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 unusual, peculiar and weird 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 and interesting things, 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 finders keepers here and here.
More info: Reddit
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.
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.
Found At Myrtle Beach, Sc. What Is This Thing?
Answer: that’s a broken megalodon tooth.
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 about vintage things. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Some of you might be thinking that my talks about mom-and-pop internet detectives are a bit far-fetched. But, the interesting fact is, that 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
What Is This Random Structure I Found In The Middle Of The Forest?
Answer: a WWII one man bomb shelter.
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.
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.
Looks Suspicious But Has Several Interchangeable Sized Tips And Appears To Have A Purpose. What Is This For?
Answer: It's a snowman kit.
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.
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.
Clock In Assisted Living Facility
Answer: Bedsore prevention. You would refer to the two hour intervals as a turning schedule.
My Friend Just Moved In To A New Flat And This Is Her Neighbours Garden. What Is This Thing?
Answer: a Voodoo altar
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.
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.
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.
Found This While Beach Combing In The Olympic Peninsula. I've Never Seen Anything Like It. What Is This Thing?
Answer: Squid eggs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What Is The Purpose Of This Chain?
Answer: it is a rain chain, an alternative for traditional downspout of a gutter system.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What Are These Perfect Sets Of Beach Holes? Flip Flop For Scale
Answer: the remnants of a scientific clam survey.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Found Under A Bed. What Is This Thing?
Answer: small scale meth making device.