20 Strange Things People Found That They Needed Help To Identify

There are some things that we come across and have no idea what they are. Whether you've just moved into a new house and have found some weird things left by the previous owner, or you've found something on the street and have no idea what you're looking at, it's bound to happen eventually.

But there has to be someone out there who knows what that mystery thing is. If you know where to ask, you can probably find a satisfying answer.

"I found this while searching for shells at Sanibel in Florida. It's only about the size of a walnut and has the same texture/hardness of any shell."

This thing almost looks alien. But according to Reddit, it's actually a colony of tube worms. Probably an old, dried up one at that. At least we know it's something from this planet.

"Found this on my kitchen floor last night. It's hard under the bristles. No clue what it's from."

At a glance, it looks like a teeny, tiny cleaning brush. Maybe mice are starting to gain more intelligence, and they've developed toilets and toilet brushes. And someone happened across one in their home.

Or, the more likely answer is that it's the middle of a fake flower. You know, the part that's supposed to emulate the pollen? Which means no, mice aren't cleaning up after themselves. Sigh

"Rubber-handled doo-hickey...it's been sitting in my desk draw for 15 years. It bends to 43°. Weighs 4 oz.; solid rubber handle. All the little wheels rotate independently."

This thing could be literally anything. A strange pipe cleaner. Some kind of hand tool for construction. And yet, it's none of those things.

It's actually a pain therapy wand. It's apparently supposed to relieve pain in your joints... somehow. But it's probably not the most useful thing.

"Really need some advise [*sic*] as to what this thing is. Appears to be a coin which was turned into half a cylinder with something welded attached. Coin (if that’s what it is, is from 1786)."

It looks like a pretty old, pretty odd coin. And it may have been, at one point. But it's apparently a very small, makeshift ashtray. It almost looks too small to even be useful, but it was probably very helpful to someone out there.

Or maybe whoever made it was just bored.

"Just noticed this odd switch on the door plate. It doesn’t seem to lock the door and is only on the outside. WITT?"

That little tab looks useless. But the entire door plate may have been installed incorrectly. It could be a tab that keeps people from using a key if it's switched on, assuming it's on the right way. They keyhole should be visible if it were to be installed correctly, so it would make sense.

"Circular alarm looking thing with string attached in my apartment."

At a glance, this just looks like one of those cover plate things that you may find on walls from time to time. But it's actually some kind of vent, like the one here. The OP of this post pulled the string attached to it, and it exposed a filter, so it being a vent is plausible.

"What is this spoon used for? It was part of a bartending set."

Okay, so this one has to be some kind of spoon, right? It can't be a mechanism that looks like a spoon.

As it turns out, it is a spoon. For bartending, it helps make layered drinks. The little prongs on the end help keep layers separate when you move them. I'd imagine the rough texture on the spoon is helpful for that too.

"Found on Thames foreshore, don’t think it’s metal. Hollow, but sealed at one end."

It almost looks like some kind of bullet casing. But as it turns out, it's an animal molar. We likely won't ever know the exact animal it came from, but the best guess is some kind of herbivore, like a cow or sheep. Who would've thought?

"Found in images of a home on Redfin, what is this odd orange and white thing on the wall of a restroom? It appears to be plugged into an outlet over a small shelf in a room with a toilet, yet no clue as to its function."

This one would've stumped me for days. It almost looks like some sort of hair drying mechanism. As it turns out, it's something very different.

They mysterious item is actually just a Google Nest in a mount attached to the wall outlet. I guess someone likes to play music while they're on the toilet?

"Narrow metal bar with spokes that move together, found at thrift store."

This is one of those things that looks complicated, but actually has a simple solution. It's a tie rack. That's it.

Some of you out there may have known this one already. I sure didn't, though! Then again, I don't own any ties, and I don't really know anyone who would own enough to fill a whole rack...

"What is this clump of packed dirt/spongy substance that came out of my air vent?"

See, I would look at that and assume the worst. "Is there a wasps' nest in my car?" Thankfully, no.

Sometimes the simplest solution is the right one. This is just a bit of foam sealing. It probably came loose and wound up blowing out of the vent. And not a wasp in sight.

"Probably something for electrical current, this copper device has been in our stockroom for years. There are no moving parts and no significant identifying markings."

It's definitely some kind of electrical item. And as it turns out, it's a Tesla Coil.

