Internet Community Comes To Rescue Confused Netizens Bearing Bizarre Objects

By Jo A

We interact with countless objects every single day. Some are self-explanatory and idiot-proof, while others took us some time to learn but we can’t live without (yes, we mean new phone upgrades). And in between all of those are the random objects that just make us stop and ask, “What the heck am I looking at?”

Oftentimes we just shrug and walk away, but that “answer” doesn’t work for everyone—just ask the 1.8 million members on the subreddit r/Whatisthisthing. The aptly named community is a place where netizens can post pictures of mysterious objects for other users to help identify.

Just to give you a taste of what r/Whatisthisthing has to offer, we’ve collected some examples of times internet users came to the rescue and identified baffling objects. Enjoy!

Blue Disc

This user discovered this innocuous blue disc in a sour cream chips pack. According to him, he was able to make out the words, “Ferrous 25mm BST, Cert Number 213026b.” Although it looks like a pill, we’re still curious to know what it is.   

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

However, we are just as curious as he is and can’t wait to get answers. Thanks to our internet friends in the community, he got his answer in no time. It’s simply a testing chip that goes through metal detectors to confirm it works.  It’s not something we want to find in our innocent bag of chips, though.

Strange Characters

If you are a movie lover, we’re sure you’ve seen signs like this. You may have come across several inscriptions and signs like this in movies like The Mummy. Some of these signs mean nothing, while others have significance with a deep-rooted, ancient history.

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

It becomes more interesting if they found the sign in a place with a lot of cultural history. The engravings above are a magical stave or sigil from Iceland called the Stafir Móti Aðsókn. They protect against malicious spirits and ghosts.

Joining the ranks

Before you read further, take a careful look at the items below and try to make an informed guess on what they might be. The who posted it claimed it was a family heirloom that was passed down from generation to generation.

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

After having it in his possession for several years and not knowing what it was, he decided to seek help from the all-knowing community. Just like the others, it was identified in minutes. It’s the last piece made by an apprentice before becoming a professional engraver.

Blue Glass

The original poster discovered this Blue Glass token in an open field in the south of France. When you really study it, it looks pretty old and maybe contains lots of history. If you look closely, the flags of the ship look like the Union Jack.

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

The question we need to answer now is, is this an essential part of history or just another game piece? A member of the group identified the blue glass as a ring worn by a significant person from the 18th century from a shipping company.

Unfamiliar metal object

The OP (original poster) was curious to figure out what this shiny metal object was, but he wasn’t lost on its importance. He noted that it could easily expand to a regular bracelet’s size, and it could also retract into a tiny figure piece.

Image source: reddit/whatisthisthing

The object neither had text or numbers, so it was a little harder to decipher it at first glance. But, for those curious to know what the item is all about, the “lid” or top of it opens to protect the contents of a tiny handbag or silver coin purse.

Glass Balls

Before we proceed, we have to warn anyone with a fear of trypophobia that the image below may trigger you. However, if you have no such fear, by all means, let’s continue on the quest to discover what this unusual item is.

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

For starters, this is a 3- 4 Inch metal piece with several glass balls used to create old reflectors like those that were used in railroads decades ago. As luck would have it, this one is still in good shape.

Funny Chair

This particular item is quite common, and you would have no problem identifying it. The only problem here is the extended armrests which make it look somewhat awkward. However, we’d also like to know what kind of chair this is.

Image source: Reddit/Whatisthisthing

You don’t have to stay in the dark any further as this is basically a plantation or planters chair. The long arms are put in place so you can put your sore or swollen legs on them after riding a horse all day.


This OP made a strange observation which turned out to be quite interesting. He noticed several ditches that were strategically dug and arranged in a large field close to an airport. However, he noted that they were not there before.

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

Before construction takes place on a site, the engineers are mandated to search for sites with archaeological interests. The pattern above is how they go about searching for it. Each line you see is a trench, and the dots on both sides are the removed dirt.  

Odd utensil

This weird silver utensil looks like one of those items you’ve seen put in use before, but you just can’t seem to place where or how it’s used. However, it’s so cool that the grips will open if you press the button in the middle of it.

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

Did you think that it’s a sugar cube holder. It is used at tea parties or similar events, and you can use it to scoop coffee and sometimes cake. If you love watching medieval documentaries or movies, you’ probably definitely saw it in use.

Old clock

Although this looks like a regular clock, i’s far from it because one unique feature makes it stand out from the rest. This OP discovered the clock has something that caught his attention which made it all the more intriguing.

