17 Things That Were So Mysterious, It Took the Whole Internet to Figure Them Out

year ago

Since the very first day of human existence, people have been trying to make things easier for themselves and make them more automatic. This is how millions of different devices and mechanisms were invented and some of them are so unusual that their true purpose isn’t obvious at first sight.

“A metal spiked thing at an antique store in MD — even they didn’t know what it was!”

The answer: It’s a roast or ham holder that mounts to a cutting board. The cutting board is missing.

“This was put in my bag when I picked up an online order of shoes but what is it? It was inside the yellow mesh thing and is 7 inches long.”

The answer: This is part of a special device to display shoes on a shelf.

A belt contraption attached to the rear wheel of a Chevy Bolt

The answer: This is a homegrown charging system. This car can be used as a tow car for a mobile home. It is also used to charge its battery.

“My wife got this as a white elephant gift. They didn’t know how to use it but didn’t want to throw it away.”

The answer: That’s a Himalayan calendar. The largest rung of 12 is the month, the next 2 are the days of the month (3, then up to 9), and the last 4 are the year in 4 digits.

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

The answer: It’s a cheese holder. It lets you slice cheese without handling the block.

“Seems to be a cooking pot, but the lid coming apart throws me off.”

The answer: This is a water bath to steam flasks, beakers, or other containers. The lid allows a tighter fit based on the vessel.

“A ruler + a letter opener + ? What is the use of these numbered buttons?”

The answer: They are used to weigh letters.

“A mysterious object found at a random yard sale in Germany”

The answer: This is a sprayer attachment for a vacuum cleaner.

“A strange box over 100 years old says it was patented in 1889 but has no patent number. The box unfolds to reveal a series of pegs and holes. Some of the pegs have numbers on them, another one of the pegs is fork-shaped. What on earth is this?”

The answer: The Singer sewing machine “puzzle box” used to contain sewing machine accessories.

“My friends received this as a birthday gift.”

The answer: This is a banksia pod and from what I can tell, they’re turned into ornaments. This is an essential oil diffuser.

“A 10-cm metal object — any idea what this thing could be?”

The answer: It’s an old push-dagger. It was used as a self-defense weapon.

“Found some metal while detecting in a quarry, pound coin for scale, stamped so possibly silver. Help!”

The answer: It’s a spoon/fork handle.

“Found this after my grandfather passed away in a random box and was always curious about what it was. The back is completely blank with nothing on it.”

The answer: A department store credit charge card token

“Weird little ’room’ in the peak of my old barn — there’s no way to access it, it’s only a few feet across.”

The answer: This is a nesting area for barn owls. Barn owls are not destructive and they eat rodents.

“Anyone know what this is? My mom found it hidden on a shelf in our house and is suspicious of what it could be.”

The answer: This is a microsonic grenade. After activation, it starts to make a sound of 110-115 decibels. It is as loud as a plane turbine.

“A heavy metal object found underground with a metal detector”

The answer: This is a medal. At the 12 o’clock position you can see where the eyelet has broken off for a ribbon to be passed through.

“A massive wrench I inherited — it weighs 30+ pounds. Novelty or functional?”

The answer: Yup, it’s for real. Big bolts require big wrenches. Anchor bolts, large towers.

Please note: This article was updated in February 2023 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.
Preview photo credit badw***63 / reddit


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when the wrench design is good so they just make a larger one without thinking about a new design ?


The second one is a magnifier, in the yellow mesh bag, I have one like it at home. My grandmother used it to magnify a line at a time. Lay it on a page and look thru it.


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