30 Discovered Items The Internet Helped Us Understand

The internet is, by far, the best place to learn about random things. Sometimes, you may end up learning something you didn't even seek out in the first place.

But what's not to love about that? That's why we made this list, after all. It's just all sorts of weird and random things that we only understand thanks to the internet crowd.

"Metal clamp over breaker?? Plumbers worked on water heater and left. Checked breaker and found this."

Reddit user OmarLittleFinger said, "It looks like a lock out tag out device. There is a slot to push a lock through. It’s for safety, so that someone doesn’t come behind you and turn the power on." Basically, it's something that shouldn't be there when the work is done.

"I found these in a religious thrift store, but I have no idea what they are. These are ceramic cylinders around 6 inches tall. They are glazed on the outside and unglazed on the inside. The word 'healthy' is stamped on the base."

Reddit user raineykatz had the answer to this one: "I think those are vertical poultry roasters. The idea is to insert them into a whole chicken and bake it standing up. You'd need a baking pan to catch the juices of course."

I honestly never would've expected that answer.

"Kitchen gadget - fulcrum, flat handle, and curled metal edges."

A bunch of different Reddit commenters were basically saying the same thing about this weird object. It's a device for holding hot pans or oven racks (so that you don't touch them directly). Makes sense.

"Un-glazed ceramic object purchased as a set of 2. Dimensions are 9.5” long x 3.5” wide x 2.5” tall. Marked with the letters BAY followed by four dots."

According to Reddit user Zarafee, this is a ceramic device that you can use to add humidity to the air in your house. Like a humidifier, but probably not nearly as efficient.

"Small black box with four LEDs, an aerial and some sort of terminal."

Reddit user 4011cache figured out pretty quickly that this little machine is one of those ghost hunting tools. Quite the random answer for an equally random find, but that's how it goes sometimes.

"What is this thing? Please help identify! Adelaide, SA. These keep popping up in my house and are painful to step on. Are my cats out and about sleeping on cacti?"

Reddit user MaryN6FBB110117 was the first to identify these weird things as Goathead burrs. And apparently, people from different regions have different names for them.

"What [are these] two attached differently sized cups, made of (probably) uranium/Vaseline glass?"

It took a few different Reddit commenters to piece it all together, but this whole thing is a smoke set. One cup is for cigarettes, while the other is for matches. Definitely a vintage item.

"I found these in a thrift store in Washington state. From what I can find I think they are possibly Russian but I’m not sure what they are or what they were from. Birds are a little larger than palm sized."

According to Reddit user tie_dyeunderpants, these things could date back to the Byzantine Empire. And according to Reddit user gn_like_lasagna, they're most likely part of a hanging candle holder. Neat!

"All wooden tool of some sort found in a barn in rural Illinois. Board with random shapes cut/drilled out, attached in an L-shape to a broom handle or similar."

This has got to be the most random and specific right answer I've seen all day. According to Redditor ctrum69, it's an "Apple butter stirrer." Seriously, how do people just know these kinds of things?

"My carpet is falling apart and it's leaving a sand-like residue. Does anyone know what this might be?"

There were plenty of comments under this post saying that the "sand" is actually the backing of the rug deteriorating. Could be because it's old, could be because of moths.

"The paint of the concrete beam popped out on a circular shape, when I pulled it there was this thing inside."

Reddit user CaulkusAurelis gave a very good explanation:

"It's the base of the stand wire lathers use to position the reinforcing steel (rebar) in the formwork. There may be some moisture creating rust that made the steel swell and pop the concrete, resulting in this little blowout."

Makes sense. I think.

"Looks like a shutter. Has a handle at either end of the frame and non-moving slats, each with a hole in the middle."

There were a surprising amount of comments under this post that called the thing a heddle. Apparently, a heddle is used in weaving, but I'm still surprised that so many people would know this.

"Carved wood with wooden rings around it. The rings don't come off. Found it in a park."

Reddit user raygunnysack had a pretty good answer to this mystery: "It's a Mexican hot-chocolate stirrer/whisk. Known as a molinillo."

That's fine and all, but how did it end up in a park...?

"Small metallic dice with a cross on each side."

"This is a practice piece, which apprentices manufacture in industrial jobs, like cutting machine operators," Reddit user jnmrcl said. Well, in any case, it can make for a pretty nice decoration now.

"Wooden and leather horse head, it’s hollowed out/rounded inside."

