Reddit | Belowmda

12+ Times People Asked The Internet And Got An Answer They Didn't Expect

Sometimes we find something and we think we know what it is. We might ask a friend or google it to confirm, but we're pretty sure of our guess.

Other times we may be less sure or simply baffled and that's where Reddit and r/whatisthisthing comes in handy. Sometimes the answers are neat and others are... awkward.

"Found this small kettle years ago. Tried searching for a similar one but have always come up with nothing. Anybody have an idea why this has this unique shape?" — home_cheese

Reddit | home_cheese

It's not a kettle... it's a portable urinal for bedridden patients.

Thankfully, home_cheese insists that they only ever used it as a curio and not an actual kettle.

Twenty-year mystery solved by Reddit in twenty minutes.

Reddit | Mozzarellaman

The Redditor found four of these keychains back in the late '90s, but could never identify them.

They're Happy Meal toys depicting the classic Tamagotchi pet.

Redditor pbjburger referred to this as a "weird squirming living Lovecraftian nightmare."

Reddit | pbjburger

Which is a perfect description.

It's not quite so bad, though. It's actually the caterpillar of a hag moth, which has somehow managed to fall upside down and was squirming in hopes of righting itself.

"I’ve never seen a CA plate like this with the small text (the “R3” part). What kind of plate is this?" — MindfulRain

Reddit | MindfulRain

This is actually kind of cool. The R3 indicates that the vehicle belongs to a retired state senator.

This looks totally steampunk.

Reddit | Aveling

This was brought into a resell shop, but how do you sell something you don't know the use of?

Reddit helped and figured out that it's an old line selector for telephone exchanges, which is pretty neat.

"My dog found this in our new (old) house and was licking it. Poison?" — TakingAction12

Reddit | TakingAction12

Thankfully, it's not poison, but since it's an old sticky trap for mice, it's pretty darn gross.

Though maybe not much worse than other things dogs will lick.

This strange pad arrived in an Amazon order of clothing.


Presumably the person asking is a guy, because the first comments were from women noting how much it resembles a menstrual pad.

They were close; it's a sweat pad you stick to the arm pit of a shirt.

This looks like a normal dollar bill, until you notice the star on the serial number.

Reddit | freakyuseless

These are actually called "star notes" and are reissues of bills that got destroyed or damaged beyond use.

Star notes are relatively rare, but not worth that much more than face value.

A lot of people thought this was some kind of specialized chair.

Reddit | Sonofellis

But after some sleuthing, it was identified as an old jack for lifting wagon beds that had been converted to an end table.

Which is totally something I would buy for my house.

These were found on a beach in New Zealand.

Reddit | Belowmda

Now, I've seen a lot of "washed up on a beach" posts, but these were new to me. They're the bodies of dead sea potatoes.

Yes, potatoes. They're a species of sea urchin, but we humans like to name things after food.

This pair of devices were found in their father's tool box.

Reddit | saltysailor-23

So now the kid gets to make the awkward decision whether to ask Dad why he keeps nipple pumps in his toolbox or to just put them back and never think of them again.

"Walking the dogs when one of them bought this to me. 2 AA batteries inside it, black plastic and doesn't appear to have any function." — ClavonClavon

Reddit | ClavonClavon

It's a remote controlled vibrator called a Black Egg. Sorry to have to tell you that.

Here's today's edition of "WTF is wrong with people?"

Reddit | Heinz-enberg_

The Redditor spotted their neighbors, who apparently dislike the Redditor's cats, sneaking into their yard and putting this stuff on the window sills.

It's snail poison. The neighbors were trying to poison the cats.

These weird items keep appearing at London bus stops.

Reddit | 4tunabrix

They're potato art. Yes, really.

For years now, these random spuds have been left at bus stops all over the city and the artist has never revealed themselves.

"Found a bunch of these on a hike yesterday. Is it just water in a web?"— Tinaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Reddit | Tinaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

I understand why this person thought it couldn't possibly be what it seemed to be. Aren't spider webs delicate and lacy?

Yes, but surface tension is an incredible thing and this really is just a spider web holding a whole lot of water.

Yeah, I wouldn't drink from a tap that keeps dripping slime even after bleaching.

Reddit | jmelynnp

It's a bacterial biofilm and should definitely be brought up with a landlord. Sadly, they're unlikely willing to spend the thousands of dollars required to retrofit the building's plumbing to prevent this issue.

"Heavy metal. Google isn't responding well to 'scary wand' or 'aggressive pleasure instrument'." — CornStarchEnema

Reddit | CornStarchEnema

I wouldn't recommend trying that search term at work.

It's actually a soldering iron, but the wooden handle has broken off to reveal the metal core.

I can understand why someone might not recognize this little creature.

Reddit | d0m5n0w

It's an Eastern Red Bat. We usually think of bats sleeping in groups, hanging upside down from the ceilings of dark, enclosed spaces, but these little guys are solitary and like to sleep in the fresh air.

They do hang upside down, but occassionally can be caught curled up all cute.

This iron cage in Venetian Fortezza citadel in Greece looks like a torture device.

