Reddit | Major_Hedgehog

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

Amy Pilkington 2 Oct 2019

There's so much out there in the world that there's no way any single person could see or know everything.

And that's fine. That's what the internet is for.

Here are a bunch of weird or interesting things people needed help to identify and the internet proved it knows everything.

1. "Please tell me what this is so I can get some sleep." —TelegramMeYourCorset

Reddit | TelegramMeYourCorset

This was found on the pullout bed at a hotel in the Philippines. Most people identified it as some sort of insect poop, which probably didn't help with the sleep issue.

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2. GoodShark kept seeing these empty structures along the Canadian highways.

Reddit | GoodShark

They have no walls and nothing stored underneath. They aren't for storage, though, but nesting structures for barn swallows to help the bird population bounce back.

There are shelves and nesting cups built into the underside of the roof, giving birds a safe place to nest.

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3. Sometimes you have a really good cup of coffee on vacation and want to know what kind of brewer was used.

Reddit | Prid

This may look like something from a mad scientist's lab, but it's actually just a siphon style brewing set-up. Heating up the water in the lower vessel forces it up into the top with the grounds.

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4. These strange glass ampules were found in Yankton, SD, near the site of an 1800s hotel.

Reddit | h0ldthech0ke

Inside the glass are small pill-like capsules containing a small slip of paper with a number on it.

These were likely used for some sort of lottery or even a draft, requiring a person to smash the glass to learn what number they received.

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5. This small golden block was found while metal detecting on a beach.

Reddit | lllomenlll

The inscription says "BLEU" which after a bunch of false leads finally led it to be identified as a metal embellishment likely from a beach cover-up by the clothing brand Bleu by Rod Beattie.

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6. "What is this thing attached to the side of this FJ Cruiser?" — polishskaterguy

Reddit | polishskaterguy

It's a mount to hold a camera rig when filming. It could be used in movie or TV shoots to record an actor driving, or a camera could be used when off-roading to film the terrain.

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7. This dusty old machine was just sitting in a school computer lab.

Reddit | condolencexx

It's an old chalk eraser cleaner, but the bag that collects the dust is missing.

I didn't realize these were a thing, because at my school, banging erasers during recess was a form of punishment.

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8. We've reached the era where things that used to be common knowledge aren't anymore.

Reddit | Bombug

A university student wondered what this thing on the toilet paper dispenser was, especially since smoking isn't allowed on campus.

But back when it was, this gave you a place to sit your cigarette while you did you business.

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9. Sometimes, you've just never come across something that others assume is common knowledge.

Reddit | ThatStickyIcky

ThatStickyIcky had no idea why their desk had a random piece of extra wood that slides in and out.

Thankfully, people were quite nice when they explained that it was just meant as an extra surface for working.

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10. "Several round wet spots on one wall with ooze in the middle." — jentrxm

Reddit | jentrxm

This may seem gross or scary, but it's actually just splattered lotion on the wall. Once that explanation was pointed out, jentrxm realized that it was likely coconut oil shaken off by the dog.

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11. This weird coil and wand are apparently an instrument of some sort.

Reddit | oeuffette

This example was found in India, but that detail just confused the issue. It's a Meinl Helix Bowl, which makes sounds by dragging the metal wand up and down the coils.

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12. Sometimes, you just wonder about common things in public spaces, like these circular plates found in a lot of restrooms.

Reddit | DaftRaft_42

Is it life-changing to know that it simply covers an access point to the waste line in the plumbing system? No, but now your curiosity is satisfied by knowing.

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13. "I saw it at an auction. You can slide the ridged part on the longer part. But I don't know what it does." — Froodychick

Reddit | Froodychick

This is pretty neat. It's a Victorian era pill roller. Medicine would be ground up and mixed with wax or syrup to make a squishy Play-Doh-like paste, then the paste would be rolled into a long sausage and pressed through the metal section, which cut the sausage into perfect, rounded pills.

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14. When moving into a new home, it's understandable to be wary of unknown devices attached to the internet hook-up points.

Reddit | josmaate

I've seen some cases where the device was malicious and meant to steal personal data. Thankfully, this one found by josmaate is just a cable splitter.

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15. This metal object was found in the washing machine after visitors did their laundry.

Reddit | idolatrous-organs

I've seen enough ear cleaning tools on Reddit that I assumed this was another one, but it's actually just a cuticle pusher from a manicure kit.

