Reddit is the hodgepodge of opinions on the Internet. It deals with everything and everyone and is packed with lengthy conversations on whatever topic you can imagine. So, it’s safe to say that if you’ve encountered a mystery and haves exhausted all other forms of solving it, the sub-Reddit r\whatisthisthing is your best bet.
The following list contains weird and random objects that, without the help of the Internet, would probably remain an unsolved enigma to this day. So, thank you good people of Reddit, for relieving us of the unbearable restlessness involved in asking ourselves, “What is this thing?”
The Shiny Rock
Objects around the house are either decorative or functional. But this silver ball doesn’t seem to fall into either of those categories. Even more puzzling is that you’re likely to find it in the kitchen next to the sink. We won’t blame you if you awkwardly try and scrub some plates with it.
So, what in the world is this random hunk of steel, and why is it on the kitchen counter? Is this some sort of futuristic sponge? Well, kind of. It’s actually stainless-steel soap. You use it to rub your hands in order to reduce cooking odors like onions and garlic. This is pretty revolutionary, especially for those who prepare a lot of garlic-infused treats.
Little White Specks
Time and again, the creepy clandestine lives of bugs never cease to surprise us. Such a well-organized row of specks can only be the genius work of an insect, but as impressive as it looks, I’m guessing none of us would want to see these lacy strings anywhere around our house. Just ask the guy who uploaded this picture to Reddit, the response he got was unsettling.
These are, in fact, “Lacewing eggs,” and it takes them 4 to 5 days to hatch, after which they release a nasty looking insect with rough skin and a fierce jaw. It’s one thing to see them growing out in the garden but finding them on your furniture just waiting to hatch is pretty repulsive.
The Hammock Trinity
This could easily come off as a public work of art, made to express the trinity or any other three circled model you can think of. But it’s the little hooks on the sides that give these metal swirls some sort of purpose beyond aestheticism. What could you possibly hang in the middle of the park? Well, it’s kind of funny how obvious the answer is.
Is there anything better than a good rest on a hammock beneath the trees? We doubt it, and so do the people who constructed these circular pieces of comfort. Next time you leave for the park, better bring something to swing on. And probably a book and plenty of food so you can spend the whole day curled up in your nook.
The Blue Chip
Now, this is a suspicious-looking object you wouldn’t imagine finding in a bag of chips. Is this some sort of code inviting you to join an undercover group? A way to communicate a secret message unknown to the government? A winning token? Sounds exciting, but, in reality, the answer is way less dramatic.
It’s a “testing chip” that factories use to test out their metal detectors. The purpose of the test is to ensure that foreign objects don’t get through. Looking in the bag, I think we can all agree the test has failed. Free chips for a year, anyone?
19th Century Grooming
The holes on this cup aren’t big enough for toothbrushes but they’re not small enough for toothpicks. It could possibly make for a good teabag holder if it didn’t have any holes at all. But this weird design is making it hard for us to come up with a good answer. Thankfully, Redditt has some users that have been around for quite a while and can tell us what the deal with this weird looking cup is.
It’s called a shaving scuttle and was frequently used by men in the 19th and 20th centuries. You place a bar of soap on top and fill the bottom with hot water, which then produces soap lather. You can still find this vintage tool today. It’s sure to make you feel a bit more pampered as you go about your day.
Before the Door Slams Shut
This is seriously puzzling. Looking at the picture, this cow gives nothing away. It’s too big to be a nail polish toe separator but too small to be a toilet supporter for kids. Seriously, what in the world is this? We’re not the only ones who are confused. Someone decided it was time to put an end to all this questioning and thankfully Reddit delivered.
This little foam figure is a door stopper, used to stop fingers from getting caught when a door slams shut. A genius idea that’s surely provided relief for quite a few parents. It can come as a giraffe, a ladybug, a tiger and probably any other animal your child can think of. Just make sure you place it high enough, the cute animal designs can be quite tempting for kids to grab.
The Balinese Yawn
This bizarre mask doesn’t look like its yawning for the sake of expressing how tired it is. Its mouth seems wide enough to use as a bottle opener and if you want to get very creative then maybe even a spoon holder. It was discovered by someone in New Zealand who uploaded the picture in order to find out what this mysterious object is all about.
