The internet is pretty amazing. With millions and millions of users all around the globe, there really is no job too big or question too mysterious. Case in point, on the subreddit /r/Whatisthisthing, people post photos of things they find but can’t explain. From microscopic images to historical artifacts, no discovery seems too obscure. They’ve even used their collective power to solve hit & runs and help police catch criminals. If you’re ever up for a lesson on the obscurities in the world, you should definitely check it out. Here are a few of their more interesting solved mysteries to whet your appetite.
I found this under the floor boards in a 1800’s era house.
Answer: Removed the top of soft boiled eggs.
Washed up on a beach near me, bomb disposal blew it up but didn’t say what it was
Answer: It’a a Lacroix marine location marker
Got this from my grandfather, very heavy, looks like a mortar?
Answer: 18 lb artillery shell from a British 3 inch field gun.
Found in my dads toolbox, no idea what they are (he’s a carpenter)
Answer: Nipple pump.
What are these things and what are they doing?
Answer: They’re European red slugs. And they’re doing it.
Weird Fish Found In Garden After Storm
Answer: Short spined sea scorpion
I found this thing in my food. It was just stuck to a piece of meat; it wasn’t lodged into it or anything. Anyone know what it is?
Answer: Cattle/pig microchip for meat traceability.
Found this in house I’m tearing apart in a book like someone wanted to keep them don’t think it’s real money
Answer: Its money from Japan occupied Philippines
What are these dots I always see around the edge of car, bus and train windows?
Answer: I think those are little sunshades to keep the sun from deteriorating the chemicals in the bonding seal.
In other words, that rubber glue doesn’t like sun.
Found a rock on the porch of my new home, flipped it over and saw this. Is that a fossil? I live in SW Pennsylvania and fossils are very common, but I’m not certain it is one.
Answer: Yup, that’s a fossil. Tree trunk impression.
Found in the middle of the woods, what is this?
Answer: These are everywhere in southeast PA. They we used for a multitude of things over the years but most of them were originally built to hold munitions, valuables and other things in case the owner’s house caught fire.
Heathrow Airport | Looks like it hasn’t moved in ages
Answer: For fire training, for the airport fire brigade
Found in airbnb. Thought it was an air freshener but looks to be a camera? Had tissue over it
Answer: It’s part of a Verisure security package
Growing in my sink drain. Collapses when I run the water. This is a picture when it is dry. I know it goes all the way down because my sink is not draining as well as it used to. Would love to be able to kill it.
Answer: I am a microbiologist that usually studies bacteria. However, I too had a growth somewhat like this in my sink. Not as bad though. So being the nerd I am I took a sample an analyzed it in my lab and concluded that it was a fungus in the Fusarium genus. And that makes sense as it is a common infection in sink drains. The bad thing is that in large blooms they can lead to some infections. Though they are rare.
What is this rodent that just climbed out of my toilet???
Answer: Yeah pretty sure its a northern flying squirrel. that rotating outside toe. Bet it’ll get 100% cuter when he dries out.
*Editors note: If you’re wondering how a flying squirrel got in his pipes, other users pointed out it most likely feel into the sewer vent on his roof.
What is this demonic looking creature?
Answer: Male Creatonotos gangis moth with its scent glads out to attract females.
Some kind of explosive lying on the floor of server room?
Answer: It’s a Sagger Missile A Russian MCLOS ATGM. Good luck w that bud.
*Editors note: The story is also made up, but the internet did its job.
I commute to work and the guy in front of me put this up. While this was up, he was watching something on this phone and had headphones on. At one moment on phone in the suitcase seemed to turn on, displaying the SAMSUNG Galaxy symbol. Nothing more happened.
Answer: If I had to guess they’re probably recording network reception for a number of different carriers to create a coverage map. Similar to those cars with a bunch of weird antennas, but more portable.
Saw on my flight to cali, no idea how to google it
Answer: Specifically, this looks like Concentrated Thermal Solar. It uses mirrors to reflect the light to a central tower which is barely visible in your picture due to the glare coming off of it. The light is then converted to heat where it drives a steam turbine, or some other heat engine.
My biology teacher said she found this on some water with algae under the microscope. In 30 years of teaching she never saw something similar… what the hell is this then?
Answer: Aquatic biologist here, that is the exuvia of an insect larvae. The exuvia is the exoskeleton left over after a molt.
Found hooked up to my router
Answer: It’s a NanoPi Neo (older version). The SDcard is at minimum the run-time code/instructions. These can be customized to do pretty much whatever is needed. Is the USB cable hooked to a basic power adapter or to a computer? My guess is it’s hooked to the router to utilize the internet because it doesn’t have a wifi card(that I can see in the photo at least).
I dug this up in my back yard in Colorado
Answer: Perhaps a fossil of ammonoidea.
What the hell do these mean?? They were done last night at my apartment complex. Garage door and front door are the same owners.
Answer: The one on the right is some kind of protection ward. The first one is a banishment ward.
What is this phenomenon? Why is the pond so clear and blue?
Answer: Given that there’s also a famous limestone cave nearby in Pindaya, the blue color is probably due to calcium carbonate from limestone
What is this? These have been showing up on my floor they are very small and sharp I had to use a magnifyer attachment on my phone to get a good shot of it.
Answer: It’s for acupuncture!! I had a couple in my ear for back pain!