20 Bewildering Objects That Left Folks Wondering about Their Uses

Have you ever held something and wondered what it is for or why it was even invented in the first place? You’re not alone.

People have shared the most bewildering objects that left them wondering about their uses. Here, we’ve narrowed down the top 20:

20. Brass Brooch

One person couldn’t help but scratch their heads when they stumbled upon a brass brooch with a hidden spring that opened like a clothespin. Failing to come up with a possible solution, they turned to the online community for help.

Answer: The user’s dilemma was solved thanks to a helpful Redditor who said the golden-colored fish-shaped object was used to hold a boutonniere or corsage.

19. Suspended Glass Ball in Metal Frame

At first glance, a delicate glass ball suspended in a gold metal frame looked like a decorative piece in a home office. However, it serves a greater purpose, which one Reddit user unraveled.

Answer: One Reddit user shared much about the device, which was a Campbell-Strokes sunshine recorder. As the commenter added:

“You place a strip of card into one set of grooves in the piece that curves behind the sphere, point the opposite side of the sphere towards the equator, and the sphere will focus the sunlight to burn a track on the card. The card has hours marked, and [the] more the card is burnt, the brighter the sunlight was.”

18. Round Wooden Stick

One Reddit user shared a photo of a long cylindrical wooden stick, which was thicker on one end than the other. It didn’t look like a new device, making the Reddit community think harder when guessing the name and function of the item.

Answer: The wooden stick was likely used with a Singing Bell to make vibrations. According to the commenter, rubbing the cylindrical wood around its edge would make the bell vibrate, similar to a wine glass.

17. Scoopy Doodad

Often, things that are not in use or cannot be identified are kept away in the garage or, in a Reddit user’s case, their junk drawer. The user had no idea what the light metal was for and only received a few comments from people who were just as confused.

Answer: Finally, one person correctly identified the item as a Sunbeam Mixmaster attachment. Supposedly, the item should have been attached to a mixer and used as the sprout the juice would pour out of.

16. Heavy Glass with Bubbles

One Reddit user found a heavy structure made from glass with decorative bubbles inside. The only inscription on the item was the date 1978.

Answer: One commenter identified the object as a weight that keeps papers from flying off a desk. The inscription must have been the year it was made.

15. Vase with Metal Grills

r/whatisthisthing - Found at nan’s house - glass vase with metal grill inside

Gardening enthusiasts would easily identify this object found at a Reddit user’s grandmother’s home. At first glance, it looked like a glass bowl with metal grills inside.

Answer: Several Reddit users identified the item as a vase. They commented that it was used for arranging flowers. Many found the object at their grandmother’s home.

14. Mini Blue Disc

One Reddit user found a small blue disc inside a bag of sour cream crisps with the inscription “ferrous 25mm BST, cert number 213026B.”

Answer: Although difficult to guess, one Reddit user claimed it was a testing chip used to see if metal detectors worked.

13. Little Magnets

A Reddit user found an item at Goodwill, which sparked curiosity. They described it as “little magnets inside [a small round container] being forced together against their natural magnetic pull.”

Answer: One commenter successfully identified the heavy magnets as a shoplifter’s tag remover, which is used in the retail industry.

12. Retractable Metal Bracelet

A social media user shared what appeared to be a metal circle the size of a soda cap, which could retract into a bracelet. Baffled, the person sought the help of Reddit users to identify the object.

Answer: A quick person from the community identified the object as something used on top of a purse or mini handbag.

11. Metal Circle

A curious Redditor found a weird device in their parents’ kitchen and sought the help of Reddit users to know its use. In what appeared to be a small white tong was a round metal at the center. “The hole gets smaller when I squeeze it,” the poster described.

Answer: The item’s purpose was to remove the corn kernels on a cob. The round metal is the sharpened object that cuts through the corn.

10. Long Twisted Metal

A landlord randomly found a long, twisted, heavy metal in his basement that looked nothing like an item that brought good use. It was described as a “scary wand” by the Reddit user looking to know what the thing was.

