Bright Side
Bright Side

20 Oddly-Shaped Objects That Were a Mystery Until Redditors Came to the Rescue

We’re pretty sure while doing one of those thorough spring cleanings at home, when you were going through your stuff and checking to see what you can get rid of, that you’ve suddenly found something weird. You stumbled upon a strange object whose function nobody could figure out. You probably got the same feeling that you’d have if you came across a beautiful object at a second-hand shop and, because you liked it, you took it home, even though you have no idea what it was. Then it’s just there, mysterious, waiting for its real function to be discovered.

Well, Bright Side loves these strange objects and curiosities, and even more, we love showing them to you. So we selected 20 of these strange items that some people posted, asking for help from others to find out what they were and what they’re meant to be used for.

1. “What is this serving tray/board? Metal and wood”

Answer: “It’s for serving bagels with trays for lox and cream cheese. It’s missing the rods to hold the bagels and the glass dishes. Here you go, will be showing some links:

Link 1

Another here.”

2. “What are these cutouts on the cover of my notebook?”

Answer: “Here’s a picture of the functions of these slots. I grabbed before I lost the link to the merchant store. The slots are for card holding. If you google pirate journal 6 ring binder, or Jack Sparrow journal, something like that, you can find a whole bunch of them with this design.”

3. “What is this thing? It’s metal, and relatively flexible, but I felt at one point it would break. Just suddenly found it in my house one day.”

Answer: “It’s ’boning’ from a corset or knee brace.”

4. “What is this small, metal hooky thing with a rubber tip found in a jewelry box?”

Answer: “I believe that is for hanging a purse off of the side of a table in a restaurant. You can use it for a purse, but also to hold many plastic bags. Hence the finger placement. Not sure though but looks like it. And the ‘bracelet’ is to attach the device to the handle of your purse so that you don’t lose it.”

5. “What is this heavy clear glass thing with holes in a silver plate stand?”

Answer: “It is a flower vase. The insert is called a flower frog, the term frog comes from the use of the word frog to describe the piece of leather that holds a sword or bayonet to a belt. The entire thing goes inside the vase to serve as a stabilizer for individual stems. The link here shows some examples.”

6. “Found in my pantry’s tool cabinet, the ovalish section slides up and down.”

Answer: “It’s a holder for a stem thermometer. The hex part is a wrench for the calibration of the thermometer. Common in the restaurant business.”

7. “White glazed ceramic dish and/or planter? Illegible (to me) markings on bottom.”

Answer: “It is a mid-century console bowl. They weren’t typically used as planters, too shallow for roots. They were usually used to hold flower arrangements, either real or artificial. Japanese-style ikebana arrangements were very popular at the time and were often displayed in low bowls like this.”

8. “Glass vase thing found in a thrift store in Navarre, FL.”

Answer: “It’s a kind of drinking bottle used in Spain, specifically Catalonia. You drink from it by pouring a stream through the air and directly into your mouth. It’s called a Porron. The shape is a bit strange, maybe because the one you have is just a decorative piece.”

9. “What is this metal rattle-shaped item?”

Answer: “It’s just a sterling silver baby rattle-shaped keepsake box. Like you’d put a lock from baby’s first haircut in there... Silver objects are traditional baby and christening gifts and have been popular since Victorian times. Here’s a little about their history.”

10. “What is this plier-handled tool with gear-toothed rollers turned by a wing crank at the top?”

Answer: “That looks a lot like a really nice paint tube squeezer. It probably works really well at getting the very last bit of toothpaste from the tube.”

11. “I found this in an old cupboard. I think it might be tarnished silver?”

Answer: “It’s a lyre to hold sheet music while marching. This one is for a brass instrument. Here’s one similar.”

12. “Have had this in my family’s house for years! Moves like chopsticks, any idea?”

Answer: “It’s an antique or antique-styled glove stretcher. It serves to help when putting on gloves.”

13. “Hefty brass vessel riveted to thin metal arm with wooden handle?”

Answer: “It’s part of a petroleum flash point tester. It’s a copper ladle for holding liquid petroleum.”

14. “Glass things found at the thrift store. I thought they might be lab equipment. I am not a scientist.”

Answer: “These may be oil lamps, with missing round wicks that hang down into the teardrop-shaped oil reservoirs. There are also glass tubes with a lip on one end that the wick slides through. They keep the wick from falling all the way into the oil reservoir.”

15. “Feels like hard rubber and was found in the ground.”

Answer: “Those are cattle brands, it is the base from a horseshoe set.”

16. “What is this thing? I’m not sure what this type of keychain device is (or is used for). Any ideas?”

Answer: “For anyone interested, here’s the product: (Water Quality Tester that analyzes any water and shows the result on the app.”

17. “Found when cleaning my parents basement. Looks like some sort of book holder or something. It is made out of wood and the paint is heavily chipped. Ripped up pieces of newspaper were found inside the top compartment, one of which was dated 1967.”

Answer: “It’s an Italian (Florentine style) phone stand. There should be a drawer for pens and paper and a personal phone book. The vertical cavity is for your city phone book or books. The top is a handle for moving it about.”

18. “It was titled at auction as a ‘sewing bag’ but it’s completely padded inside and I have no idea what it’s for.”

Answer: “Tea cozy, this particular style was common in the Netherlands. They’re called theemuts (tea hat) in Dutch. Used to maintain the temperature of the beverage.”

19. "What is this engraved block of wood used for? 5"x5″, possibly a game? What is it?"

Answer: “This game is called Rota, it’s meant to be played by 2 people.”

20. “What is this strange looking piece of furniture for? It’s about the size of a footstool.”

Answer: “Ergonomic kneeling chair. You sit on the pad on the left. Knees go on the pad on the right. It was popular at one time.”

Did you already know about any of these unique objects? Have you ever come across an item so unusual that you had to research to find out what it was or how it worked? Tell us about it in the comments!

Preview photo credit typewritten_2/Reddit
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