The internet isn’t always people yelling at each other. Sometimes, people come together to solve problems, whether they found a septic tank in their back yard and need help identifying it or if they find a microchip in their food. Either way, someone has an answer. Maybe I’m lucky but the coolest thing I’ve ever found was an onion ring in my fries and I didn’t need help identifying it.
1. “Found this hidden in the ceiling of my basement with a bunch of others. Made out of glass, appears to have some sort of tape or paper border around it. hining a light through it doesn’t project a clean image.“
Answer: Magic Lantern glass slide
2. “What are these brightly colored string-like things that were washed up on an Australian beach?“
Answer: Sea hare eggs
3. “Priority mail addressed to my wife at our exact address from Romania. Everything is written in Romanian and the letters GT is written on it. We don’t even know anyone outside the United States. The syringe is empty.“
Answer: This is sort of like the way you would package mushroom spores. Golden teacher aka GT is a popular strain of psychedelics
4. “It was my new-age moms in the 80’s.“
Answer: My mother took me to a quack homeopathic doctor, and she actually used this on me. The patient holds the brass handle, and the “Doctor” places a small glass jar with some sort of food or other thing on the pad. The “Doctor” then will then use the other probe and touch the bottom of your bare foot. And somehow they can tell if you are allergic to whatever is on the pad with a reading on the meter.
5. “Found this amongst some charms in a vintage jewelry lot I got.“
Answer: It’s a Masonic Square and Compass! You’re supposed to spin it really fast and you can see it
6. “What is this Scanner that a Rooftop Cop had at a Protest? Seemed to be shining a green laser at certain people in the crowd.“
Answer: Picking out specific targets for ground police. It’s easier to track an individual through a crowd from above. This may be because they are armed, or something else that makes them a high priority. Snipers are out of the question, firing into a fast-moving mass of people would only end badly.
7. “What is this thing on this serial killers head while he was in court?”
Answer: He’s partially deaf. It’s basically a giant hearing aid (sound amplifier headphones).
8. “what is this?? it is not a pen, the tip is sharp metal and doesn’t write. no place for ink or graphite or anything. all one cohesive piece with a plastic cap. what is it for?”
Answer: Looks like a scriber. They’re used to make lines or marks on metal, wood, or a number of other materials. That looks like a metalworking one to me but may not be that specific.
9. “Small plastic figurines found buried in the backyard. 1” mustachioed bald men with hands-on head, printed with arrows. (CA, USA)”
Answer: Hasbro produced a Monopoly mini-game in 2009 called Monopoly: Get Out Of Jail. It looks like these were the game pieces used.
10. “What is this thing? It perfectly fits in each other and there was some sort of liquid in it”
Answer: It’s a herb grinder (mostly for weed).
11. “Heavy metal cubes on the end of chain with different shapes on each side of the cubes. AA battery for scale”
Answer: Han Solo’s lucky dice
12. “Small hard ‘pellet’ found inside a cooked King Crab leg, roughly the size of a pea”
Answer: Crab pearl
13. “My great-grandpa, an Iowa native and WW2 veteran, passed away and left behind this tool or decorative piece. It is solid metal, has no markings, and weighs a few ounces. Screwdriver is for scale.”
Answer: I think your grandfather might have known someone in the Navy. Those are used in a ceremony when crossing over the equator. So I think your grandfather is what you refer to as a shellback. That is someone who’s been over the equator.
14. “My girlfriend lives in a basement apartment and in the closet under a false floor there’s this pipe in the ground. Smells terrible like sewage. Any idea what it is and how to fix it?”
Answer: It appears to be an old broken drain, or more likely, a cleanout with a broken cover. That needs to be capped ASAP. Sewer gasses are a noxious health hazard. Note, tape and plastic are not an acceptable cap.
15. “what is the purpose of the “chip” in the one prong of this fork? At first, I thought it actually was just a chip, but turns out its on multiple forks in my drawer. Any ideas?”
Answer: They make one tine wider for cutting stuff, but the wider one wouldn’t stab as well as the others, so the gave it a clipped point.
16. “Arrived in the post for me. Small glass tubes with 2 tiny ball bearings in them. No idea and not something I’ve ordered.”
Answer: I believe those are rattles that you can put inside of fishing lures so they make noise to attract fish.
17. “Found buried in backyard in Austin. Very smooth glass”
Answer: It is most likely a lump of epoxy resin of some description. Possibly used in construction, the leftover unused “slag” thrown away.
18. “Inherited this ornate large… Pendant? Wall decoration?”
Answer: I have seen similar pendants back home in Nepal being worn by Sherpa people during the festival of Losar. Those typically are large, ornate and are suspended on a bead necklace. They also sell a lot of similar pendants in the antique and jewelry markets of Thamel in Kathmandu. One thing that stands out is the lavender jade because almost always, the Nepali pendants (at least the common ones in display) are made using green jade.
19. “Cups on lanyard found on Lake MI beach (glasses for scale – didn’t have a banana)”
Answer: Kayak plugs. Keeps water from entering holes intentionally built within the boat.
20. “Data logger I found in the parking lot”
Answer: ROI used to make RFID inventory tracking products, so it’s probably from one of those
21. “Brass metal cup with straight handles, no holes – so not a strainer”
Answer: It is a specific type of jigger (for measuring alcohol) called a tipping measure.
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