Reddit | gmtloot

15+ Times People Had No Idea What They Were Looking At

May 17, 2019

Vision lets us see the world, but only knowledge can tell us what the things we're looking at actually are. Sometimes, you just have to throw your hands up and ask the internet what it is that you're looking at. More often than not, the internet comes through.

5 or 10 Dollar Pesos From Japan?

Reddit | zangoku

This old money is a real rollercoaster: it says 5, it says 10, it says pesos, it also says Japan. Turns out it's legal tender from when the Philippines was occupied by Japan.

It's a wreck, but what kind?

Reddit | thrtysmthng

This thing, seen in the waters off Coney Island, doesn't really look much like a boat, plane or car, so what is it? It's the wreck of a salvage submarine called the Questor 1.

Please don't be a bomb.

Reddit | this_is_how_i_roll

Seeing a fellow commuter open up a briefcase full of wires is a tad alarming, but this case is likely a setup to test mobile networks, with different phones monitoring different signals.

The middle of the ocean's a bright place.

Reddit | thestealthpenguin

This map of light pollution shows concentrated light over populated areas, along with some spots in the middle of the sea. These come from oil rigs in the Hibernia Oil Field.

Early UFO sighting?

Reddit | TBTurtles

Honestly, we can't rule it out. The more likely scenario, given that this pic was taken in 1964 near an air base in Texas, is that the weird light in the sky is from rocket tests.

That doesn't look good...

Reddit | Unlucky __Leprechaun

It looks like some kind of gross parasite coming up from the ground, but what we're looking at is actually pretty mundane: it's just a couple of worms making worm babies.

Old English? Future English?

Reddit | lalesswatch

No, it's not any kind of spoken language, but code. It's a book put out by Masons where the text consists entirely of code. As for what that code means, I have no idea.

Gotta catch 'em all.

Reddit | Spookqlyyy

Sometimes you look out on your lawn and see a water-based Pokemon just chilling out. This is a fish known as a short spined sea scorpion, and it looks awfully pointy.

The best defence is a good offence.

Reddit | SalvadorTMZ

I've never seen an office tower with a straight-up tank turret on it before. Turns out this is normal, and it's definitely not a tank turret. It's a boom to help window washers do their job.

Ancient treasure?

Reddit | GenGardian311

This must be what coins looked like back when dinosaurs walked the earth, right? Well, it's only from, like, 1994. It's a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers coin...the red coin, to be exact.

Kill it with fire.

Reddit | BundleOfSticks556

This is a the Creatonotos gangis moth, a male specimen. How do we know it's male? Easy — it has its scent glands out to attract any female Creatonotos gangis in the area.

Miniature hyperloop?

Reddit | BrightEyeCameDown

These prominent blue tubes can be spotted all over Berlin. Since the city's groundwater levels are rising, there needs to be a way to send the water back to nearby rivers — and these pipes are the solution.

Prehistoric amber?

Reddit | wildedgeofficial

This numbered, heavy chunk of amber-looking stuff is a "tracker pebble." These are made of hard resin, numbered and buried along coastlines. Eventually they materialize somewhere else, allowing scientists to track currents and drift.

Please tell me it's not a torture device...

Reddit | KleverKlem

It might look a little gnarly, but this gadget found under an old house is used simply for removing the tops from soft-boiled eggs. Handy to have if you're into soft-boiled eggs, I guess.

If Batman drove a truck.

Reddit | zook312

A sleek, matte-black, unmarked trailer with a police escort? Must be important! It is, but not in the way you think: this is a package wastewater treatment tank, and it's basically a septic tank on wheels.

The plane that time forgot.

Reddit | woodrowchillson

This dilapidated old rust bucket looks like it should be condemned, not on the tarmac at Heathrow. While it was once a functional plane, it's now used by airport fire crews for training.

Sea nukes?

Reddit | sixonreddit

This bomb-looking thing washed up a beach and was detonated by a bomb squad, but it's no bomb. It's known as a marine location marker and helps with oceanic navigation.

h/t: r/whatisthisthing

This fish has unusual carvings on it.

Reddit | plong42

It's likely a "lucky iron fish." They're used as a way to add iron to your diet without the need of supplements. You boil it to leech the iron into the water, which you can then use to cook your food.

This isn't a goth bike rack.

Reddit | the_original_asian

It's actually an example of hostile architecture, which is specifically intended to prevent homeless people from sleeping there.

A strange pipe found while walking through the bush.

Reddit | No_Wage_Man

It's actually a really important sewer breathing pipe, which prevents dangerous levels of methane from building up underground.

This plant is very serious about reproduction.

Reddit | thisbescientish

It's a seed pod from a Devil's Claw plant, which is a very apt name. Many plants have burrs or similar methods for their seeds to attach to new places, but this is a bit much.

Scary kitchen tool found in Airbnb.

Reddit | CaptainRipp

While it looks terrifying, it's actually a fancy citrus juicer. The prongs allow it to be balanced directly over a glass and the juices flow right down into it.

You see the neatest things on the highway.

Reddit | IHateNull

This is an agricultural sprayer. It unfolds to cover many rows of crops at once, spraying liquid fertilizer or weed killer.

Clean up after your...uh, pet?

Reddit | gmtloot

The owner of this animal probably gets a lot of weird looks, because it might look like a cat or small dog at first glance. It's actually a meerkat.

Not what you want to find growing in your window.

Reddit | hannaleigh

It's some sort of slime mold and a bad sign. Hopefully, it's just the window that's leaking and not a sign of something more serious with the entire structure.

An unusual graduation gown in Boston.

Reddit | wikipuff

The hint is that the student is from New Zealand. She's wearing a Maori scholar's garment, called a korowai. It's a traditional garment often worn during ceremonies in New Zealand.

This was found in a Walmart potato salad.

Reddit | DonTTripB

Which would totally squick me out too, but thankfully, it's probably just a piece of seedless watermelon that fell into the salad during packaging.

I know this one!

Reddit | rlouvree

The Redditor didn't recognize these art supplies. The left is a sandpaper block for shaping and sharpening pencils, charcoal sticks, etc. The right is a double-ended pencil extender for when they get too short to hold comfortably.

Circular mesh on this bridge.

Reddit | SeaPrince

It's to prevent people from climbing the cables. There's a locked gate in the middle, which allows authorized people access.

A stick found in a burrito.

Reddit | MeepDaCreep

It would be weird to bite down on, but most likely it's just a stem from bay leaves or another fresh herb. The chef just forgot to remove it.

Something's colonizing this tree. Hopefully it's friendly.


This white, fluffy stuff appeared on a conifer tree in Southern California. It looks a bit like spiderwebs, but it's actually cottonwood seeds that have floated along on a breeze.

This caused some worry.

Reddit | TyPo_1130

Some commenters thought it might be a blasting cap, but thankfully, it's more likely to be an electric thermometer meant for refrigerators.

Mysterious gadget.

Reddit | Skiamakhos

It's the Endure: EDC Survival Pen, from Kickstarter. The red part is a flare to alert rescuers.

EDC stands for "Every Day Carry."

Those are perfectly good oysters!

Reddit | Rbarber4141

Why would hundreds of oysters in individually-sealed vacuum packs turn up in the trash? They're likely from oyster-opening parties, where people literally open oysters, remove the pearl, then throw the oyster away.