What’s This For?

“This thing is in our new apartment. Pulling it out of the wall shows that it’s attached to a cable. The little thing on the front is a button.”

A: “An emergency alert button.”

“What is this thing? I found it in a frozen meal. It’s sharp and hard, spiky, and brown-ish colored.”

A: “It looks like it might be a seed pod.”

“Found among my dad’s things. Interesting velvet box with a black object inside”

A: “It’s a pocket handwarmer… An old one too. You light the rod in the middle. It is a piece of coal, you close it up and pop it in your pocket. Blow on it to stoke it up.”

“2 plugs on this outlet, not sure what either of them is for! Found in the master bedroom of a house built in the late 1970s.”

A: “Old TV antenna. The kind you could remotely rotate to get better reception.”

“Heavy mass hanging on transmission cables”

A: “This is an art installation in a Brazilian university. This thing should be a meteor.”

“What are these fibrous tabs in a sealed package?”

A: “They are anti-fog inserts for Go Pro waterproof housing.”

“Found in an old leather suitcase. 12 cm long pincers open when the red top is pushed down.”

A: “Old pickle and olive grabber”

“My dad found this earlier today with his metal detector and has no clue what it is. It’s about 5 cm x 4 cm. What is this thing?”

A: “It is part of a bracelet or belt. It would have had companions, joined by links on all 4 corners.”

“Strange pipe. What is the orange sludge?”

A: “Iron bacteria. I know because I have this problem in my basement. It isn’t fun and it isn’t pretty. It’s not harmful, just icky.”

“What is this? I found it in a vintage shop in the kitchen area. Somebody told me it’s for cheese.”

A: “Feuerzange which holds the sugar cone used in making Feuerzangenbowle, German fire punch.”

“My friend found this thing with a note in a forest. It seems dangerous but nobody knows what it is or what the note says.”

A: “It’s most likely an old dry pine sap, it burns really well, a lot of people use it as a fire starter, but it’s toxic in closed areas, hence the warning.”

“Found this while renovating. Any idea?”

A: “That is an artillery round, probably 155. Looks unfired, good that EOD is en route. Do not mess with it.”

“Arrived in the mail for me. Small glass tubes with 2 tiny ball bearings in them. Not something I ordered.”

A: “I believe those are rattles that you can put inside of fishing lures so they make noise to attract fish.”

“Found this thing on the beach. It’s solid and smells like seaweed, what is it?”

A: “Codium bursa is a green marine algae of medium size.”

“I work at the health department and found this, no idea what it does.”

A: “A plate bender… We use these to conform plates to rounded or uneven surfaces so the plate can be flush against bone.”

“Weird metal part that comes in a matchbox every once in a while”

A: “A match holder thing for discreetly holding matches. So, it’s an extension for lighting candles.”

“I found this room in an abandoned building. What this building may have been for and what these things hanging from the ceiling are?”

A: “It’s a miners’ changing room. The hooks and baskets lift their work clothes up and out of the way of the next shift.”

“Several rolls of this were donated to a thrift store. It doesn’t have any adhesive and is kinda waxy feeling.”

A: “They are thorn guard strips, meant to be mounted inside bicycle tires, between the inside of the tire casing and the innertube. In theory, they help prevent tube punctures, and they do an OK job of it.”

“Friend received this, passed down from his great-great-grandfather. It’s believed to be from Persia and about 2,000 years old.”

A: “It’s a hairpin or a clothes pin/brooch.”

“Some kind of goose bowl (cat for scale)”

A: “It could be a basin/sink bucket.”

“Anyone know what this metal object is?”

A: “It’s a razor blade sharpener.”

“What is this drill hammer thing?”

A: “Cutting glass tool.”

“Strange metal rose. Embedded in concrete in front of a pub. I have no idea what it’s supposed to represent.”

A: “The pub is called the Wild Roses so the roses represent the name.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *