A gas mask filter
reddit | redbolide

20 Weird Things People Turned To Internet Sleuths To Help Identify

Over the past few thousand years, humans have gotten really good at making stuff: useful stuff, decorative stuff, destructive stuff, and stuff that serves no earthly purpose at all.

When it comes to identifying this never-ending cascade of stuff that people randomly find and are subsequently stumped by, there's no better place on the internet than the r/whatisthisthing subreddit.

"My new glasses came with a bag of accessories, which contains plastic thread, white ribbon, and a piece of plastic in the shape of a lens."

Glasses repair kit
reddit | Flupsy

I'm a glasses wearer and have never gotten these things, so I'm definitely intrigued. The piece of plastic is a template for cutting new lenses, the black thing is a grinding template and the string holds lenses in a rimless frame.

"Found on a military base in Hawaii, I didn’t formally measure it but it’s 1 propane tank wide and one lawn mower long."

Wing from military target drone
reddit | CrackerWacker59

This appears to be a piece of the wing of a military target drone, which makes perfect sense given where it was found.

"Mysterious concrete box in corner of exterior basement walls."

Bait tank built into basement
reddit | hik6911

It turns out the former owner of this house was a fisherman, which perfectly explains this box. It used to be a bait tank for storing fresh bait in.

"Mounds of dirt against the fence line along the interstate in Utah."

Wildlife fence crossing
reddit | animatedhockeyfan

If this was a video game, those mounds of dirt would be there solely for cars to launch over. But this is real life, so there's a better answer: these are for wildlife such as deer and antelope to get over fences.

"Little 'door' in kitchen. Painted over, unable to open. 2nd floor apartment. Built in the 1920s. Nothing visible outside like the existence of a shaft at some time (bricks not changed outside)."

Cold box mounted in wall
reddit | Suggest_a_User_Name

This is most likely a cold box — a small area that brings in outside air to cool things down in lieu of a refrigerator or ice box.

"Antique looking foot operated spikey thing?"

Cobbler's eyelet press
reddit | oldskool73

This is a relic from back in the days when shoes were made by hand. This machine is for pressing eyelets — the little holes the laces go into — into shoes and boots.

"What are these ~4 inch wooden sticks, some with sharp metal tips? I got them from an elementary school teacher (now deceased) in Montana."

Wands for clay sculpting
reddit | goodgirlathena

These wands are designed for sculpting and marking or writing on clay before it's put into a kiln.

"Emergency light on the wall of the Baltimore Aquarium labeled Venom Alarm."

Venom alarm at Baltimore Aquarium
reddit | ParameciaAntic

So we know that this is some sort of, well, venom alarm, but why? Aquariums have all sorts of nasty venomous stuff, such as zoanthid coral, which is potentially deadly to humans.

"Old wooden handheld item with multiple metal prongs that aren’t very sharp."

Handheld meat tenderizer
reddit | lem0ns22

There are plenty of modern methods for tenderizing meat, but if you're the old-school sort, you'd probably use something like this: a handheld meat tenderizer.

"Long wooden implement with two tines, not sharp at all."

Fondue fork
reddit | HystericalClownParty

If you're the kind of person who knows what fondue is, you probably identified this as a fondue fork almost immediately. Fondue has been out of style for decades, so fewer and fewer people would recognize this.

"3-year-old came home from an extra curricular activity where he can exchange tickets at a “store” for what’s usually dollar store items. It’s rubber/ silicone, the size of a fingertip, doesn’t erase, about as hard as a bouncy ball but doesn’t bounce like a bouncy ball. Doesn’t light up."

Light bulb eraser
reddit | vairpods

This is one of those highly specific things that someone somehow identified. This is the remnants of a light bulb-shaped eraser from the '80s.

"Found this behind a commercial freezer while doing renovations. Plastic casing, plastic looking balls, metal shroud, about 1.5 inches in length."

Pheromone capsules for a moth glue trap
reddit | Cold-Principle-7233

It looks like these are poison pills, and if you're a moth, they kind of are. They're pheromone capsules for trapping moths in a glue trap.

"Why do these window grills have a bulge? Seen in Spain."

'Belly bars' in windows so flower boxes can be installed
reddit | lw1999

Are the bars melting or is there a purpose here? Fortunately, it turns out there's a purpose: these 'belly bars' are designed this way to allow flower boxes to be installed.

"Park Bench with weird cutouts. Don't think it's for bikes, you'd need a really long chain to wrap all the way around."

Bike stand built into a bench
reddit | ouqw3

OP was on the right track with this, as it is intended for bikes. It isn't for locking them, though. It's just a way to prop them up while you sit on the bench.

"Found above the door in the backseat of a 2011 Porsche Cayenne. What are the holes behind the small door used for?"

Hanger in a car
reddit | TheBirdBytheWindow

I was thinking this would be something fancy and Porsche-specific, but nope — it's just a hanger, same as the hanger in practically every car.

"Large chunk of (metal?) Weighs quite a bit in your hand and hasn't changed in color in decades."

Museum souvenir
reddit | jalanubnub

This displays cuneiforms along with the logo of France's national museums. It's more likely than not that this is simply a museum souvenir.

"What is up against this person's mouth?"

Stenographer wearing a stenographer's mask
reddit | aintnufincleverhere

Have you ever wondered how court stenographers do their thing so quickly? One aid they have is a stenographer's mask to help them dictate — and that's exactly what this thing is.

"On the bed in my hotel. Doesn't open or anything."

Ned Kelly-themed fascinator
reddit | tungstencoil

This is a type of fascinator, a decorative headpiece. It's a reference to Ned Kelly, an Australian outlaw and folk hero who famously made homemade body armor for his final shootout.

"What is it? Small olive metal container with "91232" printed on the side. Seems to have a filter of some sort inside."

Gas mask filter
reddit | redbolide

The olive green coloring suggests that this has some sort of military application, and it does. It might look like a squished water bottle, but it's actually a gas mask filter.

"Globe like sphere with engravings all the way around. I believe this is made of brass and iron. Spins like a globe would."

Antique celestial globe
reddit | churnedcoconuts

This is a celestial globe. Like a regular globe, it shows you where stuff is — but in this case, the stuff it's showing you is constellations.