15+ Weird Things The Internet Had Little Difficulty Identifying

It's easy enough to just Google those random head-scratching questions that pop into your head, but what do you do when you find something out on a hike or tucked away in your attic that you don't recognize? Because those things do worm their way into your brain, another sort of mystery that demands to be solved.

Well, you could do far worse than consulting Reddit's r/whatisthisthing community. They bring to bear the experience and knowledge of more than a million eagle-eyed users, and they can recognize some startlingly obscure looking things with remarkable accuracy, and they make it look easy.

Just check out these impressive solves.

"What is this orange thing attached to my shower head?" -TrashTongueTalker

Reddit | TrashTongueTalker

You would think that you would know what's attached to your own shower head, but for renters, sometimes previous tenants leave odd things behind.

In this case, it turned out to be an attachment that supposedly infuses the water with vitamin C for some reason.

"Husband’s truck exploded, this came out." -alorew

Reddit | alorew

Woah, that's quite the mystery. And yet, even the charred remains of a truck explosion could be identified by the community, who informed alorew that it's the inside of a former catalytic converter.

"Can anyone shed some light on this one? It was brought back 60+ years ago by a family member...possibly from India, or somewhere in the subcontinent." - Sasselhoff

Reddit | Sasselhoff

This intricately designed object might have been standard issue for soldiers in a certain time and place, as it's an Ottoman gunpowder flask.

"Someone help identify this thing I found in the woods?" - TacoConsumer

Reddit | TacoConsumer

As a couple of people were able to identify, it's the horn button from the British car maker Austin. Kind of a random thing to find in the woods of BC.

"Friend found this necklace. She wants to know what it says/means." -beerweevil

Reddit | beerweevil

Those with some Scandinavian ancestry might recognize this: the symbol in the middle is a valknut, and it's surrounded by the letters/runes in the Elder Futhark alphabet.

The specific symbolism behind the valknut has been lost to time, but it's theorized to be associated with mental binds and death.

"Mini scientific telescope? What is this device?" -allupinyaface

Reddit | allupinyaface

Actually, this person's guess was pretty close! This device is a short hand spectroscope, which is used to visualize the light spectrum of substances.

"Unknown Utensil found among my European Grandparents' belongings. Any idea what it's for?" -Starheaven07

Reddit | Starheaven07

Looks kind of like those old school wooden ice cream paddles, except for the one end with the little tines. Someone managed to identify this as a "novelty bean spoon." The idea is that you put the solid end into the bean pot, and all the farts climb up the ladder and out of the pot. No, really.

"Was walking through the woods and found this, locals call it ‘the air raid shelter’ but wanted clarification." -DerpyHippo

Reddit | Derpy_Hippo

It's not an air raid shelter, but the old ice house at Clifton Hall in Nottingham, U.K. I wonder if it could be used as an air raid shelter in a pinch, though?

"Found in a cabinet in my apartment when I moved in. The inside part swivels closed, the black circle seems like a super compact brush with little bristles, opposite of that there is a little mirror. What is this??" -icantinternet-

Reddit | icantinternet-

You probably wouldn't recognize this incredibly specific tool unless you've had cause to use one before: It's a cleaning tool for record player needles. That little mirror has a magnifying effect too make sure you don't miss a spot.

"Found this thing by the pool, we think that maybe one of the pool guys left it because it kinda just showed up. The "top" comes off and it's empty inside." -KyotoCrank

Reddit | KyotoCrank

Without the blade, it's easy to miss that this is an exacto knife. It just has a pin vise attachment in it rather than a blade.

"What is this weird... Kitchen utensil?? Thing??" -oodlesofschmoodles

Reddit | oodlesofschmoodles

Okay, I would have thought this was some kind of nutcracker or hammer, but I would have been wrong. It's a bottle opener.

"What is this truck? And what is it used for?" -Pimplea

Reddit | Pimplea

You might think you'd see this truck at an Easter parade, but nope, it has a useful purpose beyond that. It contains equipment to test soil for things like water content, soil type, seismic activity, and so on.

The cross on top contains a testing rod and the machinery, often hydraulic, that pushes it down into the ground.

"What is this stuff collecting on the corner of my windowsill?" -ProfessorWednesday

Reddit | ProfessorWednesday

Sorry, ProfessorWednesday, but Reddit has bad news for you: that's evidence of termites.

Still, better to know so you can do something about them rather than letting them go about destroying your home for who knows how long.

"My downstairs neighbor had put some sort of contraption on his door recently. Any idea what it is?" -5195e80181

Reddit | 5195e80181

This is some understandable confusion. This person's downstairs neighbor has some exercise equipment that straps around a door.

It's just that usually you use an inside door, not one that opens onto the world where anybody could just unbuckle a strap and ruin your day.

"What is this thing that washed up on a beach on the south coast of England?" -Vulpeex

Reddit | Vulpeex

Well at least it's something that belongs near the ocean - this is a clutch of whelk eggs, which is not nearly as gross as it could have been.

"Anyone know what could have made these brown, black stripped balls? They all have a little hole in the front of them as well." -REDPURPLEBLOOD2


Welcome to Australia, where you can find random clusters of spider eggs like these. Yum.

The only good part is that the spider that laid them, the Bird-dropping Spider, isn't deadly to humans.

