20 Weird Things People Couldn't Identify Without Some Help

The world of objects can be neatly divided into two categories: stuff you recognize, and stuff you don't. Fortunately, for the stuff that you find baffling, there's the subreddit r/whatisthisthing, where strange objects are identified.

"Cast iron object dug out of the ground. The two holes are not the same size."

Reddit | MrJack421

Did you look at this and think of medieval warfare? If so, give yourself a gold star. This is the head of an old mace, either one that's hundreds of years old or a reproduction.

"Unknown tool found at flea market."

Reddit | jig_fisher

The person who posted this correctly identified as a tool. In this case, it's a bracket for a dial indicator

"Reminds me a bit of an old tattoo gun but the dual ‘needle holders’ make me think not."

Reddit | Markicorn666

This isn't a tattoo gun. It's something with a horrifying name: a tonsil snare, used to aid in the removal of tonsils.

"82-year-old grandfather passed away. Found this in his garage."

Reddit | a-hubs

This random old gear is an old tire vulcanizer. Vulcanization is the process used to harden the rubber that's used in tires.

"What is this pendant? Belonged to my mother, possibly astrology-related."

Reddit | commasutra

This little token/pendant thingy is, in fact, related to astrology. The crab represents the astrological sign of Cancer.

"Some type of old pressing machinery in my friend’s neighbor’s yard."

Reddit | redceramicfrypan

This decidedly old-timey equipment is for a decidedly old-timey job. It's an etching press, which prints lithographs and etchings from zinc plates.

"Giant cage, about 16' in diameter, maybe 20' tall."

Reddit | duckdee

Farmers will immediately recognize this structure as a corn crib, which is basically a silo designed to help corn dry faster.

"Found it on the street, is filled with little metal balls."

Reddit | dingodize

Some older chandeliers and ceiling lamps have adjustable heights — but in order to work, they need a counterweight. This is one of those counterweights.

"Small boxes with deadbolted doors about 10 feet off the ground."

Reddit | Lefttuesday

These were found on the back of a movie theater, which explains their purpose. They provide an entry for speakers and lighting so maintenance workers can get inside.

"Found in parents' kitchen drawer. It vibrates when you push the button at the end."

Reddit | BaconBitz1989

Any current or former baristas in the audience have already figured this one out: it's a milk frother for making lattes and capuccinos, but it's missing a part.

"Found in a garage. Sealed with a gasket and no markings."

Reddit | throwawaycville2

Here's a fun one: this thing is a beach vault. You screw it down into the sand, and it provides a low-key way to stash your stuff at the beach.

"What are these long tall poles on the back of all these boats?"

Reddit | thepootastrophy

Those poles are called outriggers, and they help keep fishing lines away from one another so they don't get tangled up.

"In the middle of a field, nothing around it. Water was still coming out of some pipe from it."

Reddit | dylix

This little shed-looking thing is a utilitarian structured designed for pumping and treating water with chlorine.

"A friend found this tray at a thrift store. It has ornate inlay handles and brass knobs in two sizes."

Reddit | dogsandrecords

This seemingly random array of stuff on a board has a purpose. It's a bagel tray. The dowels hold the bagels, while the pegs hold plates.

"What is this fist-sized knob-and-loop above the wainscoting in my early-1900s apartment?"

Reddit | redceramicfrypan

Back in the days before electricity was commonplace, many homes were lit using gas lighting. This is the base of an old gas light fixture.

"Found hidden in my car. Is it a GPS tracker?"

Reddit | thetrueexpert666

This thing doesn't have the tech to be a GPS tracker. It's a simple key fob — the kind you wave past a scanner to get into a secured area.

"This roofed storage component full of sliced logs in the middle of a prairie preserve in Nebraska."

Reddit | greendogufo

This one has a fun name and purpose: it's a bug house, or bug hotel. The different kinds of wood provide habitats for different kinds of bugs.

"Floating home found tied to a fence on the beach in Southern California."

Reddit | mtdunca

Similar to the bug house, this floating structure is designed for ducks or other waterfowl to nest in, safe from predators.

"Green plastic scissor handle with metal loops and plastic teeth."

Reddit | PatientFerrisWhl

This is a specialized kind of almost-scissors known as an herb stripper. You put springs of thyme or whatever in the teeth, and it strips them from the stalk.

"Intracite iron contraption that opens on one side."

Reddit | beeaggressive63

This decidedly phallic-looking mystery is actually a flag holder for a color guard. It's designed to be attached to a belt, and the moving section allows the flag to be tilted up or down.

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