Reddit users answered that it’s a traditional Balinese “yawning” dance mask. These masks are considered sacred and were commonly used in Balinese dance performances. They serve as a “home” for spirits and divine energies to dwell in. While most people today hang them around their homes for decorative purposes, they were once kept in temples and taken out only on special occasions. But now they’re all over Reddit as well.
A Traditional “Healer Thingy”
This tribal hand was found on the beautiful beaches of Lima. Looking like an interesting piece of history, its discoverer dug it out and posted the picture on Reddit in hopes of discovering the hidden significance behind it. Good thing we have the Internet because the answers were quite fascinating.
Many described it as a “traditional healer thingy.” It’s actually called a ceremonial chonta and is used in different healing ceremonies. It’s made from the wood of the chonta palm and shamanistic energy. It’s pretty random to find it on the beach, you’re more likely to find it in a San-Pedro ceremony.
The Bird Saver
Anything other than birds on a power line is kind of strange, especially this spinning wind turbine. It’s clipped on tightly, so it definitely didn’t get there by mistake. A new device for contacting UFOs? Whoever uploaded this picture to Reddit was probably weirded out.
This clipped on device is a bird flight diverter and has probably saved a few lives by preventing birds from colliding straight into the power lines. So, not so much a device connecting us to outer space, but more like one connecting us with animals soaring around familiar space. Amazing.
Rusty Metal Vent
A passing jogger discovered seven of these suspicious looking metals scattered around a park in the UK. They looked like some military remnant or secret bunker, and he was so fascinated by the encounter that he had to put this mystery to rest. Could this be the story of some action-packed event that took place around his local park?
Turns out this rusty piece of metal isn’t anything too dramatic. No underground organizations or bloodshed for the greater good of humanity. Just a vent for underground gasses, which is important and interesting in and of itself, but surely the poster was a bit underwhelmed by this answer.
Counting Steps One Bead at a Time
Beads are so diverse and their purpose changes indefinitely, depending on the country you find them in. They can be used to count spiritual merits, to massage your back, or to flaunt your high status and good taste in jewelry. That’s why whenever you encounter them, you’re never quite sure what the deal is. Especially when you find them in the middle of a forest in the Netherlands, near a military camp.
In this case, they’re called ranger beads or pace count beads, and they are often used in land navigation. Now you can obviously use GPS to track your distance as well but using beads to count your steps could add a nice twist to your hike. You’ll probably be more vigilant and immersed in the situation, making the whole experience livelier.
The Arrow of Hopewell
From afar, this little arrow might be mistaken for a mundane rock. But this curious Reddit user found this in his backyard and realized its shape was carefully carved out. Was this pointy object used as an actual weapon? Or did this pendant fall off someone’s necklace? As usual, Reddit responders provided some answers. One user traced this item all the way back to 2,000 years ago!
He suggested it was a culture arrow, belonging to the Hopewell Indians that lived along the rivers in the east-central area of North America. Who would have imagined this little arrow carried such historical significance? Next time you’re out in the garden, keep your eyes wide open! You never what primal treasure could be hidden around your familiar home.
The Roman Oil Jar
Yet again, this is another surprising antique exhumed from someone’s backyard. This little piece of history was found in a garden in South Netherland and it instantly sparked the discoverer’s curiosity. Imagine digging out something as rusty as this clay jar. You immediately assume it’s been buried for centuries.
Reddit informed the poster that “It’s a Roman oil jar made of terracotta.” Pottery was a huge part of the Roman culture, and these jars came in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Now that this little piece of antiquity has found its way back from the underground, we hope whoever found it has placed it nicely on one of their shelves.
A New Way to Chop
Unsure what this funny looking axe is supposed to cut, someone posted a picture on Reddit, hoping to discover a new chopping technique. He probably found it especially interesting knowing that it came from Japan, being the innovative country that it is. Surprisingly though, this isn’t really an axe.
It’s a tree delimbing tool. You use it to reach high limbs and remove branches from tree trunks. It’s a delicate procedure, and one that requires a lot of skill. You don’t want to find yourself getting hit by multiple branches flying violently towards your face. If you were to randomly find this in the woods, we’d recommend that you not experiment with it if you don’t fully know how.
