Reddit | 11er33

16+ People Asked 'What Is This Thing?' And The Internet Knew Right Away

There's a lot of weird stuff in the world and before the internet, we were stuck either hoping someone nearby knew what something was, spending money on a professional, or just living in ignorance.

But now we can ask our wider friend group on Facebook or go even bigger on a forum like Reddit. Sure, there are times a professional is still the way to go, but often, it's just for the sake of curiosity.

Such as with this unusual plastic tube found on a beach.

Reddit | voodoosmudge

It isn't as immediately recognizable as a lot of litter, but it's a wad from a shotgun shell. The piece contains the pellets in the shell while also keeping them separate form the powder.

When you've stored a jacket in your wardrobe, this isn't what you want to find when the seasons change.

Reddit | Trappist235

Inside, they found larvae and dead spiders...(shudder).

They're the nests of pottery wasps. The spiders were left by the parents so that the larvae would have food.

There's something really cool about vintage bottles.

Reddit | tfandango

Modern plastics just don't have the same feel. This purple bottle was found in a toolbox but is actually a Moroccan perfume bottle.

When you're enjoying the natural vistas of a national park, things like this can stick out like a sore thumb.

Reddit | jctruereviews

While it's not the prettiest view, these towers in Yellowstone serve the important purpose of reflecting radio waves through the mountains, keeping signals strong.

This truck has four weird cone things hanging from its front.

Reddit | Hell_Camino

The hint is that the truck belongs to a gas company. Those cones are called "sniffers" and they'll detect a natural gas leak before it becomes a serious issue.

This high rise building has an unmarked metal cable running down one side.

Reddit | allineedistranslat

It may seem weird, but that cable actually serves a simple, but important purpose: it's a lightning rod. If the building is hit, the cable will direct the charge down into the ground safely.

This strange rock was found in an oil mine.

Reddit | SRT64

Knowing what it is doesn't make it less weird: it's fossilized coral.

Finding it in a landlocked mine is odd, but it's actually leftover from the glaciers, which pulled an ancient coral reef along with them.

The person who found this wondered if it was some sort of weird grenade.

Reddit | AwakenedSax0n

Which would be neat, but nope. It's actually an alcohol lamp, which is used as a safer alternative to Bunsen burners in some sciences and also in some DIY applications.

Sometimes old tech is the best tech.

Reddit | sasquatchanus

This contraption was found in a school's music room. By repeatedly lifting and setting it back down on a tabletop the wood blocks create the perfect simulation of footsteps marching in time. Way cooler than using an electronic sample.

Speaking of cool old tech, this thing used to be used to keep score in card games.

Reddit | tkun01

It was most commonly used for games of piquet, whist, or bridge. You keep track of your score by flipping the pieces that add up to the total.

So a score of 37 would mean flipping three 10s, the 5, and two 1s.

These metal balls are cool, but may require professionals to make sure they're safe.

Reddit | MomPowersActivate

That's because they're cluster bomblets. The blue color likely means they were for training and are inert, but better safe than sorry, right? No one wants their paperweight to randomly explode.

This autoparts store has a "space laser looking thing" on the ceiling.

Reddit | 11er33

I can't argue with that description, but it's actually an HDTV antenna. We've come a long way from old school rabbit ears, haven't we?

This Airbnb also has something weird hanging from the ceiling.

Reddit | tmoney031155

Contrary to the gutter all of your minds immediately jumped down into, these are actually just holders for a rod when hanging wet clothes. Your minds may be dirty, but at least the laundry is clean.

This little book is smaller than a Taco Bell sauce packet.

Reddit | biscuitcat22

The text printed on the cover and inside is Ethiopian, and that particular cross is associated with the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. Likely, this tiny book holds a piece of scripture special to the carrier.

Yeah, I'd have questions if I saw this guy on the subway.

Reddit | flyin_dragon

But who knew instrument cases had gotten so modern-looking? Because that's a fancy violin case. It has space for two bows, which is why there are the two parts sticking out.

Sometimes you find strange things when moving into a new home.

