15 Objects Whose Purpose Baffled Us

10 months ago

In the past, when people discovered strange objects, they had to rely on their own knowledge and intuition to figure out what they were for. It used to be hard and took a lot of time, especially if the object was really unusual or complicated. But now, thanks to a subreddit with millions of users, we can quickly connect with experts who can help us solve the mystery.

1. “Unidentified objects received in a recent cookie order. They are rubbery plastic. They don’t seem related to any of the food items in my purchase. No markings.”

Answer: They are supposed to be a gag gift. You put the rubber part around your ear, and it looks like you have a cotton swab sticking out of your head.

2. “A wooden cabinet with a height of 1 meter and a depth of 0.5. Hinged door at the front.”

Answer: It’s a sauna for one.

3. “Had these mailed to me unannounced. No idea what they are. Any help?”

Answer: They go on your key ring, and you use them to open doors or push buttons, so you don’t have to use your fingers.

4. “Saw this object today in Austria. What is it?”

Answer: It’s a bollard; when installed primarily as a visual guide, they guide traffic and mark boundaries.

5. “Just moved to Germany. What is this small space in my room?”

Answer: It’s a towel warmer. You hang the towels, then turn on the hot water and it heats up the rack warming the towels while you shower.

6. “Found this in my grandpa’s closet. What is it?”

Answer: It’s to pick up sugar cubes.

7. “Found above the door in the backseat of a 2011 Porsche Cayenne; what are the holes behind the small door used for?”

Answer: Hangers. So if you pick up dry cleaning, you can hang the clothing instead of risking wrinkles by laying it on the seat.

8. “I seriously need help identifying this thing.”

Answer: It’s a tool for polishing drinking glasses.

9. “My dad bought these at a garage sale. They’re solid brass and open on the inside. Any ideas?”

Answer: They are fancy stirrups; devices attached to each side of a horse’s saddle in the form of a loop with a flat base to support the rider’s foot.

10. “A friend received this as a wedding gift many years ago. The gifter wouldn’t tell him what it’s for. Any ideas?”

Answer: It’s a cheese holder. Lets you slice cheese without handling the block.

11. “What’s this thing?”

Answer: It’s an asparagus server.

12. “Why do these window grills have a bump? Seen in Spain.”

Answer: They’re called “belly bars” in a lot of places. They’re designed for flower boxes.

13. “It’s a plastic handle metal triangle thing on top that looks like it might be used to put grooves in something. What could it be?”

Answer: It’s a woodworking knife. But it can be a multipurpose tool for hobbyists, used to cut linoleum or carve clay.

14. “What is this wooden object?”

Answer: It’s a hat stretcher.

15. “What is this unusual white plastic kitchen utensil with handle?”

Answer: It would be used to stir the contents in a blender. It inserts in the top to stir it.

We often encounter objects from the past that leave us curious about their true purpose. Uncovering the mysteries and learning how these items were meant to be used is exciting.

Preview photo credit nemothorx / Reddit


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