Answer: It was amazing that one commenter knew what it was—a soldering iron. According to the person, the end usually had a wooden handle, while the body was often copper.

9. Metal Spring with Plastic Ends

A Reddit user said the most intriguing thing they encountered was a 20 cm-long metal spring with plastic ends. They couldn’t understand what it could possibly be used for until fellow internet users told them its purpose.

Answer: The 20 cm-long stick was a facial hair remover. Similar to a tweezer, the stick is rolled onto a face, and it plucks the small facial hair out.

8. A Diamond-Shaped Metal Object

r/Whatisthis - Cleaning out my grandma’s house to sell and found this. What the heck is it?

A person found a metal object in her grandmother’s house and couldn’t begin to comprehend how it was used.

Answer: Reddit users revealed that it was a flour duster used to sprinkle flour across a surface. Alternatively, it was also used to dust powdered sugar over cookies.

7. A Screw-Like Glass Object

r/whatisthisthing - made of glass and threaded like a screw. has two anchor like points that jut out and the top has an indent.

One user found a glass object threaded like a screw. It was found near an electrically powered sign hanging on a building.

Answer: The glass object was revealed to be a neon light support. It featured two anchor-like points and had an indented top.

6. A Mushroom-Shaped Glass Ornament

Shopping at Goodwill is like looking for treasure. One Reddit user found a mushroom-shaped glass object which they found cute. However, they never understood its purpose.

Answer: One commenter stated that the ornament looked like something used in a garden. “It looks like the base could be submerged beneath the soil,” they stated.

5. A Padded Satin Item

r/whatisthisthing - What is this padded satin item with ribbon ties and a hole in the middle? Appears possibly handmade, like a case for a beauty item.

Someone shared an image of a padded satin object that had ribbon ties on the sides and a hole in the middle. They wondered whether it was meant to be some sort of case for a beauty item.

Answer: One user came to their rescue and revealed it was actually a hanger cover. It is used on wooden hangers to prevent light items from slipping off. The person tried to fit a hanger on the cloth, and it fit perfectly. Problem solved!

4. A Strapped Leather Object

r/whatisthisthing - Leather thing that has a strap that wraps around the back of your hand

One person found a black leather item and wondered what it was used for. It could be strapped at the back of one’s hand and is shaped like a paddle.

Answer: A user revealed that the item was used for self-defense and was called a Blackjack. They also advised checking local laws before carrying it around.

3. A Pyramid-Shaped Glass Object

r/whatisthisthing - What is this glass object? It’s fairly heavy, has no markings, and a very narrow hole on top.

While helping their dad move into a new place, one person found two pyramid-shaped glass objects. They were fairly heavy, had no markings, and contained a very narrow hole on the top.

Answer: The original poster and their dad had no clue what it was for until a Reddit user revealed it was an oil candle.

2. A Crown-Shaped Metal

r/whatisthisthing - WITT? I have it since years but nobody knows what it is. 3.5 inches high, silver-plated, thin material. Shaped like a crown.

For about three and a half years, a person had a crown-shaped metal in their possession without knowing what it was for. It was 3.5 inches high and silver-plated and appeared to be made of a thin material.

Answer: Finally, OP sought the internet’s help and discovered it was actually a spoon holder that sits on the edge of a bowl.

1. A Vintage Ceramic Container with a Cork Inside

r/whatisthisthing - May be from Yokohama Railroad Station Japan and brought to U.S.  by a traveling Army Colonel. That's all I know.

One user found a vintage ceramic piece with a cork inside, which they believed to be from the 1940s. They felt it was a small Japanese item brought to the US by a traveling military personnel.

Answer: A stranger on the internet revealed that the ceramic piece looked like a soy sauce container called a “Hyo-chan.” They added that the small piece was a good collector’s item.

The internet has made the world so much smaller than it actually is. At the click of a button, people can instantly find the answers to their many questions.

In such a consumer-centric world, the total weight of all man-made items has reached a whopping 1.1 trillion metric tons, which is equivalent to the mass of all living things on the planet.