20 Weird Things People Seriously Struggled To Identify On Their Own

Although our knee jerk response to a question we don't know the answer to typically involves googling it, the truth is that this solution doesn't quite work for every situation.

After all, search engines are only effective when we actually know what we're supposed to be looking for. If we come across something that we have no frame of reference for, the best we can do is a vague description. And more often than not, the results you get from something like that are disappointing, to say the least.

Fortunately, we're about to see that obscure objects and vague descriptions are often the lead that Reddit's r/whatisthisthing community has no problem turning into the gold of knowledge.

When the uploader presented this item, all they knew was that was it was either made of brass or copper and it was from the early 1900s.

However, that didn't stop someone from providing a specific solution to this mystery. It turns out that this is a whale oil lamp of Dutch origins that's designed to hang on a wall.

Normally, the person who discovered this panel in their hotel bathroom would have assumed it just controlled the temperature.

However, the fact that adjusting it seemed to change a percentage made them realize that couldn't be its purpose and left them wondering what it actually does.

The answer, it turns out, is that it's used to regulate the humidity in a room rather than the temperature.

When someone discovered this small device hanging from a lamp post outside their house, they soon discovered that peeking into its insides didn't yield any answers.

But while it didn't show any identifying marks, that apparently didn't stop people from figuring out that it's a fob used to open computerized door locks.

As for why it was dangling from a post? Perhaps someone assumed that whoever dropped it would be looking for it.

This necklace has an odd design that seems to indicate it has a practical purpose rather than purely existing as a fashion statement.

And indeed, that's true because this was apparently how Nokia's customers used to secure their old Bluetooth headsets to themselves.

Although we never know where we can find unusual things, I doubt anyone would have predicted that this person would find this shell embedded in their bathroom wall.

They thought it was a bullet but the unfortunate truth is that it was actually fired by a 20 millimeter cannon, which means it could still have some live explosive components.

But while it soon became clear that this thing's discoverer would need to get it checked out, they may never know how it ended up in their wall because their house is 130 years old.

When the uploader found this box, the faces carved into it only made them more curious about what it was.

They found it in New York City but whoever brought it there had likely bought it as a souvenir in South America.

Since the figures depicted on it were famously icons of the Incan Empire, it's likely that the tourist who bought it was traveling through the ancient civilization's former territory on the continent's west coast.

I can't say it's suprising that the person who found this had a hard time identifying it since a metal rod attached to a rubber wheel could be a part of just about anything.

Nonetheless, one commenter recalled seeing something like it when they took apart an electric treadmill for its motor. This experience told them that this was one of a treadmill's drive rollers.

It was clear that this metal instrument had seen some use as it dangled from a tree in a cemetery, but that's about all that was clear for the uninitiated.

As it turns out, this object's placement in a cemetery makes a lot of sense as it's a font for burning offerings to memorialize someone who passed away.

Such devices are fairly common in various communities throughout Asia but the kind of offerings seem to depend on who their burning is intended to honor.

When the uploader found this in Goodwill, they didn't see any markings that provided any clues as to its purpose.

Fortunately, it was much more familiar to others, who informed them that this is a cross stitching hoop used to hold the fabric taught and make more precise work easier.

When the uploader found this wooden cup, they were sure that its hooked handle and the three holes drilled into it had some sort of purpose.

However, this doesn't appear to be the case and the uploader was finally satisfied with that answer when a commenter explained that this is a decorative cup from Poland called a cyrpok goralsk.

Although the uploader could see the inscription on this small item was written in Hebrew, that didn't get them too much closer to figuring out what it is.

Fortunately, some commenters were able to fill them in and tell them this is known as a hamza with one such person noting that it's considered a symbol of good luck.

As for the bull on it? That represents the second month of the Jewish religious year known as Iyar, which falls between April and May.

The person who took this photo had a simple yet puzzling question: "What is this metal box sitting in my driveway?"

And once they knew the answer, they understood why it was there.

This is an old water tank that was placed on its side and left here after the house's previous owners had replaced it with a combination boiler system.

As the uploader put it, "Yeah the previous owners were pretty bad at disposing of rubbish."

When someone found this sticking out of the side of their house, they realized that they had no idea what it was there for.

And it was a good thing they got curious because it turned out to be the relief port for the house's gas regulator.

With that in mind, it's probably a good idea to clear all that gunk out. This isn't something you want clogged.

After this person found this device in their grandpa's shed, they noticed that that the middle piece rotates and drives a pin up and down from the rustier end.

Apparently, these details were enough to help somebody zero in on the fact that this is a sheet metal nibbler used to cut the stuff.

Although the uploader would soon learn that this is a clip used on the panels inside of a vehicle, that didn't explain why someone from China sent it to them.

But as other users soon explained, this strange little delivery indicated that their information was being used for a "brushing scam" that allows sellers to artificially boost their online review scores.

How it works is that a cheap little item is sent to a real address but that "transaction" allows the fake account that ordered it to leave a glowing review on whatever the people behind the scheme are actually selling.

When one user in Florida came across these unusual pliers, they were at a loss as to what they're used for.

And that's because they actually have a very specific job. They're used to mount and remove piston rings from various vehicles.

Although the uploader described the house they found this leather "bracelet" in as belonging to an avid golfer, this object doesn't have anything to do with the sport.

Instead, this is a "palm" that's used in making leather and heavy canvasses like a boat's sails.

Since both of these materials are thick, the central piece is supposed to support the needle that the wearer would try to push through them.

When it's unclear what it is, the design of this smooth, wooden implement inspires a lot of curiosity.

And apparently, something like this has to be smooth and lightweight because otherwise, it would be pretty uncomfortable to wear as a hair pin.

As the uploader explained, "An fb friend got this from one of those boxes where you pay for it and you get random stuffs."

And it's hard to find a device more obscure and oddly specific than this balloon knotter. As the name might suggest, it's supposed to help people tie the ends of balloons.

When the uploader walked the streets of Langley, British Columbia, they noticed that panels with glowing blue lights like this one inside would sometimes appear.

And judging by the fact that they were activated, it was apparently a pretty cold day when they came across this since that blue light is supposed to show when temperatures go below zero.

That makes this a warning light indicating icy roads.

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