Demystifying Objects With the Internet’s Help

If you’ve encountered a mysterious object and have exhausted all other forms of solving it, the Internet is your best bet. More specifically, Reddit – the ultimate online forum that deals with anything and everything. The following list contains weird and random objects that, without the help of a few Redditors, would probably remain unsolved enigmas to this day.

A hand is holding up a confusing-looking plastic rack / A pill-shaped container opened up to reveal dividers intended for thread / A box of different shaped fabric tubes / A hand holding up a buttonhole maker / A changing traffic light / Round and yellow pods in a plastic casing.
Source: Reddit

From weird-looking antennas to slimy candy, the things on this list are so hard to identify that we dare you to try and solve them without peeking at the answer.

Before we begin the list, here’s a little shout-out to the good people of Reddit. Thank you for relieving us of the unbearable restlessness involved in asking ourselves, “What is this thing?”

No, This Isn’t for Tea

This artistic piece of pottery looks like an elegant teacup from the 19th century. But looks can be deceiving. We hope the person who found this didn’t prepare something to drink in it because it has little to do with tea, biscuits, or anything related to an afternoon get-together in the garden.

A ceramic dish that has a bowl on top and an opening on the side.
Source: Twitter

It’s actually a scuttle, which is basically a mug for shaving. Who would have imagined that such an elegant piece of pottery with flowers and beautiful colors would end up being beard-related? The old times were full of class, that’s for sure!

Some Kind of Support for the Toilet?

The person who entered this public bathroom was seriously frazzled. Why would a toilet stand on one leg instead of a strong porcelain base? Does it go up and down according to one’s height? Hard to tell. Thankfully, the Internet came to the rescue.

On the underside of a public toilet, you can see an adjustable leg.
Source: Twitter

The person who found this wrote: “I’m assuming a toilet support.” Which isn’t far from the truth. Because it does support people. But not the ones who use the toilet. It supports the people who clean it. It’s a wall-mounted toilet that makes it easier for custodial staff to keep clean.

Weird Looking Plumb Bob

The person who found this had an idea of what this object might be. He posted, “Looks like a plumb bob but has dials that turn and strange markings.” So, he was right about the plumb bob. But as for the strange markings and dials that turn? Reddit had some interesting answers.

Multiple angles of the pyramid-shaped cylinder object of unknown origin.
Source: Reddit

One person suggested it was probably made from an antique fuse model. “Timed fuse from a Japanese artillery piece, probably a 75mm AA gun. The interesting thing is that it’s slightly pointier than you’d expect.”

Frozen Money or a Bad Prank?

Someone found this lying around in the dirt at their university. When you first look at it, it looks like frozen money. Easy answer, right? But not really because it was lying on the ground for quite some time and showed no signs of melting.

One dollar bills half ‘frozen’ in a block of ice.
Source: Reddit

As it turns out, the money was fake. And what looks like ice was actually acrylic. People on Reddit assumed that someone spotted it, thought it was real cash, broke the piece, and left it there on the ground when they realized the money was fake.

A Massive Toothbrush for Your Furry Friend

This weird-looking toothbrush is a tough cookie to crack. Who is this for? Whales? Dinosaurs? Giraffes? The person who found this felt absolutely clueless and approached the Internet in the hopes of finding the answer.

A dog using the chew toy-toothbrush / A weird-looking chew toy with an upward wand covered in bristles.
Source: Pinterest / Reddit

Surprisingly, this rubber tool isn’t for wild animals. It’s actually for your domesticated, spoiled little pet. The flat part sticks to the floor and is supposed to stay in its place, allowing your dog to chew, bite and drool all over it. The bristled pieces help their teeth stay clean!

An Odd Plier

This odd plier looks like some futuristic scorpion or robotic spider. It’s hard to figure out what it’s good for. No matter how familiar you are with tools, there will always be highly specialized ones that are more difficult to recognize.

Rounded diagonal pliers with small teeth along the edges.
Source: Reddit

The person who found this guessed they were pliers of some sort, but they had no idea which ones. Reddit came to the rescue and informed the guy that these were piston ring installation pliers. Unless you work at a mechanic store, we bet this specific tool didn’t ring a bell.

Magical Wand?

At first glance, this odd item looks like a giant chess piece. But it could also be a magical wand. Sadly, we’re old enough to know that there’s no such thing as magic (sigh…), so this must be something else. Reddit saved the day and gave us the answer!

