These Mysterious Items Were Identified Thanks to Social Media

Going antiquing? Stumbling on a delicious yard sale? Paying a visit to the local thrift store? Then you’re bound to run into some objects you’ve never seen before.

Most people will not spare those unrecognizable items a second glance. Others, however, will be intrigued enough to ask the internet what exactly these peculiar findings are. Keep reading to take a look at those puzzling purchases.

Tea Time

This little gizmo looks like something any tea connoisseur should know. Surprisingly, however, it has nothing to do with tea.


What you’re looking at is called a scuttle. And while it looks like the holy reunion between two teacups, it’s actually a shaving accessory. The top part is meant to hold shaving cream, and the bottom part is where you clean the brush.

Tumbling Toilets?

Using a public bathroom is riddled with potential dangers. Questions about hygiene, toilet paper supply, and obscene graffiti take center stage whether you like it or not. But one question you usually don’t ask yourself is if the toilet has enough support.


After seeing this picture, though, you might start questioning the stability of any wall-mounted toilet bowl.

From Construction to Artillery

In the days of yore, ancient builders and construction workers had used a tool called a plumb bob. Similar in shape to the object we see here, the plumb bob is used in construction and carpentry to make sure surfaces are straight and well-balanced.


This dreidle-like item, however, turned out to be a Japanese artillery fuse. The dials and markings were used to determine an explosion’s delay time (0-30 seconds).

Freezing Your Assets

Nothing is more satisfying than finding money on the street. When this person stumbled upon what seemed like a block of frozen cash, they were about to do their happy dance, but then they took a closer look and realized something wasn’t quite right.


Like how this ice block was out in the dirt and not melting, upon closer inspection, it turned out to be no more than a sorely misleading paperweight.

Pet Store Perks

Toys for pets are usually pretty self-explanatory. They’re all basically differently-shaped items to either chew or chance around. Simple as that. Or, at least, that’s what we thought.


This odd-looking piece of rubber turns out to be a toothbrushing toy for dogs! The flat bottom sticks to the floor, leaving the upright part steadily sticking up so your pooch can chew on the bristles and clean its teeth.

Peculiar Pliers

Those who know their way around a toolbox might know what this thing is. Others might mistake these pliers for a torture device.


When asking the internet about the purpose of this mysterious piece of equipment, internet users explained that these pliers are for piston ring installation. Still clueless? Don’t worry. Non-mechanics won’t have much to do with this instrument anyway.

Kitchen Mystery

Unless you were a noble debutant preparing for her first banquet, odds are you have no idea what’s the difference between a salad fork and a fish fork. Let alone what this wooden stick is supposed to do.


As it turns out, this tool is designed to help you pick up olives while keeping your hands clean. It is also helpful in reaching the olives left at the bottom of a jar.

Baking Beauties

Baking enthusiasts will recognize this kit right away. Those who stick to buying their bread rather than making it will have no clue what they’re looking at.


According to other internet users, this woman’s husband now has everything he needs to make his own loaves of bread: a dough-proofing basket and utensils for dough-cutting and bench-scrapping.

Long Time No See (a Proper Clock)

With digital clocks all around us, learning how to read an analog clock is becoming an irrelevant skill.  And reading this atrocity of a clock? Fuggedaboutit!


Located in Berlin, this is called a ‘Set Theory Clock,’ and this is how you read it (if you must): using increments of one and five, the top two rows essentially mean 5+5+1 (so 11 hours), and the bottom two show 5+5+5+5+5+5+5+5+1 (so 41 minutes).

Let It Glow

DIY enthusiasts would look at a glass jar and see endless possibilities, but we doubt one of the possibilities would include the use of UV light.


The mysterious, iridescent glow has sparked a firey online discussion. So far, the leading theory about its source is that the jar used to hold uranium, vaseline, or manganese-containing beauty product.

Fruity Adventure

The supermarket or the grocery store rarely surprises us. We’ve been there, we’ve seen it all, we know the sales don’t really mean we spend less money. But when this guy saw this piece of unrecognized candy, he was thoroughly surprised and simply had to tell the internet.

