Cracking Codes: Unveiling Enigma’s Mysteries!

Prepare to embark on an intriguing journey into the realm of enigmatic objects. From ancient artifacts to modern-day marvels, these mysterious treasures hold secrets waiting to be unveiled.

“Found this piece of glass that changes colors depending on how you look at it. Where could this have come from?”

Answer: “It’s a dichroic glass filter used for color correction in photographic printers.”

“What is this small brass container on a stick (that opens)? It says Windsor Castle on it and it’s about palm-sized.”

Answer: “It’s a miniature bed warmer.”

“It’s a little bigger than an AA battery and weighs about the same. It has a tiny pinhole on the top and a combination of numbers 5 to 9.”

Answer: “It’s a needle case with little compartments inside. The top doesn’t come off — the numbers indicate the size of the needles, which you take in and out through the little hole.”

“Found four of these capsules filled with what appears to be metal shavings?”

Answer: “It’s a pill for ruminant animals. It helps kill parasites, the big one being barber pole worms.”

“What is this tiny saucepan thing my husband inherited? It has a removable thing with holes around the edges.”

Answer: “It’s a single egg poacher. You put water in the bottom and an egg on top. It essentially poaches the egg.”

“What is this silver tweezy thing with triangle notches?”

Answer: “For holding paper/documents together.”

“The previous owner of the house left it in the garage. It’s a curved wooden slatted thing that pivots in the middle.”

Answer: “You’ll see 2 slots in the steel bar on the bottom — a length of wire goes in there to hold it open at the right width, then a glass panel rests on the top to form the tabletop.”

“Found in a library/art exchange. Appears to be a decorative copper dustpan.”

Answer: “For sweeping up crumbs off a table. Some call that style a ’silent butler.’”

“Wooden box found at a thrift store. The area behind each keyhole is drilled out, but they don’t connect behind the metal plate.”

Answer: “This is apparently a manual dexterity evaluation test used in neuropsych to evaluate fine motor skills. The random keyholes are intentional to require different approaches to inserting the key and rotating it. There would have been 25 little metal keys stored in the wooden bowl part of the thing.”

“Is this a kitchen item?”

Answer: “It’s a pen holder for your desk and was probably sold at a cheap goods shop in Japan.”

“What’s this unusual small silver box with a wing on a chain inside?”

Answer: “It’s a purse hook. You hang it off of the table so your purse doesn’t touch the floor. The company that made this one is called Arbon and it’s from mid-century.”

“This building was found in a country estate in Scotland. It’s about the size of a large shed and has small slits and platforms on the outside.”

Answer: “It’s a ’Slovenian beehouse.’ It allows for multiple complete hives where the bees live, which I suppose is less like a hotel and more like condominiums.”

“I found this in the trash. Any ideas?”

Answer: “It’s a laser-cut ’perpetual’ calendar.”

“What is this ring my Uber driver would randomly click?”

Answer: “It’s a digital counter used to keep track of prayers.”

“What is this thing? Chalk-like consistency, clear unmarked tube, tastes like lime. Banana for scale.”

Answer: “Styptic stick. Stops a bleeder if you knick yourself shaving.”

“A ceramic ‘jar’ that I found behind the couch of a furnished rental I’m staying in this weekend.”

Answer: “It’s an old ceramic hot water bottle. If the seal is still good, it will hold a full standard kettle worth of water. Stick it on the floor with a blanket tucked around it and around your feet, and it’s the best feeling.”

“I was helping my boss move desks and I found this thing. No screens, markings, or ports, just the switch on the side. It vibrates when switched on. My coworker and I are at a loss.”

Answer: “This drops into a soft side neck or back massager. Turn it on, drop into fabric holder, and place the holder around the neck.”

“I found this black, comb-like plastic thing in my car. It’s just over an inch long. I have no idea where it comes from, or what it is.”

Answer: “It’s a surfboard wax comb. It usually comes attached to the inside back pocket of board shorts on a little tether.”

“I just noticed this strange X shaped thing on my roof. I have no idea what it’s made of. It has some sort of a hinge or a clasp in the middle. Any ideas?”

Answer: “It’s a part of someone’s rooftop antenna. It’s likely that it blew off from somewhere during a storm.”

“I came across this linen bag full of small wooden ovals printed with images of different animals and a compass.”

Answer: “They’re runes. I know with tarot or divination cards, there are many “non-traditional” divination cards that have a similar process to tarot. They’ll be angel cards, or mermaid cards etc., and they have their own unique methodology outside a common comparative like tarot. They are sold in a paper and plastic case with a window to show the runes and a booklet telling the “meaning”. They’re really common in chain bookstores or new age stores.

When you cast runes, you sometimes place a circle or series of circle on a mat where you throw the runes on top. Where the runes fall adds to the meaning or changes it. The compass is for like “if the rune dropped towards the south it’s reversed.”

“I found this at my local thrift store. It is plastic. When closed, it is 15 inches tall. When fully open, the ‘claw’ has a space of 11 inches.”

Answer: “It’s a kitchen utensil: turkey or roast lifter.”

“This angry faced plastic lady I found is about the height and width of a pop can. It is able to come apart in three pieces. What is it?”

Answer: “This is an “Angry Mama”. It is used for cleaning microwaves. Take her hair off and fill the first line with vinegar, then water. She’s microwaved for a few minutes, and the steam that is released through her head holes help loosen dried on crud inside of the microwave.”

“This thing I found is made of leather and it’s about 15 inches in length. Any ideas?”

Answer: “It’s just a decorative tassel from a purse.”

“I was clearing out things today, and I found this. Not sure what it is. Wondering if anyone can help me out.”

Answer: “It’s the sticky thing in a mortar and pestle.”

“I found this small sterling silver ring. It is attached to a hammered bowl.”

Answer: “It’s a caretaker’s feeding spoon. It looks a bit large for a baby, but would be a good size for helping feed an elderly or bedridden person.”

“I found this rigid pink tube at my Airbnb. It displays 3 holes on the bottom. It has some kind of a whitish residue. It’s mostly cylindrical, but has a flat side with numbers to measure something.”

Answer: “The tube comes with another part so that you can suction-mount it to the side of your bathtub, and you’ll have a bath toy for your kid. There’s also a ring that comes with the set, and it fits under the flared edge of the tube so that your kid can poor water in with a cup. The latter also comes with the set.

The numbers measure nothing, they are just here, so the kid can practice counting. The hole in the bottom allows water to drain out back into the bathtub.”


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