15+ Mysterious Things Could Even Puzzle Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes may be the greatest fictional detective ever created, but even he would trouble in today’s generation. Moreover, how can one match the collective knowledge of the millions on the Internet? As such, whenever people encounter objects that leave them puzzled, they turn to the subreddit “What is this Thing?”. Here are 15+ mysterious things that had interesting answers from the forum:

1. Delicate Whisk

Delicate whisk
Image Credits: u/norfolkpineparty

Delicate wooden whisk-type thing that fits into a small vase item with openings on both ends. What is it? I’m so curious!
Answer (by u/kipjanny): It’s a matcha whisk and whisk holder.

2. Quirky Hangar

Quirky hangar
Image Credits: u/I_know_cheese

Found these when clearing out my dad’s wardrobe. Any idea what you’d hang on them?
Answer (by u/kultakala): They’re either for hanging shoes (let’s say you have very dressy shoes and you don’t want them getting crushed – you stick the rounded bit inside the shoe, so the sole is facing you), or for hanging already-tied neckties, so you can just slip it over your head and adjust it, rather than re-tying it, each time.

Read: Do You Remember What This Copper-Colored Object Is?

3. Sweet Utensils

Sweet utensil
Image Credits: u/redlinelol

Bought at a thrift store. Thought it was a bar spoon but I’m not certain. Length is around 15-18 cm.
Answer (by u/adube1320): Ice cream spoons.

4. Triangle Kitchen Outfit

Triangular kitchen outfit
Image Credits: u/SyllabaryBisque

Just bought a house and this weird triangle holder thingy is by my kitchen sink. What is it?
Answer (by u/incrediblyjoe and u/Professor_zombiekill): Dish towel holder. Take the corner of your dishtowel and put it into the back of the triangle, then pull downwards on the towel and it is held in place.

5. Concerning Ceiling Formations

Termite mass growing from ceiling
Image Credits: u/bighamsterwheel

What is this stuff growing out of the nail holes in my ceiling?
Answer (by u/clearliquidclearjar): That’s termite frass. You’ve got bad termites and you’ll want to deal with it ASAP.

6. Display Stand

A display stand
Image Credits: u/Tellurye

I found it while cleaning out an old cedar closet. Had a bendy spring in the middle. Looks like it hangs on a door.
Answer (by u/angeliqu): I think it’s a vintage hat display stand. If you google it, there are a lot that have the springy bit and the pull cord (which probably lets you pull the hat down and to the sides to examine it rather than touching the hat itself). Yours seems to be held by sliding onto a table edge rather than sitting on the table itself. So you’re holding it sideways.

7. Old Appliance Part

A part of an old waffle maker
Image Credits: u/Papegaaiduiker

Cast iron circle with raised edges and a zero.
Answer (by u/rwick): I think it’s a support for an old waffle maker!

8. Fungal Disease

A fungal disease on a tree
Image Credits: u/_ledge_

What are these shredded balls on my property?
Answer (by u/verdatum): Juniper-Hawthorn rust. It’s pretty easy to find by googling.

9. So Many Padlocks!

A bunch of padlocks on one gate
Image Credits: u/FactorialANOVA

This is on a gate blocking road access to some cell towers. Why so many locks, and how would someone even open it?
Answer (by u/WG47): You can open the gate by unlocking only one padlock. The way it’s designed means that multiple people can use the gate, and if one person loses their keys, only their padlock needs replaced. As opposed to one padlock with many keys, you’d need to give tons of people the new key.

Read: People Ask For Help Identifying Weird Objects, And The Answers Are Surprising (And A Little Creepy)

10. Vintage Outlet

Vintage outlet
Image Credits: u/the_never_mind

My house (built in the mid-70s) has one of these in almost every room. Same size as a switch plate, with copper wire strung to the eleven sockets.
Answer (by u/brock_lee): The three-prong ones were for TV and FM antennas, and the center one was for an antenna rotator to get better reception. The rotator would look something like this, you can see the plug on it, kind of.