A wooden four-prong olive pick on a table next to a penny for scale
Source: Pinterest

If you are a huge fan of olives, you’re in for a treat. This is called an olive pick or an olive fork. Instead of struggling to fit your hand in the jar, you can use this to pick out the last few that are left swimming around at the bottom.

Every Baker’s Dream

This Redditor’s husband received a package with a couple of items that don’t seem like they have much in common. Having one unidentified item is confusing enough, but receiving a bunch of odd items is too much. Thankfully, one Redditor managed to solve the puzzle!

A bread basket containing various tools used for baking bread / A promotional photo of a bread-making kit that includes various items.
Source: Reddit

This package is a kit for baking bread, and each item has its own important role. The basket holds your bread for proofing, and the other tools are for slashing the top of the dough to create patterns and allow the dough to expand in the oven properly.

Only Time Will Tell…

It’s easy to assume that this is some sort of ad or a specific brand’s logo. But if you see it live, you’ll notice that the colors change. If you see this technology daily, you probably know what this is. But for those of you who don’t, here’s the answer:

A light post with multiple rows of changing lights on the top.
Source: Reddit

It’s called a “set theory clock” or in German “Mengenlehreuhr.” It’s located in Berlin and consists of 24 lights. The circular, blinking, yellow light on top counts the seconds, the two top rows count the hours, and the two bottom rows count the minutes. This photo was taken at 11:41.

Unusual Glass Jar

Under regular lighting, this item looks like a normal decorative jar or one that you might store a few nuts in. But when you place it under UV light, it glows! It turns an icky yellow-green. What could it be? Let’s see if Reddit has the answer.

A small cracked jar that looks like a small vase. The jar is glowing yellow-green under UV light.
Source: Twitter

The poster of this picture also noticed that the jar had the numbers 192 and 1660 marked on the bottom of it. Redditors argued whether the jar’s UV tone was uranium or manganese. No one knows for sure. But the consensus was that this jar probably held some sort of cream or petroleum jelly in the past.

A Candied Pear

At first glance, this item looks like part of a pineapple. Or maybe jelly… or perhaps some kind of desert plant. This Redditor was desperate to know whether the item they found was edible. So he reached out to the one and only r/whatisthisthing forum.

A jelly-like piece of food covered in markers resembling a pineapple / A pile of prickly pears.
Source: Reddit / Twitter

The poster said that the item’s texture was like gummy candy. This bit of information helped Reddit users found out exactly what it is. The answer? This piece is a candied prickly pear. We wonder if it tastes good.

Don’t Forget to Button Up!

If you’re in the mood to play “what is this thing?” you should definitely take a trip to Goodwill. They always have plenty of bizarre objects with some sort of mind-blowing purpose you would have never thought of.

A hand holding up a buttonhole maker / The bottom view of a buttonhole maker.
Source: Reddit / Pinterest

The person who found this device had no idea what to use it for. If you know anything about sewing and tailoring, you’ll probably recognize this piece. You attach it to a sewing machine and its purpose is to add buttonholes to the clothes you’re making.

Unique Nunchucks?

When you first look at this object, you can’t help but think of some sort of fighting tools ninjas might use. Imagine getting hit by one of them. Ouch! But maybe this has nothing to do with fighting, and it’s all in our minds. Luckily, we have Reddit to provide us with some answers.

Four metal knucklebones attached with a string make up a trivet that can be adjusted to match the pot's shape.
Source: Reddit

This device is called a trivet. And it has nothing to do with martial arts. It’s an item that you place under a hot pot to keep it from touching your counter. It looks a bit complex because it can create different shapes to suit your pot or pan.

A Wooden Telephone Box?

This item was found (or purchased) in Corbridge, U.K. Funny story, the seller had no idea what this item was when he sold it to the Reddit user. The Redditor then had no choice but to post this strange box on the site’s forum. Thankfully, he instantly got his answer.

An old box with a wooden and rusty opening. Along with a metal handle used for lifting.
Source: Reddit

Redditors informed the buyer that it was an old tinder box. You used it to store items you might need if you wanted to start a fire. Cool finding, right? We wonder if the person put this old tinder box to good use next time he went camping.

How Did This End Up on His Roof?

This item fell onto the person’s roof, and he placed half a banana to show Redditors just how huge it is. This big item kind of looks like a plane antenna. But before we jump to conclusions, let’s see what Reddit users had to say.

A large Tube shaped item on the floor with half a banana placed next to it for scale.
Source: Reddit

The founder was right to think it’s an antenna. But it’s not from an airplane, it’s an antenna for a home TV. While these are commonly used, they’re not likely to fall on your roof out of the blue. I guess that’s a mystery Reddit will never be able to solve.

