Unsplash | Ashim D’Silva

14+ Times People Found Weird Things In Their Homes And Asked The Internet For Help

We live in an age where the answers to most of life's questions are a simple Google search away. It's truly a glorious time to be alive.

Sometimes, though, our questions are even too tricky for Google. Like when we find really weird or old items in our house.

In these cases, people turn to the popular subreddit r/whatisthisthing.

It's fascinating to see what people find in their homes and even more interesting to learn what these items are used for.

1. This book written in code.

Reddit | alesswatch

This looks like something out a sci-fi flick, doesn't it? I didn't even know books written in code actually existed. As it turns out, this is a Masonic book written in code. Cool!

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2. This exotic weapon.


Somebody discovered this unique knife in their grandmother's house. It is a dagger from Yemen called a Janbiya or a Khanjar and is traditionally worn by men for cultural reasons.

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3. This Jurassic coin.

Reddit | Gengardian311

I would love to stumble upon some buried treasure one day and it looked like one person did when they posted this picture to Reddit.

So, it's actually a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers coin and not treasure, but, hey, I'd take it!

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4. This mysterious grid of numbers.

Reddit | Bordkop

Doesn't this look like some sort of secret code that will lead you to buried treasure if you crack it? Its real use is fun, but not as exciting. It's a reusable billiard scorecard.

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5. This strange souvenir.

Reddit | Cabazorro

Someone spotted this at their aunt's house with a collection of souvenirs from around the world. As it turns out, it is a Chinese puzzle ball which is mostly used for decoration.

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6. This unusual creature.

Reddit | clgmae104

Someone discovered this little guy in their bathroom, but couldn't figure out what exactly he was. After going through a list of local rodents, the internet figured out that it was a flying squirrel!

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7. This weird addition underneath the kitchen counter.

Reddit | Gesh777

If I discovered something like this under my kitchen counter, I would definitely have some questions. Mostly, "What the heck is this?!"

Most Redditors agreed that it looked like an arc chute, which are a set of barriers on a circuit breaker.

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8. This ornate vase.

Reddit | anthrogyfu

This vase looks like something straight out of Game of Thrones. I'm actually not too far off with that comparison because this beautiful vase is a pinch decanter, and characters have used them on the show.

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9. These small plastic sleeves inside a new wallet.

Reddit | Mahekun-Ikwe

You could probably use them for a few things, but they're meant to hold spare keys. Which doesn't actually seem like a good idea if you ever lost your wallet. The finder would have your address and easy access.

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10. These weird items labeled "ammonia poison."

Reddit | collinfc

Yeah, I'd be scared of them too, but they're not really dangerous. They're actually capsules of smelling salts. If someone faints, you can break one and wave it under their nose to rouse them.

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11. This white thing attached to a heating vent.

Reddit | WetFlaim

It's an odd little piece, but it serves an important function. Metal can expand when heated so this little tab keeps the vent from curving outward when the heater gets hot.

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12. This plastic casing with black powder in it.

Reddit | EmoEnte

This woke the homeowner when it crashed into the roof, but they shouldn't need to worry about it. Most likely, it's the fuel pack for a model rocket kit or a backyard firework.

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13. This small device found under the dresser.

Reddit | M-I-G-Y

This is kind of a scary one. It's a small audio recorder with voice activation and a twenty-hour battery. Since the person who found it didn't put it in their own bedroom, I can't imagine how they feel.

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14. This small, flexible pen.

Reddit | captonsnake

It's a special kind of pen made for use in prisons or psychiatric hospitals. The flexible body and cartridge make it difficult for someone to harm themselves or others with it.

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15. This strange wooden kitchen tool.

Reddit | WhatsYourCreditScore

The reference to Mexico on the handle was a great clue. It's a molinillo, which is a specialized whisk used to make frothy beverages, often involving chocolate. You simply stand it up in the pot or mug and roll the handle between your palms to spin it.

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16. This terrifying instrument.

Reddit | KleverKlem

To me, this looks like something straight out of a horror movie. Surely this has to be some sort of torture device, right? Actually, its purpose is innocent: it was used to remove the tops from soft-boiled eggs. Phew!

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17. This football-shaped game piece.

Reddit | Eric-boi

This actually has two possible origins, though both are board games. One is a '90s special edition of Monopoly made in partnership with the NFL, and the other is a game called Battle Ball.

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18. "I found a small starch capsule in my new house, inside the capsule was a roll of paper wrapped with a brass ring. To this day I still don't know what it said."

Reddit | JWNS

Luckily for this person, a commenter had the translation, "Baby, I know that you still believe that I can wait for you, but time will prove."

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19. This freaky scientific instrument.

Reddit | GertiDubon

"That's liquid mercury in the equal size glass bulbs. No-one can work it out!" wrote GertiDubon.

