For many kids in school, recess is the time of the day they long for the most, other than the time when they finally get to go home. However, one boy tended to dread recess, as he had a rare condition that didn’t allow him to spend extended periods of time playing outside. Six-year-old Braylon Henson has known he has ectodermal dysplasia since he was a baby. The condition affects his sweat glands, meaning he can easily overheat.
Because Braylon is a native of Alabama, the temperatures recently have still been too high for him to be able to safely play outside with the other kids during recess. His mom, Jamie Wright, explained to Good Morning America, “Right now it’s extremely hot, so he hasn’t been out at all,” Wright told GMA. “He hangs out with Miss Stewart, his counselor, she is so awesome with him. They bought him little drum pads, he’ll play on those [inside], and they would read.”
Though Braylon didn’t show too much disappointment, the school resource officer happened to notice that the young boy was never outside with the other students. “I didn’t understand why he was in there every day,” Ronnie Saladin told Good Morning America. “She said he had a skin condition and he would cry sometimes and feel left out. I said, ‘Well, he’s not going to feel left out. He’s going to walk with me.'”
Saladin took his plan one step further, even going so far as to buy Braylon his own uniform. Together, they’d walk through the halls during recess, and Saladin would let Braylon be the one to enforce anyone who committed a minor infraction, such as running through the halls. Saladin also showed his protege how to write “tickets” which he could then give to the rule breakers.
One of the best things about the internet is that it allows us to connect with other people. Admittedly, that connection might be based on an obscure cartoon character, a shared love for collecting Funko Pops, or a deep enthusiasm for kombucha. Regardless, the internet lets people with similar interests band together. Because of this, it’s a great resource when it comes to unidentified objects. Check out these internet finds that few people know the real purpose of.
Deciphering Doggy Décor
Usually, dog collars contain the animal’s name, address, or a contact number for its owner. Sometimes, they’ll include tracking devices, or they might have LED lights or reflective material. This person noticed that one of the dogs at doggy daycare wears this plain disk around their neck.
Thanks to a little internet sleuthing, it was discovered that this is the key to a doggy door. The disc contains a censor that opens a dog flap — just like a mini electronic garage door.
Properly Puzzling Pinball
Up next is this truly puzzling installation someone spotted attached to a wall. They ask whether it’s a game, and indeed it is. The helpful folks of the internet identified this object as a pachinko machine, which is a type of Japanese mechanical game. These are very popular in Japanese arcades, and fulfill a similar role to Western slot machines.
The pachinko market is absolutely huge in Japan and generates a significant amount of revenue. Modern pachinko machines have LCD screens and music.
Knee Knocking Metal Disks
This next post comes from someone who whacked their knee on a circular metal disk attached to a wall. As you can see, these run the entire way down this wall — posing a bit of a hazard if you ask us.
These knee-knocking metal discs are actually skateboard-prevention devices, installed to keep skateboarders from ‘grinding’ along walls and railings. Many businesses choose to install these as a way of discouraging skaters, and they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.
Forest-Found Random Structures
There’s nothing like a random structure in a forest to get the cogs of the internet’s collective brain grinding. Someone stumbled across this rather sinister-looking structure, and asked the internet for its best answers.
The internet responded, informing this person that they had come upon a World War II one-man bomb shelter. These were built as protection against enemy air raids, and this one accommodates just a single person. Different countries had different designs for their shelters, dependent on budget and threat level.
An Utterly Unusual Backpack
The person who spotted this strange white, pronged, backpack understandably had “no clue” what it could be. This internet find isn’t that mystifying or exciting — it’s basically just a carrier for something. But, for what?
Well, according to the internet, this is a violin case. Now, we don’t know what fits where in this perplexing plastic case, but we trust that the internet knows what it’s talking about. If indeed a violin fits inside this slimline and compact case, then we have to congratulate the designer.
Weird Wall-less Buildings
Here we have another strange structure that makes no sense to passing humans. Why do these buildings, erected in fields, have no walls? Well, enthusiastic birders know that this is a nesting barn for swallows — barn swallows to be precise. These swallows are the most widespread species in the world and build their nests in barns or similar structures.
