You’ve surely come across something that doesn’t look like anything you’ve ever seen before.
If you have, you’ll be happy to know that there is an entire subreddit called “What Is This Thing?” where people post photos of unidentifiable objects, and the internet comes to the rescue to tell them exactly what the object is.
Here is a collection of people’s most interesting finds:
1) Reddit user the_silly_fish posted a photo of their band-aids which look as if some green substance has grown on them. They wanted to know if anyone could tell them what the green stuff was. Reddit user I_Me_Mine came to the rescue and answered, “My guess, as a former R&D director at an OTC drug lab, is that the acrylate in the adhesive has absorbed too much ambient moisture over the last five years (or has been exposed to higher-than-usual temperatures and lower-than-usual humidity) and is precipitating out of the adhesive solution that keeps a band-aid stuck to your skin. The green is likely a result of that precipitation leaching some component of the bandage color that’s green at the right pH. These both explain the uniformity of color and crystallization, but since medical devices like bandages don’t require ingredient lists on their packaging, I can’t say what it might be specifically. Edit: Or they’re sprinkles.”
2) Reddit user LethalDeadlyCuteSnek posted a photo holding tiny coats of arms and wrote, “I’ve met an old man in Germany and he sent me these little coats of arms, telling me to visit each of these locations before I die. What are they exactly used for.” Reddit user mightyfrog answered: “walking stick medallion”. According to another internet savior, they are also known as hiking medallions, or ‘Stocknagel’ in German.
3) Reddit user BundleOfSticks556 posted a photo of a horrifying massive alien-looking creature and wrote, “What is this demonic looking creature.” The response came from Reddit user spooky_spaghetties who wrote, “Male Creatonotos gangis moth with its scent glands out to attract females.” It’s unclear where BundleOfSticks556 found the moth, but it is certainly the stuff of nightmares.
4) Reddit user ianf2k17 posted a photo of an ancient keyboard and wrote, “An old Samsung PC Keyboard… What is the coffee cup key for?” Reddit user mrrp responded with “It activates the screen saver.” Which makes sense if you think about it, but it’s the jokes that took the cake. One Reddit user responded “Cookie Dispenser”, another commented “Santa Claus”.
5) Reddit user Sal25 found something a little horrifying: “What is this? Found it by my toaster. Please don’t tell me it’s some kind of Cockroach molt.” Well, it definitely wasn’t cockroach molt. Reddit user 99999999999999999989 had an idea, “Damn, that looks a lot like a rattlesnake rattle.” How it ended up in Sal25’s toaster is another question altogether.
6) This next photo is truly puzzling. Reddit user iChickk wrote, “what the hell is on my car.” To which sal9002 wrote, “A Spiny Oak-Slug Caterpillar covered in eggs from a parasitic Braconid Wasp”. How on earth sal9002 figured that out is the real mystery here.
7) Reddit user dr_rentschler posted a photo of a plant inside of a jar and wrote, “This…thing…showed up inside the humid jar of my carnivorous plants. What is this thing?” James9075 wrote, “It is absolutely a slime mold and I am so jealous! If you take a sample, you can put it in a separate jar or bowl and keep it as a new pet. They eat oats.” Weird thing to get jealous about, but to each his own I guess.
8) Reddit user Fred330 wrote, “What are these circles on a window of a bus and what do they do?” Reddit user Warphim answered, “‘Frit,’ a baked-in ceramic paint serving 3 purposes: a) Prevent ultra violate rays from deteriorating window sealant; b) Offers a more abrasive surface for adhesion to help with the seal; c) Creates a barrier to stop you from seeing the messy seal. The dots serve two purposes: a) Because Frit is black, it heats up faster than the rest of the glass during manufacturing. This heat difference can cause issues in production so they make it gradual to reduce stress points; b) Aesthetics – it’s a visually pleasing way for integrating a function.”
9) Brace yourself for this one, folks. Reddit user turtlepowr89 wrote, “My relative found these eggs in her yard in Georgia, hanging from a tree. What is this thing?” The answer came from Reddit user CWreck. He responded, “I’m betting a bird of prey caught itself a pregnant snake and had started tearing into it but flew off with the rest of the snake and this Uterine Tube fell out due to the weight of the eggs.” Apparently, CWreck grew up and still lives in the country and, as a result, has seen, heard, and experienced all kinds of things that many people would never have a chance to experience.
10) Reddit user ahoko posted a picture in DC and wrote, “Saw this guy crossing the street in DC. What is it?” Reddit user OrzBlueFog replied, “It’s a semi-autonomous food delivery robot, drone, whatever from Starship Technologies.” Did anyone know that these things were in use? Next time you order a pizza, look out for a little delivery robot.
11) Reddit user Meatlumpsandwar posted a picture from their friend’s place and wrote, “A co-worker found a hive on her balcony. She is convinced that is a beehive. I am not but I don’t know what insect it is.” Reddit user Maj_LeeAwesome had the answer: “Amateur beekeeper here. Those look very much like dwarf honey bees, and their open nest structure almost certainly confirms it. Somewhere in Asia, I’m guessing? They are great little producers, and if it’s out of the way, you can leave them bee (heh) but if you want them moved, please contact a local beekeeper who would love them. I would come get them myself, but I’m guessing it’s quite far from where I live.”
