The internet is a veritable treasure trove of knowledge. And there are hundreds, and thousands of detectives online, all willing to give you a helping hand. The subreddit ‘What is This Thing’ is overflowing with amateur and professional detectives, and experts who help others identify the weird, peculiar and unusual things they came across. This online community’s combined wisdom and pursuit of the truth are second to none.

This is why Bored Panda compiled a list of the most bizarre-looking finds, along with the subreddit’s guesses of what they are. Scroll down, upvote all the finds you liked, and don’t forget to leave a comment about what you thought each thing was. And when you’re all done, take a look through Bored Panda’s other lists about the strangest finds here and here.

More info: Reddit

#1

I Found This Ring In My Backyard While Doing Gardening. After Cleaning It, It Doesn't Look Like A Normal Ring. Any Ideas ?

I Found This Ring In My Backyard While Doing Gardening. After Cleaning It, It Doesn't Look Like A Normal Ring. Any Ideas ?

Answer: It's a Georgian/early Victorian mourning ring. The initials belong to the lost loved one.

They were typically made from gold (18k+) and enameled in black. Yours looks like it was made around 1820s-40s.

gamer0981 Report

Tahani 4 weeks ago

Memento Mori

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#2

What Is This Big Hole That Is Usually Found On Milk Cartons?

What Is This Big Hole That Is Usually Found On Milk Cartons?

Answer: It’s a pressure relief hole. If you dropped it, instead of exploding, the hole would pop out.

Daniel_Min Report

Misterscooter 4 weeks ago

A useful development.

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#3

Found At Myrtle Beach, Sc. What Is This Thing?

Found At Myrtle Beach, Sc. What Is This Thing?

Answer: that’s a broken megalodon tooth.

rinpiels Report

Lazy Panda 4 weeks ago

I’m insanely jealous

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The ‘What is This Thing’ subreddit is very large: more than 1,170,300 people (and counting) are part of this community. Which just goes to show just how many people are drawn in by a desire to figure out modern mysteries. Or how many Sherlock Holmes and Castle enthusiasts actually prowl the streets at night, looking for cases to solve. You never know, your own neighbor could be one of these everyday heroes, helping others figure out answers to questions that won’t let them sleep at night.

#4

This Weird Wrapped Car. The Lights Were Wrapped In Cloth. Serial Numbers All Around. Anything Significant Or Just Tacky?

This Weird Wrapped Car. The Lights Were Wrapped In Cloth. Serial Numbers All Around. Anything Significant Or Just Tacky?

Answer: It obscures the car while being test driven, so the yet-to-be-released models are not photographed and published. The random "wave" patterns effectively hide the body contours and lines.

NotoriousJB Report

Nagawa (Cofa) Kishiki 4 weeks ago

Won't that attract more people to photograph it?

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#5

Scanning Family Slides From 1964 - This Was Over My Parent's House In Texas. What Is This Thing?

Scanning Family Slides From 1964 - This Was Over My Parent's House In Texas. What Is This Thing?

Answer: it's a residue of a rocket launch. It's called Twilight effect. It was done right at sunset so the sun lit the vapor/exhaust trail from underneath.

TBTurtles Report

Misterscooter 4 weeks ago

Very cool photo.

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#6

This Was Found By A Cleaner Hidden Under My Dresser In My Bedroom (She Told Me Very Discreetly About This Which Has Me Concerned), I’ve Tried To Google It To No Avail. What Is This Thing?

This Was Found By A Cleaner Hidden Under My Dresser In My Bedroom (She Told Me Very Discreetly About This Which Has Me Concerned), I’ve Tried To Google It To No Avail. What Is This Thing?

Answer: voice recorder, doesn't transmit using wireless though so whoever placed this thing, will be back. If this was in your home, chances are there are cameras as well.

M-I-G-Y Report

Foxxy 4 weeks ago

Creepy, time to search every nook and cranny for any more voice recorders and any possible video recorders. I wouldn’t be able to sleep until the house was searched inside and out.

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Some of you might be thinking that my talks about mom-and-pop internet detectives are a bit far-fetched. However, there are plenty of amateurs who have solved major mysteries! For example, BBC Future writes how Carl Koppelman got fired from his job at Disney and became a detective in his spare time.