Because of these nesting habits, swallows have spread with human expansion. They used to nest in caves, but now only North American swallows in the Channel Islands do so.
A Perplexing Piece of Plastic
The person who found this perplexing piece of plastic wondered if it was for cable bundling, or if it was just some sort of wrist band. They were almost right, as it’s some sort of ankle band. More specifically, this is a clip-on shoe light for night-time runners.
These LED reflective clip-ons fit onto most shoes and make runners more visible to passing traffic. Usually, these clip-on lights are water-resistant and lightweight, making them a useful and safe addition to your running routine,
Amazing Antique Instruments
This next object was found at the bottom of an old chest and has several unexplained moving parts. The internet informed this person that they were in possession of an antique sock knitting machine. Interestingly, there is a Circular Sock Knitting Machine Society, though their antique machines are somehow newer than this one.
In fact, it’s possible that the pictured instrument is part of an antique sock knitting machine, and not complete. Apparently, antique sock knitting is only getting more popular.
Buoyed by Beach Treasure
What do we have here? This person came upon this gelatinous-looking flower while walking along the beach. Well, according to the internet, these are squid eggs and they should absolutely not be touched or disturbed.
When squid reproduce, females plant their eggs in clusters of two-inch-long, finger-shaped gelatinous capsules. Since they’re part of shoals, squids lay their eggs together, leading to these flower-like clumps. Interestingly, some studies have shown that squid eggs are covered in a protein that makes male squid more aggressive in protecting them. Neat!
Checking for Chains
Our next image shows a metal chain running from the top of someone’s property to the bottom. Understandably, the person who took this picture wants to know what on Earth it is. According to the ever-wise internet, it’s a rain chain — used as an alternative to gutters.
Rain chains originated in Japan, and move water downwards, usually creating a pleasant sound as a side effect. The water is then collected in barrels, landscaped beds, or in other water features.
Marveling at Miscellany
There’s no end to the random bits of miscellany people come across in their homes. Whether stashed away in a drawer, buried in a toolbox, or perishing in the attic, there are undiscovered treasures around every corner.
According to the shared wisdom of the internet, this miscellaneous tool is a pair of sugar nips. Used for cutting sugar from a block, these nips have pincers with sharp blades. This old-fashioned instrument was used before sugar was commonly available in the cube or granulated form.
Studying Strange Locks
An eagle-eyed car enthusiast discovered this “strange-looking lock” on the side of their 1998 Ford Ranger. Understandably, they wanted some answers and decided to ask the internet. Luckily for them, somebody was ready and waiting with an answer.
Apparently, companies that use these trucks give their employees keys for this side lock in the vehicle. Once opened, they can store the keys to the truck inside. The vehicles are keyed in groups, so workers can drive the truck they’re assigned to.
Staring at Surprising Sinks
Our next unknown object was found in a bathroom in Cologne, Germany. The person that took the picture guessed this was a “weird urinal,” but actually, it’s used for puking. That’s right, Germans have a specific sink used for vomiting.
These waist height sinks are known as “Speibecken,” which comes from the German words for “to spit” and “bowl.” These sinks are installed in certain locations and often come with handles and a shower head to flush afterward. This showerhead is nicknamed the “large white telephone.”
A Suspiciously Small Kettle
Unfortunately, this person is one of many that ends up drinking tea out of an object designed to hold urine. While this item does look like “a small kettle,” it’s actually a portable men’s urinal, used for bedbound patients. Hopefully, they gave it a good clean before using it!
These kinds of portable receptacles are known as “bedpans,” and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Usually made of stainless steel, there are now biodegradable models made from recycled wood pulp.
A Complex Colored Clock
Let’s take a look at this confusing colored clock. As you can see, this is a standard clock but the numbers are in three different colors, and there’s a key underneath the clock hands. What’s going on?
The crucial information here is that this clock hangs in an assisted living facility. It’s used to help with the rotation of patients with bedsores. Patients should be on their back for the black numbers, their right side for the red, and their left side for the green.