A Mysterious White Box

Moving to a new house is the perfect time to find plenty of random things you will likely need help identifying. There are a ton of opportunities to discover something that you’ve never seen before. Like this mysterious white box.

An old doorbell chime is hanging on the wall.
Source: Reddit

This Reddit user found this white box on the wall of their new house. They said it was seven feet off the ground and had a light switch. Reddit responded that it’s probably a doorbell chime that doesn’t work anymore.

Weird Key Chain Thing

Usually, old “antique” items confuse us the most. We’re not familiar with the items people have used in the past because many are not needed anymore and have basically vanished from our day-to-day life. But that doesn’t mean that new items don’t leave us puzzled as well.

A wearable clipper used for name tags or key cards

This weird key chain thing came with person’s new phone case. What could it be used for? Reddit informed the guy that it was a wearable item. You can attach plenty of things to this, like keycards, for example. As to why it came with his phone case… we’ll never know.

Slap Bracelets

Ahhh… if you grew up in the 1990s you know what this item is. So nostalgic, so fashionable, so fun, so …painful. This person found it in their office and had no clue what it was. It curls, snaps, and has a rubber texture. Do any of you know?

 bright neon yellow slap bracelet / A little girl plays with her
Source: Reddit / Photo by Yvonne Hemsey, Getty Images

It’s a ridiculous slap bracelet that was super popular in the ‘90s. This bracelet curls around your wrist and fits your exact size. Incredibly, slap bracelets are still being made today. Why? I have no idea. But if you’re looking to try one out for yourself, online shops offer a bunch of vibrant colors.

A Precarious Pencil Holder

This person got this as a present at work and had no idea what to use it for. I guess he felt a bit embarrassed to ask his managers, so he approached the Internet instead. He said he tried it as a pencil holder, but it didn’t hold anything too well.

A hand holding up a confusing-looking plastic rack / Two remote control racks, one of them empty while the other has four remotes in its holders.
Source: Reddit / Pinterest

Reddit told him that this plastic piece isn’t meant for pencils, it’s meant for a specific remote that fits the size of the slots. We wonder why this person received such a gift without the accompanying tool to place in it. At least he got his answer from Reddit!

A Swirly Babushka

The person who posted this picture stumbled upon this item in an antique shop. They opened it and uncovered these weird spirals that seem to have no purpose other than…well, no purpose whatsoever. The only writing on the item’s label was “BX LT.”

A pill-shaped container opened up to reveal dividers intended for a thread.
Source: Reddit

While this might look like a Russian doll, it’s real purpose has less to do with decoration and more with tailoring. The spiraling rows are dividers, and each row can hold thread around it. That way, you can keep things neat and organized.

A Mini Flashlight?

This looks like one of those mini flashlights you attach to your keychain or something. But it’s really not. The founder described it as having rubber flaps beneath the teeth and a spring inside. They placed it next to the Sharpie to highlight its tiny size.

A utility lock placed next to a black sharpy for scale.
Source: Reddit

This isn’t such a common tool, so don’t feel discouraged if you haven’t figured it out. Reddit users told the poster that it looks like a utility lock. They’re often used when you’re installing a cable or securing other big things.

A Home Security System from the ‘70s

The person who posted this photo didn’t have much information about this item. Only that it was in their house by the front door. They also added that their home was built in the 1970s. Amazingly, Reddit users knew exactly what it was.

A golden fixture installed along the floor / A packaged ‘The Door Club’ which is the name brand of the door stopper
Source: Reddit / Pinterest

Users described it as part of an old security system. An antique item that was used to physically block the door from opening. Today, our home security systems are way less noticeable and clunky. They rely on technology and are practically invisible.

An Old Macchinetta?

This Redditor found this item in their home. Apparently, this old item has been passed down in the family, but none of the current members know what it could be used for. This looks like some rusty, old coffee machine maker. But let’s see what Reddit had to say about this.

An old rusty lantern.
Source: Reddit

The poster thought it might be engineering related. But Reddit users informed him that it’s a lantern! It’s a far cry from what we use to light up our room nowadays. This type of lamp relies on a reaction between water and calcium carbide as its fuel.

What Are These Metal Tubes?

These look a bit like reusable straws don’t they? The person who found this must have thought of a million different uses before they finally gave up and posted it on Reddit. Unless you instantly recognized it, the answer might surprise you.

