18 Times People Wondered What Certain Objects Were Used for and the Internet Came to the Rescue

2 years ago

Sometimes we receive gifts or find things that we don’t quite know what they are for or how to use them. This can leave us wondering if it was well thought out when it was made or if we still don’t understand it. Just throw the little question out there and someone else will surely have the superpower to give you an answer.

At Now I’ve Seen Everything we share some examples given by internet users, who were probably surprised when people revealed to them what their objects really were.

1. “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 is meant to carry or hold books.

2. “I’ve had this around for a while, it’s very lightweight and wooden but very smooth... what is this thing?”

Answer: It is a hairpin. Similar to this.

3. “Green plastic scissor handle with metal loops and plastic teeth. No identifying marks.”

Answer: “My guess would be some sort of herb stripper. Sprigs go in the loops; teeth are closed, and stalks are pulled out.”

4. “Intricate iron contraption that opens on one side.”

Answer: It’s a cast iron buggy/whip holder.

5. “What is this keyhole in the wall next to an outer door?”

Answer 1: “It’s probably for the fire department. We have a key hole just like it next to our parking lot gate. This way they can open it in case of an emergency.”

Answer 2: It’s a Knox box.

6. “These have been in our kitchen drawer for ages, but we havent figured out what they are used for. Any ideas?”

Answer 1: “The green one is used to peel bananas.”

Answer 2: “The blue one on the right is for sure an orange peeler by being a beaver. With the tooth on the front you can cut lines in the outer shell of the orange and with the beaver tail you can kind of scrape the peel off.”

7. “Old mechanical device found in a dumpster. Extremely heavy. Cash register? Mechanical calculator?”

Answer: “In fact, it’s a mechanical calculator, an Odhner 1950/60 model.”

8. “Solid metal Egyptian-looking scarab. My grandma believes she got it somewhere in Europe a long time ago. It has hieroglyphs on the underside and is fairly heavy for its size.”

Answer: “I have one of these from Egypt. Definitely a paperweight tourist trinket.”

9. “I found these in my grandmother’s house, they are made of thin glass. Unfortunately there is no box cover explaining what they are...”

Answer: “They are for flower decoration. One singular flower goes in the tube. There is probably a stand for them somewhere around, but some people like to stick them in foam together with other decorations, or in pieces of driftwood with holes drilled into them, or even into other flowerpots.”

10. “I found this in the garage: A tube with notches made of brass, the rest of the cover on top. Copper rod with wooden handle.”

Answer: “It is a curling iron. Check out this link. I know there are hot combs and curling irons, but those are different products. These are similar to the ones that are left overnight, like a cartoon image of an old lady from the ’50s with a nightgown and curling irons in her hair.”

11. “Strange object from Tiffany’s mysteriously given to my wife by her grandmother while refusing to say what it was. Probably bought in the 1930s or 1940s. About 10cm/4” long. All she’d say was ’she used it as a young woman but didn’t have much use for it nowadays.’ Any ideas?"

Answer: It’s to mix drinks.

12. “A bunch of three armed poles, near the bike stands. The arms rotate. Outside a tower block in London.”

Answer: “It’s an art installation for The Dumont apartments on Albert Embankment.”

13. “What is this hook thing in the kitchen cabinet?”

Answer: “It is a cup shelf.”

14. “’Solid metal ’kiss’ that was in our bag of candy cane kisses. Is it part of the machinery?”

Answer: “It’s definitely not part of the machine. Since it is the same size and shape, I would say it is a quality control ‘indicator’ to help operators verify the shape and size of the portions at a glance.”

15. “This device in a nursing home that appears to be halfway between a sink and a toilet.”

Answer 1: It’s a clinical sink used to empty urinals.

16. “Some sort of promotional item. What is it used for?”

Answer 1: “I’m not sure of the scale, but it looks like an acupressure ring — meant to help improve circulation in your fingers.”

Answer 2: “According to my Korean wife, it’s a hand massage/strengthening kit.”

17. “Someone was gifted this for a new baby with no note on what it is.”

Answer: “It’s a door silencer. It wraps around and covers a door latch so it won’t latch, and the rubber also causes the door to open and close quietly. The straps encircle the door knob on each side.”

18. “This thing is above my hospital bed... None of the nurses know what it is/is for.”

Answer: It’s a battery-powered emergency light. The red light shows that it has power and the battery is charging. When the light fails, it automatically turns on to illuminate the exit.

Do you remember wondering what an object you found in your house was for? We’d love to see a picture!

Preview photo credit oberluz / Reddit, vibarthe / Reddit


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