Bright Side

20 Times People Came Across Weird Stuff and Had to Seek Help from the Internet


The world is full of amazing things, as well as things we don’t know about. Looking at some of them makes it an uphill task to try to figure out what you are dealing with. Fortunately, in this era of readily available technologies, people can find the answers quickly and Reddit, with its rubric “whatisthisthing?,” is always there to help us.

We at Bright Side compiled a set of mysterious items, as well as the answers to what they are, to show you once again how vast our world is.

1. “What is the purpose of this sign?”

It means don’t scare the flamingos. Many people would pass by this sign and scare the birds to make them fly, so that they could take a nice picture.

2. “What did I just catch?”

A feather star (crinoid), a relative of starfish and sea urchins.

3. “Does anyone know what this is from? Found it at my late grandmother’s place. I believe it was from a game of some kind.”

It’s a pétanque (boule) ball. Petanque is a type of sport played in French Provence.

4. “Found this thing in the living room of my new apartment. What is this?”

This is an antique Turkish-style bell brazier, also referred to as a mangal. Typically used by nomadic peoples of the Middle East for heating and some cooking, since you cannot have a hearth in a tent. Instead, you burn charcoal in a specially designed brazier, which contains the fire and radiates the heat.

5. “Came across this creature on the Olympic Peninsula. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Those are squid eggs.

6. “Found in my aunts ‘treasure’ collection. Seems like a heavy metal weight inside.”

This is a hard resin ’tracker pebble’ used along this piece of coast to track longshore drift. The pebbles have a serial number, are buried in a location, and then refound further down the coast on pebble beaches by metal detectors.

7. “This just drove across the road in front of me in Melbourne, Australia.”

Food delivery bots have been lurking for several years now. It’s happening. We are officially in the future.

8. “It is approximately 10 feet long and open at the end. It was found with some similar looking ones scattered around on a hillside while hiking.”

These are avalanche breakers that are installed in mountainous areas for hikers’ safety.

9. “What is this? Spotted it on my grandma’s shelf among other items collected while traveling around the world.”

It’s a Fiji cannibal fork.

10. “Reddit is my last hope to find out what it is!”

That’s a Freshwater Drum’s (a type of fish living in Northern and Central America) “throat teeth.”

11. “Found this small kettle years ago. Does anybody have an idea of why it has this unique shape?”

That’s a portable men’s urinal for bedbound patients.

12. “Found these scissors at a thrift shop and they have 2 parts: a spoon-shaped part and the other one shaped like a ring. The inscription says ’Rochester NY, USA’.”

They’re called pineapple eye snip scissors and are used for removing the eyes of pineapple.

13. “Ran across this random structure in the middle of the forest. What is it?”

It is a “splinter protection cell” (Splitterschutzzelle), which is basically a one-person bunker.

14. “Spotted this elastic thing attached to a school desk. Anybody got any ideas?”

It’s a fidget for kids (and adults). They can bounce their ankles/feet on it.

15. “Saw this jar, with red liquid inside, tied to a tree in a forest in France, what is it used for?”

It’s wild boar bait. You smear it at the bottom of the tree and the wild boar rubs their body against it, giving the hunter time to set up a good shot. It can get kind of red-ish over time.

16. “What is this building in New York?”

This 150 ft tall climbable sculpture is located in Hudson Yards, New York and is called “The Vessel.”

17. “It beeps when the 2 outer prongs are connected and beeps twice as fast when the middle one is also connected. The only thing written on it says ‘CHINA’.”

It’s a liquid level sensor for people with vision problems. It tells them when their cup/glass is full.

18. “This weird wrapped car. The lights were wrapped in cloth. Serial numbers all around. Anything significant or just tacky?”

It obscures the car while being test-driven, so the yet-to-be-released models are not photographed and published. The random “wave” patterns effectively hide the body contours and lines.

19. “Visited an antique shop and saw this thing. Does anyone know what it is?”

That’s a shuttle for a weaving loom.

20. “4” by 4″ scissors. Uncomfortable to hold, in either hand, 2 or 4 fingers. What are they used for?"

They’re children’s training scissors, like for kids in pre-school. The extra 2 holes are there so that an adult can assist and help the kid.

What unusual things have you encountered? Post them in the comments and we will try to find the answer together.