Reddit | Cj589

Like these weird pipes sticking out in the backyard. Like a lot of these things, they're leftovers from previous renovations. The house used to have an underground oil tank, but when the heating was updated, no one removed the old pipes.

Preparing raw meat kind of grosses me out, but I'm working on it. If I'd found this in my chicken livers, I'd quit.

Reddit | DingsDongEmporium

I'm not sure if the explanation makes things better or worse. It's a trachea, which probably got accidentally mixed into the package of liver during the butchering process.

That's one miserable-looking rodent.

Reddit | clgmae104

The person who found it climbing from their toilet didn't recognize the species. It's a flying squirrel. In the end, they deduced that it had fallen in the sewer vent on the roof and escaped by swimming up to the toilet through the pipes.

After 20 years of trying to figure out what this is, it took Reddit only 15 minutes.

Reddit | XxUFOxX11

Reddit always knows.

It's a fossilized piece of the inside of a freshwater drum fish's mouth, which is known for having "throat teeth." Gross.

What an odd little port...device...thing...

Reddit | R6Dragon

I'd have been confused too. Apparently, it's an old form of termite detector. If termites eat through the wooden plugs, the marbles fall and the green marble disappears from the viewing hole.

What makes this water so incredibly blue?

Reddit | LordSynister

Pictured is the Blue Water Lagoon in Myanmar. It gets that color due to a nearby limestone cave, which leaches calcium carbonate into the water.

A cleaner found this hidden under a dresser in a client's bedroom.

Reddit | M-I-G-Y

It's a tiny, voice-activated audio recorder, which is super unsettling.

In a similar vein, someone wondered if this was a camera in the Airbnb they rented.

Reddit | seymour-butts

It actually is a camera. It's from a Verisure security system and shouldn't take any images unless the alarm is set off.

Yes, that case is full of phones.

Reddit | this_is_how_i_roll

Set-ups like these are used to create and test wireless coverage maps. Technicians basically travel around and record the data. Each phone will usually be connected to a different network for easy comparison.

This weird thing is almost cute.

Reddit | Spookqlyyy

It washed up on the lawn after a storm. Don't touch it, though, because it's a short spined sea scorpion. The person who asked about it said that they live atop cliffs by the ocean, so a bird likely dropped it.

If you find this in your meat, contact the place you got it.

Reddit | iamfase

It's a tracking device likely from the animal the meat came from and it should not have made it all the way to your home kitchen.

Even law enforcement sometimes asks Reddit for help.

Reddit | cordyceps-fungi

You'd think that small piece wouldn't be enough to ID a car after a hit and run, but Reddit managed. It's a headlamp bezel from a 1988 chevy Silverado.

An arrest was made soon after!

"What are these things and what are they doing?" asked a very innocent Redditor.

Reddit | Achilles_Of_Reddit

They are European red slugs, and yes, they are making babies. So give them a bit of privacy, thanks.

It's turns out that the line of black dots around vehicle windows serves an important purpose.

Reddit | lasqi

It's basically sunglasses for the adhesive holding the window in place, protecting it from getting warm in the sun and losing its grip. Any black line would work, but the dot pattern also masks any imperfections in the smoothness of the glass.

This chunk of resin is numbered and has a heavy weight inside.

Reddit | wildedgeofficial

These "tracker pebbles" are buried along coastlines to track longshore drift. After a set period of time, metal detectors are used to find where they've travelled with the tides.

This fishy find was in a river.

Reddit | Hazzah02

After some back and forth, it was confirmed to be a handmade clay fishing weight that must have fallen off and been eroded by the water.

Thankfully, this little bay was saved before the cat that brought it in the house could hurt it.

Reddit | xxxbuff4lo

It's a newborn bunny that hasn't even opened its eyes yet. Commenters even had a ton of advice for how to ensure the baby survives.

Yeah, I'd wonder why there seemed to be a giant makeup palette below my plane too.

Reddit | honeybadger3891

There are two likely options for what these are: it could be a mineral mine, where the fine deposits are collected through evaporation, or they could be tailing ponds of wastewater from another kind of mining.

Continuing with the theme of strange things spotted flying over Nevada, there's this sci-fi thing.

