Reddit | ZeroFour04

13+ Times People Needed The Internet's Help To Know What They'd Found

The internet is an amazing place and no matter what your niche or hobby may be, there will always be a place for you.

Reddit is a great example of the power of an online community, and of how a platform designed for thousands of micro-communities can become an incredible place for crowdsourcing knowledge.

One of my favorite subreddits is r/whatisthisthing where people post pics of random things they've found and hope that the hive mind can find an answer.

"Strange pyramidal metal object, 10cm long, found buried in garden." — levogyre

Reddit | levogyre

This is a pretty cool find. It appears to be an old spike anvil, which would have been hammered into a log or stump for support. The small flat top would give a surface for small repairs to metal tools, such as straightening a bent blade, and perhaps save a trip to the blacksmith.

"What [does] this tag mean on my 1967 u.s. gas canister." — disgusting_waffle

Reddit | disgusting_waffle

F-54 is a military-grade diesel fuel, which is a strange, but perhaps not unlikely thing to find in an old barn.

The F-54 is a NATO designation. The 47/0 D appears to be an alternative identification code.

"Found this in my back yard. Not really sure what it’s for, but it looks like some sort of pressure plate connected to some pipes wrapped in styrofoam." — 13johnsond

Reddit | 13johnsond

A pressure plate would be very unnerving, but this is just their water hook-up, which was confirmed when they tried turning the valve and lost water to their entire house.

It's just that for people, like me, who live in areas with cold winters, exposed water hook-ups like that are really weird to see.

"These arrived in my mailbox but not sure what they are." — foreach_loop

Reddit | foreach_loop

This person was likely a "victim" of a brushing scam, which usually just involved receiving random junk from companies spoofing Amazon reviews.

These are bamboo seeds, and as someone who has been fighting an invasive bamboo plant in my yard for seven years, I can say that they should be burned and buried in salt, because they are evil.

"I found this stuck on of one of my ceiling blade fans." — i_met_the_dragon

Reddit | i_met_the_dragon

It's a balancing weight and should be put back if they don't want their ceiling fan to wobble like a sugar-drunk toddler.

"Found in an eastern Nebraska field." — fligowit

Reddit | fligowit

Most likely, this is mangled aluminum leftover from someone having a pretty crazy bonfire.

Alternatively, it could have been mangled by a lightning strike, but a fire is more likely.

"This randomly appeared in a QFC parking lot. Flashing blue lights and cameras on the top with a siren or loud speaker." — LynnLoves

Reddit | LynnLoves

Apparently the colloquial name for one of these is a "lot cop". The solar-powered system includes high-res cameras, microphones, and lights that can be placed in far corners of large parking lots and provide more security for businesses and customers.

"I was taking my dog out for a walk when I stumbled upon this weird bucket thing, anyone know what this is?" — blueees

Reddit | blueees

Likely this is some form of duck or fish feeder. Scraps can be tossed into the bucket and as they break down or attract pests, and the bugs and bits fall down to the bottom and into the water.

"I love this 70s thing. But I have no name [for] it." —Fartinatin

Reddit | Fartinatin

This is just a simple version of a kinetic sculpture, providing hours of visual stimulation to bored office workers for decades.

"Warning: gross. Found this on our porch this morning- looks like it may be an organ of some sort? Looks squishy, none of us wanted to touch it." — just-a-box-of-rain_

Reddit | just-a-box-of-rain_

It's likely part of an animal's intestines. Ew. Most predatory animals (birds, foxes, your neighbor's cat) leave these behind after they feed because they're gross.

"What is this weird pattern on my peanut butter? What causes it?" — Diplo1992

Reddit | Diplo1992

Concern is understandable, but it's likely just air bubbles trapped during the packaging process, or perhaps pockets of separated oil, depending on the brand.

"What is this house doing on the top of these silos?" — thehappydinoa

Reddit | thehappydinoa

It's called a "head house". Likely, a bucket conveyor belt exits there, allowing workers to fill the silos from the top.

"About six inches tall and made of mud. Found in East Texas. One more picture in comments." — metroturfer

Reddit | metroturfer

This is a hole made by crayfish. Harmless, unless you're really concerned about how your lawn looks.

"Weird blueish liquid looking things found on Google Mars." — ZeroFour04

Reddit | ZeroFour04

Insert X-Files theme music here.

This is actually dark basaltic sand seen near the Martian north pole. It's pushed to the surface of the dunes by dry ice heated from the sun. Cool!