The Leaking Boxing Bag
Imagine you had a boxing bag made of steel leaking from your basement’s ceiling. Who would you go to for answers? You could ask your neighbors or giving someone a call but, in all honesty, Reddit seems like the best choice for this questionable hardware that seems to serve no purpose.
According to Reddit, this is a sediment water filter that acts as a sieve to remove particles. It captures dirt and sand and results in cleaner, better tasting water. We understand why someone might have been spooked though, its appearance is sketchy looking, and the constant dripping sound is straight out of a horror film.
The Cassette Demagnetizer
This could be a construction tool but could also pass as something you’d see showcased at a torture museum. Either way, this mysterious object must have a purpose to it. If there’s someplace on the Internet that can provide answers as to what this ambiguous piece is, its Reddit.
If you lived in the 60’s and played your fair share of good tunes on cassette players, you’ll be interested to know that this grimy piece is actually a cassette demagnetizer. It was used to remove magnetic build up from the tape path. What a nostalgic find.
A New Type of Cookie Cutter
This could be so many things. A weird cookie cutter, a missing part of a bike or a carousel, or even a symbol you would see tattooed on someone’s arm. Its nice, turquoise color gives off a beachy and sunny air but doesn’t get us close to understanding what this actually is. R\whatisthis, any ideas?
Used in construction, this little piece is called a spacer wheel. A Reddit user explained that “they’re designed to hold rebar in place before pouring concrete.” If you’re not working in construction this might be a dull finding, but with some thorough cleaning you could at least try and make some cookies out of it.
The Double Inkwell
This object can pass for a beautifully detailed candle holder, as well as a personal ashtray, with each person having his own little spot to remove the ash. But, in truth, this is used for different purposes. If you happen to have a friend who collects antique goods, or have come across this at a museum, you probably already know what it is.
It’s called a “Double Inkwell” and was widely used in the 19th century. You can fill one well with water to wash your pen, so the ink doesn’t dry, or choose to use two colors of ink. It’s always fun to find tools from previous centuries because they were all so incredibly elegant. Not only was your pen luxurious looking but so was your ink holder.
The Mini Electric Fence
This metal spider was found in someone’s backyard. Thankfully, it was a person who found it and not a dog! Just imagine biting on one of the spikes, ouch. We can imagine how puzzled the person who found it was when they dug it out. What on earth could this be used for? This looks too hostile to rake a few leaves with.
A Reddit user quickly responded that it’s an electrostatic animal guard. You attach it to electrical insulators and when an animal touches the spikes it automatically receives an electric shock. Its inventors claim that no serious damage is done to the animal and that it only startles them. Well, digging this up from the ground is sure to startle anyone.
The Flower Frog
This looks like a solid and flattened out jellyfish that’s missing its tentacles. You’re welcome to pitch in some more ideas but, in all honesty, we’re stumped. This looks like it can’t be used for anything but a fun game of r\whatisthis. Surprisingly, this actually has a purpose! Thank you, Reddit, for solving our mysteries time and time again.
Ever heard of a “flower frog”? Neither have we, but we’re delightedly impressed! Its holes are used to fit in stems to create a neat and colorful arrangement of flowers. It comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes and is a beautiful alternative to a regular vase. Good to know.
The Yellow Reflector
Looking like a super advanced version of tic-tac-toe, this yellow thing is quite confusing and seems a bit purposeless. But it’s perfectly drilled onto a telephone pole so there’s got to be some use to it, but what could it be? Of course, the people on Reddit knew and responded reassuringly that this object is as necessary as it gets.
They’re called grid reflectors and they’re meant to make poles visible at night, mainly to help motorcyclists avoid any tragic accidents. Responsible and lifesaving, we’re sure glad the Internet could sort out this puzzle before anyone decided to paint it a different color.
When the Weather Gets Stormy
Again, our grim minds take us either to a creepy asylum, an underground shelter against bombs or a bunker to store missiles or kidnapped people. But before jumping to unnecessary conclusions, we have Reddit to provide us with some actual answers.
No bodies or war related items are involved, just water. This concrete structure is for “storm water retention, so sewers aren’t overwhelmed.” That wasn’t our first idea, but we’re glad to know water is being managed efficiently!
