These 30+ Items Stumped Everyone Until The Internet Came To The Rescue

Have you ever found yourself searching through your grandparents’ attic and found an item you couldn’t for the life of you understand the purpose of? Or maybe you were out hiking and came across a mystery object that was impossible to identify.

It can be super frustrating to not have a single clue as to what these mystery gadgets and gizmos are, but luckily we live in the age of the internet. These people happened to find some bizarre things around their homes and out exploring, and people on the internet came to their rescue to solve the mystery!

Some of these things haven’t been seen by anyone for hundreds of years…

Something Feels Evil About This One

Imagine being out alone in the woods and finding this torture-device looking contraption laying there on the ground. Maybe you haven’t seen that many true-crime shows, but if you have, we’re pretty sure we know what comes to mind immediately. 

But you can rest (a little more) easily knowing that it’s not a weapon, but rather a wire saw! You simply hold the two rings on each end of the wire, and start sawing back and forth. It’s great for cutting through brush and meat when you’re out in the wild.

This Currency Is Confused

If you’re looking at these bills and feeling confused, you’re not alone. It looks very similar to the United States dollar bill, but it says that the currency is “Pesos” on the back. To make things even weirder, the front says that it was issued by “The Japanese Government”. 

It turns out that this is a $5 and $10 bill from the Philippines, back in the early 1940s when it was occupied by Japan. The country uses Pesos as its currency, as they were also colonized by Spain.

Pretty Gems Or Something Much Worse?

This couple was out to lunch when the girl found these awesome looking littles balls in her salad. They were pretty small but very beautiful. So, naturally, she took to the internet to see why the chef had left her some pretty jewels in her meal.

Unfortunately for her, these are not jewels. Actually, they are bug eggs belonging to the not-so-appetizing Harlequin Bug. So, basically, there were unborn bugs in her salad…hopefully she didn’t eat any before finding them.

The Heavens Opened Up

Imagine going outside for a walk and looking up into the sky only to see this incredible phenomenon. It looks like either the heavens are opening up or the end of days in upon us.

Actually, what you’re seeing is called a lenticular cloud. This happens when a cloud develops towards the bottom of a mountainous area, and moist air is flowing above it so then the cloud forms into a lens-shape.

That’s Not Supposed To Be There

When you open up a crispy bag of delicious chips, you can expect to sometimes find an extra long one, a really burnt one, or even an unripe green one. But this blue disk with writing on it is definitely not what this guy was expecting.

This is what’s known as a testing chip. Manufacturers put it through metal detectors to ensure that they are working. It looks like the metal detector this bag of chips went through is a dud.

Don’t Try To Wear This On Your Wrist

If you found this on the ground, what would your first instinct be about it? It kind of looks like a retracted (and extremely ugly) bracelet. It’s not, but if you guessed that it’s an accessory you’d be on the right track.

Well, it’s part of an accessory! This is what goes in the top right on a small purse or handbag to keep it closed and secure the closure.

Just Blowing Smoke (Well, Air)

Back before everyone had a cell phone in their pocket, the only way of communicating quickly with people would be to find a phone booth and make a call on the landline. However, for privacy, these booths had no air flow and would often get very hot.

What you’re looking at is the middle part of an old fan that would promote air circulation in the otherwise stifling hot phone booth while you made your call.

Be Careful Around This

This item that was found in a Victorian-style AirBnB is reminiscent of something in between a torture device and Poseidon’s trident. But actually, it’s real purpose is much more benevolent than it seems. 

Victorian juicer

It’s actually a citrus juicer (look at the piece in the middle). It’s tall enough to stand over your glass so the juice drops right into it.

A Strange Looking Jar With An Even Stranger Purpose

The shopper found this item at a thrift store thought it was a simple jar, until he looked a bit closer at it. At first glance it does look ordinary, but the more you look at it, the more strange details you see.

It turns out the shopper’s instinct was correct, it’s not a jar at all! It’s an old toy washing machine that young children would use to wash their dolls’ clothes, just like mom and dad.

Tiny But Dangerous

Ok, looking at this device it’s not unreasonable to think that it’s used for malicious purposes. And it is…but only for potential thieves!

Pocket-watch theft device

This small device is from the 1920’s, and was used as an anti-theft device for pocket-watches. You attach it to the end of the pocket-watch, and if it gets pulled, the spikes protrude, alerting you that someone is trying to snatch it out of your pocket.

When It Hits You Feel No Pain

At first glance, you’d probably think that this is some kind of old bullet used back in World War II or something. But that wouldn’t be further from the truth.

This little guy is called a Güira, and it’s actually a musical instrument from the Dominican Republic! The raised bumps on the outside give off a cool sound when scratched, allowing musicians to keep the beat.

Hold On To Your Hats, Gentlemen

This is one of those items that we didn’t even begin to try and guess what it is or what it does. There’s nothing that comes to mind, so we went straight to the all-knowing internet.

It turns out that it’s what cowboys of the old west would use to hold their hats! The thick metal part has two suction ups which will stick it to any wall or surface. The thinner metal part bends to a 90 degree angle, and the hat rests in the circle.

Delightfully Specific

While these scissors do look beautiful, they don’t seem to be particularly useful when it comes to cutting things. Especially with that big square where the second blade should be.

