God Bless The Internet For Having An Answer Every Time We Asked ‘What The Heck Is This?’

Kids today have no idea how big of a deal the internet was two decades ago. Before chatrooms and Google search, if you had a question, you either asked your parents or combed through 12 volumes of encyclopedias. Now, if you find a strange item, you have the power to ask millions of people across the world: “what the heck is this?”

There’s even an entire online forum dedicated to answering these questions. On Reddit’s r/whatisthisthing, you can find out what the strange slug thing on the beach was, or why your kitchen has a seemingly useless wooden stick in it. This is one corner of the internet that is safe to explore.

This Fancy Metal Stamp Looks Straight Out Of National Treasure

The person who found this ornate brass sculpture originally thought that it stamped Hebrew letters. In reality, the piece is called a Bent, and it is part of the rituals of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Society.

Photo credit: Nikatsuo / Reddit
Photo credit: Nikatsuo / Reddit

Thanks to the internet, we know that every new inductee gets one of these things and the society reveals the meaning of the symbols during initiation.

These Look Like Sewing Scissors That Your Grandmother Would Own

If you thought this was just a fancy pair of scissors, you’re not that far off. But the fact it is shaped like a stork should be a giveaway that they had something to do with giving birth.

Photo credit: Pedandick / Reddit
Photo credit: Pedandick / Reddit

It’s technically a stork clamp from the 1800s that was used to tie off the umbilical cord after birth.

Kill It With Fire

Understandably, the person who posted this asked: “What in the absolute [expletive] is ON MY CAR.” The internet kindly informed them that this is a spiny oak-slug caterpillar covered in eggs that a braconid wasp laid when the caterpillar was in its cocoon stage. I guess this person has to throw out their car now.

Photo credit: iChickk / Reddit
Photo credit: iChickk / Reddit

You Know Technology Has Advanced When We Can’t Recognize An Early USB

To people living in 2018, this looks like a 1980s version of a flash drive that could probably hold one megabyte of information.

Photo credit: Tuckered__Out / Reddit
Photo credit: Tuckered__Out / Reddit

A USB isn’t that far off, because this is an audiobook for the blind that plugs into a type of audio player. You might be able to find an old one in your public library.

A White Walker From Game Of Thrones Lost Their Bread Knife

So I assumed that this bread knife just had an ornate second edge to show off. Maybe it was the craftsman’s choice. But knives with this strange edge were a common gimmick in the ’80s and ’90s that claimed to cut frozen items.

Photo credit: Ewanii / Reddit
Photo credit: Ewanii / Reddit

If you knew someone who loved The Shopping Channel in the ’80s, then you can probably find a few of these fancy knives still around.

Can Any Men Out There Let Us Know What This Is

This person found a tiny little plastic case in the dryer of their apartment building. The men of the internet were quick to let them know that this is a pill case that is often used to hold male enhancement pills. So whoever was using the dryer before this person must have had a good time.

Photo credit: Le-Letty / Reddit
Photo credit: Le-Letty / Reddit

This Tiny Arrow Was Found On A Hotel Roof In Malaysia

A traveler found it on the roof of their hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Many hotels in Muslim countries will let guests know which direction to face during their daily prayers.

Photo credit: Iplane / Reddit
Photo credit: Iplane / Reddit

Westerners are clearly off in a world of their own because nearly 25% of the world’s population new this arrow was a Muslim prayer guide.

This Old Timey Military Manual Is Kind Of High-Tech

This old military manual is a high tech adjustable binder so that you can add pages as necessary. It’s kind of like a three-ring binder for military men.

Photo credit: bingothebulldog / Reddit
Photo credit: bingothebulldog / Reddit

One internet user even looked up the book’s owner and found that he was a corporal in the US Army who died fighting in the Vietnam War in 1968.

This Item Found At A Festival Has Nothing To Do With Drugs

The person who posted this photo assumed it was a lighter of some sorts for drug use because they found it at a music festival. In reality, it’s just a way to measure the depth of the grooves in your tires. Way more lame than they originally thought.

Photo credit: bedekelly / Reddit
Photo credit: bedekelly / Reddit

A Reminder That Mother Nature Is Equally Cool And Terrifying

This person is lucky to be alive. They found this slug-like creature along the high-tide coast of New Zealand, and the internet quickly told them that it is the remnant of a Portuguese Man O’ War jellyfish.

Photo credit: goforajog / Reddit
Photo credit: goforajog / Reddit

It is venomous enough to kill other fish and occasionally humans. Even if it has washed up on shore and died, it’s still deadly.

These Ornate Tiny Balls Were Found In A Wall

Fans of The Price Is Right should read up on the history of one of their most famous games, Plinko. Plinko was the offshoot of a Japanese game called Pachinko.

Photo credit: Colonel_Dankly / Reddit
Photo credit: Colonel_Dankly / Reddit

Gambling for cash is illegal in Japan, but you can trade in the tiny balls for “prizes.” It’s illegal to remove the balls from the casinos, so whoever took these Pachinko balls was a real rebel.