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

He saw that the switch on the Back of the old Clock was branded “Miracle Eye.” The best answer we were able to find from our internet friends regarding the clock was that it is a light sensor that doesn’t allow the chiming sounds of the clock to wake people up at night.


The OP bought this strange-looking object with an atlas years ago without having the slightest clue what it was. His primary reason for buying it was that it really looked cool and was a piece that he could use to decorate his house.

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

Surprisingly, it’s far from being an atlas; neither is it related in any way to the field of geography. Surprisingly, it’s a thermometer. The device is so good and accurate that it can even approximate temperatures from Celsius to Fahrenheit.

White pebbles

These were found on a road in Dallas Beach, Victoria, Canada. The OP found them in a log that had a hole in it and has been searching for answers ever since to no avail. Finally, he came to the Reddit community as a last resort.

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

They are homemade pieces (drilled) from an art installation, and they are sometimes used to teach numbers – see the inscriptions on them – or used in a game that involves wagers. On some rare occasions, they are used in a domino set.

Soldier Shell

The OP disclosed that his Grandpa found this beautifully crafted antique in Liverpool. An informed guess had him thinking that it was from the World War II era, but he is not so sure. So what could it be?

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

It’s called trench art. If you run a quick Google search, you’ll discover several shells with beautiful engravings done by soldiers. They made art from the rubbish on the battlefield like bombshells, and they did this to enhance their mental health.

Cones Of Dunshire?

This may confuse people that aren’t from Germany as they may have little to no idea what this is. The OP mistook this for Cones of Dunshire. However, the cones are where the similarities end as they stand for different things.

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

These are called “Schultüte.” These are made for kids when they start school for the first time. The cones are filled with different types of sweets and gifts by their parents, and the family usually celebrated the child for the entire day.

Funny Birdhouse

The OP found this tiny wooden structure on a disc golf course that also has a public park too. If you look closely, everything that is not behind the screen can be removed, but we still can’t seem to make sense of it.

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

If you had guessed it was a birdhouse, then you are not far from the answer, but it’s not entirely correct. It’s a bug, and bee house put together. The contraption is filled with several materials to allow bugs to be comfortable.

Metal Plates

Have you ever visited Universal Studios before? If yes, did you notice anything out of the ordinary? If no, now’s the time to wear your observation glasses. Take a good look at this picture and try to see what catches your eye.

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

You’ll notice metal plates on the floor in this photo. It’s actually for a very impressive reason – it’s for blind people. They use their walking stick to touch the plates to know exactly where the water fountains are. We believe things like this should be everywhere.

Fish Teeth

If you live at the beach, there’s every possibility that you may have come across several things you have little to no idea about. The picture below is a perfect example of this, as the OP found this at the shores of Lake Erie.

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

The answer is not far-fetched; it’s the roof plate of a drum fish. It is endemic to Central and North America. They often live at the bottom of large rivers or lakes that are up to about 40 – 60 feet in depth.

Washed Up

The ocean and rivers have been reputed to hold many secrets, and we, humankind, can never discover them all, at least in this lifetime and a few after that. Sometimes, we get lucky, however, when it spills some of its secrets, just like this washed-up relic.

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

This item washed ashore on Massachusetts beach. It is either a Backstaff or a Davis Quadrant, which is a predecessor of the Sextant. It is a navigational instrument, and it is so old it should belong to a museum.

Kitchen Appliance

What would be your opinion when you stepped into this kitchen at first glance? Is anything out of place? Of course. If you have a keen eye, you will notice the sink, but you will soon realize it’s not upon closer inspection.

Image source: Reddit/Whatisthisthing

Although it looks like a sink, it is strategically placed like a sink; however, it’s not. Instead, it’s closely related to a boiling pot rather than a sink. Though, it comes with a drain that gets rid of the hot water when you’re done.


From the first glance, you will be forgiven to think this is a chest of drawers. It looks like something from the famous British author’s book Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis. This chest of drawers has no sides but a hole in the front.

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

This is a cool drawer used by artists, architects, and the likes. They use it for storing architectural plans, artworks, drawings, and any important papers that needed protection. The beauty of it is that it has lots of storage space to keep all kinds of documents.

Forest find

This unknown plant (or whatever it is) was found in a dense forest in Sweden. It’s approximately 1 meter above ground and 20 centimeters in size. It’s a little difficult to touch, and the liquid drips when you touch it.

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

If you are the kind of person who shudders when you see things like this, we advise you not to touch it or examine it from afar. It’s actually a polypore fungus that exudes moisture in a process called guttation.