A red sign with a capital “WARNING” engraved on it can’t be good news. Especially if it has the word “poison” written underneath. Oh, and especially if it’s in your house buried next to a few other boxes. The person who uploaded this picture to Reddit caused such a stir that even the press got involved.
Luckily, an inspection from Radiation Control cleared the air and confirmed that this label was an old sign from the 1950s and that the red boxes weren’t anything dangerous. That must have been quite a relief for the person who dug out this apocalyptic piece.
A Fashionable Piece
A compatible bracelet? Some sort of mystical circle unleashing a sorcerous force? Difficult to decide. Jokes aside, this must have some sort of purpose to it. The little hoops all around make it attachable to other objects, and it was mechanically designed to open and close for a reason. But for what?
If you’re someone who has a few vintage purses in your closet, you might already know. This expanding circle used to be stitched to the top of a purse as its opening. Without a little handbag attached to it, it looks pretty useless, but in its full form it surely grabbed the attention of a lot of fashionable people.
Felling Sick? Use This Invalid Feeding Cup
We’re not quite sure what to make of this. Who knew something could look like a soup bowl and a teapot at the same time? If it wasn’t so accurately curved on the top, we might have assumed that it simply broke or that the designer ran out of clay. Thankfully, Reddit has the answer.
Known as an “invalid’s cup,” it was used in the past by people who were either sick or too weak to get up and feed themselves. Considering those people’s conditions, you would’ve thought they’d be a bit more sensitive when choosing the cup’s name.
Remains of the Gooble Goble
Is this a turtle? A dinosaur’s mouth? A bunch of pebbles attached to a larger stone? After looking at it for a while, you start to come up with some weird ideas. This person kept it for 20 years before posting it on Reddit! Imagine what bizarre things crossed his mind. Next to the picture he wrote “20 years of research and reddit is my last hope!”
Lo and behold, Reddit actually had an answer for him. So, these are in fact teeth. Not a dinosaur’s, but a fish’s – the American freshwater drum fish. With their strong jaws they can crush hard oysters and mussels. They also have a ton of funny names, such as gooble goble, wuss fish or glorpa dorpa.
The Hairy Slug
Imagine waking up in the morning, preparing yourself some coffee and as you get ready to sit on your lawn chair, you’re greeted by this weird, squirming octopus creature who’s taken the seat instead of you. Creepy way to start your day, and one that calls for some urgent help from Reddit.
This terrifying squid is known as a “hag moth.” They’re also known as “monkey slugs” due to their fuzzy legs. They’re actually harmless, even though they look like a distorted, hairy tarantula. But, as with other bugs, we know they don’t have to be dangerous for us to jump out of the way when they appear, so feel free to let out a scream.
The Sturdy Smoke Ring
Either someone created some impressively durable smoke rings with their mouth, or an extraterrestrial being sent us a floating message. Surely, the cars that stopped to take pictures of this weird ring threw some crazy ideas in the air too. Thankfully, someone posted this picture on Reddit and got answers for all of us.
This floating circle is a self-reinforcing wave called a soliton. It’s caused by “the rotation motion of the smoke from the cylindrical jacket on the transformer”. We’re not quite sure what this means but we know that their form remains intact and that they serve as a nice conspiratorial conversation starter.
The Termite Frass
This person cleaned up this mess from their cupboard, only to find that a week later, it reappeared. What on earth is this white powder? Rotting wood? Termite eggs? Some sort of insect’s discharge? All those options are horrifying to think about. r\whatisthis, we’re desperate for help.
This scattered powder is called “frass.” It is defined as the debris produced by insects, or in other words, termite poop. The responses on Reddit were clear and concise – “Termite droppings, termite frass, call a pest control man ASAP.” Someone suggested that it “looks like yeast,” and although we see the similarities, we doubt that’s the case.
The Miraculous Clock
What would you make of the words “Miracle Eye” on the back of your clock? It must be something truly magical right? Because today, we have watches tracking our heartbeats, yet no one’s going around claiming they’re miraculous. What sort of power does this old clock have?
