People Who Couldn't Figure Out The Purpose Of Things So The Internet Helped Them Work It Out

by Ayoub

If you have a question, the internet will always have an answer, and that's a fact. There are so many people on the internet that no matter how strange or out of the ordinary your question may be, there will always be someone who could answer it. That's the beauty of it.

The internet users in the posts below managed to stumble upon the weirdest objects and spots that most of us have never seen before.

Since the internet has all the answers, these people decided to submit their picture to the /r/whatisthisthing subReddit where people usually ask these kinds of questions.

1. "IKEA Coffee Mug, What Is The Thing At The Bottom?"

Answer: So water doesn't stay on the bottom if you put the mug in the dishwasher and stops wet mugs suctioning themselves to coasters.

Pretty clever design actually.

via: HR_92

2. "What Is This Thing In My Classroom? Makes Subtle Fan-Like Sounds And Changes Colour On Top"

Answer: AV1 is a personal avatar for children suffering from long-term illness, helping them to continue their education and maintain the normality of daily life despite no longer being able to access mainstream education. Through an app, the user can remotely log into the class from their home or hospital. Looking through the robots eyes, the child can watch the lesson, through the robot’s ears they can hear greetings from their friends and they can speak through the robot to interact with the rest of the class.


3. "What Are These For In An Outdoor Area Of A Hospital?"

Answer: These are emergency showers. An affected person (chemical spills, laboratory mishaps, etc) will pull the level on the top and tepid water (OSHA defined between 60F and 100F) will douse the affected from the shower head (above) and boot sprayer (below). The duration of these showers is required to be 15 full minutes at approximately 20 PSI.

Source: I design these systems.


4. 'Grainy-Like Things? They Appear Inside And On My Closet, And Reappear Whenever I Clean Them. What Are These?'

Answer: Termite poop.

4. 'Grainy-Like Things? They Appear Inside And On My Closet, And Reappear Whenever I Clean Them. What Are These?'
via: wowiie

5. "Thin Slabs Of Ivory With Days Of The Week On The Top Found In My Closet. What Is This Thing?"

Answer: Fabulous antique early Victorian chatelaine aide memoir from mid 1800s. Made of sheets of bone, it would have hung on a lady's chatalaine chain or been kept securely in her pocket and she would have used it to make note and appointments for the week to come. It has 6 pages for the days Monday to Saturday, of course a lady would never have made appointments on a Sunday


6. "Water Flows From A Culvert Beneath A Trail Into This Circular Pool, Then Continues On Into The Woods. What's The Pool's Purpose?"

Answer: Settling pond for erosion control and improving the downstream water for happier fish


7. "Weird Squirming Living Lovecraftian Nightmare On Our Lawn Chair This Morning. What Is This Thing?"

Answer: Hag moth caterpillar with fuzzy “false arms” on its back to make it look like a dead leaf. (We’re looking at the belly)


8. "My Mom And Dad Were Doing Some Landscaping In The Backyard And Found This Weird Slate With Writing Etched Into It. The Months Are Spelled Out And The Year States 1827 But That’s All The Information Here. I Can Send More Pics In Pm. Also, This Was Located In Southern Missouri"

Answer: a practice gravestone scrap. Someone who carved gravestones would practice engraving lettering and drawings on this broken piece of stone.


9. "Washed Up On A Beach In Florida. What Is This Thing?"

Answer: "It is a wave-powered desalinator that is owned by Oneka Technologies, a firm in Quebec. It takes seawater and turns it into fresh water. It is powered by the motion of the waves."

via: New_Fry

10. "Found On Guam In Shallow Water. 3-Meter Diameter Disk. Top Looks Like Polyester In A Honeycomb Shape That Is Fiber Glassed To Flimsy Aluminum Disk. I'm Stumped On This One. Never Seen Anything Like It. What Is This Thing?"

Answer: There was recently a Chinese Long March 3B rocket launch that failed, and the rocket and its payload was seen reentering the atmosphere near Guam


11. "My Boss Just Got Married, And Due To A Combination Of Indian Tradition And Him Being A Bro, He Brought Us These Little Snackboxes. He Left Before I Could Ask Him Much About Them. What Are They Called And What Are They Made Out Of?"

Answer: The white block to the left is made with cashew nuts and sugar : It is called kaju barfi. The yellow block looks like it is mango flavored barfi. The circular one looks like dried fig with nuts stuffed in it. The shiny ones have edible silver foil and are also made from almonds, cashews and pistachio nuts. They are all made with clarified butter and are delicious desserts.