A commenter explained that it's a triboelectric effect demonstrator, "The glass bulbs contain a little mercury and a little neon under partial vacuum. When the mercury moves, friction between the mercury and glass generates a charge, which lights up the neon."

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20. This electrostatic wand.


According to the poster, the, "number goes up to 9 and there’s a weird static feel at the tip."

With those qualities in mind, Reddit user isreddit4real quickly let them know it was an acupuncture and massage pen.

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21. This super weird decor in the hallway of an apartment.

Reddit | Moni2121

Reddit user JimJohnes explained, "writing on the right is in Cyrillic(Ukranian) 'Ми прибули з миром' - 'We came with peace'."

"Made by sculptor vanadium 201 from Kharkiv(Ukraine). He calls it 'regular kharkiv's humonoid'".

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22. This appeared in a Reddit user's garage in under 48 hours.

Reddit | Quasarquark

This would be my nightmare, but don't worry — it's not spider webs, and it's not fungus. It turns out this is called boiler puffback and is infinitely preferable to the alternatives.

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23. Not crumbs, but something much worse.

Reddit | tpersona

Reddit user tpersona asked for help identifying these little specks that kept reappearing on her bedspread and got maybe the worst news ever: bedbug eggs. Hang on a minute, I need to go check my bed.

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24. Just a mysterious cube, no big deal.

Reddit | Neufie22

It turns out this weird, smooth, suction-cupped cube is a phone screen cleaner. There are worse cubes to find in your house.

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25. This statue inherited from grandparents.

Reddit | StillCantFindMyKeys

Reddit user StillCantFindMyKeys didn't get a definite answer on the origins of this statue, but they did say that no one else in their family wanted it "due to assumed curses." I don't blame their family.

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26. This... thing found in a Reddit user's dad's room.

Reddit | Merciman

Get your mind out of the gutter — it's a grip that goes over your shoes so you don't slip on the ice. You definitely won't be caught slippin' in this bad boy.

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27. This would be my cue to move out.

Reddit | Pirate_of_Hearts

Reddit correctly identified this mysterious growth in a sink drain as brown cup fungus. I don't think I'd be sticking around long enough to figure out how to treat it.

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28. This wasn't in someone's house, but it was worth sharing.

Reddit | polishprocessors

This weird, flesh-y blob on the side of a rain pipe is actually an art piece called David Černý's Embryo. Doesn't really make it less gross though.

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29. A strange piece of treasure.

Reddit | wildedgeofficial

A Reddit user found this in their aunt's treasure collection, and it's actually a tracker pebble! These are buried alongside a river, and then discovered when they eventually get carried down stream. It lets people track long shore drift.

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30. Okay, bye!

Reddit | BundleOfSticks556

This isn't as scary as it looks, although I would NOT want it in my house. This is a type of moth that extends its scent glands out to attract mates. Yep. Those are scent glands. I'm so glad humans don't do this kind of thing.

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31. Yippie-ki-yay.

Reddit | LtlPwny

This Reddit user found a tiny model of Bruce Willis' head. The Internet had no answers for them, except that it's definitely a tiny model of Bruce Willis' head.

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32. A small wooden frog.

Reddit | Kirsten-Thomas

See that stick in the side of the frog? When you run it down the ridges on the frog's back, it makes a cool croaking sound! This is a fun toy instrument you'll often find at handmade markets.

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33. The metal object that stumped a whole store.

Reddit | Orion12g

Store owners had no idea what this object was used for and even turned it into a contest of sorts. The answer? It's a horse feed saver ring for a feed bucket. Huh, who would have guessed that?

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34. This metal cylinder in the shower.

Reddit | djjangelo

While this device isn't common in North America, in parts of Europe, they are standard in most homes. This metal cylinder is a shower plug in case you want to fill the bottom of the shower with water to wash your feet. Neat!

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35. This old metal item.

Reddit | Jennybeeeee

When someone found this in their home, they knew it was definitely old and that it was definitely missing some parts. Reddit determined that it was part of a carbide miner's lamp.

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36. This weird metal sphere.

Reddit | Pixiesandpoints

This item looks like it came from the future or some laboratory, but it actually has a tasty purpose. It is a Cointreau chafing dish for serving meals like crepes Suzette. Yum!

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37. These metal brooches with magnets inside.

Reddit | poohfacedkilla

While these look like the ultimate fashion accessory, they are actually used to accessorize your home. Specifically, these are curtain tie-backs.

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38. A genie's lamp?

Reddit | sheldon056

Close! This porcelain object, which was found in someone's apartment, is actually an old oil lamp missing its top.

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39. These elaborate wooden tools.

Reddit | SaintVenant

These beautiful wooden tools are unlike any kitchen objects I've ever seen. It turns out, they are used in Russia to make a traditional gingerbread cookie.

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