The internet is a wonderful place. Sure, it has a few rotten folks trying to spread their toxicity, but a big part of it is also made up of helpful and kind-hearted individuals who are more than willing to share their knowledge and expertise.
This is especially true in communities like ‘What Is This?‘, where amateur and experienced sleuths come together to identify the things that people ask them to, no matter how small or big.
One of the most interesting aspects of this subreddit is the variety of mysteries that are posted. From bizarre objects found in the backyard to even stranger creatures spotted in the wild, it has a little bit of everything.
So continue scrolling to check out some of the most interesting cases that these folks have solved. I promise, you will definitely learn a thing or two.
#1 A Seagull Dropped This Beside Me After I Gave It Some Bread
Answer: Some bird species (mostly crows) have been know to give gifts. You just got gifted an abalone shell from a seagull! How cool!
Image credits: Burned_Hare
#2 Thrifted This T-Shirt And I Need Help Identifying What It Says Or Any Information About It
Answer: This is my old band’s t-shirt. My sister just sent me this link. We only made maybe(?) 2 orange shirts. Curious what thrift shop you found this in. We were based in Philly. Band broke up in 2010. I can confirm that it says Pariah which was the name of our band.
Image credits: Sqwertyrl
Interconnectivity is probably one of the main reasons why such a niche community can flourish. As smartphones and other internet-connected devices have become more widespread, 31% of U.S. adults now report that they go online “almost constantly.”
Additionally, 85% of Americans say they go online on a daily basis. That figure includes the 31% who say they’re online almost constantly, as well as 48% who say they go online several times a day and 6% who go online about once a day.
(Some 8% go online several times a week or less often, while 7% of adults say they do not use the internet at all.)
#3 My Girlfriend Took Her Dog For A Walk And Came Across This. What Is It? England, UK
Answer: Dolphin spine
Image credits: Popshotz
#4 Why Is There A Fingerprint On This Penny? It’s Embedded In And Is Worn Down Noticeably In That Area
Answer: Some people have particularly corrosive skin oils. I used to work in a machine shop, and we called those people, “rusters,” and you never let them touch your tools. Rusters don’t just rust steel, they also corrode brass, copper, bronze, aluminum, zink, etc. If a ruster used your parallels or square and you didn’t clean and oil it right away, the rusted fingerprints etched into the steel would show up within a few hours. I’m guessing a ruster touched that penny at some point, after which is was left untouched for an extended period of time
Image credits: cache_ing
#5 Figurine Found Buried Under A Tree In Alberta
Answer: That definitely looks like indigenous First Nations art. I would take it to a local Historical Society or other agency to be looked at.
Image credits: Dazieblue123
#6 What Does This Mean ? I’m A So Confused English Is Not My First Language
Answer: It’s a reference to a movie called Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Image credits: Automatic_Try_1489
#7 I Know What It Is Not… They Are Pointy A Ribbed And They Have A Key Chain Ring On One End, Any Ideas?
Answer: It’s for self defense. Put it on your keychain
Image credits: Toland_the_Mad
#8 Found This Spicy Guy While Hiking In Nc, Any Idea What Type Of Lizard He Is?
Answer: Red eft
Image credits: KrakenClubOfficial
#9 Please Identify This Bird My Parents Saw In Their Backyard
Answer: Its a Golden Pheasant
Image credits: oh-dearie-me
#10 What Is This Flag? Red, White, Black Triangle Logo
Answer: It’s from Star Trek, it’s the Klingon flag
Image credits: Big_Sp00ky
#11 Given By Neighbor Who Doesn’t Speak English And I Don’t Speak Chinese
Answer: This is called Zizania Latifolia Aka Manchurian wild rice. You can cut it into slices and stir-fry for a minute or so, then cook it with some soy sauce until the flavor goes in a bit. It has a nice unique texture, firmer than zucchini.
Image credits: cyn__sin
#12 What Are These Squiggly Brain-Like Shapes In The Water?
Answer: 3D printed “reef tiles.”
Image credits: peterp4rkerpizzatime
#13 Saw These On The River Banks Of Brahmaputra, India. The Way They All Move Together Is So Weird. Any Idea What Creature Is This ?
Answer: It’s a group of millipedes walking together. The ones on the bottom are also walking. Those on top walk over them and once they get to the end, they go to the bottom and cycle through it. They do this to cover more distance quicker.
Image credits: zibbyboo
#14 Friend Found In Her Yard – Brisbane Australia
Answer: That look like a hand grenade. I would advise calling the authorities to make sure.