After consulting with fellow Redditors, the identity of this piece of food turned out to be candied prickly pear. Baloo’s favorite!


Goodwill has an endless potential to surprise you. From fun, random t-shirts to one-of-a-kind vintage pieces, there are always exciting things to be found. Just like this…wait, what is it really?


After taking this question to the world wide web, this person learned that this tool was used by tailors to make buttonholes back in the day.

Merry Christmas to You Too!

This collection of weird silver pieces looks like some sort of a puzzle. However, the reason why no one can solve it is that it’s no puzzle at all.

After diving into the online hivemind, it turns out that this is a modular trivet. You know, the thing you put under pots and pans to protect your table/countertop? That. Except you can play with the stringed jacks depending on the size and shape of your pot!

What’s In the Box?

This picture of a mysterious wooden box was posted by someone from the UK. It turns out that the buyer purchased it without even knowing what it was for. Luckily, people online had the answers.


According to the online thread, this item is a tinder box (no, not the app). In the past, these boxes stored supplies needed to start a fire. Nowadays, they are just something people see at the flea market.

The Martians Are Here

Imagine waking up to the sound of something huge falling on your roof. The first thing your mind wanders off to is, of course, aliens. Now, imagine that this thing right here is the culprit. Obviously, the aliens left you a sign.


After asking the internet for help, however, it turned out that this isn’t a fallen piece of a broken spaceship but a broken TV antenna. One can only hope!

Knock Knock, Who’s There?

Remember that episode of “Friends” when the guys’ apartment (even though the girls lived there at the time) had a light switch nobody knew the function for? It looks like we’re looking at a similar situation.


After investigating and asking around, it turned out that this used to be a doorbell chime. No even half as exciting as turning on the TV at the neighbors’ house.

Where Is My Phone?

The fear of losing your mobile is a real thing. There’s even a name for it — nomophobia (as in No Mobile phobia). Anyone suffering from it might want to consider getting an item like the one we see in the picture.


The lace with a little attachment at the end is actually designed to loop around a hole in the phone case and worn around your neck. You’ll never lose your phone again!

The 90s Called

Anyone who was born in the 90s or before would immediately know what this little strap of neon rubber is. Apparently, the person who posted this picture is either GenZ or younger.


On the off chance of you not recognizing this object, allow us to explain — once slapped on a wrist, this strap curls around it like a bracelet. All the cool kids have one.


Plastic can be molded into pretty much anything. And when we say anything, we also mean this unidentifiable piece of whatever it is that’s pictured below.

A pencil holder might be a nice improvised use for it, but the internet people came to the rescue with its true purpose — a remote holder. Since things are shifting to voice activation anyway, a pencil holder might actually be a better use for this.

Are You Thready?

This Russian-doll-like item was found in an antique store and purchased by someone who didn’t even know what it was made for. Some friends online had the answer, though.


This object is designed to store up to three types/colors of thread in a single container. You simply wound each piece of thread in a different compartment and close it. This on-the-go thread storage can be a great addition to a clothing repair kit.

Cable Guy Leftovers

This thing that looks like a tiny flashlight doesn’t seem like something you would find in any ordinary toolbox. Knowing it has hidden rubber flaps and spring doesn’t make it any clearer.


According to Reddit users, this is called a utility lock, and the reason why you probably don’t have one is that it’s used for cable installation, which people usually only do with the help of a professional.

Stop in the Name of the Pipe

You think your house is pretty standard until you want to move. Apartment hunting will introduce you to some of the most messed up (at worst) and weird (at best) things in real estate, just like this peculiar pipe.


After telling other Reddit users the place was built in the 70s, this person learned that the pipe operated as some form of a doorstop that kept burglars from opening it from outside.

Peculiar Pot

If we had to guess, we’d say that this object is some sort of vintage cooking pot. But somehow, it looks like it was made during a time when camping wasn’t as developed or popular as it is today.


The poster had asked the family and got no answers, but the internet was plenty helpful. It turns out that this was a lantern fueled by calcium carbide and water. Fascinating for chemistry lovers!

These Are Not Straws

The world is shifting toward the use of reusable straws, but anyone looking at this item might think this trend started decades ago. But apparently, these aren’t straws at all.