11. Old Technology

Lost technology
Image Credits: u/rpp8

What is this piece of seemingly old tech? Found in a pile at a university.
Answer (by u/thepixelpaint): An old wearable computer I think. I remember seeing something like this back on the old ZDTV cable channel (before it was named TechTV.) I remember telling my sister that it was kind of ridiculous. “Who needs/wants to carry around a computer with them at all times?” Here is the device: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~wearable/frogman.html

12. Holding The Wall In Place

Wall-washer
Image Credits: u/cerrosafe

What is this S-shaped metal ornament on this house?
Answer (by u/LBarouf): Anchor plate or wall washer. It’s meant to keep masonry in place. And made esthetic because they are visible. There is a bolt going on the other side, in the center. And hold the bricks in place.

13. Specially Made For Italian Cuisine

Image Credits: u/gabe0gonzalez

Opposite of hole-y: what is this not really spiky kitchen spoon for?
Answer (by u/brock_lee): Spaghetti server.

14. Space Debris

Space debris
Image Credits: u/genopsyism

Found on Guam in shallow water. 3-meter diameter disk. The top looks like polyester in a honeycomb shape that is fiberglassed to a flimsy aluminum disk. I’m stumped on this one. Never seen anything like it.
Answer (by u/LinearFluid): The Payload Fairing Cap or a Propellant tank cap from a Chinese Long March Rocket.

Read: 15 Mystery Items That Went From “What Am I?” to “Yay, Solved!

15. Remnant of the Past

Capped-off gas line
Image Credits: u/theMstates

In the middle of the wall in my 1906 house; there is also one on the other side of the wall and one in a different room without a buddy on the other side of the wall.
Answer (by u/jackrats): It’s a capped-off gas line from when they used gas lighting.

16. Hidden Signal

Card in a bank door
Image Credits: u/bangsoul

I’m waiting for the bank to open and they have this card facing the street. What is it used for?
Answer (by u/peebs1284): Former bank employee here. It’s definitely a safety signal. We switched ours quarterly and it is to let other employees know that it is all clear to open. Typically we had 2 employees “open” the branch while the rest waited in the parking lot or across the street for “all clear.” The openers go in, turn off alarm, search the building, check everything then set the signal.

17. A Different Toilet

Women's urinal
Image Credits: u/stephentheseaman

My coworker saw this toilet in the women’s restroom at the Huntsville Space Center. Why is it shaped this way?!?!
Answer (by u/MrDorkESQ): It is a woman’s urinal called a Sanistand.

18. A Special Chair

Panters chair
Image Credits: u/Chwk540

Ok, I know it’s a chair, but what’s with the extended arms?
Answer (by u/ChesterDaMolester): It looks like a plantation/planters chair. You’d put your sore swollen legs up on the arms after sitting on a horse all day, like a pregnant woman with her legs up in the same fashion. This is why the back is so sloped as well. If you sit up straight it wouldn’t be comfortable to put your legs up like that, but in a reclined position it’s good for blood flow and air flow.

19. Shopping Cart Accessory

A shopping cart
Image Credits: u/geimryk

This little plastic basket/holder inside the far corner of a trolley. The rivets suggests it’s for something oddly specific. Asked the supermarket staff, they had no idea.
Answer (by u/DunngeonMistress): It’s a Bitz Box. Not super exciting and no idea why it needed to be a thing.

Read: Can you identify these vintage items?

20. Belt Tool

Leather-punching tool
Image Credits: u/MamaBearsApron

WITT found in older tool box (at least 10 years old). part with spokes rotates, spokes (of different diameters) match up to hole in the oposite side of the tool. Sharpie marker for size.
Answer (by u/brock_lee): It is for punching holes in leather or similar things. Like, for a belt.

21. Softening Meat

A Meat Tenderizer
Image Credits: u/Steve_Purple

Any idea what this could be? It is made of steel/iron and is heavier than it looks. We’re not sure if it’s a tool or some type of kitchenware. Any help would be appreciated!
Answer (by u/camydna): Apparently a meat tenderizer.

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