What is this thing: the strangest finds. Issue 189

22 April 2024

We regularly come across things that we cannot immediately identify. All these incomprehensible things excite the imagination and torment you with doubts, but here, as always, experts from the network come to the rescue, who easily and quickly solve all the riddles.

In the popular Reddit community "What is this thing?" more than two million participants regularly help each other identify mysterious artifacts and other interesting finds. It seems that there is simply no mystery that these people could not solve!

1. "Brass, 10 x 7.5 centimeters, hinge opens at 90°. The smaller part is ribbed on the inside"

Answer: This is an old bubble wand from before the 1800s."

2. "A wooden object about 90 cm long and 45 cm high. A metal strip in the middle, possibly metal tips"

Answer: "This is a 'shaping cone' used to shape raw felt into cone shapes for making hats. The felt is wrapped around the cone and then cut in half (along the metal strip) to create 2 halves, which is the first step in shaping a wool felt hat ".

3. "Key rings with some plastic things on them."

Answer: “It’s just an anti-stress toy.”

4. “Something similar to lipstick, 10-12 cm, with a logo and the inscription “Produced by Hiromi Yamamoto”. One AAA battery, does not work.”

Answer: “Some kind of electric massager/skin care wand.”

5. "A strange bag made of metal and velvet, with a cage inside, an adjustable vent on one side and another on the sliding side."

Answer: "It's an antique portable heater/foot warmer."

6. "Wooden sticks in a cafe in Florence"

Answer: "These are newspaper boxes. The sticks have a slot through which newspaper is passed. Usually the size of large-format newspapers."

7. “Long handle, like a shovel, but with something like a basket/rake at the end?”

Answer: “It’s definitely a telescopic fruit picker.”

8. “What are those little white boxes around our hotel bed?”

Answer: “I assume that they fix the cover on the spring block. By inserting a screwdriver into the groove, you can open the cover.”

9. "They were inside a gift bag at a golf tournament. About 6 inches long, semi-hard plastic."

Answer: “This is a tool called an antistatic spatula.”

10. “What is the red tip used for? I can’t get a straight answer.”

Answer: "I'm guessing it's for the old style can opener, with the push tab so you don't cut your finger."

12. "I found this in a bag of shrimp chips. Something very hard and transparent."

Answer: “This is what shrimp chips look like before they are deep fried.”

12. "I bought an old house and found this in a closet, untouched from the 1960s until today, any idea what it is?"

Answer: “You’re holding it wrong. It looks to me like it’s a nose and mustache from a joke store, only without the elastic band.”
13. "My friend and I found this red cylindrical object near his apartment. It's about 5 centimeters tall with a silver needle on the end."

"If it's 3D printed, it's probably a My Hero Academia cosplay bullet prop."

14. "What are those buttons on the floor under the sink in the university bathroom? They don't seem to do anything when you press them."

Answer: "It's a foot pedal valve for a faucet, which is now being replaced by manual sensors on the faucet. It's a real valve, and it's actually more reliable, but more expensive."

15. "Found this item at the bottom of a dresser drawer. Weighs about 1 gram, 3 centimeters long and made of hard translucent plastic. What is it?"

Answer: "I think it's a toy water bottle for a hamster. I remember having something like this in a Littlest Pet Shop set when I was little."

16. “What is that folding metal thing attached to my back porch?”

Answer: "It's a can crusher."

17. “I found this in my office and I can’t figure out what it’s for. It’s metal and only about a millimeter thick.”

Answer: "This is the key to the paper towel dispensers in the restrooms."

18. "Silicone cup? This thing came to my parents in the mail from an unknown address. The material is malleable."

Answer: “This is an anti-cellulite device.”

19. "What is this thing? It's not a pair of scissors and it closes with a click."

Answer: "This is a pair of genuine antique Victorian scissors for trimming wicks and extinguishing candles."

20. “I can’t remember what this is for, or maybe I didn’t know at all. What is this thing?”

Answer: “These are tongs for lifting hot jars without burning your fingers.”

21. “From a chewing gum machine. Plastic with foam at the ends. Slightly weighted.”

Answer: "It's a toy."

22. "Does anyone know what this could be?"

Answer: "This is a fragment of a Victorian style purse."

23. "I bought a new shirt. This small package had tags attached to it. What is it for?"

Answer: “These are collar bones. They can be inserted into the collar so that it stands up.”

24. "Found this under my passenger seat. There are magnets on the back. Is this a GPS tracker someone installed in my car?"

Answer: “It is indeed a GPS tracker, but not the most discreet one.”

25. "What could this be?"

Answer: "It's a tool for removing the top of a boiled egg."

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