"What are these little black dots and why do they keep spreading?!?!" — bobthexenocide

Reddit | bobthexenocide

The key to this mystery was learning about a nearby houseplant that had developed a bad case of artillery fungus in its mulch. Which is pretty much what it sounds like.

The plant needs to be moved outside and then the wall scrubbed.

"Found painted over in my apartment. There’s a blinking red light behind it. Thank you!" — fabulo5o

Reddit | fabulo5o

It is a sensor, but it's not sensing you or your movements. It's an old sensor for energy usage.

When the uplaoder's mom received this from a child she was sponsoring in Africa, they became curious as to what it was.

Reddit | ScientistSanTa

Apparently, it's a set of bowls and a large serving spoon designed for a kind of porridge known as "bouillie."

However, these ones were all glued together, which means this was likely supposed to be more decorative than practical.

It's unclear how this person ended up with this hunk of stainless steel, but they at least found out what it is.

Reddit | TheEmblem2114

It turns out that this is a steel "bar of soap" meant for neutralizing the smell of onions or garlic after cooking.

There's apparently little evidence that it's at all effective, though.

Once again, it's a bit of a mystery as to why these straps are on the outside of this person's door.

Reddit | 5195e80181

After all, these are resistance bands made to secure workout equipment to a door. Unless the uploader's neighbor works out in the hallway for some reason, these should be on the other side.

Although this was found among some hunting supplies, that doesn't quite describe it.


That's because this item is a safety device specifically designed for ice fishing. The cord goes behind the neck, while the wooden blocks are supposed to be within reach of each hand.

Should someone fall through the ice, those spikes are supposed to help them climb back out.

Somebody apparently noticed this sprawling installation bout 100 miles west of Phoenix, Arizona.

Reddit | LA-320pilot

While some might have figured they were looking at a military base, it turns out that this is an Arizona State Prison Complex designated as "Lewis."

It's pretty staggering to see how large prisons can be.

This is apparently a Vitamin C filter that's supposed to remove chlorine from water.

Reddit | TrashTongueTalker

Although it's hard to tell whether this unit contains enough Vitamin C to do so effectively, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service has confirmed that the idea isn't entirely off-base.

If there's a lot of heavy work being done in your area, this might not be such an unusual sight.

Reddit | OhHeckDatMe

This is apparently a noise and vibration monitor that gives precise measurements on how much noise a process generates. Presumably, it's used in the event of complaints.

It's a little misleading to find this instrument in the woods, but it gives a better clue as to its purpose when it's sapotted in a rail yard.

Reddit | Mr_Mrs_Mix_Match

This is a sampling dipper that's usually used to sample wort or mash being transported by train. Once gathered, it's common to check the PH level of the sample and determine how acidic it is.

When the uploader found this mysterious chip on their porch, they started to feel a little suspicious.

Reddit | Nattybohbro

However, it turns out that they can rest easy because this wasn't dropped here to monitor them. It's actually from the bottom of a USB headphone case, but it apparently didn't work to somebody's satisfaction and they tossed it.

So now, it's just garbage.

When the uploader figured they stumbled upon a railroad relic, it turns out they were correct.

Reddit | detailkevin

More specifically, it's a communications hut that rail crews used to operate to call train dispatchers in the days before you could just do that via radio.

"What are these weird flakes in my olive oil? It’s not expired." — neakins_

Reddit | neakins_

It's unsightly, but just the natural wax from the olive's skin. It's natural and harmless, but can clump up when the oil gets cool. Some brands "winterize" their oils to prevent this, but that can affect the flavor.

"Something I've had for years and still have yet to identify, when light is shown through it, it reveals a murky darker pattern on the inside, but they aren't cracks. Any ideas?" — imaginaryitch

Reddit | imaginaryitch

It's a classic geode agate. Likely, a dyed Brazilian agate.

"Package thief dropped this after stealing my package." – crob83

Reddit | crob83

The thief likely had a run-in with a mobile burglar alarm on a previously stolen package. He pried it off to disable it.

"Ordered Nespresso pod refills but a bag of these blue plastic things came in the box with it (~1" height), they look like they were made out of epoxy or 3D-printed, box came damaged/re-taped." — jellyfish_sandwich

Reddit | jellyfish_sandwich

This mystery appears to be another case of parcel tampering. After checking directly with Nespresso, they confirmed that it's not misplaced molds or anything from production.

Some of the pods ordered were missing, so it's likely that someone stole them, then tossed something random inside to mimic the original weight of the package.

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