Reddit | JT-TJ

11+ Weird Things People Found And Needed The Internet's Help To Identify

Have you ever stumbled upon something in the wild or at a friend's house and thought, "What is this thing?" Of course you have, and often you either have to hope someone nearby knows or use your limited Google-fu skills to try to find the answer.

Or you could ask the experts over on the r/whatisthisthing subreddit.

"Found at a beach on the Gulf Coast. I'm thinking it's some type of teeth from a creature that died in the Gulf of Mexico." — PeyoteJones

Reddit | PeyoteJones

This is an example of "pharyngeal teeth", which are found in the pharyngeal or branchial arch of some fish. Basically, it's a series of boney arches that support the gill structure.

And sometimes, they have teeth...

"What is this stripe that glows under a black light on the edge of a mail envelope for?" — SalvadorTMZ

Reddit | SalvadorTMZ

If you're paranoid enough to be checking your mail with a UV light, then you should probably ensure that you know the difference between something questionable and the glue used to hold an envelope together.

"Strange key in a IBM box on a wall in a public corridor at my University." — KerberosMorphy

Reddit | KerberosMorphy

This is a key for an old watchclock. Before the advent of electronic security and tracking systems, security guards would use one of these keys to log when they did their patrols.

"I found this thing in my basement and I don't know what it is. It has some type of light yellow liquid in it of some sort." — ahadtheking

Reddit | ahadtheking

It's a scented oil packet, likely from a Bath and Body Works car air freshener.

"Is this some type of cable or phone line guide? Made of porcelain think." — 11rick58

Reddit | 11rick58

It's an example of a "stay insulator," which is commonly used on the cables that anchor power poles to the ground. By insulating the cable, it's much less likely that a downed live wire could cause the stay cables to also become electrified.

Since any sort of metal would conduct the current, ceramic is used instead.

"They on a wall at my uni, I think it has something to do with electricity. What are they used for?" — soszna

Reddit | soszna

This is similarly related to power lines. These are isolators, which use ceramic or silicone discs to prevent live wires from arcing a charge to the pole.

"What is this silver coating that is shedding from my garlic press? Is it toxic?" — TheRealTP2016

Reddit | TheRealTP2016

Some people thought it was chipping paint, but more likely, it is zinc leftover from the galvanization process. It's not dangerous, but definitely unsightly.

"These were installed at an intersection not too long ago. They’re bright blue. My city just voted to get rid of all red light cameras, so I assume it can’t be that." — captainechinoid

Reddit | captainechinoid

They aren't some secret red light camera, but they are related to the issue. Since traffic lights are made to only be visible from the angle of the affected traffic, it's hard for police officers elsewhere in the intersection to know when a specific light is actually red.

So this light glows blue when the red light is active, so law enforcement can tell from any angle, but drivers won't be confused.

"Under my rug it’s porous and spongy." — oblivious_norwhale

Reddit | oblivious_norwhale

Sometimes it's neat to realize that something that seems common knowledge isn't. That's a non-slip liner meant to keep the rug from sliding around on wood floors.

"So, the whole tool is a safety window hammer. But what is the retracting needle? Never seen another safety hammer with this needle." — Imlife_havealemon

Reddit | Imlife_havealemon

It's for popping an airbag, which is actually unlikely to ever come in handy. Airbags are designed to deflate almost immediately to prevent an unconscious person from suffocating.

Likely, "features" like this are just added as an excuse to make the tool seem better than competitors.

"Found this while walking on the beach in SC this afternoon." — thepeachadventures

Reddit | thepeachadventures

It wouldn't be an r/whatisthisthing collection without at least one thing found on a beach.

This is a casing for the eggs of a whelk, which is a large predatory sea snail.

"Is that a camera in the public stall?" — BarbedWire3

Reddit | BarbedWire3

This is a common worry, but it's really, really rare for there to actually be a camera in a public bathroom.