#7

Saw This Cat In Texas First Thought It Was A Domestic Cat But When We Got Closer That Seemed Less Likely. What Is It?

Saw This Cat In Texas First Thought It Was A Domestic Cat But When We Got Closer That Seemed Less Likely. What Is It?

Answer: Black bobcat.

BlackoutSentinel Report

Misterscooter 4 weeks ago

Probably not a cuddler.

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#8

I Saw This In My Yard. Is This Just A Type Of Worm? Or Is There A Parasite On It? (I Saw It Breathing/Have Some Sort Of Heartbeat, So It’s Alive)

I Saw This In My Yard. Is This Just A Type Of Worm? Or Is There A Parasite On It? (I Saw It Breathing/Have Some Sort Of Heartbeat, So It’s Alive)

Answer: that's two worms making more worms.

Unlucky__Leprechaun Report

Misterscooter 4 weeks ago

Get a room.

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#9

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?

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?

Answer: a portable men’s urinal for bedbound patients. It is used to pee when you cannot get out of bed.

home_cheese Report

Nora AlMeida 4 weeks ago

To think that, that person had been using it as a kettle for years...

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Koppelman is now the moderator of “The Unidentified” subforum on the Websleuths website and holds himself personally responsible for solving three mysteries. He matched three unidentified people in coroners’ reports with their missing person profiles. Among them is Lynda Jane Hart, whose remains were found in 1988, but identified only in 2011. If Koppelman can do this in his spare time, imagine what other mysteries we could solve if we joined forces!

#10

4in By 4in Scissors. Uncomfortable To Hold, In Either Hand, Two Or Four Fingers. What Is This Thing?

4in By 4in Scissors. Uncomfortable To Hold, In Either Hand, Two Or Four Fingers. What Is This Thing?

Answer: they're childrens' training scissors. Like for pre-schoolers. The extra holes are so a grown-up can co-scissor and help the kid.

raybobobob Report

Nagawa (Cofa) Kishiki 4 weeks ago

Lol, co-scissor. We definitely need to add that word into the dictionary.

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#11

What Is This Random Structure I Found In The Middle Of The Forest?

What Is This Random Structure I Found In The Middle Of The Forest?

Answer: a WWII one man bomb shelter.

me_using_reddit Report

Luis Milian 4 weeks ago

this is how scary war can be...

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#12

Found In My Dads Room, Really Hoping Its Not A Sex Thing. What Is This Thing?

Found In My Dads Room, Really Hoping Its Not A Sex Thing. What Is This Thing?

Answer: it goes over shoes to give grip on ice. They are called yak tracks.

Merciman Report

Misterscooter 4 weeks ago

It was set on the floor in an unfortunate position.

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#13

In A Multi Storey Car Park. Is It A Passage For Rats? There Are Also Small Holes In The Floor And Ceiling With A Tiny Ladder Connecting Them

In A Multi Storey Car Park. Is It A Passage For Rats? There Are Also Small Holes In The Floor And Ceiling With A Tiny Ladder Connecting Them

Answer: Secret Industry by John Pym: The stairwells and lift lobbies of multistorey car parks are not usually areas where people pause to admire the architecture, so John Pym used this to his advantage. The model walkways and ladders replicate their full-scale counterparts and are a playful way of suggesting an alternative, unseen service industry at work within the building. Superficially mundane, some people may use the car park for years without being aware of their presence, while others will notice straightaway. The artist sees it as a reward for those who look more closely at their surroundings.

petermartin2006 Report

Foxxy 4 weeks ago

I prefer the first reason, a passage for rats.

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#14

Looks Suspicious But Has Several Interchangeable Sized Tips And Appears To Have A Purpose. What Is This For?

Looks Suspicious But Has Several Interchangeable Sized Tips And Appears To Have A Purpose. What Is This For?

Answer: It's a snowman kit.

simplemath Report

Mica Fiverline 4 weeks ago

There is such a thing?! Like... Rocks an a carrot weren't good enough, you had to have plastic versions?! DAFUQ???