According to Reddit users, these tiny metal tubes are used by tailors to turn small tubes of fabric (like hemlines or tight sleeves) from the inside out. Your grandmother might be able to tell you more.

Not Creepy At All

Really? You walk into a probably haunted room with crumbling walls and shaky ceiling tiles and still feel like it’s a good idea to stay and take a picture of what might have been a sacrificial altar?


Thankfully, people had a less ominous explanation. The square block turned out to be an old sand table. You know, the kind used by military people with large maps and soldier figurines to move around them.

Light up the Internet

Most of the items on this list can’t be recognized by most people because they are so old. This one, however, made it in because it’s too new to be familiar.


If you’ve never seen one of those, you sure are about to soon, as this antenna turned out to be a 5G spot.  Once fully deployed, it will allow for better internet and cell services.

Stationery Savvy

If you are as obsessed with office supply as we are, you might think you’ve seen it all. But then you look at this picture, and you realize there is always something new to discover in the stationery realm.


This little neon nub on the top was a little waxy, which Reddit users used to deduce it is dried-up highlighter. What a fabulous combo! (As long as it works, of course.)

A Lab Must

You don’t have to be a science enthusiast to see that this gadget is a microscope. It’s the right size and shape, and it has all those lenses and dials. However, to know the kind of microscope, you’d have to ask around.

The block you see under the microscope is a projector. That way, anything inspected under the microscope can be projected on a wall for others to see.


Looking at this picture made us immediately think of the Stonehenge stone circle. Except this one is a lot smaller, has fewer items, and is made of woodblocks. So basically, we guess the two are nothing alike.


The internet had a much better answer. Apparently, these wooden posts used to hold a trash can that happened to had been removed.

How Did It End Up in the Bed?

Thank god the original poster mentioned this was made of brassy metal because, at first glance, it looked like a new type of pretzel snack, and we were getting hungry.


It turns out that the object fell from someone’s shoe and that it used to sit at the end of their shoelaces. Shoemakers actually have a name for these items. They’re called aglets, and they keep your laces from unraveling.

Is the FBI Involved?

Well, this is slightly alarming. To find a GPS unit installed in a car that doesn’t normally have one makes you think. Is this person being followed? Are they targeted by anyone? The internet has the answers.


After asking around and running some basic Google searches, it became increasingly clearer that the GPS unit was put there by a previous owner. Phew.

Better Butter

Our first thought was that this is some sort of a puzzle game. You know, the kind you feel like you could solve and take apart in 30 seconds and find yourself frustratingly pulling out your hair 15 hours later.


But this device isn’t meant to be taken apart. Instead, it’s meant to help you churn butter! Just slip the churner paddle through and start churning.

Found a Ferrari on the Street

Okay, so we have the Ferrari logo here, which is a good start. Now, as to what this thing is used for? Yeah, we got nothing. Maybe Reddit users have a better guess.


Surprisingly, it turns out this tool has nothing to do with cars! Instead, this kind of Ferrari tool is a cabinet hinge. Owning a Ferrari has never been easier.

Trash Talk

Anime lovers will look at this picture and immediately think of the seven Dragon Balls from “Dragon  Ball Z.” But this is real life, and there are more than seven anyway.


After doing some digging, it turned out that these little spheres are meant to go in the trash. But in the best way possible! These are scented capsules that neutralize the smell coming out of a smelly trash can.

Extreme Carpeting

Nowadays, wall-to-wall carpeting is something you only see in offices and old homes. But a carpeted piece of wood with a handle on it? That’s something you just don’t see.


Luckily, people online knew what it was. Apparently, this is a tool used by the professional who laid down the carpet. Combined with a power stretcher, this item makes helps stretching the carpet properly.

Phoning It In

From people traveling with their cockatoo on one shoulder to grown people wearing furry onesies on a weekday, the train has seen it all. Why not a person with a million phones on a tray?

According to Reddit users, this person was, in fact, testing the phones’ signal as part of a QA process. Oh well, we’ll probably find a real weirdo on our next train ride anyway.


Okay, so we don’t need the internet to tell us that this is a Chinese playing card with a picture of a dinosaur on it. What we do need the internet to tell us is what the point of it is.


