20 People Who Found Something Weird And Needed Help Identifying It

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Parts for sample port of a vat
reddit | WayneKnightsSister

It's a simple fact of life that eventually, sooner or later, you'll run across something and have no idea what it is.

In the old days when this happened, we'd simply have to shrug and then go on with our lives. But thanks to the internet, we can take our curious minds over to r/whatisthisthing and ask for some help. It's a near certainty that you'll find some answers.

"The text might suggest that it might be a bag, but I can't seem to make it work as a bag."

Sheath designed to be placed on suitcases
reddit | lunar1412

This is adjacent to bags, but it isn't a bag in itself. It's actually a sheath of sorts that's designed to be put over suitcases and other luggage as a way to quickly identify stuff.

"Grill of rounded spikes in a very small London park."

Fence spike storage rack
reddit | CleanSteel

This is a rack of spikes, and that's all it is. More specifically, it's a storage rack for the spikes that are installed on the top of some wrought iron fences.

"Backpack with pressure gauges and tubing coming out of it/on top of it."

Discarded air conditioning service manifold
reddit | Cowween

This weirdly discarded backpack is an air conditioning service manifold. You'd better believe that virtually every trade has a weird, highly specific backpack that's associated with it.

"What are these little ornate houses outside Greek houses? Spotted in Santorini."

Small shrine outside house in Greece
reddit | tardiusmaximus

This isn't an example of houses on houses, exactly. The little house that's circled in the picture is a shrine to Saint Raphael, the patron saint of healing.

"What is this silver metal thing with narrow bridge and spoon like end?"

Metal ear cleaner
reddit | Mist4h20

You know how you're not supposed to put cotton swabs in your ear? You are, on the other hand, supposed to put these things in your ear, because they're ear cleaners.

"Plastic and metal bullets? Some are in a chain together like in a machine gun, some are loose."

Plastic blank ammunition
reddit | Angusburgerman

OP wasn't far off with their assessment, as these are bullet-adjacent. They're plastic blanks: load them into a gun and fire — the gun goes boom but no bullet comes out. These are the things that are used for re-enactments.

"What is this thing? Several surgical instruments were found nearby, but it might be not related to them at all."

Old medical device used during childbirth
reddit | Bright-Antelope4029

I thought this was some kind of miniature harpoon, but the truth is much worse: it's antiquated medical equipment that was apparently used during childbirth.

"What is this sweet smelling brown stuff coming out of my basement wall?"

Caulk or sealant dripping from ceiling
reddit | TimberTheDog

While some commenters guessed that this was honey from a bee infestation, it's an unlikely answer for a variety of reasons. It's most likely not honey (or mold), but caulk or sealant.

"Found on the dashboard of an old GMC. A lucite-like material, with ridges."

Traffic light viewer in an old truck
reddit | harrekrsna

This is an old-timey thing you used to see more of. It's designed to reflect the light from an overhead traffic light to make it easier to see when the light turns green.

"There are two of these large Xs on our West Texas USA ranch. They are next to county roads. There are no other markings. Someone came and put them in earlier this year without telling us."

Survey targets for aerial photographers
reddit | little_blue_narwhal

It's always fun when you discover something weird that someone has placed on your property, isn't it? These things are just survey targets for aerial photographers.

"Small red flippable plates outside windows in Montreal."

Survey prisms on a window
reddit | brenex

Let's go ahead and double down on the survey devices, as these things are survey prisms. They're pointing inside, which means someone is probably trying to take precise measurements of the indoor area. I don't think I would ever have guessed that.

"Weird symbols in Saskatchewan taken from 21,000 feet."

Ducks Unlimited waterfowl habitat viewed from a plane
reddit | Ace_Laminar

You see a lot of weird things from a window seat up in the sky, and here's an example from Canada. The answer isn't too mysterious, though, as this is a Ducks Unlimited waterfowl habitat.

"Large gray plastic dial with AA battery on top, worn by older man around neck like a necklace. He had normal behind-the-ear hearing aids which didn’t seem related. Saw him turn the dial ~4 times over couple of hours."

Drawing of a T loop receiver hearing aid
reddit | flyingwhyflying

Here's a fun one: not the device itself, but a drawing. It isn't some kind of neck bomb, it's actually a T loop receiver, a type of hearing aid.

"I found this Soviet device in the Balkans. It’s 130 kg, about a meter long and made in 1963. Looks to be some sort of telescope/spotlight."

Old Soviet artillery aiming device
reddit | -Sanin-

The r/whatisthisthing subreddit wouldn't be the same if it wasn't for Soviet-era knickknacks. This is an M1A1 Collimator, a device that can help fix the trajectory for artillery fire.

"Old ruler. I don’t know how it is used or what does it measure."

Antique slide rule
reddit | anewerab

As a person who owns a pilot's watch and barely knows how to use it, I can confirm that this thing is a slide rule. It's actually a pretty neat tool if you learn how to use it, one that can perform all kinds of calculations.

"Robot drove itself down the sidewalk from the corner, then docked at this house. No visible operator, and the house seems to have more units in the garage."

Unmanned robot in a driveway
reddit | bdjorn

What is this? Why, it's a glimpse into our dystopian robotic future. Specifically, though, it's a multi-purpose clearpath AGV mobility platform, a type of robot that can be repurposed for a number of functions.

"Thumb protector possibly, but for what? found at a yard sale."

Antique butcher's thumb guard
reddit | deceptiveshadow

OP was absolutely correct with their assumption that this is a thumb guard, because this is a...well, it's a thumb guard. Specifically, it's a old-school thumb guard intended for butchers.

"Object found while hiking off-road in Bosnia. Notice the spikes near the end."

Unexploded Russian landmine
reddit | FreezeHuddle

I'm going out on a limb here and saying that if you find something that looks like a bomb in a recent war zone, you should probably call a bomb squad. That's exactly what OP did, because this is a Russian landmine.

"Hotel room bed leg has red flashing light coming from rubber piece."

Bed bug detector under a hotel bed
reddit | kikogeruk

This is either a sinister tracking device or some kind of detection device. Turns out it's the latter: in this case, it's a bed bug detector called Wirepas. Note to self: don't stay in this hotel.

"Stainless steel pins with rubber gaskets—found in a winery tucked away (do not appear to belong to winery equipment). I’ve got probably close to 75 of them."

Parts for sample port of a vat
reddit | wayneknightssister

While some people guessed that these were the bung holes (heh heh) from wine barrels, they're actually parts for sample ports on a wine vat.