In this case, it's a motion sensor for the lights.

"Some kind of light or camera or something has appeared in my neighbour's window facing my apartment, what is it?" — spockpinch

Reddit | spockpinch

Random cameras on neighboring homes are becoming more common, but this is nothing to worry about. It's a portable work light.

"I was going through a box of pens and I found this thing, it slides in and out but seems to have no function, what is it?" — skullboy56289p01

Reddit | skullboy56289p01

One might assume that it is some sort of vintage artefact from a bygone era, which is sort of is — if you consider the days of the Palm Pilot a bygone era. This is a stylus for a Palm Tungsten T.

"This powder keeps falling off the roof of my house what is it?" — STK761

Reddit | STK761

Sorry, dude, but that's "frass." Also known as termite poop.

Time to call the landlord or an exterminator and get ready for some serious cleanup.

"What are those green lines over some place in North Korea (via Google Maps)?" — SheriidiiaN

Reddit | SheriidiiaN

I understand someone being curious about weird things spotted over North Korea, but that's just Google marking out roads that aren't for automobile traffic. So bike lanes and pedestrian routes.

"What is this white stuff on my frozen edamame?" — Sterbin

Reddit | Sterbin

Another case of thinking the worst, but missing the obvious.

It's salt. The Redditor simply thought they had bought unsalted and didn't think to double-check the bag.

"Found this in my air vent. Any idea what it is?" — sunsfan222

Reddit |  sunsfan222

Moving into a new house is always full of surprises. This is actually a piece from an old Brinks security system that's no longer active.

"What are these? Light but sturdy plastic. Found in a large storage bay near cleaning supplies." — Golden_Funk

Reddit | Golden_Funk

Those are dirt traps for large cleaning buckets. You put them in the bottom and they trap the dirt that settles ensuring that you get clean water every time you rinse your rag.

"Just bought a new house, found this panel in one of the bedrooms, what is it?" — zach26505

Reddit | zach26505

This is a relic of an early idea of a "smart home".

I'll leave the specifics to Redditor mrBill12 comment:

"Low voltage switching. It was a concept of GE in the 1950’s when they were promoting The All Electric House. The concept was to allow unusual switching like this where you have a master panel or master panel as well as individual switches. The actual light is controlled by a latching relay, allowing wiring to remote switches to be small light gauge wiring."

"Just found this in my bag of Tostitos. Any ideas on what it is?" — Donald_Drumpff

Reddit | Donald_Drumpff

Don't worry, it's just a chunk of the dough that probably fell off a chip and got over-cooked.

"What are these things found at a beach in Greece? We think they're organic." — toonwa

Reddit | toonwa

It's a green algae called codium Bursa that's found in the Mediterranean and Northern Atlantic. It doesn't usually end up on shore, but can get washed onto the beach during bad storms.

"Found in a bathroom. Filled with Vaseline/some sort of scented petroleum jelly." — ValkyrieM27

Reddit | ValkyrieM27

Some really strange things can be found in bathrooms, but sometimes it's completely mundane.This is a Scrubbing Bubbles Gel Wand for applying a cleaning gel to the inside of a toilet bowl.

But if you've never seen one before, I can see why a gel-filled tube in a bathroom would be weird.

"What is in the water to make it orange? (Right) Right next to a clear stream and a neighborhood. (Left) Is it sewage?" — JT-TJ

Reddit | JT-TJ

Definitely unsightly and I wouldn't drink or swim in it, but the orange color is caused by a lot of iron oxide leeching into the water.

Possibly, the pipe on the right is very, very rusty.

"Found in old house. Everything seems metal, with holes in the "fingers." No power cord, no switch to be found." — tactical_bacon_light

Reddit | tactical_bacon_light

Well, that's mildly terrifying.

It's apparently a very old salon-style hairdryer. Not sure how I would feel about having my skull surrounded by weird metal fingers while I read an outdated magazine.

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