The Mysterious Metal Tube
Up next is a mysterious metal tube with a screw-top lid. As this person describes, the tube has a small hole through the cap, feels like steel, and has no engravings. Thanks to the trusty internet, this person learned they were in possession of an antique needle case.
Needle cases are small holders for sewing needles, and were often designed to hang from a belt. These cases were necessary because needles were easy to misplace. They have been found in cultures across the world.
Cartons Causing Confusion
While some objects on this list are mysterious items with confusing pasts, others are mundane, like this carton of milk. This person wants to know why their milk carton comes with a large indent on the side, and the internet filled them in on exactly why.
These dents are a preventative measure for milk spills. If someone accidentally dropped this carton, this dent would pop out, preventing any milky messes. Likewise, for people that like to freeze their milk, these dents do the same thing.
Worrying Wire Covered Equipment
This person was understandably a little perplexed when they came across this contraption in their father’s bedroom. After asking the lovely folks of the internet, they discovered their dad simply owns a set of Yakstrax.
For those not in the know, Yakstrax is a piece of equipment that goes over shoes in order to give grip when walking on ice. The stretchy piece of gear was inspired by Himalayan Sherpas, and allows people to walk comfortably and confidently in snowy conditions.
Examining the Escalator
Amusingly, many people assume that the little brushes running along an escalator are there to clean your shoes. In fact, they are there to keep your shoes away from the edges. Ironically, lots of people — especially kids — try to brush their shoes while riding an escalator, when the brush is there to deter people from doing exactly that.
An escalator’s black bristles are there to discourage people from standing near the edge. They prevent shoes, clothing, and other objects from getting stuck in the small side gap.
Taken With the Tiny Teacup
Alas, we have another person mistaking a small ceramic object for a teacup or teapot. It makes sense — this sort of pattern is most often seen on a set of China dishes, especially at a tea party. However, this “weird teacup-looking thing” is actually a scuttle.
Not just the name of the seagull in The Little Mermaid, a scuttle is an old-fashioned container. Coal scuttles are used to hold coal, while shaving scuttles (like this one) are used to hold hot water.
Researching Random Rubber
Out of context, this piece of random rubber looks quite confusing. It almost looks like a toy vacuum cleaner, but it’s covered in lots of different textures. According to the internet’s best sleuths, this blue rubber object is a dog cleaning tool.
Apparently, the base sticks to the floor so that dogs can have a good chew on the upper piece. The bristles seen in this picture clean between canine teeth, contributing to good oral health overall. Who knew?
Bewildered by a Building
Here we have another building with unclear uses. This small structure has two floors and is made of brick. This person comments that it looks like an outhouse, but in fact, it’s a skeet shooting range.
Skeet shooting is a sport where players try to break clay targets that are flung into the air from two fixed positions. The targets can come from a range of angles, and at high speeds. In this case, targets would be released from a high and low house that face each other.
Speculating About Spinners
Our next internet-identified objects were discovered on a freestanding dock in Florida. It turns out, these spinning bars are bird scares — used to keep birds away from an area. These are similar to scarecrows, but use constant spinning rather than something visual to keep gulls and pelicans at bay.
Across cultures and time periods, humans have turned to many options to stave off their feathered foes. As well as spinners and scarecrows, there are bird repelling lasers, balloons, and ultrasonic devices.
Scared by Stringy Clams
It can be pretty alarming to find something unidentifiable in your food, but at least you can find answers on the trusty internet. This person was enjoying a clam hotpot when they noticed one of their clams had a hairy protrusion. Slightly scary, right?
Well, it turns out this is simply a byssus, usually known as a beard. These are bundles of filaments secreted by various clams and mussels that attach them to a surface. Usually, they are removed before cooking.
More Mystifying Metal
This object — photographed alongside some others for scale — was found in Auckland, New Zealand. As you can see, it’s metal, with colored plastic rings, and has a screw thread at the bottom. While some internet responders to this object thought it was a fly fishing rod handle, others strongly disagreed.
This metal item is actually the handle to a machinist’s hammer. However, rather than belonging to a hammer, this is likely a student-made project by someone learning to use a lathe.
Openmouthed at Organic Matter
We’ll admit to being a little creeped out by this image of unknown matter sitting on someone’s laptop. As they state, it looks rather organic, or biological, and almost like it’s growing out of the laptop itself.