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#15

Found In My Aunts “Treasure” Collection. Seems Like A Heavy Metal Weight Inside. What Is This Thing?

Found In My Aunts “Treasure” Collection. Seems Like A Heavy Metal Weight Inside. What Is This Thing?

Answer: This is a "tracker pebble" used for tracking longshore drift. The pebbles have a serial number, are buried in a location and then refound further down the coast in the shingle by metal detector.

wildedgeofficial Report

Neon Petra 4 weeks ago

Clever! But are they actually pebbles, or something else?

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#16

This Purple Sky In Southern California Seen At 1:30am And Lasted For Only About 5 Minutes Before Fading Away. What Is This Thing?

This Purple Sky In Southern California Seen At 1:30am And Lasted For Only About 5 Minutes Before Fading Away. What Is This Thing?

Answer: the glow is related to a commercial cannabis growing operation. That's the color of grow lights.

wetspark_ Report

Foxxy 4 weeks ago

That is beautiful.

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#17

Clock In Assisted Living Facility

Clock In Assisted Living Facility

Answer: Bedsore prevention. You would refer to the two hour intervals as a turning schedule.

SuperFlyStuka Report

Happiness is Hippo 4 weeks ago

That's such a good idea.

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#18

My Friend Just Moved In To A New Flat And This Is Her Neighbours Garden. What Is This Thing?

My Friend Just Moved In To A New Flat And This Is Her Neighbours Garden. What Is This Thing?

Answer: a Voodoo altar

DanBread Report

Iggy 4 weeks ago

Might I suggest some voile curtains to let the light in and keep the nightmares out?

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#19

This Just Trundled Across The Road In Front Of Me, Zoomed Down The Sidewalk Before I Could Get A Better Look At It. Spotted In Melbourne Australia. What Is This Thing?

This Just Trundled Across The Road In Front Of Me, Zoomed Down The Sidewalk Before I Could Get A Better Look At It. Spotted In Melbourne Australia. What Is This Thing?

Answer: it's an automated delivery, possibly for food.

Tallands Report

Ale_Vidal23 4 weeks ago

miracle that no one robs it. #FoodForLife

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#20

Silver Capsule Camouflaged Inside A Wooden Container Hanging In A Tree In A Public Park. What Is This Thing?

Silver Capsule Camouflaged Inside A Wooden Container Hanging In A Tree In A Public Park. What Is This Thing?

Answer: it's a geocache. Judging by the size, it'll likely only have a list inside for people to sign that they found it.

fallingfigtree1254 Report

Azure Adams 4 weeks ago

A small geocache and a well camoed one too. It's a fun hobby to get into. Check it out

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#21

What Is The Purpose Of This Mirrors? I Came Across Them In Trosa, Sweden, Near The River. They Are On Almost Every House

What Is The Purpose Of This Mirrors? I Came Across Them In Trosa, Sweden, Near The River. They Are On Almost Every House

Answer: In Denmark they are called a "gadespejl" It is an old invention, basically a mirror that made it possible to view the street from the comfort of your couch.

kemcio17 Report

Mel 4 weeks ago

In Sweden, it's called a "Skvallerspegel" (gossip mirror). Spying on the neighbours without their knowledge is the best way to get new things to gossip about. ;)

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#22

Found This While Beach Combing In The Olympic Peninsula. I've Never Seen Anything Like It. What Is This Thing?

Found This While Beach Combing In The Olympic Peninsula. I've Never Seen Anything Like It. What Is This Thing?

Answer: Squid eggs.

Fishtails Report

Nagawa (Cofa) Kishiki 4 weeks ago

A raise your own kraken kit.

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#23

Noticed This Weird Urinal In A Brauhaus Bathroom In Cologne Germany. What Is This Thing?

Noticed This Weird Urinal In A Brauhaus Bathroom In Cologne Germany. What Is This Thing?

Answer: it's called a Papst (german for Pope). It's for puking.

jingjangjones Report

Hans 4 weeks ago

These were (sometimes are) typically found in fraternity houses with very traditional practices. Boozing is part of the rules, and you essentially drink until you puke, as everone drinks at the same time. After puking, you return to drink further. Sounds ridiculous and out-of-the-time, but these organizations sometimes even sustain the tradition of fencing without protection for the face...