When this watch was created, this sort of ability was probably seen as nothing short of a magical spell. The “Miracle Eye” switch was responsible for a light sensor that can be turned on and off, according to your needs. One Redditor jokingly suggested that “you turn it off when you want to do something god wouldn’t approve of.” We like that idea better.
The Failed Launch
This dog looks as stumped as we are. How did this clunky piece of steel end up in shallow water? The person who uploaded this picture described it as having a honeycomb shape that’s fiber glassed. It was found in the US territory of Guam. It’s hard to imagine Reddit users would have an answer for this mysterious object.
Luckily, one Reddit user was able to provide insight with an interesting story. Apparently, “There was recently a Chinese Long March 3B rocket launch that failed” and as it was diving back into earth it landed in the waters of Guam. What a rare sight that puts all other strolls on the beach to shame!
The Aztec Calendar
The person who was planning on renovating this wall was strongly advised by his grandfather NOT to touch this ancient stone. That’s a bit spooky. I mean the monkey at the center of this carved circle looks like he could potentially come to life and summon a few more spirits with him. It’s probably best to listen to grandpa, but there’s no harm in asking a few Reddit users.
One user identified it as an “Aztec Sun Stone.” Carved on it, are the five worlds of the sun from Aztec mythology. It’s incredibly interesting to look at because the details on it are endless and seem to be telling quite a sophisticated story. Grandpa was right, this should definitely be well-kept and appreciated.
You can call this wishful thinking, but this stone surely holds some secrets of the universe, doesn’t it? It looks like it’s inscribed with some ancient language, completely foreign to modern man. The person who found this in the woods must have come up with some freaky ideas as well. But once they posted this picture on Reddit, all such thoughts were done for.
It’s actually part of a children’s indoor horseshoe game. One user had one just like that as a kid and explained that “It’s one of two stakes that came with rubber horseshoes in a child’s indoor horseshoe game.” So maybe it doesn’t hold any godly secrets, but the memory of kids playing around is just as nice.
No Touching Handles
The person who received this is a newly enrolled college student, and they should be thankful for such an appropriate gift, considering they’re now living with other people. At first glance, this might look like a missing part of some other object, but this little item is valuable beyond words, especially in this day and age. Yup, you guessed it, it has to do with germs.
According to Redditors, it’s called a “germ key,” and it is used for “opening door handles without touching them.” You place your finger through the hole and then hook it onto handles. You might look a bit like a hypochondriac while using it, and even get some snarky comments along the way, but don’t mind people, they’re just jealous they don’t have one too.
Yes, It’s the Polypore Fungus
Whoever found this gooey looking creature wrote that it’s “hard to the touch.” In all honesty, we salute him for even reaching out. Where do you begin analyzing this beige, mutant being that looks like it’s sweating profusely? This is so grossly enticing; good thing Reddit users were able to answer.
Responders identified this as “a polypore fungus.” Part of a diverse family of mushrooms called “The Polypores,” they assist in decomposing dead wood and exude excess moisture from their little pores and tubes through a process called “guttation.” And there you have it, a neat biology lesson for a not so neat looking mushroom.
Real or Prop?
Running into a missile in the middle of the woods is sure to get your imagination going. What’s the story behind this brutal rocket? Does it date back to WWI? Was it the enemy’s ammunition? If so, what country is it from? No wonder r/whatisthisthing is packed with pictures of unidentified military machinery, historical savagery is too interesting to overlook.
Many people left comments like “LEAVE IT ALONE,” and some dismissed it as being a prop. But it was the missile’s location that helped people conclude its origin. It was found in Tennessee, near an area where there used to be a military school called the DeBerry Academy, and apparently, it used to be mounted on a plinth outside one of the buildings.
The Superhuman Wrench
This can’t be real, can it? It’s surely a prop or given to a construction worker as a token for their groundbreaking achievements. In any case, it weighs more than 30 pounds, and unless you’re Hulk, Big Foot, or Abomination, we highly doubt you’ll be able to put use it. Surprisingly, Reddit responded differently.
A guy who works at the Federal Reserve commented “totally functional,” and that opening the vault with such a huge wrench is quite the attraction. That’s good to know. In case this ever needs a huge storage room, he now has a massive tool at hand to open it with.
