20 Times Internet Detectives Helped Crack the Mystery Behind Curious Objects
We are lucky to be living in a time when information is at our fingertips, literally. Whenever we are unsure about something, all we have to do is type and search for answers online. Or you can do what these people did — ask for help from eager “Internet detectives.”
Now I’ve Seen Everything collected some of the most curious finds that people discovered, which were identified thanks to the help of kind netizens.
1. “Scissors that don’t cut? One side is a spoon and the other side is a loop that just fits around the spoon. It’s about 6 inches long.”
Answer: Those are pineapple eye scissors. They are for removing the tough spots on pineapples after you skin them.
2. “We usually stick it on our Christmas tree, but I don’t think that’s actually what this is.”
Answer: It’s just a little folding toy thing, not necessarily an ornament. We just used it as a toy.
3. What is this in front of this door?
Answer: It is a flood barrier (it floods regularly in that door during heavy rain, there used to be sand bags there).
4. “A mysterious disk-shaped object that has slightly raised iridescent patches on both sides”
Answer: It’s a pyrite sun disk (called dollars or suns, pyrite’s chemical classification is sulfide).
5. “This looks like a typewriter but the letters are in alphabetical order.”
Answer: It looks like a keyboard panel from a tabletop jukebox selector.
6. “I know what it is, but wondering why people put an orange on a stick in the grass next to a road.”
Answer: There is a woman in our city who cheers up the streets with fruits or vegetables. She did the same with bell peppers and Brussels sprouts. In the summer, the fruits attract bumblebees, which is good for the flowers in the neighborhood.
7. “Parked next to this and was trying to figure it out — a loose loop in the curb.”
Answer: It’s an old hitching ring for a horse.
8. “I found this thing on the beach in Oregon. It looks like metal but it’s actually soft and rubbery. What is it?”
Answer: It’s a rubber cover for an electrical terminal strip, usually used in industrial or transportation settings. The little holes fit pins on the strip and friction holds it in place.
9. “It’s plastic and hollow, the size of a big SUV, attached to the ground.”
Answer: It’s a large ship bumper/fender. They are used to keep huge ships from smashing into the pier. It must have washed up during a storm.
10. “It’s a chair-looking thing. The white part is a cushion.”
Answer: It is an Ikea Jesper bench for playing video games.
11. “The arms and legs are closed off. There are drawstrings on the tiny waist openings and Velcro on the small neck opening.”
12. “Found in a Westin in New England — every room had a second door number near the floor. Why?”
Answer: If there is a fire, the halls will fill with smoke, and smoke rises. To escape, you will need to crawl and there will be visibility at the floor level.
13. “What is this thing stuck to my car? It seems to be magnetic.”
Answer: It looks similar to the ones out of magnetic cabinet door latches. There are some stories about being able to open locks with strong magnets. Maybe a couple of kids broke down their mom’s kitchen cabinet and tried to steal your car.
14. “I found these in a thrift store. These are ceramic cylinders around 6 inches tall. They are glazed on the outside and unglazed on the inside. The word ’healthy’ is stamped on the base.”
Answer: Those are vertical poultry roasters. The idea is to insert them into a whole chicken and bake it standing up. You’d need a baking pan to catch the juices, of course.
15. “It came in a swag bag for a horse show. It’s about 8 inches long, not sure of its purpose.”
Answer: I’m 90% sure it’s a cable organizer.
16. “In someone’s front yard in Utah, a few neighbors had them. Holes were drilled into certain squares in the grid.”
Answer: Park City has held many mining and drilling competitions and demonstrations, so that checks out. It’s probably a winning slab.
17. “Large hollow ’eggs?’ Most of them are the size of a cantaloupe. They have holes drilled in the tops of them with some writing.”
Answer: Ostrich eggs! The holes were made to blow out the yolk and white.
18. “An orange plastic thing hanging from a coat hook in a bathroom in an academic library”
Answer: It’s a deodorizer.
19. “I found it in my hotel room bed (in England). There are no buttons to press.”
Answer: It looks like an alarm for the deaf. They usually shake the bed.
20. “Little razors attached to some sort of handle found on top of a fridge.”
Answer: It’s an attachment for a mandolin slicer to make julienne cut veggies. Looks like one of the sides where it clips on broke off.
How often do you encounter something mysterious in your life? What interesting things have you found in thrift stores?