But these pretty scissors do actually have a purpose, and that’s cutting candle wicks! Did you know that every time you use a candle you’re supposed to cut off the top of the wick so it burns evenly? The little box is to catch the piece.

Thank You Switzerland

Either this is the world’s oldest AirPods case, or we have no idea what this item could be. Although we do know that it comes from Switzerland, so that’s something to go on.

It turns out this is a tiny, portable ashtray that closes to keep all the ash from blowing around. It even has a spot to rest the stick without burning anything.

Could This Be More Confusing?

There is a lot going on here with this item, yet all of those “clues” don’t get us anywhere closer to figuring out what the heck it is. The end looks like a Phillips head screwdriver, the top is a heart, and the middle is a numbered gear.

In the end, we discovered that it’s an old school Machinist Speed Indicator, otherwise known as a Tachometer. It measures RPMs over time!

The Messiest Pan Ever

What is the point of using a pan full of holes? This Victorian era pan has a bunch of holes lining the bottom of it, making it entirely useless for cooking anything except for one specific item…

Chestnuts! This is specifically a chestnut roasting pan. The flames get through the holes and lick the chestnuts whose hard shells protect the soft flesh inside.

Could You Eat With This?

Unless you are from France (and even if you are), you probably have no idea what this item could be. It’s a utensil and it’s used for a very specific food – one that not every palate is designed for.

Escargot – otherwise known as snails! This utensil helps scoop the cooked snail out of its shell to easily access the chewy meat inside.

Half Arrow, Half Acorn

A man in the South found this interesting object while on a walk through his neighborhood. It looks like it would be an archery arrow, but instead of a sharp tip, it curves to the side and looks like an acorn. He was stumped.

Turns out it’s a toy called a Gaderffii, and it’s famously used as the choice weapon of the Tusken Raiders of Tatooine from Star Wars.

A Wrench From Dr. Seuss

If you only looked quickly at this rusted tool, you’d think it’s a really old wrench. But upon looking closer, you’ll see that it is shaped totally differently and has many more intricacies to it.

This is actually an old-school sheet metal hole punch. Strong enough to get through sheet metal, but small enough to carry in your hand. Pretty neat.

Making The Power Lines Pretty

Have you ever seen these strange things hanging off the otherwise inconspicuous power lines in your neighborhood? They aren’t there just to add a touch of color.

These are bird flight-diverters. They are put there to alert birds in-flight to the presence of the power lines, so they don’t fly into them and get hurt (it’s also helpful for the electric companies).

Not Eggsactly What We Thought

There’s definitely something sinister-looking about this contraption that made us shiver. Although it’s small, those spikes look like they could definitely do some damage. It was creepy, until we found out its actual, all-to-innocent purpose.

This little utensil has tiny teeth that allows it to easily peel hard boiled eggs. A far cry from what we had in our heads.

It’s A Miracle!

We all know that “Big Brother” is watching us…but is he doing it via the clocks in our home? This person found a switch on the back of his clock called “miracle eye”, and he couldn’t figure out what it could possibly mean.

It turns out it’s a special setting that some analog clocks have that detects if there is light outside. If it’s dark, it won’t chime on the hour, so it won’t wake you up at night.

It’s Alive…And You Can Eat It?

Some poor, unsuspecting hiker in Sweden came across this wet, gelatinous blob hanging off a tree and had to ask the world what the heck it was. He explained that it was “hard to the touch” but would drip liquid when knocked on.

Shockingly, this is a mushroom called a Polypore, and that liquid is actually its sweat! Oh, and it’s edible too, though we doubt you’d want in on that.

A Sweet And Sad Story

This gold little pin has a cute bear on it, and looks like something you would buy for a child. Unfortunately, its true purpose is more serious and somber than it looks.

This is a Russian War Relief pin that was created by the USA to help fund aid for Russia after it was attacked by Germany in 1941 during WWII.

They Missed This At The Factory

This man went on his weekly grocery run and bought some meat for the steaks he was going to make that night. When he opened the package, he found this weird little bulb stuck to the meat.

It’s a tracker that’s used to keep track of livestock for inventory purposes. It’s supposed to be removed when the animal is butchered, but they must have missed it.

A Tooth(Full) Grin

If you’re stumped about what this is, try looking at the white lumps sticking out all over. Do they look vaguely familiar? That’s because you have them too (though certainly not as many).

They’re teeth! And they are sitting in the mouth of a Freshwater Drum, who happens to have teeth lining its entire palate, instead of in just a single-file row like we have.

Who Needs An Axe Out At Sea?

Upon first glance this looks like an axe, but upon further examination you’ll see that the end is  more like a shovel. Also, this particular item was found (unlabeled) at a maritime museum, which means it’s most likely for a ship. 

In fact, this is a horsing or hawsing iron. It’s used on wooden boats to caulk the seams and it takes two people to wield it.

Can You Believe It’s For Flowers?

This little clear plastic disk was found by a woman walking through her neighborhood as she walked past a closed flower shop.

She later discovered that it’s called a “Flower Frog”, and it’s used for flower arrangements and bouquets. You just stick the stems through the holes and they stay nice and neat.

This Item Can Help You Find Your Way Home

Although it may look like it, this is not a beaded bracelet made by your niece at sleepaway camp. This item actually has a much more useful purpose.

These are called Ranger Beads, and they are used by militaries all over the world. They are used to track distances you’ve walked, by moving the beads (which represent distances) up and resetting them.

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