This creepy collection of bits looks like what’s left over when you remove a pore strip from your nose. Ick! But, actually, the internet tells us that this picture shows iron filings sticking to the magnet inside a laptop.
Hooked by a Hand Tool
Here we have another mysterious tool kitted out with bits that we don’t know what to do with. This object looks like a combination of a pizza cutter, a can opener, and a shoehorn. Or, is that just us?
According to the bookbinders and craftspeople of the internet, this instrument is a pad-making tool, used for producing notepads. The tool scoops the same amount of paper from a stack, allowing cardboard to be inserted to make a notebook.
Curious About Cables
Who doesn’t have a collection of cables somewhere in their home? It might include HDMI cables from a previous property, old cell phone chargers, and those leads you purchased when you decided to take up the electric guitar one summer. We all hoard cables, though some more than others.
This power cable was identified online as a Singer power cord for a sewing machine. The cable plugs into the machine, into the wall socket, and onto the foot control.
Torn Over a Telephone Pole
There was some friendly internet back and forth when it came to identifying this object. While some people thought this item was a replacement fuse, others argued that it’s actually a solid fuse cutout. These are used in overhead feeder lines, and consist of a fuse and a switch.
One helpful Redditor even solved the mystery of the word “Chance” on this object. They speculated that it was made by A.B. Chance before it was purchased by Hubbell in 1994. Good work, Sherlock!
Befuddled by a Brass Disc
Way back in the weird world of the ‘90s, this object would have been quickly identified by a group of school children. Now, it just looks like a piece of brass with two avocado-shaped dents in it.
This is a pog slammer, used to play the popular game of Pogs. This game involved thin, cardboard milk caps — or pogs — and heavier pieces, known as slammers. This brass slammer wouldn’t be allowed in some pog games, as the metal dented the finer cardboard.
Irritated by Unidentified Instruments
This old object went unidentified for many years before some helpful internet user revealed that it’s used to core and seed grapefruits. How random. While we’ve used an apple corer many times, we’ve never felt the need for an equivalent tool for grapefruits. Perhaps we’ve been missing out.
This tool, with its handles in the closed position, is forced into a grapefruit’s center, removing its core and seeds. More modern versions of these do exist, though we do admire this brass antiquity.
Surprised by a Spiky Stick
Perhaps this spiky little stick isn’t the most secretive object on this list, but we can see why it might throw someone for a loop. This metal stick came with a milk frothing jug, which is a pretty large clue as to what it’s used for.
Millennials, hipsters, and coffee drinkers alike recognize this small object as a latte art tool. You know those frothy coffees with hearts, leaves, and other decorations drawn in the milk on top? They’re made using these little sticks.
Weird Wooden Weather Tools
You may have come across a weird weather tool in your time, but have you seen three weird weather tools embedded in a piece of wood? We thought not. The person who posted this picture was asked to carry these mysterious instruments across the world, and they understandably wanted to know what on Earth they’re for.
The internet informed them that this is a weather station, containing a thermometer to measure temperature, a barometer to measure atmospheric pressure, and a hygrometer to measure humidity.
Dubious Metal Disks
We’ve already dealt with some dubious metal discs on this list, and here we’re facing even more. This particular disc comes with a solid plastic handle, and is marked with the word “INOX.” Mysterious, right?
Actually, nope. This one is rather straightforward. This object is simply a meat pounder, used to tenderize meat before cooking or marinating. While “INOX” does seem like the name of a shadowy underground organization, it’s actually an abbreviation for “inoxydable” — French for “stainless.”
Stone Blocks With Secret Uses
While this large, very old stone looks just like a lump of rock to most people, this person noticed two iron lifting rings on either side of it. Located on a farm in Wales, this stone mystified the farmer for years, but couldn’t hide when it came to the internet.
Redditors revealed that this stone used to be a cheese press. Dating back to the Bronze age, people have made cheese by separating the curds and whey by adding pressure and draining liquid.
