20 Curious Finds Whose Mysteries Were Cracked With the Help of the Internet

2 years ago

With modern technology, things upgrade very fast. And some objects that were used often before may have become obsolete or been replaced with a different version. The people on this list found unfamiliar items whose purposes were unclear. But thankfully, internet “detectives” were able to crack the mysteries behind them.

Now I’ve Seen Everything collected 20 curious finds that were identified with the help of concerned netizens.

1. “What is this cast-iron contraption with a cage and a magnifying glass?”

Answer: “It’s for orchids. There are some varieties of orchids in which the flowers are quite tiny. I can see why an aficionado might want such a hanger for these. It could also be helpful if they were attempting to pollinate the flowers by hand.”

2. “The hole gets smaller when I squeeze it. Found it in the kitchen at my parents’ house. What do I use it for?”

Answer: “It’s to strip corn on the cob.”

3. “Got this in a small package from China today, didn’t order it though. It’s a small cushion with a little balloon you can squeeze to inflate it.”

Answer: “It’s a car door wedge. You can slip it into a car door jam, pump it open a little, then get a rod in to unlock the door.”

4. “A ball attached to pool cue — why?”

Answer: “It’s so little kids can play and not destroy the table (like by ripping the felt with the cue.)”

5. “They’ve been showing up on the beach by the hundreds for the last month!”

Answer: “They’re biofilters. Many aquarists use them! I wonder why they would be at sea.”

6. “This pottery is about 8 inches tall and 5.5 inches wide. Owl design in the front, jaguar at the back.”

Answer: “You can turn it over, fill water through the bottom hole, then flip back over. The shape on the inside will prevent the water from leaking back out, but can then be used to pour from the spout on the owl’s front, like any water pitcher. Bonus if it makes a warbling/whistling sound when you pour it out.”

7. “Got this as a prize in a Christmas cracker with no instructions. What is it?”

Answer: “It’s a needle threader.”

8. “This rack-type drawer is mounted in a kitchen cabinet. This is as far as it pulls out and the bars do not rotate or come out.”

Answer: “It’s a hanging rack, but they’re typically sold as a towel hanging rack. There are vertical versions for narrow spaces, but they are designed a little differently.”

9. “What is this Commodore 64 accessory? It looks like cardboard with a separate clear plastic overlay.”

Answer: “It’s a flowchart stencil, by the look of it.”

10. “This solid metal thing was in our bag of candy cane kisses. Is it part of the machinery?”

Answer: This is a metal dummy version they intentionally place in randomly selected bags to test and validate their automated QC systems. Their metal detecting system must be faulty if they let this slip through, which means there may be other foreign objects out there in the same batch.

11. “A gray device with a cord on it — I thought it was a game camera of some sort, but I don’t think it is. Found at a park!”

Answer: “It’s a camera to check wildlife numbers and interactions.”

12. “Hollow glass with clear stopper and three legs. It has an indentation on the bottom with a hole in its middle. What is this?”

Answer: “It’s a fly/wasp trap. You add sugary water to the inside, put the stopper in, and then the wasps fly in through the hole in the base, but can’t get out again.”

13. “This is on the ceiling in a hotel. There’s a smoke detector in the same room. It’s completely smooth on all sides besides the gray thing in the middle.”

Answer: “It’s a motion sensor. It detects if someone is moving in the room. It’s usually used for automatic lights or for an alarm.”

14. “This clock thing numbered 0 through 5 found in Prague, Czech Republic”

Answer: “It measures water levels in the river.”

15. “What are these dollar signs on my level for?”

Answer: “That is an electrician level. An ‘S’ with a line through it is the electricians’ symbol for a switch.”

16. “Looks like a chopstick set to me, but I can’t work out what the other pieces would be for.”

Answer: “They’re to rest your chopsticks on so you don’t get your table dirty.”

17. “This roofed storage component full of sliced logs in the middle of a prairie preserve in Nebraska”

Answer: “It’s a bug hotel and provides a habitat for a range of species.”

18. “Stainless steel, about the size of a teaspoon, no additional markings”

Answer: “It’s a mint sauce ladle. You can remove excess vinegar through the strainer.”

19. “I went to a restaurant to enjoy a nice breakfast, then they gave me this thing. It spins like a propeller.”

Answer: “It’s an anti-fly machine.”

20. “It’s about the size of a pen. The tip is spring-loaded, but it doesn’t act like a punch. A cork-like ball that spins. Engraving on the side includes a sun with squiggles. Is this novelty or functional?”

Answer: “This device is a massage/sensory/acupressure spring needle roller.”

Which of these things do you think you’d never understand the purpose of on your own?


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