It's basically a kind of radio transmitter that people used to send wireless telegraphs to one another. Long before the smartphone was invented.

"There is this metal tub in the kitchen in this real estate posting for a mansion built in the early 20th century. Does anyone know what it is for?"

So apparently, at one point in time, we used to burn our garbage.

Since we have garbage trucks and landfills to take care of it all, I can't imagine needing to use something like this (plus it would probably be a bad idea to burn today's garbage, given how much synthetic material we have in stuff).

"Looks like a razor but has no blade..."

It doesn't have a blade, so is it some kind of incredibly tiny squeegee? That would be my first thought.

But apparently, it still is a razor, it's just the kind where you need to manually install the blades. Another easy solution that I would've never thought of.

"Found in back of wardrobe, 3 sets of 2 pieces, 35x28mm."

Funnily enough, OP solved their own query. It was found behind one piece of furniture, but was meant for another. Or rather, a set of lights.

The little plastic clips are for cable management. There are other ways to keep your cords nice and clean, though, so this probably wasn't needed.

"Found in storage at the post office. Accordion style metal contraption."

Chances are, you probably won't ever need one of these. That is, unless you live in a tiny home or travel by R/V a lot. This metal item is a holder for an R/V septic pipe. It's supposed to keep it stable while gravity does the work. A dirty job indeed.

"Metal spheres, about 15cm in diameter and weighing 400-500g each. Some are coated in what looks like a clay "shell". Found in an old barn/stable."

They're antique boules or bocce balls.

Used in various lawn bowling-style games, these older versions are actually made of wood, with metal nails hammered around the circumference to act as shock absorbers.

"What are these colored points on Dorrito [*sic*] Snack?"

You'll find those marks on a lot of packaging, since they actually aid the printing computers.

Cameras on the printing machines use those circles to check things like color and alignment throughout the printing process. So if, say, the magenta dots start fading, the computer will know that the magenta ink is getting low.

"What is this white pod next to a railway level crossing in the UK?"

It's a radar scanner, used in this case to detect obstacles that might hinder the railroad crossing. For example, if it detects a vehicle crossing the tracks to beat the train, it might slow the descent of the barriers just enough to make sure they don't come down onto the car itself.

"Made of porcelain or pottery. In an old house in Charleston, SC. Though [*sic*] a colander but the plate has holes also."

This one actually stumped me, even though it shouldn't have. It isn't any kind of convoluted mechanism with a super unconventional purpose. It's just a fruit bowl.

The holes are probably for washing fruit inside of it, but it can still be used for serving. You really do learn something new every day.

"Real life looking eyeball, maybe glass? With 3 holes on the metal piece. Found at a flea market."

It isn't a real glass eye, or at least, not one intended to go into a person.

The piece is actually a novelty keychain made by a taxidermy shop, as part of promoting the quality of their glass animal eyes.

"Found in the house I'm moving into. About 4"x2" has a steel ball bearing that moves up and down."

This is actually a clever little hanger. The steel ball will hold paper or even a hand towel securely in place while also making it easy to pull free when needed.

"What are these structures in the middle of the Mojave?"

No, it isn't a mysterious structure built by an ancient alien civilization. It's more than likely a guzzler, or an object used to collect water. These things are put up to allow wildlife to drink from a reliable water source. That's actually really cool!

"Semi-straight lines in the desert seen from a plane near Kano, Nigeria."

They are lines of eucalyptus trees, which are planted to help slow desertification in the region.

"Metal pin with small metal chain hanging off it, resembles a tie clip or brooch."

It's a brooch with a safety chain. Basically, the clasp on brooches aren't always 100% secure. So a small, hidden safety pin on a chain adds an extra level of loss prevention.

"What is this weird tool? Turned wood handle, with a two-pronged metal spike on one end, handle tapers out to a bulb at the spiky end, 10" long."

It looks like some kind of strange, old tool. And as it would happen, that's pretty much what it is! It's one of those hand weeder tools you use in your garden. It just so happens to look like it came out of the stone age.

"Moved into a new house and this was left in the garden, no idea what it does, it requires to be powered and makes faint noises."

If you found this in your yard, you probably shouldn't worry. It's just a sensor that emits a high-pitched sound to scare away cats and other animals. In fact, it's probably more beneficial to have around.

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