Strange gift

This OP was quite surprised when he got an unexpected but strange gift that he couldn’t make heads or tails of. However, in light of recent events, he knew there was only one place to get answers, so he decided to try his luck.

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

This is a “germ key.” In most cases, it is used to attach keys to another keyring. If you look closely, you can see the little ring hole on the left-hand side of the ring. The hook end is also used to open doors.

Power line Slack

Many of us have seen what power lines are like, so when we see something out of place on them, we can’t help but wonder what it is. For example, the slack in this power line will definitely elicit questions that need answers.

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

As luck will have it, a CATV technician was able to give us detailed answers. It is an expansion loop for cable TV made with aluminum that expands and contracts as temperature changes. So, the slack in the powerline accommodates this expansion.

Praguen clock

On a visit to the beautiful city of Prague, this OP couldn’t help but notice this strange-looking clock that kind of looks like London’s Big Ben. Unlike the conventional clock, it’s numbered 0 to 5 instead of the traditional 1 to12.

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

We got two answers, and we believe the first is the most plausible. The first answer we got stated that it’s a water level indicator called a Limnigraph. On a lighter note, another community member said that it could be a countdown timer of our lives.

Ceiling Find

This OP discovered this item tucked away in the ceiling of his basement. He actually found several of them, and he noticed they were made of glass. It also has a paper or tape border and is somewhat translucent.

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

It is a Magic lantern glass slide, and it is also called ‘laterna magica’ in Latin. This is one of the earliest types of image projectors used to display prints, photographs, and paintings on lenses or transparent plates. We thought this was super neat!

Mallet or Hammer

This decorative piece was handed down for several generations, and it has stayed in one piece so far. It dates back as far as the 1930s. It is solid metal, has little to no markings, and doesn’t weigh beyond 1 or 2 ounces.

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

He placed the screwdriver beside it for scale. From the look of things, it seems the OP’s grandfather knew someone in the Navy. It is a ceremonial item used when crossing the equator. So, his grandfather can be called a Shellback.

Crab Legs

Imagine dreaming of eating your favorite dish – crab legs – all day, and you can’t wait to get home to dive in. This OP was enjoying his favorite meal when he felt a small, hard pellet inside a prepared King Crab leg.

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

It was about the size of a regular pea, and he was quite curious to know what the pea-like pebble was. It’s a “crab pearl,” but it costs little to nothing, unlike oyster pearls, unfortunately. However, we had no idea that crab legs could also produce pearls.

Chain cubes

This chain doesn’t come across as striking, but it is closely related to one of the most popular franchises in film history. If you are a Star Wars fan, then this particular item will be of great interest to you.

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

This is a lucky dice from Hans Solo, the smuggler. The dice were giving to Qi’ra when he was escaping his Corellia, his homeworld. The lucky dice is to bring good luck to the bearer wherever they go. They definitely look like antiques.


They built this crazy-looking structure to look like a scaffold, and it was discovered in Czechia by the OP’s friend. What makes it stand out is that there’s an airsoft or paintball field in close proximity to the structure.

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

The structure is a 3D maze. It was built for kids to use in their camps. Sometimes, they can use it for outdoor activities like paintball, airsoft, and sometimes trekking. In addition, you can mount flags or other objects on it.


If you’ve watched Dan Brown’s adapted Hollywood blockbuster, Da Vinci Code, released in 2006, this item is not going to seem strange to you. The movie contained several things like this that needed to be deciphered. However, this one fit perfectly into each other, and it had liquid in it.

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

The only difference here is that the item doesn’t contain any hidden message, but it’s used for a surprising thing – to grind herbs. However, several people use it to grind other types of herbs due to how easy it is to use.


Imagine finding small figurines buried deep in your garden – not one but two. Not just the regular ones you are accustomed to, but figures with arrow shapes on them. What’s the first thing that will run through your mind?

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

They both are Mustachioed Bald Men, but they come in different shades. Also, they have their hands on their head. You don’t have to be scared; they are Hasbro’s game pieces – Monopoly: Get Out Of Jail. They are a part of the monopoly mini game released in 2009.

Strange Pen

At first glance, this item looks like a pen, but it’s not. Just like your traditional pen, it has a sharp pointy metal like the regular ballpoint, but you can’t write with it. Unfortunately, it also doesn’t have space for graphite or ink.

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

This is a scriber. It is often used to draw lines or marks of any kind on wood, metal, or other types of material. This particular scribe is used for metal works, but some people also use it for other purposes.

Court Headphones.

If you are observant, most items on this list aren’t what they always seem to be at first glance, and this one is no different. This man is battling a court case, and surprisingly, he has some pretty big headphones on.

