Saturday, May 2, 2020

14 Mysteries That Wouldn’t Be Solved Without the Internet

According to different studies, the number of items in a house is about 300,000. Most of them are not used, of course, and some of them are just lying around because we don’t know their purpose. Also, sometimes we find things outside our houses and apartments and we have no idea what they are.

We love these kinds of puzzles and we love cracking them.

1. “Anyone know what could have made these brown, black striped balls? They all have a little hole in front of them as well.”

Seems like someone has a neighbor. These are Celaenia excavata spider eggs.

2. “This wide load that got stuck in the street seems to be half-house, half-machine.”

It’s a machine for cleaning snow off of railroad tracks.

3. “What is this thing? Possibly animation-related?”

It’s a rear-projection screen for viewing home movies.

4. “24 years ago, my mom was walking along a beach and found this.”

It’s an older version of a potentiometer switch that was used in different devices to regulate volume or power.

5. “2×4 studs are wrapped around this tree for some reason? Why do they do this?”

It is sometimes done to protect trees from accidental contact during construction or excavation.

6. “My friend bought a new house, there’s one of these in each bathroom, and they don’t appear to be connected to anything.”

A magazine holder.

7. “Family heirloom, very skillfully handmade”

It’s an embroidered napkin that is used to cover the bread at dinner on Saturdays.

8. “What is this weird thing? A kitchen utensil?”

A Ugandan bottle opener.

9. “Saw this rusty thing on my walk in a forest in Denmark”

It’s an underwater mine.

10. “Translucent gelatinous matter with black and white spots, found in the local woodlands”

It’s a Frogspawn.

11. “Found this in a kitchen drawer, no idea what it might be.”

It’s something like a spaghetti fork.

12. “This is a plaque with numbers inscribed on it. It was found on the sidewalk outside a building at my university.”

It’s a magic square where the sum of numbers in every line is 34.

13. “My husband’s truck exploded, this came out”

That’s a catalytic converter that is supposed to decrease the toxicity of fumes.

14. “Thin slabs of ivory, with days of the week on the top, found in my closet”

It’s an aide-memoire — an organizer used in the 13th-14th centuries.

Which of these things seemed the most mysterious to you? Were you able to guess the purpose of some of them?