12. "Mini Harpoon Thing Found When Changing Bedding In A Hospital Room"

Answer: Patient had been tased. It's a taser dart.


13. "When You Pull The Ring On This, Four Little Pins Come Out. What Is It Used For?"

Answer: It's an anti-theft device for pocket watches.


14. "My Grandfather Told Us To Not Remove This When Renovating. What Is This Thing?"

Answer: Aztec calendar. Funny thing, I remember a bunch of these a while ago being smuggled over the border and they were made of meth.


15. "Mostly Concerned About Why Is This Thing?"

Answer: For doing surgery on the cow


16. "What Are These Swirly Things? Found On Google Maps - Located In Cogdell, Georgia, USA"

Answer: Checked the tax records... It is or was an alligator farm.

via: stephi-

17. "This Rainbow Effect?"

Answer: A rainbow is a rainbow. The cause is refraction/dispersion of light due to water in the air.

Looks like it’s raining over there. The shape is just a matter of angles and height.


18. "Saw This In A Forest In Germany. What Is This Thing?"

Answer: It's a fridge, or a old time cold room. Basically a room covered with dirt for insulation

via: V-by-V

19. "What Are These Things I Keep Seeing On Nearly All The London Bus Stops In My Area?"

Answer: It's potato art... And I'm not even kidding... The artist is unknown (some say by an artist called NoNose), if you look for 'London bus stop potato art' you can find many more articles written about it.


20. "Found In Deep Creek Md. What Is This Thing?"

Answer: Stonefly larvae. Good sign for the water quality.


21. "What Are These Circular Metal Things On These Stairs? I Just Hit My Knee And Goddamn Did It Hurt"

Answer: Skateboard prevention device. Keeps em from grinding on edges.


22. "What Are Those Things Called? I Think They're Typical Of Gothic Architecture?"

Answer: Flying buttresses. They’re there to transfer the weight of the roof outwards to stop the walls bowing and collapsing.


23. "Growing From The Basement Ceiling At A Very Rapid Rate. It Is Also Leaving On The Table Below It, Grayish Particles. What Is This Thing?"

Answer: Those are the studs from your walls -- redistributed by your termites.


24. "What Is This Fiber/Sand Ball? Found Among Thousands Like It On A Beach In Spain. It Weighs Almost Nothing"

Answer: Sea grass ball


25. "Saw This Rusty Thing On My Walk In A Forest. The Forest Belong To A Estate Wedellsborg, Vestfyn, Denmark. What Is This Thing?"

Answer: It is an underwater mine


26. "Found This In My House. I Bet My Wife It Has Something To Do With A Tie. Do I Win?"

Answer: Hoof pick for cleaning horses hooves.

via: Ymmy805

27. "On The Underside Of Our Cabinet In The House We Recently Bought, Built In The 70s. Plastic With Metal Teeth On One Side, Very Dull. Each Side Is ~4 Inches Long. What Is This Thing?"

Answer: Jar opener


28. "I’m Not Doing My Dishes Until I Know What This Beautiful Thing Is"

Answer: That’s a bacteria pellicle.

via: rpunx

29. "Found In A Crawlspace Of A House From The 80's Next To 3 Red Boxes Encased In Concrete. What Is This Thing?"

Answer: This label is used for materials with gamma and neutron emissions This label was specifically used on containers shipped by aircraft, and that reference is from the late 50s/early 60s. Any red label is going to be Group I or II, which as stated above emits gamma rays, neutrons, or both, and is potentially harmful even with the box closed. OP's lid came from something shipped by air, but it's interesting to note that on ground shipments of the same class of materials (like with the label variant I found in my first edit), the trucks themselves were required to be marked "CAUTION" or "DANGEROUS - RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS" on the sides and rear of the vehicle just to haul this kind of material.

Redditor's Update: As of today a 3 man team from the state of Utah department of environmental quality, division of waste management and radiation control, uranium Mills and radioactive materials section (holy [crap]) showed up at my friend's house around 10am and spent a few hours taking readings, swabbing samples and asking questions and after all of that, found nothing but natural trace amounts of radon. The "lid" they think was from the late 1950's and was unrelated to the "vault".


30. "Plaque With Numbers Inscribed On It. Found On The Sidewalk Outside A Building At My University"

Answer: Magic square. It's a popular sort of decoration to put outside math departments