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

One thing you should keep in mind is that this is an isolated case. It’s not every day you’ll get to see people wearing this in a court of law. This defendant is partially deaf, and that is his giant hearing aid.

Sunken House

It is a beautiful thing to have an observant mind, but some things will always seem odd, and it’s hard to justify it. Take, for instance, this sunken house. It’ll definitely stick out like a sore thumb, and the OP had to ask what it is.

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

According to the answers received from members of the community, the conclusion was that the house was built during the energy crisis. This happened in the 70s, and the house was designed with a berm to conserve loads of energy.

Protest laser

It is imperative to always pay attention whenever you are in a place like a protest ground. This principle is what made the OP notice this cop on a rooftop with a laser. He was shining the laser on certain people at a protest.

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

This is what the rooftop cop is doing – he identifies certain people in the crowd for the ground police to pick up. You can easily track a person in a group from above better than when you are on the ground. He’s doing it probably because they’re suspected to be dangerous.

Alien Blocks

The OP discovered these alien-like blocks in a river in the United Kingdom. Each block weighs approximately 125 kilograms, and they have some unreadable inscriptions on them. Nevertheless, the OP found a substantial amount and can’t wait to know what they are.

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

They are basically magic squares called Iyotish Tokens. They are used for personal gain in a recital/practice called Rahu Ranga Mantra. Traditionally, the 9 squares represent each planet, and they come with 9 distinct number combinations. They are still in excellent condition.

Lucky Charm

Most items on this list look more or less like things you will find in an episode of the American fantasy television series Bewitched. The OP discovered this item while looking for some charms on a trip to a vintage jewelry store.

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

The OP was generous enough to take a picture of both sides of the item to get a better view of it. This is a compass and a Masonic square. To make it work, you have to spin it as fast as you can.

Beach find

Australia is a unique country. Not only is it the only country that is also a continent, but it also has some of the most diverse wildlife and sea creatures on earth. This bright-colored sea creature is a good example.

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

These are sea hare eggs. According to scientists, Sea hares lay their eggs, and they die not long after. This is very similar to the approach of their close relatives – the squid. In a way, this also looks like beetroot.

Mail order

This OP disclosed that he received priority mail addressed to his wife, and the sender sent it to their exact address all the way from Romania. So, it didn’t come as a surprise to see they wrote the text in Romanian.

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

He stated the syringe was empty, and they don’t know anyone outside the US. The package is a type of psychedelic. This is how they pack mushroom spores, and the GT on it means Golden Teacher, a well-known psychedelic strain.

Glass Tubes

This is another mysterious item that arrived in the mail. These small glass tubes came with two small bearings inside them. For the record, the OP stated that he didn’t order it but is still curious to know what it is.

Image source: reddit / whatisthisthing

This is an ideal item for people that love fishing. These are called rattles, and they are placed in fishing lures. They make a lot of noise which attracts fish to the lure, ultimately leading the fisherman to catch them.

War Memorabilia

Imagine having a piece of history for 15 years and not knowing its significance or what the item even is. This was the case with this person, but the OP stated he used the thing to play soldier when he was a child.

Image source: reddit / whatisthisthing

The object above is a part of Vietnam’s war history, and the device was used in an operation tagged Igloo White. The device is either an Acoustic and Seismic Intrusion Detector (ACOUSID) or an Air Delivered Seismic Intrusion Detector (ADSID).

River find

If you have watched Kevin Costner’s 1999 blockbuster hit Message in a bottle, you’ll know not to trivialize items found in a river. With this in mind, this OP decided it was time to unravel the mystery behind this delicate river find.

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

This is a Colt Glass black powder flask or horn. It is a prized item that could set you back a few hundred dollars if you try to buy one on eBay. As luck would have it, this person was able to get it, or rather find it, for free.

Fun Item

This item can be considered resourceful and creative as it comes in handy when you discover how it is used. However, we’ll assume you are a genius if you can guess what the item is used for at first glance.

Image source: Reddit/whatisthisthing

From what we can see, it looks like a Cue Ball connected To Pool Cue, or are we wrong? If you guessed that, then you’re partially correct. It was designed this way so children can play with the table without destroying it.

Door button

This OP went to his parent’s apartment and noticed something out of the ordinary. He discovered their door had a button at the bottom. At first, you may wonder if this is present in other doors, or you probably didn’t take note of it.

Image source: reddit/whatisthisthing

However, this door is actually different. This is actually a drop seal. The button will push a bar down, closing the gap between the floor and the door anytime the door closes. It is used to protect the occupants against smoke if there’s a fire.