Image credits: SirSwagger97
#15 Given To Us By Asian Neighbor Who Grows Them At Home
Answer: It is a bottle gourd … Trust me I am an Asian … But I have never seen one that long
Image credits: cyn__sin
#16 Found This Lil F*cker In My Garden, He Doesn’t Bite,he Even Lets Me Touch And Handle Him.what Could It Be?is It A Non Venomous Kind Of Snake Or Just A Legless Lizard?
Answer: it’s a Slow-Worm. Legless lizard. it’s a protected species.
Image credits: Kappa9989
#17 Found By A Tree. Took Boy Home
Answer: It’s a southern flying squirrel. About 2 weeks old. His eyes are still developing so dont try to open them. If you try to rehabilitate him, he will become very attached to you and requires a lot of attention and is also nocturnal.
Image credits: latinavelma
#18 Saw This On A Tree While Hiking Today. Not On Any Other Trees In The Area. What Is This?
Answer: It’s a burl! Woodworkers pay lots of cash for these cuz the inside grain structure is cool.
Image credits: KdotJdot
#19 Someone Put This On My Door Handle. I Understand It Is A Rubber Duck But Why Did They Put It On My Door Handle? What Is The Meaning? Any Significance?
Answer: It’ds called “duck duck jeep”. Many times they’ll have a tag on the duck saying so. I got my first one in a lowes parking lot a few weeks after my mother died and was in a major funk. Made me smile.
Rubber ducks on jeeps is a thing among owners.
Image credits: BlueDreamStoner
#20 I Know It Is A Turkey But I Have Never Seen One This Color. Western Nc
Answer: It’s a genetic disorder …. Partial Albinoism
Image credits: jburnz28715
#21 My Dad Shows This Thing To Everyone Who Comes To The House To Try And Find Out What It Is, It’s Gone So Far That He’s Actually Built A Shelf Just For It. Help
Answer: That’s a coconut cutter/shredder. You sit on it and pound coconuts against it
Image credits: Catro2000
#22 Came Home To Find This Device Attached To My Front Door Covering The Key Lock. What Is It And What Should I Do? Is It Safe To Open? Who Would Have Installed It?
Answer: We’ve removed the device. It’s an anti lock device to pull out or detach locks so it was an attempted burglary. Thankfully they weren’t able to enter. The police will attend in the morning
Image credits: soupywarrior
#23 Found This In My Grandparents Kitchen. What Is This? I Can Only Think It’s An Ancient Male Torture Device
Answer: Egg shell cutter. For soft boiled eggs. A “Topper”
Image credits: poorkidjoe
#24 This Came Out Of My Apple Juice Bottle This Morning During Break At Work ??
Answer: It’s a SCOBY. A Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeasts. It’s not harmful but will make your juice taste sour. SCOBYs are used to make Kombucha. They feed off sugar, natural or otherwise. In this case the sugar in the juice. They excrete lactic and acetic acid, which have a sour taste
Image credits: dontnameit
#25 This Was Found In A Pillowcase In A Stairwell Of The Hotel My Boyfriend Works At
Answer: For making counterfeit credit cards.
Image credits: reddit.com
#26 What Kind Of Lizard Is This? It Refuses To Leave My Hand And I’m Not Sure How To Help It (I Live In Central Florida)
Answer: Caribbean House Gecko. Very common in Florida. They’re nocturnal, so if it’s out during the day then it’s probably stressed. Just put him somewhere dark and warm for now.
Image credits: itsjustrem
#27 What Is This Thing That Showed Up In My Yard?
Answer: It’s a stinkhorn. The tip smells like rotten meat to attach flies and spread the spores. It’s hollow. Don’t let your dog need it. My dog ate on. Took him to the vet. Dr. Said my dog was tripping off the mushroom. He was fine after a day of observation.
Image credits: DamienL1213
#28 Why Did They Do This To These Trees?
Answer: Its because they sprayed the trees with an insecticide that was intended to kill aphids, which were dropping a sap onto cars parked underneath the trees. It unintentionally killed thousands of bees so they wrapped a netting over the trees to prevent more from landing in and on the trees.
Image credits: JAMbruz
#29 Help! Was Given A Present And Didn’t Want To Ask What It Was!
Answer: It’s a bookmark
Image credits: Responsible-Limit774
#30 This Is Growing In My Crawlspace…. Sos
Answer: Orange bleeding tooth fungus
Image credits: peyforday
#31 Cleaning Out My Grandma’s House To Sell And Found This. What The Heck Is It?
