'What Is This Thing' is an incredibly popular subreddit. It has over 1.8 million members, all helping people to identify the objects in their possession they have no knowledge of themselves. I have no doubt that one of the biggest reasons why this online community has gotten so massive is the fact that they constantly deliver.
With a few very rare exceptions, 'What Is This Thing' cracks one tough case after another. Show them a small round "shelf" in an old mailbox, and they will tell you it's for leaving change for the postal worker to add postage. Post a photo of a strange ceramic jar and they'll reply it's a stoneware bed warmer.
Found In A Bag Together While Digging A Pool In Massachusetts. Penny For Scale
Answer: Toy plates for a dollhouse.
Like we've mentioned in an earlier article, the subreddit has a branch called 'Trace an Object' that searches for objects posted by Europol that are linked to child abuse cases. "We've had some luck in identifying some things, but there's more yet unsolved and more to come as Europol does release some new information every few months," the moderator team explained to us then.
At the time, the 'Trace an Object' subreddit had around 53k members but now the number has grown to 67k. So in a way, the more attention 'What Is This Thing' gets, the more help Interpol receives. Presuming people will find about 'Trace an Object' in the process as well.
Small Round “Shelf” In Old Mail Box. What Is This Thing?
Answer: for leaving change for postal worker to add postage. USPS delivery people are required to have stamps and you don't even need to catch them to buy some. If you have a piece of mail without postage you can put it in your mailbox with cash and the carrier will bring back change (if needed) the next day.
There are other subreddits that are helping the public too. And they can work together on serious cases. For example, when user and college student shadybusiness15 took apart one of their extension cords, they noticed something wasn't quite right—there were mysterious wires and a SIM card with a serial number in it. Curious, they posted photos of it to both 'What Is This Thing' and 'The Reddit Bureau of Investigation', a place where people are passionate about solving mysteries as well.
Users quickly identified the mysterious parts as audio surveillance. The contraption connected to a phone number, which the owner could call to pick up audio in his room at college. Shadybusiness15 called the number but it was already disconnected. Shady business indeed.
My Security Camera Caught This Individual With A Large Device, Possibly Scanning For Something? The Individual Noticed The Camera And Changed Their Mind It Seems, But What Have They Got And What Are They Doing?
Answer: this person is probably a carthieve scanning for keyless car keys. . never leave them near windows and doors
Found In A House I Moved Into. The Chain Has Two Corks Attached On Either End
Answer: It is for wine. Ice goes in the little side container to keep it cold.
This Is About The Size Of My Hand, Made Of/With Some Kind Of Metal (I Think Copper)
Answer: This is mostly likely thousands of years old - a Pre-Columbian artifact.
You should take it to a university or museum for analysis.
DO NOT polish it or clean it.
Glass Items Seen At Yard Sale. They Aren't Doorknobs And Some Look Like One Solid Piece?
Answer: Knife rests
What Is This Piece Of Playground Equipment For? Seems Like It Must Have A Function Other Than To Just Lay On It
Answer: Manufacturers are providing a lot more pieces that are accessible to children with limited mobility. While this may seem less interesting at first glance, imagine the benefits to children who’ve never been able to climb up to a slide or fire pole.
1.5 Inches Long, Hard And Glossy. Found 5 Feet Below The Bottom Of A Virginia River
Answer: Fossil snail casting
Found On Counter In Medical Exam Room: String Of Plastic Numbered Oval Beads. My Own Doc Had No Idea. Pen For Scale
Answer: orchidometer. Used for sizing testicles.
What Is The Hollow Part Of This For? Never Seen Anything Like It Before. Cat For Size Reference
Answer: phone table with storage space for the phone book.
My Boyfriend And I Were Traveling Sunday Evening (10/25) And We Flew Over Clouds That Were Glowing Orange. Photo Details Suggest That It Was Somewhere Over Kingsville, On, Canada. Any Idea What Caused This?
Answer: Grow lights inside massive greenhouses just east of Kingsville.
What Is The Purpose Of The “Chip” In The One Prong Of This Fork? At First, I Though It Actually Was Just A Chip, But Turns Out Its On Multiple Forks In My Drawer. Any Ideas?