"Found this in an old shed. It looks like pressure cooker from Star Wars. What is this thing?" -thin_crust

Reddit | thin_crust

Well, that's not entirely wrong, it does look like something out of Star Wars, but it must have been ahead of its time, because this is a vintage electric hot washing machine.

"Found in sons bed. Wasn’t there when we left. Name on battery is Ketuo rohs." -Jeauxlene

Reddit | Jeauxlene

Okay, that seems like an alarming thing to discover in your son's bed, but it's thankfully harmless.

You know how some stuffed toys have speakers that can play voices, Teddy Ruxpin style? Yeah, it's from one of those.

"What was this building used for?" -Koreshdog

Reddit | Koreshdog

Good question, as the beach, at water level, seems like a slightly odd place to situate a concrete building, for rather obvious reasons. When it was operational and upright, this building would have been a military defense point known as a blockhouse or pillbox.

"Found in grandmas basement and she claims to have never seen it. Words on the side say korentec and made in Turkey." -IrksomeHarbor

Reddit | IrksomeHarbor

Well, if you have Turkish ancestry, you might be able to recognize this tool for delivering deliciousness: it's a vintage Turkish coffee grinder. Mmmm.

"I found this wooden object as I was standing on a beach in Miraflores, Lima, Peru." -apfluckern

Reddit | apfluckern

While the object does look mysterious and magical, it was identified pretty quickly. It's called a ceremonial chonta, used in energy healing. Probably a replica, though, as they're pretty common in souvenir shops.

"What are these perfect sets of beach holes? Flip flop for scale." -papa_higgins

Reddit | papa_higgins

To me it looks like the beach version of a crop circle, but no. This is the aftermath of a scientific clam survey, where clams are dug up for research and study.

"Found this small kettle years ago. Tried searching for a similar one but have always come up with nothing." -home_cheese

Reddit | home_cheese

Spoiler alert: it's not a kettle. Please don't drink anything that would come out of this.

It's actually a portable male urinal, usually used by bedbound patients. Hope it's sanitized if you plan on keeping it.

"Weird squirming living Lovecraftian nightmare on our lawn chair this morning." -pbjburger

Reddit | pbjburger

No, this is not a new evil god that's come to destroy us, it's actually a form of caterpillar!

Known as a monkey slug, this little horrific buddy will turn into a hag moth. This one is actually stuck on its back though, and instead of helping, they took a picture, how rude!

"I found this under the floor boards in a 1800's era house." -KleverKlem

Reddit | KleverKlem

It really doesn't look like you wanna be on the bad end of the thing, but it's actually harmless! Just an old tool for removing the tops of soft boiled eggs.

"Found at an estate sale, no one there knew anything about its origin. was thought it was made from baby teeth but had it inspected by a dentist, they are adult teeth." -Streetguide

Reddit | Streetguide

Now this one is kind of spooky regardless of its purpose just due to it being made out of teeth, but it's interesting all the same.

That being said, its origin is rather mundane. A dentist popped into the thread and said these are almost definitely denture teeth, not real teeth, due to them being embedded in acrylic used for making dentures. It was just a piece of art made by a bored dentist. They need to let out their creativity sometimes too!

"Old man in front of me at the bank was trying to exchange these for American currency [...] They wouldn’t take them so I gave him $20 for both." -nelsroyc

Reddit | nelsroyc

These are actually really pretty, but they're not some sort of mystery currency. They're novelty coins you can get from some Catholic charities or relief agencies, usually as a thank you for donating.

"A massive wrench I inherited. Weighs 30+ pounds. Novelty or functional?" -map-6346

Reddit | map-6346

I'm glad this person asked this question, because I think if I saw this I'd automatically assume it was a prop or something, but apparently it's totally functional! Wrenches this big were used on bolts for towers or for farm machinery repair, among other things.

"This thing that my friend found in the water." -Saaintt

Reddit | Saaintt

Finding this just randomly by the ocean would feel like either an omen or a blessing, depending on your outlook. This item does have a rich history thought, it's a statue of Olokun, who is an orisha spirit of the Yoruba religion. These statues are almost exclusively kept in the water as a part of ceremonies, which is why they'll sometimes wash up elsewhere.

"My grandfather told us to NOT remove this when renovating." -CloudiaNYT

Reddit | CloudiaNYT

What an ominous thing to say without any elaboration, grandpa. It's not a cursed artifact like the warning would make you believe, it's an Aztec calendar! It's likely just important to the guy, which is why he didn't want anyone messing with it.

"What is this tube full of balls in the wall in a home built in the mid 90s." -R6Dragon

Reddit | R6Dragon

I can only imagine how strange it must be to find a mystery contraption in your home. Will this thing hurt you? Probably not, but it's in your space and that's enough to feel weird. Luckily, this one is actually helpful. It's a termite indicator, meant to help identify and eliminate termites before they become a problem.

"20 years of research and this is my last hope!" -XxUFOxX11

Reddit | XxUFOxX11

Now off the bat this looks like the inside of some nightmare creature's mouth, but actually it's...well, it kind of is that. This is the fossil of a black drum fish's mouth, a fish that does still exist today. And yes, the inside of their mouths are filled with so many teeth. Too many teeth, one might say.