A box of different shaped fabric tubes.
Source: Reddit

If you’re someone who sews, you probably know what this is. It’s a tool that you use when you’re sewing a fabric tube. Tubes of fabric are usually needed when making straps and belts. As well as dolls and other stuffed animals.

A Huge Sand Map

This abandoned building is quite the puzzle. Mainly because of the large square block in the middle of the room. Was it an indoor pool? A baptizing center? This Redditor had no idea and was desperate to find out. And so are we!

An old crumbly room with a large square raised section in the middle / Soldiers and commanders standing around and making a plan on a sand table.
Source: Reddit / Facebook

Redditors were quick to find the answer: This big, random square is called a sand table. These tables once served as a giant map. People would use them to plan missions and devise different plans and strategies. Pretty cool right?

Only for 5Gers

This high-tech antenna looks like a futuristic, advanced light pole, but it isn’t. Don’t feel bad if you can’t recognize these devices. They’re super new and aren’t placed in many places yet. The person who stumbled upon this tried to figure it out for himself but lost all hope. He turned to the Internet instead.

A strange-looking device on top of a pole on the street.
Source: Reddit

Redditors told the person that it’s probably an advanced antenna made for people who use 5G devices. Most of the world is still a bit behind in terms of Gs or what not. So, we get why the person who ran across this had no idea what he was looking at.

A Useless Highlighter

Pens and pencils and other stationery tools aren’t used as much nowadays. A lot of us rely on computers and word and digital notepads to jot down our ideas. So we don’t blame this person for not understanding why his pen had a yellow, waxy part on the other end of it.

A hand holding up a gel highlighter.
Source: Reddit

He thought it was an eraser at first but quickly ruled that out. The Internet responded immediately and told him it was a gel highlighter. It probably didn’t mark the paper because it was old and no longer working.

A Specific Type of Microscope

You can easily tell that this device is a microscope. But there is something different about this device. It doesn’t look like your ordinary microscope, and the Reddit poster knew that. So, he uploaded the picture and waited for an answer.

A man with glasses showing how to use the projection microscope / An old microscope projector that was found.
Source: Reddit / Pinterest

This is a projection microscope. You use it to project the image of something on a nearby wall to show the others around you. Pretty useful in labs and classrooms. Instead of taking turns peeking through the lens, this device allows everyone to take a look all at once.

This Looks…Sketchy

You have to admit, looking at this without understanding its purpose is creepy. Imagine hiking in the woods and coming across three logs with chains on them. Honestly, you don’t have to be incredibly creative to think of torture. And death.

Three logs are standing up next to each other on the side of a walking path. Each log has a short chain attached to it.
Source: Reddit

Luckily, this has nothing to do with either! The chains on these logs were probably attached once to a trash can. That way, hikers could throw their garbage and help keep the place clean and tidy. Good for the planet and good for the animals!

A Brassy Metal

This little metal piece was found in someone’s bed. The person was a bit weirded out by their odd discovery, so they approached the Internet to clear any doubts. This is such a tiny, random piece. It’s incredible that people had the answer for it.

two lose golden aglet and one aglet that has been placed on a shoelace / A hand holding a single aglet made of metal and filled with holes.
Source: Pinterest / Reddit

Reddit suggested it was an aglet, the piece you find at the tip of a shoelace or the end of your sweater. The poster then assumed it probably fell when they sorted out some of the new clothes they had recently purchased.

What Is This Doing in His Car?

The person who found this must have been extremely puzzled when they found this in their car. This wired device has “GPS” written on the front, but the person informed Reddit users that his car doesn’t have a GPS system installed. So, what could this be for?

A hand removing a car tracker from inside their car.
Source: Reddit

The Internet told the puzzled poster that this was undoubtedly a GPS device and described it as a tracker. The car’s dealer likely installed it. We wonder if the person cut the cables and threw them out because we doubt that he ended up using it.

A Paddle for Butter

This bizarre item looks like it has no practical use whatsoever. It looks decorative and all but certainly not something you can use. It also looks like it’s missing a few other parts. This poster was dumbfounded when they found this, so they turned to Reddit for answers.

An old and rusty piece of mechanical equipment photographed from multiple angles.
Source: Reddit

The person who posted this said they found this in some old house. The helpful people of the Internet identified it as an antique piece of equipment. They said it’s a paddle that helps churn butter. Who would have thought?

A Ferrari Screwdriver?

The poster of this picture said they found the item on the street. It seemed valuable and heavy, so they picked it up and committed themselves to finding out its exact purpose. With a Ferrari logo on the handle, there’s no wonder they found it valuable!