Worried About Weaponry
Sometimes, when you come across an object, it makes sense to take precautions. This is especially true if you find it in a World War I front. Despite the passage of time, you could be in possession of an active weapon.
According to the internet, this very heavy brass item is the tip of an artillery shell fuse. While you might think a fuse couldn’t do much harm, it’s actually the most dangerous part. Fuses tend to be much more sensitive than explosions and may have mechanical timers.
The Meaning of the Markings
At first glance, this image looks like ancient markings left by an alien civilization. These markings are reminiscent of the Nazca Lines, a group of mysterious geoglyphs etched in the Peruvian desert. They’re similar to Egyptian hieroglyphs, or the lettering of another ancient language. In reality, these markings are much more mundane.
What you’re looking at here is simply a bird’s eye view of a motorcycle training course. These are often found at military installations because the U.S. military is very serious when it comes to motorcycle safety.
Stunned by Subterranean Somethings
If, like this person, you found this item beneath the soil, what would you think it was? Truthfully, we’d immediately jump to dinosaur tooth or nodule from the head of a prehistoric rhinoceros-type creature. Much like our previous example, the answer is slightly duller.
According to internet know-it-alls, this object is indeed a tooth, but not the organic kind. Rather, it’s a tooth from a 1993 Vermeer rock saw. The internet is pretty incredible, right?
Befuddled Over Beadwork
Thrift stores can be great places to pick up random pieces of paraphernalia. It’s where people come across scuttles and pog slammers, and where they offload their random instruments and confusing collections. This beaded doll was picked up in such a place, leading its owner to wonder where it really came from.
While you might guess this is a Golliwog — an old-fashioned, prejudiced doll – it’s actually a cone-shaped Zulu doll. These dolls are given to Zulu girls when they get married and can wear the traditional headdress.
Hooked on Historical Items
It can be exciting to come across a medal — there’s so much potential backstory when it comes to a simple pendant on a ribbon. This four-carat gold cross is marked with IHSV on each point and has “All for one, one for all,” written on its back.
It turns out this cross is the symbol of The Masonic and Military Order of the Red Cross of Constantine. This organization is an order of Freemasonry and operates around the world in over 40 countries.
Puzzling Over Porcelain
Here’s another thrift store item that puzzled its new owner. A two-piece set, this pair of porcelain objects looks like some sort of container — and that’s because it is. As a helpful internet user pointed out, this is a porcelain patterned toothpick holder.
Interestingly, humans have been picking their teeth for tens of thousands of years. Even extinct species of archaic humans have signs showing they must have picked their (not so) pearly whites with a tool of some sort.
Out of the Ordinary Objects
Someone received these mysterious objects from their mother-in-law and wasn’t exactly sure what to make of them. At first, they thought they looked like wool purses, but why would someone receive two identical purses from the same person?
In fact, these woolen items are cozy booties, used to keep your feet warm. To use them, you place feet inside, cross the straps, and snap them at the back of your ankle. Now we know that these exist, where can we get some?
Wondering About the Walls
As with objects found in war zones, it’s best to take precautions when dealing with items that fall out of walls. The person who took this picture opened a trap in a wall only to discover a rather large amount of whatever this is.
This saw-dust-like material is vermiculite, a material used as an insulator in buildings. Unfortunately, a very large amount of vermiculite contains asbestos, which is a major health hazard. Thank goodness the internet was around to advise on this one.
Revealing Lesser-Known Rodents
Okay, so we know that having a rodent climb through your toilet is most people’s worst nightmare. And we’re not saying it’s not our worst nightmare, too. However, we can’t help but find this creature simply adorable. Those eyes!
According to the internet, this is a Northern flying squirrel. These little creatures glide from tree to tree using a furry membrane that stretches from their wrist to their ankles. This one may have fallen through a vent on the roof, which can be prevented using a vent cap.
Baffled by Buildings
Here is yet another baffling building. This one features a small room that’s raised up, and is found across the Spanish countryside. Well, this a grain store, known in Spain as a “horreo.”
Horreos are typical in Galicia, Asturias, and in Northern Portugal. They are raised to keep rodents out and use flat stones for the same reason. There are various styles and shapes of horreos — the longest one is 115 feet long.