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16. "6cm(~2.5in) bulb/lamp I found outside w/o context. It has a screwing mount on the bottom and flashes up blue like a police siren when shook/tapped. — ziokora

Reddit | ziokora

It's a light for bicycle wheels. You attach it to the valve and as you ride it lights up. Some models even have smart tech in them so that you can change the color or pattern of the light.

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17. "This knob thing on the front door of a house I moved into. On the other side there's a smaller knob with the same numbers. All knobs can be turned, but nothing opens." — lolobiga

Reddit | lolobiga

It's a neat old alarm system. Only one of the numbers is the "off" setting. If it's on any of the other numbers, a nearby noise-maker will be triggered to go off, alerting anyone nearby.

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18. "What are these plastic things on top of the fir saplings?" — Major_Hedgehog

Reddit | Major_Hedgehog

There are small buds under the plastic covers, which are called "Crown Buds". It's believed that by protecting those buds from animals and weather, the tree will grow straighter and make for better lumber.

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19. After cleaning the aluminum cover of an old air conditioner, obi-jawn-kenobi found white stuff on their fingers and weren't able to remove it.

Reddit | obi-jawn-kenobi

It's aluminum oxide, which comes off as a very fine power and can be a pain to clean off.

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20. "Interesting looking lego piece. Noticed other lego sets have this piece as well. Not sure what it is exactly or what it even does." — tekunation


It's a brick separator. If you've ever struggled to get your fingernails under a skinny block that's flush with a ground piece, then you'll appreciate how handy these can be.

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21. "Metal bars on buildings. Possibly for support? Venice." — vineblinds

Reddit | vineblinds

They got pretty close on their own. They are called anchor plates and are often added to old buildings to help protect them from earthquakes.

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22. "It only says PAT, 3, and Made in Taiwan. What is it?" — Kasiline

Reddit | Kasiline

It's a ribbon shredder. if you clamp it down and then pull a ribbon through it, you'll get one of those fancy, curly bundles of ribbons that look really fancy on a gift.

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23. "These horizontal giant tubes coming out from the mountain." — xelhark

Reddit | xelhark

They are cannon-like systems for creating controlled avalanches. Instead of using regular explosives, these ones use gas combustion.

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24. "My wife found this on the beach in Bali." — mrh2727

Reddit | mrh2727

It's a sand dollar, which mrh2727 thought it might be, but they were confused by the holes that looked man-made.

But apparently that's perfectly normal for some sand dollars. Which is a neat thing to know.

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25. These pod things were found on a beach in Cazumel, Mexico.

Reddit | plastic_bag13

They are baby coconuts! These are produced by a palm tree common on the western coast of Central and Southern America. They're edible raw, or sometimes even candied as a treat.

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26. "Found inside a pomelo. They are bright red. They are not co-located with the seeds. They are inside the segments." — dragibusa

Reddit | dragibusa

I bet this person is wishing they hadn't opted to eat the fruit before getting an answer, because those are most likely the eggs/larvae of Asian citrus blackflies. Ew.

A pomelo is an Asian citrus fruit similar to a grapefruit.

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27. "Found this in the dimly lit area behind my TV, what is it?" — dathingucoverureyesw

Reddit | dathingucoverureyesw

It's called efflorescence and is salt that has migrated out of the cement and settled on the outer surface. It's unsightly, but not dangerous to your health. It could be a sign of a possible structural issue, though, since it's most common when cement or concrete regularly come in contact with salty water.

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28. "What is this thing in my school issued ID?" — vae_grim

Reddit | vae_grim

It's your standard RFID chip. The red line going around the edge of the card is the antenna, which is only strong enough to sense things up close. Hence, why you have to tap or wave your card over the card reader to unlock security doors.

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29. When moving into a new home in the Dominican Republic, this person found baby socks pinned near the ceiling in every room.

Reddit | givesyouhope

They are part of a ritual to ward off duendes, which are similar to gremlins. Small gifts are placed in the socks and in return, the duendes won't play pranks on the family.

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30. "What's this sticky yellowy stuff leaking from the side of my door? Every time we clean it it comes back."


This looks gross, but it's actually sap leaking out of the wood. The best way to battle it would be to scrub it clean and then cover the whole door with a shellac-based primer to seal it.

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