18 Objects With Such Strange Purposes, People Had to Ask for Help All Over the Internet to Use Them

2 years ago

One of the first things to disappear when we buy something is the instruction manual. For some reason, in that moment of joy of having a new object, the manufacturer’s advice does not seem important to us. This is a great way to train our intuition and be able to understand the things we find that come without any instructions...although our brain cannot always handle it all.

Instead of trying to find out what an object is meant to be used for, there are people who decide to take a shortcut and ask for help on the Internet. At Bright Side, this process of research and discovery makes us feel like kids with new toys, and that’s why we put together a list of several inquiries about strange objects found all over the globe.

1. “What is this leather thing that was in a subscription box? We can’t figure it out!”

Answer: “I had a bookmark that was similar to that. Fits over the corner of the page.”

2. “What is (the intended use of) this oddly shaped silver spoon?”

Answer: “A caddy spoon is a short-handled spoon used for measuring the dried tea from the tea caddy where it was stored to the teapot and was most commonly in use from the late 1700s to the mid-Victorian period, although examples continue turning up that date into the early 1900s.”

3. “An object found in the kitchen of a deceased relative, about 18 inches long. The puck-shaped end is heavy, solid metal.”

Answer: “I’m going to guess it’s a handheld salamander. You heat the ’puck’ and you hold it over the food to brown or melt the surface cheese, like a french onion soup.”

4. “This came with a bike. It’s not on the instructions or parts list. It has a diameter of about 2 inches.”

Answer: “It’s a spoke wrench for adjusting the tension of your wheel spokes. The numbers correspond to the spoke sizes.”

5. “Little razors attached to some sort of handle...found on top of the fridge. My husband has no idea either.”

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.”

6. “A 1950s house has these planks that pull out of the bedroom wardrobe. Any ideas what they’re for?”

Answer: “Definitely looks like the supports on a secretary desk. This one may have had the hinged top removed, or it was a modular desktop.”

7. “What is this item? All night we’ve been trying to solve this. It slides open and there is a tiny piece of fοam inside.”

Answer: “It’s a key fob for a programmable RFID entry system.”

8. “This 1.5-foot by about 3-foot cubby in my friend’s new bedroom”

Answer: “Maybe it’s for a dog kennel.”

9. “A hard, very lightweight blob without any sort of smell. Feels waxy.”

Answer: “It’s probably boat insulation. Very similar to spray foam, except more dense to stop it from soaking up water.”

10. “A Victorian mystery object — blunt and too big for a needle threader”

Answer: “It’s a bodkin for threading ribbon, lacing corsets, etc.”

11. “I noticed a tiny dirt pile, and over a few days, it has constructed itself into a perfect 5 to 6-inch delicate little dirt tower.”

Answer: “Looks like termites. See the nearest wooden structure if there is a similar looking thing.”

12. “These thin, toothpick-like objects seem to be made of ivory and are supposedly from the 1900s from China, maybe a game?”

Answer: “They look like a German game, called Spillikin.”

13. “What is this conical metal thing next to the door? Found in southern England.”

Answer: “It is a device that was used to extinguish torches.”

14. “An old wooden box with wooden planks with silver plates inside, anyone have an idea?”

Answer: “I’m not sure about the wooden planks, but a box like this is quite common. People use it to store different things, but I think it’s mainly made to store bukhoor (incense).”

15. “These are ceramic cylinders around 6 inches tall. They are glazed on the outside and unglazed on the inside.”

Answer: “I think 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.”

16. “A small black box with four LEDs, an aerial, and some sort of terminal”

Answer: “It’s for paranormal stuff... Here’s a video.”

17. “What is this ice phenomenon I found on the forest floor today?”

Answer: “The term for it is ’frost flower’ and it has to do with moisture freezing as it escapes plant tissue.”

18. “What are these lights that appear to be behind the mirror in the hotel I’m staying at?”

Answer: “It’s likely supposed to be an ’infinity mirror’ where you lay a one-way mirror over a standard one and put the LEDs between the layer, giving it a tunnel appearance. The missing side could be a bad strip of LEDs.”

What item in your home has a very specific function that you haven’t seen elsewhere? You can share a photo; maybe you’ll be featured in our next article.

Preview photo credit KittiRain / Reddit


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