18 Items That Seem Mysterious but Have a Purpose

2 years ago

It appears that humans make a lot of objects. According to scientists, the total weight of all man-made things on the planet has reached a milestone of 1.1 trillion metric tons — almost equivalent to the mass of all living things on Earth. With so many things filling up the world, it’s nearly impossible to familiarize ourselves with all of them. And with continuous production and upgrades, it’s also no surprise that older objects get stored away and are eventually forgotten.

Bright Side gathered 18 photos of unfamiliar items that piqued the curiosity of their finders, and with the help of the Internet, their mysterious purposes were cracked.

1. “What is this? I found it years ago at a thrift store and thought it was cute, but it doesn’t seem to actually have a purpose.”

Answer: “I think it’s a garden ornament. It looks like the base could be submerged beneath the soil to give it a crystal mushroom look.”

2. “Found in a handbag. It’s made of metal and both balls are glued fast. The bar moves. The 4 ends are not rounded, just clipped.”

Answer: “Ladies used to use these small whisks to degas carbonated drinks. I guess burping is not ladylike.”

3. “A small vintage ceramic container with a cork — I believe it’s from the 1940s.”

Answer: “It’s a soy sauce container, also called Hyo-chan. It could be a good collector’s item!”

4. “What is this small metal dish with an egg-shaped container and a miniature salami being cut?”

Answer: “That’s an old ’senftopf’ (German mustard pot).”

5. “Found this buried in the closet of a commercial kitchen. It’s about 6 inches in diameter.”

Answer: “It’s a hamburger press. Here’s an identical one.”

6. “A wooden machine that features dials that are numbered, but a few are labeled ’parlor,’ ’ladies entrance,’ and ’bathroom.’”

Answer: “It’s a servants’ bell call indicator, similar one here. It’s used to show servants where the call for service has come from.”

7. “I’ve had this thing for years but nobody knows what it is. 3.5 inches high, silver-plated, thin material. Shaped like a crown.”

Answer: “This is a spoon holder that sits on the edge of a bowl.”

8. “It looks to fit in your mouth, maybe made of woven medical fabric with thin plastic through the middle.”

Answer: “It’s a turkey caller.”

9. “It collapses into 3 pieces. There’s a screw on the bottom attached to some kind of bit, which can spin.”

Answer: “This is likely a pepper mill without the knob to turn it. It’s like the original Greek Pepper Mill, only this one is missing the stand and the hand crank.”

10. “What is this glass object? It’s fairly heavy, has no markings, and has a very narrow hole on top.”

Answer: “It’s an oil candle.”

11. “A leather thing that has a strap that wraps around the back of your hand”

Answer: “It’s a kind of self-defense tool.”

12. “What are these wooden structures that look half-built and are randomly scattered across a field on a Swiss plateau?”

Answer: “These are hay bins. Here’s the modern version.”

13. “A metallic pencil with a hard wick and a battery inside”

Answer: “Google image results lead to one of these being sold as an electric nail file.”

14. “Can anyone tell me what the mirror underneath the lid of my trash can is for?”

Answer: “It may be a holder for a carbon odor filter. What you are seeing is not a mirror, but the backside of the brushed stainless steel exterior of the trash can.”

15. “The first one has no markings, with a red velvet interior. The second one has some thread on the inside of the eyepiece.”

Answer: “It’s Odd Fellows hoodwink mask blinders initiation ceremonial goggles.”

16. “A clear plastic thing that hinges like scissors”

Answer: “It’s a clip for the cord on blinds.”

17. “What is this weird, large barrel-looking thing hanging on a wire at a local park?”

Answer: “It is for a fire hose competition. They move the barrel back and forth with fire hoses.”

18. “Made of glass and threaded like a screw — it has 2 anchor-like points that jut out, and the top has an indent.”

Answer: “It looks like a neon light support.”

What is the most interesting object you own? Do you have an unfamiliar item at home that you need help figuring out? Share photos of these things in our comment section.

Preview photo credit shmittkicker / Reddit


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