were actually filled with more than 3 pounds of heroin, customs officials said. Customs officials said they noticed anomalies during an X-ray and felt that the weight of the three bags was different from that of others in the shipment. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP)
This April 2015 photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows vanilla wafers filled with cocaine in Houston. A Guatemalan citizen arrived at George Bush Intercontinental Airport from Guatemala City in April with packages of vanilla wafers. But when customs officials opened them up, they said they found they were filled with cocaine instead of cream filling. He also had bags of chips that had small bundles of cocaine inside of them. The 4 pounds of cocaine had a street value of more than $60,000. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP)
This April 2015 photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows vanilla wafers filled with cocaine in Houston. A Guatemalan citizen arrived at George Bush Intercontinental Airport from Guatemala City in April with packages of vanilla wafers. But when customs officials opened them up, they said they found they were filled with cocaine instead of cream filling. He also had bags of chips that had small bundles of cocaine inside of them. The 4 pounds of cocaine had a street value of more than $60,000. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP)
This December 2014 photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows rum bottles filled with liquid cocaine in New York. A man arriving from Guyana at Kennedy International Airport in New York was found to be carrying the bottles that customs officials said were filled with 18 pounds worth of liquid cocaine. The drugs had a street value of $310,000. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP)
This undated photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in October 2015 shows a block of cocaine concealed in a package of frozen meat in New York. A man arrived at Kennedy International Airport from Trinidad with three large packages of frozen meat in his suitcase. Customs officials took a closer look and said they found more than 7 pounds of powder cocaine inside. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP)
This July 2012 photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows methamphetamine disguised as a chocolate candy bar in Los Angeles. Officials said a California man tried to smuggle more than 4 pounds of methamphetamine out of the country disguised as 45 individually wrapped chocolate bars at Los Angeles International Airport. Customs officers became suspicious after seeing the candy bars inside the man's checked luggage and opened the bars to find a white substance covered by a "chocolate-like substance." Officials said the drugs would have sold for as much as $250,000 in Japan, where the man was headed. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP)
This June 2012 photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows packets of opium covered in cinnamon hidden inside a rice cooker in Los Angeles. Officials found the rice cooker stuffed with 3 pounds' worth of black opium, which had been coated in cinnamon and wrapped in plastic, being transported by a man arriving at Los Angeles International Airport from Iran. They also found a glass jar with a dark jelly-like substance in a suitcase that turned out to be opium. Officials said the opium had a street value of about $110,000. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP)
This June 2012 photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows packets of opium covered in cinnamon hidden inside a rice cooker in Los Angeles. Officials found the rice cooker stuffed with 3 pounds' worth of black opium, which had been coated in cinnamon and wrapped in plastic, being transported by a man arriving at Los Angeles International Airport from Iran. They also found a glass jar with a dark jelly-like substance in a suitcase that turned out to be opium. Officials said the opium had a street value of about $110,000. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP)
This February 2012 photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows plastic packets of chocolate syrup and salad dressing concealing cocaine paste in Los Angeles. A mother and daughter traveling from Spain were carrying bags of condiments that customs officials at Los Angeles International Airport decided felt unusually thick. They opened it up to find a plastic bag with cocaine paste placed inside, and then found another syrup packet in their checked-in luggage that contained more cocaine paste. Customs officials said they confiscated more than 10 pounds of the paste, a gummy substance that is extracted from coca leaves and then dried and turned into the white powder sold on the street. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP)
This November 2014 photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows bags of powdered dairy product that contained cocaine in New York. A woman arriving at Kennedy International Airport in New York from Guyana was found with six bags of milk and custard powder that were filled with cocaine. Customs officials said they found 13 pounds of drugs in her luggage, with an estimated street value of $230,000. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP)
This February 2012 photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows plastic packets of chocolate syrup and salad dressing concealing cocaine paste in Los Angeles. A mother and daughter traveling from Spain were carrying bags of condiments that customs officials at LAX decided felt unusually thick. They opened it up to find a plastic bag with cocaine paste placed inside, and then found another syrup packet in their checked luggage that contained more cocaine paste. Customs officials said they confiscated more than 10 pounds of the paste, a gummy substance that is extracted from coca leaves and then dried and turned into the white powder sold on the street. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP)
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