Answer: they make one tine wider for cutting stuff, but the wider one wouldn’t stab as well as the others, so the gave it a clipped point.
Someone Was Gifted This For A New Baby With No Note On What It Is
Answer: It is a door silencer. It wraps around and covers the latch on a door so that it doesn't latch and the rubber also makes the door open and close silently. The straps go around the doorknob on each side.
Friend Found At A Goodwill. Tool Belt Of Some Kind. Anyone Know The Specific Use?
Answer: it's a fishing rod holder.
My Girlfriend Lives In A Basement Apartment And In The Closet Under A False Floor There's This Pipe In The Ground. Smells Terrible Like Sewage. Any Idea What It Is And How To Fix It?
Answer: It appears to be an old broken drain, or more likely, a cleanout with a broken cover. That needs to be capped ASAP. Sewer gasses are a noxious health hazard. Note, tape and plastic are not an acceptable cap.
This Hollow Bumpy Thing Was In My Quarantine Care Package. On Either End Are 5 Small Holes Arranged In A Pentagon (Which Don't Whistle Btw).
Answer: Just asked my girlfriend who is Korean who says it’s from the health centre in Jeju island. The writing says “Metropolitan mental health welfare centre” It is literally just a hand massager, really common for old people To get one with welfare packs. Pressure points are really important to Korean people. So wouldn’t be surprised to hear they include one in the COVID care kit.
Strange Mask? Found It But I’m Not Sure What It Is
Answer: the makeup or mask worn by the Beast in the 80s/90s "Beauty and the Beast"
Friend Received This Passed Down From His Great Great Grandfather. It’s Believed To Be From Persia & About 2,000 Years Old
Answer: It’s a hairpin or a clothes pin/brooch. If it’s something 2000 years old, you need to see a professional at a museum/institute of archaeology to get it evaluated AND then get it insured.
Jump Rope Spike? Two Spring Covered Spikes Connected With Paracord
Answer: They are rescue grips for things like ice fishing. Run the cord through your jacket sleeves and the spikesv are at hand if you fall through the ice.
Found This While Renovating. Any Idea? Bomb Squad On The Way. Montreal, Qc
Answer: That is an artillery round, probably 155. Looks unfired, good that EOD is en route. Do not mess with it.
Weird Metal Part That Comes In A Matchbox Every Once In A While
Answer: It’s an extension for lighting candles
What Is This? White Particles On Back Of TV. Found No Where Else In Home, Not Even On Surrounding Furniture/Wall. Cleans Off But Reappears After A Few Weeks.
Answer: fire retardant reacting with the environment. This white powder is not harmful nor is it mold. We have had a few cases and have found it is the fire retardant interacting with the environment. In most instances all that is needed to correct this is a damp cloth, but in the case the white spots do come back we have a tech come out and replace the back cabinet.
Near Agate, Utah. My Dad And I Came Across This On Google Maps Today But No Search On Google Gave Me An Answer
Answer: These have to be evaporation ponds near some sort of mineral mine.
My Mother Says This Cast Iron Thing Is For Pouring Oil, But My Grandmother Says She’s Wrong And Can’t Remember What It’s For. Help?
Answer: This thing is used to melt down lead to cast new bullets.
This Was Found With Old Tools. Doesn't Seem To Attach To Anything. It Can Lock In Place And The Middle Bit Turns Round, Unravelling Two Straps Of Fabric. I'm Stumped!
Answer: It’s for carrying books.
What Is This Thing: Some Beach Sand In Ecuador Is Magnetic
Answer: Ironsand, also known as iron-sand or iron sand, is a type of sand with heavy concentrations of iron. It is typically dark grey or blackish in colour.
Found At Antique Shop. Think It Might Be Some Sort Of Food Server. But Really No Idea What This Is!
Answer: bun warmer
Inherited This Ornate Large... Pendant? Wall Decoration?
Answer: It may be Tibetan. They often wear their wealth on their clothing. This could be an ornament of that sort.
At first I thought the animals on the front looked kind of Chinese, but when I saw the mountains on the back, the style came together as Tibetan.