This Blast From The Past Was Found Built Into A Car’s Trunk

People born before 2000 are probably able to tell that this is a CD player, but the person who found it had no idea why it was built into the trunk of their Honda Accord. Apparently, they are quite a rare addition in Hondas and can hold up to six CDs.

Photo credit: BhlooBoy / Reddit
Photo credit: BhlooBoy / Reddit

These Tiny Sticks Are Extremely Dangerous

These sticks look like popsicles at first, but they are sea urchin spines that have broken off. Only a select few sea urchins are poisonous, but any spine can penetrate the skin and cause pain.

Photo credit: gravityzebra / Reddit
Photo credit: gravityzebra / Reddit

Don’t worry about the sea urchins though, they can regrow their spines within a few days.

Either This Is A Fancy Bubble Blower Or Something Boring And Practical

This looks like the pipe that Ariel blows bubbles out of in The Little Mermaid. Sadly, it’s a lot more boring and is just an old-timey hearing aid. Ear horns were commonplace up until we finally went digital for our hearing devices.

Photo credit: sleepyguyman / Reddit
Photo credit: sleepyguyman / Reddit

This specific one is a portable version that you could take with you for a night out on the town.

Limbo, Anyone?

This strange kitchen addition is really just a practical way to extend your countertop for specific cooking items. The cook can use it to clamp down a pasta maker or meat grinder to make it easier. That’s a cool reason, but limbo sounds way better.

Photo credit: thefloorisbennylava / Reddit
Photo credit: thefloorisbennylava / Reddit

Can’t Say I’ve Ever Seen A School Bus With A Spoiler

If you see a spoiler on a regular car, it’s there to help stop drag and make the car go faster. School buses shouldn’t be street racing, so this spoiler is not for that.

Photo credit: Geometer_John / Reddit
Photo credit: Geometer_John / Reddit

Spoilers of busses are used in many rural areas to deflect dust and dirt to keep the back windows visible for the driver.

Some Men Didn’t Even Know What This Little Blue Mark Is For

Someone took to the internet to ask why urinals along the west coast all had these little blue shell markers in them. Experienced men explained that the stickers indicated the “sweet spot” in a urinal where this is no splash back.

Photo credit: LtBerry / Reddit
Photo credit: LtBerry / Reddit

The marker can also be a fly or a bullseye.

Not Aliens…

This UFO-looking thing is actually very explainable.

ufo thing in the sky
Reddit
Reddit

User chrome-spokes commented: “Seen similar on here and another reddit, could be the smoke ring from an electrical power line transformer that blew up…”

Spawn of Mothra?

While this thing looks completely terrifying and other-worldly, it’s probably just a weird moth.

moth that has crazy tentacles coming out the back
Reddit
Reddit

User spooky_spaghetties commented: “Male Creatonotos gangis moth with its scent glads out to attract females.”

Not A USB Stick

In a now deleted Reddit post, this user inquired after finding a strange black object under her bed. The internet concluded this was a small portable listening device.

holding a small device
Reddit
Reddit

She confronted her partner and he admitted to putting it there. Let’s hope he’s done spying.

Secret Ancient Carvings, Or Something Much More Practical?

This set of symbols carved into a door is a longstanding practice of transient people. “Hobo symbols” is a series of signs developed by homeless people who traveled across America during the Depression.

Photo credit: ufomessenger / Reddit
Photo credit: ufomessenger / Reddit

They were meant to help each other out and would include warnings, helpful tips, and even casual conversation.

Can Spoons Be Worn Down This Much?

At first glance, I thought this spoon was just so old that it had been worn down over time on one side. In actuality, it’s just a jam spoon.

Photo credit: ForeverInjured / Reddit
Photo credit: ForeverInjured / Reddit

No one explained why jam spoons have a flat edge, so your guess is as good as ours. Maybe it has a double use. You can scoop the jam out of the jar with the spoon, then spread it onto toast with the flat side.

Now That I’ve Seen A Bag Sealer, I Want One

This strange little contraption is a bag sealer. You just stick a plastic bag in the top and press down the clip, and it melts the plastic together to close the bag.

Photo credit: ILoveSwift / Reddit
Photo credit: ILoveSwift / Reddit

I’ve been living my entire life using chip clips that still let in air and make my Doritos go stale when all I needed was this invention.

Heavy Machinery In The Back Of A Truck?

Yeah, this is a strange one. If you had your best guess, what would you say it was?

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Photo Credit: FlexasState / Reddit
Photo Credit: FlexasState / Reddit

The correct answer is a video surveillance device. They said it was more than likely on its way to the border for installation.

This Strange Spoon

I’ve seen many spoons in my day, but I have yet to come across one like this. What are those tiny dots for anyway?