A cabinet hinge placed on a table, you can see the ‘Ferrari made in Italy etching on the handles.
Source: Reddit

This actually has little to do with luxury cars, because this Ferrari company isn’t the well-known car company, it’s actually a company that sells cabinets. The tool in this picture isn’t so fancy. It’s just an ordinary cabinet hinge.

Little Plastic Yolks

What could these little yellow orbs be? Futuristic tennis balls? A newer, animal-friendly form of egg yolks? We have no clue. And neither did this Reddit poster. Let’s see if his Internet friends knew the answer to these puzzling balls.

Round and yellow pods in a plastic casing / Packaged garbage disposal cleaner
Source: Reddit / Pinterest

These small. yolk look-alikes are deodorizer capsules. They help make sure your home smells fresh and clean! These capsules are supposed to go in your garbage disposal to keep it from smelling icky and dirty.

Carpet Everywhere!

Carpet floors are fuzzy, warm, and delightful. Carpet stairs are great too. But carpet-covered pieces of wood? We’re stumped. And so was the family who found it. They turned to Reddit to identify the odd stick, and the answer was somewhat surprising.

A wooden plank covered in carpet, matching the carpet on the floor, and attached to the plank is a small handle.
Source: Reddit

This long piece of wood covered in carpet was identified as an essential tool that’s used during carpet placement. When your carpet is being stretched out on your floor, this piece of wood is crucial. And the reason it’s covered in carpet is to protect your walls from any damage.

Why So Many Phones?

Why would anyone need a folder with so many phones? Unless they’re leading a double, triple, or quadruple life! Maybe they’re a top secret agent with multiple identities. The person who ran into this folder felt clueless until Reddit came to the rescue!

A man riding the train has a tray resting on his lap with multiple cell phones attached to it.
Source: Reddit

Okay, so the person wasn’t a special agent or anything. He was just a guy testing out different phones. The Redditor assumed he could have been checking out the signal on each of these devices while he was on the train or in the station itself.

A Game of Reptiles

Card games are super diverse. Each game has different rules, card sizes, shapes, designs, and languages. The person who found this dinosaur card was dying to figure out which country it belonged to and what game it came from.

A card of the 2 of hearts with Tyrannosaurs and foreign language covering it.
Source: Reddit

Interestingly, the writing on the card has little to do any card game, but more with the dinosaur itself. The writings are just facts about this specific reptile, like average weight and height. If only we could actually understand the language!

What Are the Lines For?

Many of us don’t think too much when we come across traffic lights. We either stop, slow down, or go. But when this person stopped their car, they focused on the thin lines on each light bulb and wondered to themselves – “What are the lines for?”

A changing traffic light.
Source: Reddit

Reddit users responded that these traffic lights are “likely at an intersection with non-90-degree angles, and these fins are so that only the people straight in front of it can see the lights, so the people off at an angle don’t mistake the lights as being for them.”

Smoky Lines in the Sky

Finding weird looking things in antique shops isn’t anything too startling. But witnessing something fall from the sky calls for some immediate identification. This Reddit poster uploaded this picture and wrote, “I often see these things falling from the sky near where I live.”

A falling flare coming down over a highway.
Source: Reddit

Before you jump into any extraterrestrial, UFO related explanations, let us tell you that this wasn’t the case with these smoky lines. This photo was taken next to a military base, making the answer to the question pretty obvious. It’s probably a flare that a pilot fired off.

What Are These Metal Snaps?

This person received a comfortable, patterned blanked to snuggle with but was left puzzled once he realized there were metal snaps attached to it. He took a photo and hoped that Reddit would provide him with some answers.

A close-up of the snaps found on the blanket.
Source: Reddit

After almost a year of searching, they discovered the blanket was an early form of a Snuggie, a wearable blanket covering you up from head to toe. The sheep on the snaps are probably just a logo. Mystery solved! Time to snuggle up and get cozy.

This Doesn’t Look Safe

The most disturbing part of this weird sign is that the person who found this reported it was right outside their daughter’s preschool. Out of all the places on earth, a children’s school seems the least appropriate location to put up a sign like this.

A warning sign is hanging in a window showing a silhouette seemingly crumbling from the inside.
Source: Reddit

It’s obvious that this is a warning sign. But what is it warning us from? Shooters on the loose? According to Reddit, this is a “health hazard” sign. We doubt this made the Reddit poster feel any better. None of us would want to send our kids to a school located next to such a sign.

Here are more fascinating things people found and went online to get their answer.