Answer: It’s a flour duster. You use it to sprinkle flour across your work surface. You can use it to dust powdered sugar over cookies & what-not, too
Image credits: Leopard_Luver
#32 A Strange Creature In South Wales, UK
Answer: elephant hawk moth caterpillar
Image credits: Sowffle
#33 Found In Hotel Room
Answer: Morse code. “PLEASED TO MEET YOU HOPE YOU GUESS MY NAME” [repeated 4 times]
Image credits: Sergsta
#34 My Muslim Neighbors Surprised Me & Brought Me This Food. Has Rice, Some Kind Of Milk, Walnuts On Top, & I Can Taste Lemongrass
Answer: It’s called Kheer. Normally eaten warm, but personally, I prefer it cold.
Image credits: MeowBerkeley
#35 What Is This Border Between The Pacific And Philippine Sea? Why Is It Not Just A Straight Line?
Answer: It’s an international date line. It looks like this because it makes an exception around the Line Islands. The Line Islands have about 8,000-ish people on them, and this way, they’re on the same ‘day’ as Kiribati, the nation they are part of. Due to time zones, it’s the same ‘Time’ in the Line islands as Hawaii, but in the Line Islands, it’s the next day.
Image credits: reddit.com
#36 What Animal Is This?
Image credits: lkelbe
#37 What Is This Oddly Terrifying Creature?
Answer: Sand dollar.
A sand dollar is a kind of echinoderm. This is the same animal phylum as starfish. The moving bits on the bottom are the tube-feet, similar to those of a starfish.
Image credits: edificeraks
#38 An Animal Found On The Beach In Normandy, France
Answer: Portuguese Man O’ War
Image credits: Tibal
#39 This Was Given To Me As A Gift
Answer: You twist it a certain way and it makes a hook to hang your handbag from a tabletop
Image credits: ilovemuesli
#40 4 Legged Fish – Freshwater Arid West/US
Answer: It’s a Western Tiger Salamander!
Image credits: bwhizzle1
#41 Assuming This Is A Fungus Of Some Sort, Spotted On Top Of A Dead Log In Pawtucket, Rhode Island
Answer: Slime mold – stemonitis axifera
Image credits: SwimmerNos
#42 I’ve Seen These In Several Old Peoples Houses. What The Heck Are They And What Are They For?
Answer: It says ‘Jesus’ in the lines between the wood pieces.
Image credits: iMissMyMsPotato
#43 What Is This? It Flashes Every Time An Ambulance Speeds By. They Are All Over My City
Answer: It picks up a strobe light on emergency vehicles and then will flash to let them know that their light is green and all other directions are red. E: to clarify the strobe is IR and at a specific frequency and flashing the high beams won’t work. If you are caught with an MIRT you are likely to face very serious (felony) consequences.
Image credits: abi_sue97
#44 What Is This Thing On My Airbnb Oven?
Answer: It’s for adding water in case you want to steam your food in addition to normal baking
Image credits: BlevDogg
#45 It Looks Like A Tool To Create Art… Or Maybe It Is Art… I’m Not Sure
Answer: Indian batik or textile stamp
Image credits: VoidHog
#46 In The Bathroom. When I Push A Button With A Time On It, My Nearby Toilet Makes A Wooshing Sound
Answer: It’s not your toilet, it’s your bathtub. And it’s causing a S**T TON of damage to it every time you tun it on without water in it. It turns on the jets for that amount of time
Image credits: NutellaGood
#47 Found This Nightmare Growing In A Bottle Of Crystal Hot Sauce. The Bottle Was Sealed On The Shelf With An 03/03/2024 Expiration. Can Anyone Explain Whats Happening Here?
Answer: If there is vinegar in that hot sauce it may be a mother of vinegar
Image credits: lightning_lighting
#48 What Is This Weird License Plate, And What Does It Mean? I’ve Never Seen This Before
Answer: I suspect you have found a Sovereign Citizen in the wild. The references to a trust and to common law suggest something of the sort
Image credits: ImObviouslyOblivious
#49 Found This In My Wallet. I Believe I Was Given The $10 Bill As Change. It Was Glued To The $20 Bill At Both Ends
Answer: It’s a magic prop for a trick in which one bill is turned into another
Image credits: FearsAndWishes
#50 Prehistoric Parasite Attempting To Escape From Its Host As It Is Drowning In Amber
Answer: It’s a fungus Ophiocordyceps, probably an earlier ancestor.
Image credits: tandavinci
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Author: Kotryna Brašiškytė