Reddit | ddIuTTuIbb

It's a solar power farm. The mirrors are curved to all reflect the sun onto a central pillar, which sends the resulting heat to create the steam needed to spin turbines.

This off-putting object was found at an estate sale and at first, people thought it was voodoo related.

Reddit | Streetguide

At least, until some dentists chimed in and noted that the teeth are the same fakes used in dentures and this is likely the result of a bored technician making their own fun. Apparently, it's really common.

I wouldn't tell your dad you found these in his toolbox.

Reddit | saltysailor-23

I mean, it's possible that Dad's found some cool carpentry hack that nipple pumps are the perfect tool for, but it's also likely that he was just trying to hide them.

This big, matte black thing had a police escort.

Reddit | zook312

While it looks like something Darth Vader might like, it's actually just a package wastewater treatment plant. The escort is likely just due to it being big and ungainly.

Not only is this truck oddly short, but it's pushing a trailer from behind.

Reddit | Ouisha

It's not as crazy as it seems, though. This vehicle is specially designed for moving float planes in and out of hangers and depositing them on bodies of water.

If you find something like this attached to your modem, it's a very bad thing.

Reddit | Wardoghk

In this person's case, their roommate fell for a scammer. They were told that if they installed this device, the company could display ads to people that visited the roommate's Facebook page and would pay them $15/month in return.

Instead, this little device steals every keystroke and piece of data that runs through it.

This isn't a meteorite or anything.

Reddit | FrighteningJibber

It's actually a trick of the light. If sunlight hits a contrail from a passing plane just right, it'll reflect it in this fiery way.

If you find a little container like this when out and about, put it back where it was.

Reddit | fallingfigtree1254

It's a geocache and inside is likely a list of people who have found it based on the coordinates left by the person that hid it. It's part of an ongoing treasure hunt of sorts.

I'd worry if I found teeny little needles like this on my floor.

Reddit | crackly_b0i

The rice-sized needle is used in acupuncture, often inserted behind the ear. Each can be left in for a couple of days.

This one appears to have been used, so that's definitely unsanitary.

These blue pipes are all over Berlin.

Reddit | BrightEyeCameDown

The city has been dealing with too much groundwater for a couple of decades and these pipes are the solution. They pump excess water from the ground and send it out to the river.

"Little dude on my porch rail," is the only caption on this. Which is mildly upsetting.

Reddit | Professor01011000

But while it looks like a tiny weird corpse, it's actually one of those sticky crawler toys you get in quarter machines. This guy's stick went too far and he was abandoned.

It would be really cool to discover strange purple aliens when looking at the moon.

Reddit | Propergravy

Sadly, it's simply the phone camera's LED auto-focus sensor reflecting off the lenses of the telescope the camera is pressed up against to take the pic.

The person that found this in their dad's room just hoped it wasn't a sex thing.

Reddit | Merciman

It's not. It's meant to go over boots to provide traction on ice and snow. But I can totally see how someone would be confused if they didn't know that.

You really do find the coolest stuff at estate sales.

Reddit | lann12

This is a Korean scroll box with the Chinese text of the ZiZhi Tongjian, a famous history of China.

It's not surprising to see Chinese characters in Korean works, as they shared a writing system for a long time.

Someone wondered if this was a wild cat and should be reported to animal control.

Reddit | BlackoutSentinel

It's a black bobcat, and yes, should probably be reported. Left alone, they'll probably just move on, but it could pose a risk to neighborhood pets.

Yeah, I think "What the eff is on my car?!" is a valid question here.

Reddit | iChickk

Crazily, Redditor sal9002 knew exactly: "A Spiny Oak-Slug Caterpillar covered in eggs from a parasitic Braconid Wasp."

In this case, the larvae appear to have hatched and moved on.

No question should ever start with "pulled out of eye," I've decided because yuck.

Reddit | Jacquelynnehyde

When this person had an irritated eye and investigated, this pulled away from their eyeball. They're pretty sure it's not some sort of worm, but rather some built up gunk from clogged tear ducts.

I'd still see an eye doctor to be sure though.