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#24

Took This Picture From My Airplane Window On Trip From Dc To Las Vegas. Any Idea What It Is?

Took This Picture From My Airplane Window On Trip From Dc To Las Vegas. Any Idea What It Is?

Answer: a mineral mine. It's the world’s largest lithium deposit.

honeybadger3891 Report

Misterscooter 4 weeks ago

Or a really large makeup kit.

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#25

What Is This Fish With Strange Writing?

What Is This Fish With Strange Writing?

Answer: The Lucky Iron Fish. I recall hearing that iron deficiency was a serious problem in developing countries due to improper diets that consisted of mostly pastas and rice, which are a poor source of iron.

The solution was to boil chunks of iron with food to increase the iron content but many were skeptical and hesitant to cook with chunks of metal in their food. The iron was shaped into a 'lucky fish' that would provided addition health benefits when you boiled water with the fish in it.


plong42 Report

Magpie 4 weeks ago

If you are rich enough to have cast iron frying pans these work well for vegetarian / vegan.

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#26

What Is This Signs Purpose?

What Is This Signs Purpose?

Answer: It means do not scare the flamingos. Many people would cross that sign to scare them so that they could fly and get a picture.

spangloss Report

Luis Milian 4 weeks ago

makes sense after reading the answer for it...

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#27

All-Wood Things Seen With Someone's Trash Set Out For Pickup, About 1 Foot High. What Is This Thing?

All-Wood Things Seen With Someone's Trash Set Out For Pickup, About 1 Foot High. What Is This Thing?

Answer: we call em bee hotels, like many people already mentioned, it is for 'solitary' bees (solitary because they don't love/work/do in hives, but clearly, they live close to one another in this setting) although it can also attract many other animals. These things help the ecosystem.

sqqueen Report

Restless 4 weeks ago

Nope, it is an insect hotel.

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#28

What Is The Purpose Of This Chain?

What Is The Purpose Of This Chain?

Answer: it is a rain chain, an alternative for traditional downspout of a gutter system.

FilthySef Report

Rosesinmyhair 4 weeks ago

There should be some beautiful bells attached to this so when it rains you get an extra lovely sound.

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#29

What Is This Paintball Gun Looking Thing Being Used By Police In A Real Life Drug Raid?

What Is This Paintball Gun Looking Thing Being Used By Police In A Real Life Drug Raid?

Answer: Pepper Spray Paint Ball gun. Technically it is a paintball gun, however the paintballs it fires have pepper spray powder inside of them. It's less than lethal defense.

IVIichael Report

Sivi 4 weeks ago

I dont want to be the one who brings the wrong paintballs for that gun.

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#30

What Is This Weird Half Truck And Why Is It Pushing A Flatbed Trailer? Is There Any Sort Of Advantage Of Pushing Rather Than Pulling It?

What Is This Weird Half Truck And Why Is It Pushing A Flatbed Trailer? Is There Any Sort Of Advantage Of Pushing Rather Than Pulling It?

Answer: Float Plane Mover. This truck's job is to move planes up and down a boat ramp into the water. Backing up an ordinary truck+trailer combo down a boat ramp is not easy. With this vehicle, the driver can look straight forward down the ramp rather than in his rear-view mirror, and since the steering wheels are at the back it's easy to align the truck's bed with the plane. Most trucks only load at a boat ramp once in a while, since this one does only that, it makes sense to design it specifically for that job.

Ouisha Report

2WheelTravlr 4 weeks ago

That looks freaky as heck.

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#31

It’s Been Submerged In Water For Years Near A Creek Where I Live. Can’t Google Because I Don’t Know Where To Start. What Is This Thing?

It’s Been Submerged In Water For Years Near A Creek Where I Live. Can’t Google Because I Don’t Know Where To Start. What Is This Thing?

Answer: The Quester, the private submarine built to salvage the Andrea Doria, now in need of salvage itself.

thrtysmthng Report

Nagawa (Cofa) Kishiki 4 weeks ago

So, I guess the Google search term will contain the word, irony.

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#32

My Mother Left Bleach In Her Sink For About A Week While We Left On Vacation, And We Came Back To This. Is It Mold?