12) Reddit user benc972 wrote, “I was off-roading with my kids today and found this in the path blocked by a giant rock. Any ideas?” To which Reddit user Mr_Xorn replied, “What you are looking at is indeed quite old. And two different things. The part closer to us is a mosaic floor. Can you see the horizontal line closest to us on the floor? That’s the border, the rest is interior. This was likely a less-important part of a larger surface. This part is not decorated, but the rest of it could have been (depending on the significance of the building). The square rock with the hole in it up top right is a column base. Columns were generally made of ‘drums’ with divets and lumps on either end so that they could neatly stack and sit in place. This could be anywhere between 100 BC-7th C AD, and could have been continuously used much later on.”
13) Reddit user iHaveACatDog wrote, “The collection was given to me 25 years ago because I collect knives. No one knows where it’s from or the purpose of the stick (there’s space for 2 sticks, but only one was in it when given to me). The US quarter for scale.” Reddit user ChodeOfChodeHall responded, “Under the Qianlong emperor (reigned 1736-1796) the wearing of these sets became mandatory for all Manchus and Mongols. Their tradition had been cutting meat straight from the bone. This was in contrast to the Chinese method of eating, where the food was pre-cut into bite-sized pieces that could be eaten with chopsticks. In an attempt to preserve elements of the frugal and outdoorish nature of the Manchu and Mongol lifestyles under the Qing, it was illegal for them to have their meat pre-cut. And so, all Manchus and Mongols were required to wear these trousse sets to eat their meat in a traditional way.”
14) Reddit user Astridasteroid asked, “I came home yesterday afternoon to find this tucked inside my car door. Anyone have a similar experience?” Reddit user Traveller22 answered, “Going down the Wiccan path…Magical uses for pine: The pine tree represents rebirth and immortality and strength in adversity, overcoming hardships through optimism and inner strength. A pine branch hung over the door will invite joyful energy inside and a pine branch hung over a bed will ward against illness. Burn pine needles and pine cones to protect your hearth.”
15) Reddit user D3adkl0wn posted a photo of a rock and wrote, “Odd square metal embedded in a rock. What is this thing?” The answer came from Reddit user GreenStrong who wrote, “Pyrite. Fool’s gold. Forms perfect cube crystals, fairly common mineral. Yours appears to be embedded in slate.”
16) Reddit user goforajog posted a photo and wrote, “Found this on a beach in New Zealand – there were thousands of them at the high water mark. What is it?” Reddit user PantMcShirt answered, “It’s part of a siphonophore, looks awfully like a man o’ war sail with the tentacles broken off. DO NOT TOUCH THEM, like hydrozoans (jellyfish etc) they can have stingers that could potentially be fatal to humans, and will at least be very painful, even after being washed up and dead for some time.”
17) Reddit user Beer_in_an_esky posted a photo of a strange, jelly-like object and wrote, “I need your help! What is this?” He received an answer from Reddit user FreelanceBadass who said, “These are egg masses laid by the predatory Conical Snail that lives in the sand. Each containing hundreds of snail eggs.” Beer_in_an_esky is pretty brave for not only touching it but actually picking it up!
18) Reddit user Buck_Thorn posted a photo of a bottle of medication and wrote, “Oxycodone bottle found in the woods with electronics inside. What is this thing?” Reddit user brazzybraz2102 replied, “Appears to be a ‘bait bottle’ used to track down pharmacy thieves.” Pretty ingenious if you ask me.
19) Reddit user hiding_in_the_corner posted a photo of a small bottle and wrote, “Super small mini flask? The ‘needle’ screws into the flask. What is this thing?” Reddit user creesa answered, “It’s a pendant for perfume. Typically worn on a necklace.” Firstly, that must be ancient. But I bet if hiding_in_the_corner cleans it up a bit, it could be used as a mini flask as well.
20) Reddit user Sanvi posted a photo of something that looks either like a deformed stuffed olive, or a toy for a baby alien. Sanvi wrote, “Took this weird bean home, now it’s opening up and has me more puzzled. What is this thing?” Reddit user theprintmaker had the answer, and wrote, “Magnolia seed head.”
21) Reddit user MarvelBronze found a small creature and saved it, writing, “Found this guy freezing to death in Southern Michigan this morning. What is this thing?” Reddit user fourmajor responded, “It’s a Blue-spotted Salamander.” Not very cuddly-looking, but certainly very cool.
22) Reddit user Krutzfeldt1 posted one hell of an awesome picture of the sky and wrote, “Seen in the sky over Wisconsin last Night. What is this thing?” My guess would’ve been an alien invasion, but Reddit user Killingstick had a more logical explanation, replying, “It’s a greenhouse using low energy purple/pink LEDs. On cloudy nights they illuminate a good portion of the sky around them, the yellow ones are even worse.”
23) Reddit user Zetch88 posted a photo while on the bus and wrote, “White circlet with purple dots on top of a headdress. What is that?” Well, the answer is quite interesting. It came from Reddit user Zostarius: “These ladies are wearing the Crown of the Five Holy Wounds, worn by nuns of the Bridgettine order.” You learn something new every day.
24) Reddit user kaptenhefty took a photo of a strange electronic gadget and wrote, “Found this at dead relative’s house. What is this thing?” Reddit user ibuildrockets had some pretty great news: “You’ve got a CD47 Nixie tube – one of the largest (if not the largest) created. It’s very valuable and highly sought after. Here’s a completed auction on eBay where it sold for $1250 Euro (about $1500 USD).” I’m sure that kaptenhefty was very happy with this answer.