It looks like this is something you'd probably know if you're from South America. Reddit user CMDR_VegShiva said, "It is a type of mug made of gourd to drink chimarrão. Chimarrão is a very strong Brazilian or Argentinian or Paraguayan hot tea made with yerba mate."

"What is this small black plastic square found on the bottom of a truck? It wasn't there before."

After multiple Reddit comments confirmed that this thing is a GPS tracker (scary), OP gave a bit more detail. Apparently, their friend might be getting followed by a PI (it was on the friend's truck). So weird.

"Sharp brown needle, about 1cm in length found in my clothing."

A bunch of commenters had theories that this could be a porcupine/hedgehog quill, or a down feather. But when Reddit user Elijafir suggested it could be a cactus spine, OP remembered they had a cactus with spines just like that in the house.

"Found this deep in my church's storage. Looks like there's a place for a battery, multiple lights, and even a knob that only clicks when you twist it. It seems to be from the 70s and made primarily out of aluminum."

One thing the comment section agreed on is that this thing is probably meant for collections. As most suggested, it's most likely a coin-operated electric candle.

"Sitting in a Scottish train station waiting room. Staff came in and touched his phone/device to this thing like it was a contactless scanner or something."

Reddit user WasteOZSpace said, "It's a security checkpoint. Likely an NFC tag, he touched his phone to it so they know he was there at a certain time."

That actually makes so much sense.

"What is this wooden stick with a tapered end and an ornate handle-like end?"

Reddit user raineykatz found someone selling a thing exactly like this one. Apparently, it's a magic wand. The same kind was used as a prop on Wizards of Waverly Place. Cool.

"What is this set of little sieve like things?"

According to Reddit user jackrats, this thing is used for grilling food. Most likely oysters and stuff, but I imagine you could probably also use it to grill other small food items.

"Magnetic plastic frame with LED strip."

OP got a lot of help from the comment section, but eventually ended up finding the right answer on their own:

"It's a light for a hydraulic jewelry press. The rubber material is urethane blocks to press against."

"Metal device with arms that takes batteries."

It looks like this thing is an incredibly specific thing. According to Reddit user Vollpfosten, it's a "Gakken mechanical spider." In other words, it's a toy made in Japan several decades ago.

"What is the function of this weird ruler/scale on the back of a vintage ruler/protractor?"

Reddit user pm_****_plz_and_thks said, "Machinist scale. It's for converting fractional inch to decimal for machining processes." This incredibly specific tool actually seems like it would be really useful, for more than just machining.

"Found this in some old tools. Some sort of jig? Has 3 knobs for adjusting."

Apparently, this is yet another item used for machining purposes. Reddit user MMLJ2017 called the thing a "Surface gauge scribe."

I'll always be amazed at how people just know these kinds of things.

"Stands about 3 feet tall. Large metal frame with two sets of handles, one set on the outside horizontal, another inside angled inward. On the bottom are two square bent hooks that are approximately 3 inches."

Reddit user gn_like_lasagna found the right answer pretty quickly. It's an "Adjustable Ladder Stand-Off." It looks like it's used to help keep people safe when they climb the ladder.

"What is this steel object that flew through my windshield today? It is disk shaped and at least 10 pounds, and has a rebar-like piece attached at an angle."

First of all, this person is incredibly lucky that they didn't get hurt after a piece of flying metal crashed into their windshield. And according to Redditor useatyourownrisk, it's a piece from a snow plow. That totally should never have happened.

"What is this spinning flap thing I found inside my washer after doing a load of laundry?"

According to Reddit user leonardoOrange, "It's part of the washer lid switch. It's the actuator part. You will need a new WP3355458 or find the spring that popped off with it."

That... doesn't sound good.

"What is the purpose of this notched shelf in my mirror vanity?"

There were a lot of Reddit commenters popping in to say that this is a toothbrush holder. Probably meant for the old, skinny ones, and not the wider ones we mostly use today.

"What are these? They were found in a dumpster by a friend in Buenos Aires, Argentina. They look kind of like drawers meant to be slotted into a machine."

"The texts 'SUPERVILLE' and 'BANCO HSBC' are the names of local banks so maybe they stored some sort of disks?"

The part about them being for banks was spot on. Redditor Selash confirmed that they're ATM cassettes, which "are the storage devices inside an ATM that holds the dollars in alignment so that the ATM can count them out and give them to you." Cool!

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