My Mother Left Bleach In Her Sink For About A Week While We Left On Vacation, And We Came Back To This. Is It Mold?

Answer: the bleach oxidized the metal parts of your sink.

shadowfallwolf Report

Neon Petra 4 weeks ago

That's not gonna look good when you empty it...

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#33

20 Years Of Research And Reddit Is My Last Hope! What Is This Thing?

20 Years Of Research And Reddit Is My Last Hope! What Is This Thing?

Answer: The Black Drum fish fossils. The Black Drum had a short deep body with a high arched back, but a flattish belly. The jaw teeth were small and pointed, but the throat was armed with large, flat, pavement-like teeth with which the drum crushed shellfish, for food. This characteristic separates it from the weakfish and the king fish.

XxUFOxX11 Report

DE Ray 4 weeks ago

The description above left out possibly the most distinctive thing about the drum fish - they're freaking loud! Several of them grinding those throat-teeth together can get loud enough to rattle your brain in your head, and they do it for hours.

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#34

What Are These Perfect Sets Of Beach Holes? Flip Flop For Scale

What Are These Perfect Sets Of Beach Holes? Flip Flop For Scale

Answer: the remnants of a scientific clam survey.

papa_higgins Report

Misterscooter 4 weeks ago

What the shell?

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#35

We Had A Party The Other Night And Found This On The Kitchen Counter In The Morning. It Has White Powder In It And The Cap Just Comes Off, It’s Not Secured In Any Way. Bottle Cap For Size Reference. What Is This Thing?

We Had A Party The Other Night And Found This On The Kitchen Counter In The Morning. It Has White Powder In It And The Cap Just Comes Off, It’s Not Secured In Any Way. Bottle Cap For Size Reference. What Is This Thing?

Answer: It’s a refill container for a marking tool used in sewing. The tool dispenses a fine line of powdered chalk when drawn across fabric. I have some in several colors.

mporso Report

Shawn 4 weeks ago

Almost looks like the perfect dual nostril snorting coke holder

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#36

What Are These Blue Tubes That I Keep Seeing In Berlin?

What Are These Blue Tubes That I Keep Seeing In Berlin?

Answer: to transfer groundwater to rivers because of the water level. Since the early 1990’s the groundwater level in Berlin has been rising. Due to lower water consumption the abstraction of groundwater has diminished and the city now has to cope with an extraordinary high level of groundwater.

BrightEyeCameDown Report

Lina Maverick 4 weeks ago

The missed information: they do this for big constructions sites and move it away, when done with work.

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#37

Bit Into A Mcdonald’s Double Quarter Pounder With A Cheese And Noticed A Chemically Flavor. Opened It Up And Saw This. What Is This!?

Bit Into A Mcdonald’s Double Quarter Pounder With A Cheese And Noticed A Chemically Flavor. Opened It Up And Saw This. What Is This!?

Answer: Former employee, it’s more than likely from their gloves they use to put the meat on the grill.

oaktoast Report

DforDorothy 4 weeks ago

Almost threw up reading this! 😷

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#38

Falling Out Of The Sky? What Is This Thing?

Falling Out Of The Sky? What Is This Thing?

Answer: contrails from a passenger plane. Being close to sunset, the vapor clouds are taking on the same color as any other cloud would have under the same late-day sun.

FrighteningJibber Report

Monika Soffronow 4 weeks ago

That's the flaming sky diving gold medalist.

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#39

Found Under A Bed. What Is This Thing?

Found Under A Bed. What Is This Thing?

Answer: small scale meth making device.

Brighteyes907 Report

Lazy Panda 4 weeks ago

I really hope a parent didn’t find this under their kid’s bed, that would make it worse

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#40

Empty Gel Container In A Sealed Coca-Cola Bottle. What Is This Thing?

Empty Gel Container In A Sealed Coca-Cola Bottle. What Is This Thing?

Answer: Ibuprofen.

ladyofchaos Report

Foxxy 4 weeks ago

How?? And surely the Ibuprofen or if indeed it is a tablet would have dissolved.

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Note: this post originally had 106 images. It’s been shortened to the top 40 images based on user votes.