30 Unusual Discoveries People Asked For Help To Identify — And Got Answers

When you find something and don't know what it is, you have a few options. You could just accept it as something you'll never know, or you could ask a friend about it. Or, you could turn to the internet for answers.

If you're anything like the people who discovered these unusual things, you'll probably be in for a surprise. As it turns out, the internet knows things.

"Mostly circular, metal plate (3mm. thick), concave. Diameter measures 11 3/8"."

Reddit | critzboombah

Some commenters called it a comal, others called it a tawa. Either way, it's a flat pan used in places around Central America, for things like flatbreads. That's actually pretty interesting.

"A metal plate and fitting holding a small glass disc mounted to the upper side of an exterior wall of a house."

Reddit | TheRubberDuck15

Reddit user Mackin-N-Cheese said, "Can't quite see behind the lens, but it's almost certainly a photocell, likely for controlling some sort of dawn-to-dusk lighting." Other commenters said similar things, so this has got to be it!

"Shaped like a sickle, has two handles one with a ratchet like item on it. Friend found in her barn."

Reddit | altbiers

It doesn't look like the Reddit comments could figure out exactly what this thing is for, but it looks like it's some kind of valve spring compressor. That's a good enough answer for me!

"Piece of wood that hangs from a hook? I am told it might be made of sassafras."

Reddit | RockyDroidhead

There was a weird amount of debate among the part of the Reddit community that intersects with the Irish community, but it looks like this thing is some kind of club, called a Shillelagh.

"Neighbor gave this to me. What kind of boat accessory is this?"

Reddit | snareandthehare

There was a bit of back and forth between OP and Redditor ob_golfball, but they figured out that it was the windshield part of a bass boat, for the passenger side. The exact model is, "2015 Ranger Z521C passenger console."

"Found in family member's workshop, appears to be cast steel or iron, hand for scale."

Reddit | Berd_Turglar

Between Redditor mike_pants and notyourvader, we now know that this is a vintage mailbag holder, which was used to hold mailbags open so that it was easier to put things in them. Don't you just love teamwork?

"Old Hinged Wood Box with holes cut out. 'Patent Applied For' stamped on the side."

Reddit | kimbclark

There were a few commenters shouting out answers, but OP seemed to believe user Funnyboi1245's answer was the best one. So, it's either a bullet holder or knob molder. Mystery... sort of solved.

"Small plastic Letter J with Walmart+ on it."

Reddit | chrispix99

You'd think, from the sheer volume of comments on the original post, that this is some kind of huge mystery. But it's literally just a cookie cutter. Sometimes it's really as simple as that.

"What are these wires/cables I tripped over while raking? Just bought this house and not sure who to call to take care of them."

Reddit | Charlieapolis

One thing I've learned in life is that you never cut a random wire you find in your house.

OP listened to a lot of advice and got Verizon to come to check them out, but it ended up being wires to an invisible pet fence. Interesting...

"Mystery disk shaped object that has slightly raised iridescent patches on both sides. Thin, but kind of heavy like it’s made of metal. 4” diameter. Any ideas?"

Reddit | pally_ford

According to Reddit user norm111, it's a sun disc made out of pyrite. Apparently, it's pretty rare too, so OP better not take it for granted!

"This little purple block came with my wife's new gaming laptop (a Gigabyte A5). It's slightly bigger than a thumbnail, sticky and rubbery. What the heck purpose does this thing serve?"

Reddit | taylynanastasia

Reddit user BmanUltima said, "It's a thermal pad, likely provided for cooling an M.2 SSD that you can install later." Huh, who would've thought that it was that easy to solve?

"What is this random set of stairs with a platform? It’s located at the entrance to a local forest with walking trails."

Reddit | ky-ta

Usually, random stairs in the middle of nowhere just creep me out. But this set of steps actually has a purpose. According to the Reddit comments, it's a stool for mounting horses (the back end of the top platform is open, so that would make sense).

"We got this from an elderly friend, who claims it's something for your hands."

Reddit | XF_IOX

Some Reddit comments thought it could be a kalimba, but it doesn't really look like something that would play music. More comments guessed that it was a device for physical therapy (for hands), which is actually right.

User ghostkenobi said: "It’s a less common piece of equipment to see in a [physical therapy] clinic these days unless the clinic has a Hand Specialty PT on staff. They’re more common in Occupational Therapy clinics."

"Four cylindrical wooden objects containing seemingly unrelated images of children."

Reddit | Hyperfin_transition

"The text at top reads 'shared happiness in marriage.' There are shallow holes drilled on the top and bottom which don't connect through the center. The underside of the object is flat."

Reddit user nuevaorleans was quick to say that these are "Yut Sticks! It’s a Korean board game." Come to think of it, I feel like I've seen these before...

"Found this metal drum thing in the woods."

