So you know how you've always kind of thought McNuggets come in repetitive shapes but it's hard to put your finger on exactly what they're supposed to be? (We all know one of them looks sort of like a boot, am I right?) Well it turns out McDonald's nuggets are meant to be that way.
A video from McDonald's Canada demonstrating how their chicken nuggets are made takes the viewer through the assembly line style chicken nugget making process, all the way from the chicken deboning to when boxes of pre-cooked nuggets are marked for shipping out to stores.
The magic happens in the "forming room", where the ground chicken meat is stamped into four distinct shapes: the ball, the bell, the boot, and the bow tie (also called the bone). The ball is the roundest one, which is different from bell, that more ovular, egg-shaped one. The bow tie (or bone) is vaguely rectangular, while the boot is self-explanatorily shaped... like a boot. So, not quite as intricate as dinosaur nuggets, but at least those patterns you were noticing weren't all in your head!
Apparently, the shapes come from a "rolling cookie cutter" that ensures consistency of shape and size. Back in 2012, McDonald's Canada explained that McNuggets are made into the four shapes to be fun for kids and to optimize dipping, which makes a lot of sense when you consider how perfectly McNuggets fit into the McDonald's dipping sauces.
According to another Q&A from McDonald's Canada, there are exactly 4 shapes because 3 would be "too few" and 5 would be "wacky". We're inclined to agree that 4 was the perfect number, and we wouldn't have it any other way!