As it happens, this is a part of a complete pack that doubles as both a regular deck and an educational tool that teaches kids (or anyone who can read Chinese, really) some cool dino facts.

Traffic Science

Let us start by stating the obvious: we know what traffic lights are. And we know that you know too. The question here is what those vertical lines inside the light are good for.


As follow Redditors quickly explained, these lines are normally used on traffic lights in busy intersections. They’re called ‘fins,’ and they make sure the light is only visible to drivers on specific lanes, so there’s no confusion or unfortunate accidents.

Flashy UFOs

That’s it. That’s the proof we needed. Aliens do exist, and they finally came to visit. Roswell had it right all along.


Sadly, though, Reddit users have a much simpler explanation. The picture was taken near a military base, and this flare is just a part of whatever tests or drills are happening there. Maybe the aliens need more time to do their makeup.

Snug As a Bug

Sungging with a cozy blanket is a pleasure shared by all humans. That’s why snuggies are so popular. But imagine getting snuggly with a new blanket and finding weird metal snaps on its ends. What are they there for?


Well, according to some social media users, this is an older version of a Snuggie, and the snaps are there to help you wrap it around yourself for a maximum snug experience.

I Saw the Sign

Let’s see. The black part on this sign is obviously meant to represent a person. The negative white space in the middle is meant to represent a… heart explosion, maybe?


It becomes even more alarming when you learn that this was found at a preschool. But the online community was reassuring and explained that this sign is mostly used around cleaning supply as a general health warning.

Into the Woods

The woods is a mysterious place. Naturally, that’s where all the best fairytales happen. But we don’t remember Hansel and Gretel running into a metallic woodland igloo.


The internet solved this mystery and explained that this is called a hopper. When using a crane, hoppers are is used to handle mixed concrete. Now, will the internet please tell us how it got there?

Made Their Mark

Most transactions these days involve one of three major forms of money — paper, coins, or plastic credit cards. But fabric? That’s new. Or, in fact, as seen in this picture, really old.

The notes you’re looking at are decades-old German money. Issued by a real German bank in the 1920s, these pieces of linen were originally worth 25 Marks each.

Colors of the Wind

These colorful little items look like miniature potpourri pops. And according to the poster, they smell like that too! But it turns out they have a real purpose other than smelling nice.

After explaining that these pouches were found at a Native American memorial on a parked truck, it became clear that these are traditional prayer ties. Native Americans assigned each color a designated prayer.

A Pressing Matter

The person who posted this picture moved to a new place and found this contraption by the new apartment. Not knowing who to ask about this thing or what it’s for, they turned to social media.


Sure enough, they found their answer. This cast-iron device is, in fact, a sausage press. Sadly, it hasn’t been in use for way too long and is out of commission, so no homemade sausages for now.

Turn on the Heater

The poster of this image found this intriguing item in their new apartment. It looks like a fancy metal ottoman but obviously not a very functional one.


After looking for help from the internet, it turned out to be an antique Middle Eastern portable heater named mangal. An inside compartment held the charcoal while containing the fire, keeping the room cozy and warm.

Hello Hikers!

While hiking on a hillside, this person found what appears to be the very top of a doomsday bunker protruding from the ground. But obviously, they had to ask online before jumping to any conclusions.


After specifying that there were several of these around, all about 10 feet long and with an open end, the folks in Reddit came up with the answer: it’s an avalanche breaker. Nothing doomsday-related, thankfully.

Protective Pod

No, this is not a public bathroom stall made out of concrete. That would be super impractical and probably really hard to clean. Found in the middle of the forest, this peculiar structure found its way online for people to explain.


Known in German as a Splitterschutzzelle, this is a type of pillbox designed to protect one person, though it looks like it hasn’t been used in ages.

Fidget Away

This little elastic strap was found at the bottom of a school desk. Our first guess was that this thing was used to stabilize the desk somehow, but evidently, we were wrong.


After asking turning to the online hivemind, the poster got their answer: this strap is for fidgety people to bounce their feet on it while trying to stay focused. Think of it as a fidget spinner for your feet!

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