Reddit | klassic_kent

"Cheaper to throw an old underground gas tank/ fuel oil tank in the woods than to dispose of it legally," Reddit user d15d17 said. That's... definitely not something that should be there, but oh well...

"What is this thing? Found on Jones Beach, NY, about 1.5-2 inches at widest point."

Reddit | redratus

These things look like shrivelled up old flowers. Or bat-things. But they're actually neither of those things, as Reddit user TheVambo pointed out. They're actually "European Water Chestnut (Trapa natans) seeds." Cool!

"What is this thing? Middle is flexible enough to press the two half circles together. There are shallow circles on each semi circle."

Reddit | DobiasFate

After looking at a few Reddit comments, OP was convinced that they were musical spoons. But Redditor gn_like_lasagna found out that they're a massage tool of some sort, which is the real right answer. Who would've thought?

"What is this red button in my car near my gears on the centre console?"

Reddit | Darth_Banter

Reddit user Rafaels_Diamonds said, "It's a shifting gear lock release." I'm definitely not sure what that is, but at least it isn't, like, a self-destruct button or something (I don't know why it would be that in the first place).

"Plastic box attached to some of the railings in an NFL stadium."

Reddit | godcostume

Reddit user skinclimb, who's been to a stadium before, said, "At Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, many of them have the Xfinity logo on them, so I believe they house Wi-Fi antennas!" And that was it!

"Plastic-like flakes falling out of my electric radiator."

Reddit | AnotherRandomGuy1

Reddit user dragonczeck answered the question with a question of their own:

"Could it be an oxidation layer that's flaking off a coil?" And the answer to that question was yes! Mystery solved.

"Wooden table with curved foam arm that pivots to lie flat on the table."

Reddit | CedarSlayer

Redditor Dinohrm said: My grandfather had something incredibly similar looking for his bed. Basically the wooden section slips between the mattress and box springs and it provided a handle to assist getting in and out of bed." That's... actually so cool!

"What are these two cylinders on an elevator/lift control panel labeled ABCD?"

Reddit | whispered_roy

"Those are for installing locks (normal keys with keyways) to enter areas e.g. floor 13. Keyways are at least 5cm (2") deep so they needed a way to orient them sideways as the button assemblies are not deep enough," Green_or_Bluedit. What an interesting concept.

"What are these things? They look like tiny brown beans."

Reddit | Gloomy-Eye

According to Reddit user IndianaTango, these things are super old Adzuki beans. OP said they were left behind by the previous owners of their house, so they should probably just throw them away.

"Any ideas what someone left at my house party? Small green ridged brick, hole in the middle, crumbles when I scratch it."

Reddit | isleptitaway

Welp, it's a good thing this person is handling it with gloves on, because all the comments on the original post are saying it's rat poison! Something tells me it wasn't left behind by a party guest...

"Flat rectangular object that is enveloped in cloth. It feels a bit heavy like it's made of metal. Found it in my dryer."

Reddit | foodiefood563

According to Reddit user jackrats, "It's a curtain weight." As the name implies, they help keep the bottoms of a curtain stay down. I love it when the right answer is that easy to find.

"Found in a small engine shop. Red block, hard, almost feels like a brick. Could not find any information online."

Reddit | catatonic1711

A bunch of different commenters found the answer to this one. It's a buffing or polishing compounds, which you'd use to polish different kinds of metals or gemstones. Weird that it was in an engine shop (or is it?).

"Bought this 10 years ago in Taiwan. It looks and feels like glass but I’ve dropped it many times without it shattering. It glows in the dark as well. What is it?"

Reddit | IrelandtoCathay

It might not seem like glass, but that's what it is. According to Reddit user tsuuga, "The glow-in-the-dark substance is almost certainly strontium aluminate. Older glow-in-the-dark stuff used zinc sulfide, which is much dimmer." Cool!

"These are not a set, but are similar. Both have holes at one end and are weighted at the opposite end."

Reddit | Mamas_Wasting_Time

If you're as stumped as I am, you'll probably be really happy that Reddit user Carcinog3n exists, because they had the right answer!

"These look like devil's sticks. It's a form of gyroscopic juggling where you manipulate a larger stick with two smaller sticks. The wrapping is meant to give friction between the sticks."

"Plastic and hollow, size of a big SUV, the tide never reach it, attached to the ground."

Reddit | severance8

According to Reddit user stilloldbull2, it's a "Large Ship bumper/fender. The are Used to keep huge ships from smashing int the pier. It must have washed up during a storm." This makes sense, since OP found it on a Moroccan beach.

"On top of the garage. About the size of a chimney but with windows on all 4 sides."

Reddit | chetmanly21

Reddit user dxstingray said, "It’s a cupola. Originally they were used for adding light to the rooms under them but they’re also cute!" I guess sometimes, a thing only exists to make a house look nicer.

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