Metallic Ring With Central Slider And Numbers Engraved. Details In Comments
Answer: Sundial pendant. In the XVIII century the monks invented in the forests of Prussia, this small and handy, portable sundial, which indicates the time corresponding to the height of the sun.
Found This Tiny Book With No Cover And Has These Weird Text In It
Answer: Handbook of Royal Arch Masonry, Guide for Chapter Officers
Small Silver Fob- Nazi Or Navajo
Answer: it is a "Whirling Log Fred Harvey Thunderbird" pendant (Navajo vintage jewellery) I suspect that's a couple hundred dollars at least.
Why Does This Mailbox Of Letters Around It? Building Was Built In The Early 1900s
Answer: It used to be a combination lock. Now retrofitted with a key lock
House Built Circa 1950. Left Door Is A Linen Closet. Right Door Is... What? So Deep That It Takes Up Space In A Closet Around The Corner. Door For House Elf? Witt?
Answer: Card table space
Found While Turning Garden This Spring In The Appalachian Foothills Of East Tennessee. What Is This Thing?
Answer: a knapped flint knife. It's also very strong. Typically it's knapped but your blade looks like it was sharpened on a stone. It's probably a Boy Scout or survival class project.
These Weird Crystals Growing On My Highlighter?
Answer: it went through varying changes in temperature in the past years and destabilized causing oil to separate and crystallize. Same thing happens in crayons.
Solid Metal “Kiss” That Was In Our Bag Of Candy Cane Kisses. Is It Part Of The Machinery?
Answer: Definitely not a part of the machine. Since it is the same size and shape, I would say it's a QA "guage" to help operators verify shape and portion size at a glance.
Found In A Cemetary While Geocaching. The Doll Was Wrapped In The Paper Which Was Wrapped In The Cloth Cross And Bound With Twine. Overall Very Creepy
Answer: it's a voodoo doll
Iron, Both Found In The East Midlands UK
Answer: iron age cloak pin
Purple Packets Found On Rural Property In Victoria, Australia
Answer: Dye powder packets tied to the under side of rams to mark which sheep have been inseminated.
Tunnel In Basement Of Pennsylvania Rowhouse
Answer: Coal delivery.
On The Second Stair Of A 100-Year-Old Bungalow. The Tube Opens To The Basement.
Answer: Wood-fired furnace heat shaft
What Is This On A Pillow At A Hotel Im Staying At?
Answer: With our patented Zip-N-Click™ closure system, CleanBrands provides added security by ensuring that dust mites and bed bugs cannot enter or escape the encasement at its most vulnerable point: the zipper. Independently tested and verified, the Zip-N-Click™ is designed with advanced durable materials and is fully machine washable.
Thing With Wheels I Found In The Woods
Answer: Its what's left of a Volkswagen beetle.
Fell Out Of One Of My Dad's Record Sleeves... Dangerous Roach Clip Or Dated 70s Hair Accessory?
Answer: Curtain hook. It slides into a pleated curtain.
Near The Side Of The Road In West Virginia, Three Sides Of It Have Those Room Things
Answer: west virginia iron furnaces
Strange Ceramic Jar, What Is This? Only Has Side Opening
Answer: it is a stoneware bed warmer. Put some hot water in and pop it under your sheets.
I Found In The Garage, A Tube With Notches Made Of Brass, The Rest Of The Cover On Top. Copper Rod With Wooden Handle
Answer: Hair curler
On It's Own In A British Park, Tall As A Person And Hollow Inside. Made Of Metal And Looks Like Something Used To Be Below Each Of The Four "Exits"
Answer: Look up funnel ball. Popular in the 90s as a basketball game. Someone tosses into the top hole and the ball comes out one of the other holes. I never played with any real rules, just schoolyard fun. Prob could do it like 2 on 2 basketball where you aim to get more balls in the top hole than the other team, or something.
Found In A Bag Of Prawn Crackers. Very Hard And Translucent
Answer: that's what prawn crackers look like before you deep fry them.
What Is This Thing? I Found It In A Frozen Meal. It’s Sharp And Hard, Spiky, And Brown-Ish Coloured
Answer: Alamy Toothed medick
A prickly seed pod of a lawn weed.. Called burrs in Australia.
Your seed looks well soaked
Note: this post originally had 115 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.