Reddit | Timguin

And some people wondered if it was in fact an ancient gibbet, but it's not nearly so macabre. It's actually the iron frame of church's old dome.

No one wants to find a weird thing in their McChicken sandwich.

Reddit | miles411

So it makes sense to worry when you do.

Luckily, this is just a misplaced black bean, likely from the restaurant's southwest salad.

"Found this hanging off the front bumper of my Audi," says djsubstorm.

Reddit | djsubstorm

It's a deer horn and was probably installed by a previous owner. They are meant to help prevent accidents by emitting a high-pitched noise as the wind passed through them.

The noise is too high for human hearing, but deters deer from coming near and presumably keeps them away from the road. There is some question about whether they actually work or not.

This was found in the back of the cupboard and was slightly sticky.

Reddit | KnuckyKnuckles

Some people thought it was an old lint roller, but the scale is hard to judge in the photo.

It's actually a stopper for sealing opened wine bottles. The stickiness is likely due to getting left in a pocket and going through the wash. The heat can cause some industrial plastics to become tacky.

This weird blue line appeared along the edges of residential streets overnight.

Reddit | danielle-shmanielle

It's a herbicide with blue dye presumably to help see what areas have already been treated. Basically, it kills grass and weeds that may be growing in the cracks, stopping them from encroaching into the road and causing potholes.

Yes, it's as poor for the environment as it sounds.

Well, I feel really old now.

Reddit | RoboYoshi89

The Redditor knew that it was some sort of iPod-related product, but had no idea what.

It's an original iPod Shuffle, circa 2005. We have now reached the point where people don't recognize them.

This device has an end you pull, which causes a bunch of needles to come out the other end.

Reddit | TacDragon

TacDragon thought it might have some use in the dairy industry, but it's actually an old bogus medical device called a Lebenswecker, or "Life-Awakener."

You would use the needles to puncture the skin and then rub the wound with an oil that caused it to blister. Apparently, this would cause the "health-destroying morbid matter" to leave the body.

This wire tool was seen in a pioneer village.

Reddit | Winterkoning

It's actually a rug beater, which isn't totally foreign in the modern world, but this one had a cute decorative bison on it.

Old homes are full of cool, out-dated tech.

Reddit | Winterkoning

This is an old antenna outlet that used to be the way many homes in the '50s and '60s before cable television became widely available.

"Found in my mentally ill great-uncles file box from when he was in a mental institution..." — KnuckyKnuckles

Reddit | KnuckyKnuckles

It's an old slice of brain, likely from a small monkey. These were a common way to study the brain back in the day.

How it got in a box of the great-uncle's things will have to remain a mystery.

This was tucked into a wallet at a thrift shop.


Someone must really enjoy cleaning their ears, because that's an ear wax spoon.

Lots of weird squishy things wash up on beaches.

Reddit | Slaying-mantis

Usually, they're some form of aquatic life, but in this case it's just a silicon toe-spacer.

"Maybe tools from an antique shop?" — Wtfisthis1025

Reddit | Wtfisthis1025

It's a Singer puzzle box! That sounds more exciting than it is. They're actually various attachments for old Singer sewing machines held in a distinctive folding box.

Yeah, I'd wonder why a box of liquor came with a folding comb too.

Reddit | spaceknight94

The key is where the wine is from. In China and Korea it's common for small gifts to be included with purchases. Those gifts don't necessarily have anything to do with the actual item bought.

This weird device was found in a bar.

Reddit | BritishCitizen2

Probably because it's a disposable tester for blood alcohol levels. In some countries, it's mandatory to keep one of these in your vehicle to use after a night out and hopefully prevent drunk driving.

"Found in my grans room. Came in a small plastic wrapper. The white ends are fabric textured and it clamps together." — chedzuk

Reddit | chedzuk

It's a cleaning tool for glasses where the pads go on either side of the lens. It seems pretty handy and I'd totally use one for my own glasses.

A pair of these tools were left behind at an office.

Reddit | Brandywarhol

It's called a pad counter and is used to separate large stacks of paper into smaller, equal stacks. After counting out the first smaller stack, you can set the tool to match it. Then just slide the plate into the pile to keep separating out the same number of pages.

"Glass globe in a net, on an old ship?"— aphaelion

Reddit | aphaelion

It's an old glass float. The air inside the glass ball makes the whole thing buoyant and by attaching them to things like fishing nets, it keeps the net from sinking to the bottom of the sea.

A weird apparition appeared for a few seconds on someone's porch camera.

Reddit | dreamistaken

Don't trust the computer's belief that it's a "person", even if the Redditor hoped they'd caught a ghost.

It's just a moth on the camera lens.

"Small silver tablet with an ak-47 on it, found in a thrift store." — Octitavia

Reddit | Octitavia

It's actually a silver bullion/ingot, a quarter ounce. Which is pretty darn cool.

They aren't worth that much, but are popular with collectors.

These sheer curtains were washed the day before red stains appeared.

Reddit | OkayMarty

Which is already annoying before you learn that the most likely cause is mosquito urine, which includes a drop or two of red blood cells when they go.

This is probably a case where the fabric of the curtains was just right for the liquid to quickly disperse along the fibers.