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Photo Credit: snuffles00 / Reddit
Photo Credit: snuffles00 / Reddit

Well, this is a spoon bartenders use. It helps make layered drinks! The plate on the spoon helps to slide a layer of liquid into the drink.

What Is The Metal Tin For?

Someone said a person posted this picture on their Facebook feed. It’s a kitchen from a mansion built in the 20th century.

tin-in-the-kitchen-71059
Photo Credit: levophed72 / Reddit
Photo Credit: levophed72 / Reddit

That metal tin thing is a trash burner. Yes, they burned trash in their kitchen back then.

A Narrow Metal Bar With Spokes

It almost looks like an alien device, but it’s not that advanced. Could this be something for shoes?

metal-hooks-80050
Photo Credit: Juniper_6213 / Reddit
Photo Credit: Juniper_6213 / Reddit

The real answer is a tie rack. They aren’t too rare, as various people use them today.

Someone Found This In The ATM

It almost looks like something you would use while fishing, but it can’t be related to that. The real term to use is phishing.

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Photo Credit: Conte_Vincero / Reddit
Photo Credit: Conte_Vincero / Reddit

This is a Lebanese loop used for ATM fraud. If you ever see this, don’t use that ATM!

They Were Looking For Shells But Found This Instead

This strange thing looks like an instrument for sea creatures. They said it has the same texture as a shell, but what is it?

strange-shell-found-17511
Photo Credit: NoOne2311 / Reddit
Photo Credit: NoOne2311 / Reddit

They’re tube worms! They live in the ocean and make shells to retreat into.

Found While Visiting Taco Bell

I hope this isn’t what gives the tacos their good flavor. It almost looks like a communication device.

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Photo Credit: mailbot100 / Reddit
Photo Credit: mailbot100 / Reddit

These are really roof drains that have a heat strip to prevent them from freezing. You learn something new every day.

This Was In A Creek In Oregon

Imagine stumbling upon this while trekking in the woods of Oregon. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before.

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Photo Credit: BON3SMcCOY / Reddit
Photo Credit: BON3SMcCOY / Reddit

It’s an intricate piece of machinery, that’s for sure. This is a fish collection rotary screw trap. No fish is safe.

These Bundles Of Wood Found In Interlaken, Switzerland

Have you ever seen bundles of wood collected in this manner if it wasn’t for a fire? Probably not, so what are these?

the-bundles-of-wood-50420
Photo Credit: Catb84u / Reddit
Photo Credit: Catb84u / Reddit

They are Christmas decorations! They put flower pots in there during the summer as well.

Not Your Average Utensils

These aren’t your average utensils. Are they from the olden days? Yes, they are, but what’s that one next to the spoon?

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Photo Credit: FlyWithTheCars / Reddit
Photo Credit: FlyWithTheCars / Reddit

That’s what you call a baby food pusher. It was common between the 1800s and the early 1900s.

No, This Isn’t For Smoking

While this might look like what people call a grinder, it isn’t that. That would be a good guess, however.

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Photo Credit: FACEAnthrax / Reddit
Photo Credit: FACEAnthrax / Reddit

What you’re looking at is a coffee tamper. It allows you to adjust the level of coffee you wish to use.

What In Tarnation?

What in tarnation is this thing? A log with a metal disk jammed inside? That’s pretty crazy, but wait until you read the answer.

custom-made-device-80228
Photo Credit: KipsBay2181 / Reddit
Photo Credit: KipsBay2181 / Reddit

This is a makeshift anvil. It seems like someone is up to some Looney Tunes-type business.

The Strangest Nail You’ll Ever See?

Some might already know what this is, but others are clueless, staring at this object. It’s like a nail, but it isn’t.

strange-nail-41675
Photo Credit: jordanka16 / Reddit
Photo Credit: jordanka16 / Reddit

It’s really a tobacco pipe tamper. Smokers probably knew that, but if you’ve never bothered smoking, you had no reason to be familiar.

Why Does It Look Like A Grenade?

Someone found this scary device in their backyard, and I’m surprised they had the guts to pick it up. It looks like a grenade!

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Photo Credit: R1ght_b3hind_U / Reddit
Photo Credit: R1ght_b3hind_U / Reddit

It isn’t dangerous; it’s actually helpful. This is a drain king for clearing drainage blockages.

A King In The Window As Someone Waits For The Bank To Open

This one is pretty cool and almost seems like it should remain a secret. If you ever see this in the window at the bank, just know things are okay.

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Photo Credit: bangsoul / Reddit
Photo Credit: bangsoul / Reddit

A former bank employee said this is a safety signal. This is to let employees know it’s clear to open. They change them each quarter.

Is That From Men In Black?

With the way the world is changing, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a device similar to something they used in Men In Black.

men-in-black-device-17088
Photo Credit: Gicemen / Reddit
Photo Credit: Gicemen / Reddit

Well, that wouldn’t be a far-off guess. This is a taser dart! That will hurt if it makes contact.