The Terrifying Playground
If you’re looking to shoot a horror movie, here’s a creepy, scaffold-like structure you could use to create the ultimate hunt down scene. One glimpse at this awful labyrinth is enough to create such claustrophobic feelings that even the most resilient person wouldn’t dare enter. The guy who posted this happened to find it on a trip near a paintball field in Czechia. Who would have thought Reddit could help him make sense of this uncanny maze?
So, this sparked a lot of speculation, from a 3D maze to a children’s camp. But sporty activity was the main consensus. Others suspected it was some sort of building method called “Baubotanik,” in which structures are created using plants. That sounds a bit more reassuring than a child’s play. I mean who would want to send their kids to this dreary playground anyway?
Back From the Dead
This discovery is as morbid as it gets. This coffin-sized box was exhumed from someone’s farm, looking all suspicious and bleak. The person who discovered this clearly didn’t want to open it up without first consulting the knowledgeable world of Reddit. We can imagine how eager this person was to know whether they might have brought someone back from the dead.
Thankfully, no bodies are involved, only a septic tank. It’s an underground chamber used for wastewater treatment that allows for efficient and safe disposal of water. The initial impression of this old-style tank gives off terrifying vibes, but thankfully Reddit has proved otherwise.
The “Squishy Thing”
The person who posted this picture described it as a “squishy thing.” The word squishy is often joined by the word slimy, which together is rarely a good thing. Finding this in your coffee seriously makes you question what in the world goes on in the factories producing our drinks. It’s pretty amazing someone on Reddit had the answer to this gross glob.
They suggested that it was a chemical reaction resulting from the combination of milk solids from condensed milk and sodium alginate, forming some sort of gummy texture. Someone in the line of production should have double-checked his work. After picking something like this out of your drink, a compensation of more of the same drink is probably the last thing you want.
The Explosive Salt Shaker
It’s fair to say that if an unknown item has been lying around your research lab for years, you should check it out, even if it looks like an innocent lightbulb or a saltshaker with no holes. Who knows what sort of deadly concoction is inside this opaque glass figure? Scientists of r/whatisthisthing, any insights?
The answer to this was too unsettling. We can’t imagine what the researchers felt when they discovered that it might be a fire extinguisher from the early 1900s. I mean, what are you supposed to do now? Throw it into the garbage? Who would dare pick it up knowing it could potentially blow your lab into pieces? A literal blast from the past.
A Game of Marbles
This could simply be someone’s marble collection, right? But they’re so well placed in this wooden circle, with a matching number of holes that it must be for some purpose other than a hobby. Maybe moving them around will cause some sort of shift in energy? Instead of getting into spiritual conspiracies, let’s ask Reddit instead.
Ever heard of marble solitaire? It’s okay, you’re not alone. Also known as “peg solitaire,” this is basically like the regular version, but instead of using cards, you use marbles or pegs instead. The goal of it is to remove your marbles from the board until you only have one left. Next time you see this lying around someone’s house collecting dust, offer them a game.
State of the Art Drawers
This looks more like a piece of art than a functioning chest of drawers. Why would anyone place something in a space like this if it could roll off the sides at any given moment? We can imagine too many dangerous scenarios with this furniture, like kids placing their fingers on the sides. Did the carpenter lack… wood? Thankfully, someone put an end to this confusion and posted it on Reddit.
So, a work of art isn’t that far from the truth, but it’s more like a cabinet for your work of art. A Reddit user kindly wrote in that – “You want to be able to get under the artwork without bending up the edges, which would damage it if done repeatedly. So you push it up from the hole and/or slide it off the edge of the drawer.” Greatly avant-garde.
For All of the Jam Lovers Out There
What would you do if you recently bought a house, only to discover that you have this bizarre plastic with jagged teeth screwed underneath one of your cabinets? What were the previous owners doing around the house? Or maybe it was the ones before them? After all, this house was built in the ’70s, the technology at the time was pretty weird.
Even though it looks menacing, it’s actually a simple jar opener. It’s insanely useful, to be honest! Recall all the moments you struggled to open a jar of jam, holding on to it for dear life, twisting and turning, maybe even using your shirt when your hands started to get sweaty. If we were the new tenants, we would be pretty psyched.