In the past if you saw something strange, it was likely up to you, someone you knew, a person in the vicinity who could tell you what saw was. Even then, you would be limited to the information available in your local area, such as the city library. Today, we're lucky to have the internet, and with it, it's unlimited access to knowledge from places and people far and wide.
In fact, the popular website "Reddit" has a subreddit thread titled "What Is This Thing?" which lets users post photos of things they have no idea about and other people chime in with their ideas. Yes, a place on the internet where you can ask an innocent question and not get trolled. Hard to believe but it does exist.
Check out the list of the craziest explanations for the internet's most puzzling photo questions:
Question: Green alien thing that grew on my band-aid. What is this thing? The answer is either a very long scientific explanation involving shelf-life, climate, exposure to moisture among other things. The other, simpler and better theory is they are sprinkles.
Question: What is this demonic looking creature? If we had to guess, we'd say this came directly from the gates of hell to spook the bejesus out of every soul which doubted the afterlife. But apparently, it's just a moth with fancy glands the females of its species have the hots for.
Question: I've met an old man in Germany and he sent me these little coats of arms, telling me to visit each of these locations before Idie. What are these exactly used for? This makes sense. Many veterans from that era would likely suffer from some injury or another and would sadly require a walking stick to get around, so stick medallions make sense.
Question: An old Samsung PC keyboard. What is the coffee cup key for? The answer we were hoping for was that the keyboard would unlock some secret coffee making function in computers. But it turns out it's a screen saver button.
Question: What is this? I found it next to my toaster. Please don't tell me it's some kind of cockroach molt. This person perhaps regretted asking this question. Now they can't sleep in their own home as they are always wondering where the alleged snake could be. Thanks, a lot.
Question: What in the absolute f*** is on my car? Never in a million years would we have ever thought this one up by ourselves. It looks like something out of the Pokémon world. We're looking forward to seeing the butterfly-wasp hybrid!
Question: This... Thing... Showed up inside the humid jar of my carnivorous plants. What is this thing? Again we have to ask, what? A slime mold which eats oats someone makes a person jealous not have one of their own. What is even the point of this anyway?
Question: What are these circles on a window of a bus and what do they do? Impress your fellow passengers with this bit of trivia next time you catch a bus. We have to admit, we never would have imagined the reason for these circles would be so profound.
Question: Saw this guy crossing the street in dc. What is it? This looks like something out of the Jetsons cartoon. Even delivery guys are losing their jobs to the robots now. On the other hand, at least you don't need to tip.
Question: Relative found these eggs in her yard in Georgia, hanging from a tree. What is this thing? Wow. That's all we can say. David Attenborough needs to do a nature show in Georgia, right now.
Question: A coworker found a hive on her balcony. She is convinced that is a beehive. I am not but I don't know what insect it is? Show me the honey! I will gift them to a beekeeper on the condition they give me some of their production now and then. Any takers?
Question: I came home yesterday afternoon to find this tucked in my car door. Does anyone have a similar experience? The real question is who would put this on a strangers car? Is this some kind of next level Wiccan flirting? You could say, we're burning to know.
Question: I was off-roading with my kids today and found this in the path blocked by a giant rock. Any ideas? And just like that, a veteran archaeologist saves the day. We sure wish we had time-traveling trails like this in our neck of the woods.
Question: This was given to me maybe 25 years ago because I collect knives. No one knows where it's from or the purpose of the stick (there's space for 2 sticks, but only one was in it when given to me). US quarter for scale. Who would've thought people would take their cutlery everywhere they went!
Question: Odd square metal embedded in a rock. What is this thing? We can understand why this would look unnaturally made due to its perfectly square dimensions. We were hoping it was something more unusual like an alien surveillance device. Pity.
Question: Found this on a beach in New Zealand - there were thousands of them at the high water mark. What is it? It's a good thing this hero was there to save the day because we would have wanted to touch this sea beauty ourselves. It's not only Middle Earth that has magic, but the middle of the sea also seems to provide mystical creatures.
Question: I need your help! What is this? Forget snail mail, this is the package through a snail female and not in the "yay, I can't wait to open it" kind. How surreal it must be to know you hold the lives of hundreds of creatures in the palm of your hand.
Question: Super small mini flask? The 'needle' screws into the flask. What is this thing? We want one of these! We imagine this what ancient assassins used to covertly poison their enemies. We're not saying we would use it for the same purpose, of course. Honest.
Question: Oxycodone bottle found in the woods with electronics inside. What is this thing? We assume this person is not one who normally takes precautions. This could have been part of a bomb, a chemical weapon, etc., and they decide to bring it home. Luckily, or unluckily, it's a bait bottle to catch thieves. Better throw it away, NOW!
Question: Took this weird bean home, now it's opening up and has me more puzzled. What is this thing? It's a good thing to ask before you put anything into your mouth. Easy, now. On first glance, you may think these are jalapeño peppers with cherry tomatoes. But you'd be oh-so-wrong.
Keep reading to see how the internet answered the next person's strange creature photo...
Question: Found this guy freezing to death in southern Michigan this morning. What is this thing? Someone just scored themselves a pet. Salamander, I choose you. Just don't use it do battle now, champ. #GottaCatchEmAll
Question: Seen in the sky over Wisconsin last night. What is this thing? We're glad someone could clarify this because we were starting to panic for a moment. This greenhouse is certainly "lit".
Question: Found at a dead relatives house. What is this thing? We believe the reason this item fetches so much is that it is, in reality, part of Doctor Who's armory of gadgets. Who else would use this?
Question: White circles with purple dots on top of a headdress. What is this thing? Our guess was pretty close. We were thinking they were fans of the "faith of the seven" from Game of Thrones. But it appears they were fans of another throne altogether, the throne of heaven. The "five holy wounds", of course, represent the five wounds of Jesus Christ, known as the stigmata.
Question: My friend found this weird rock on the east coast of England. What is it? Yuck. We make no apologies for reacting this way. Worms in any form, dead, alive, or fossilized can stay underground. Just looking at this makes us squirm. Ugh!
Question: What is the purpose of a door like this? Who builds something for the public if they don't want the public to use it? That's like building a swimming pool just to see the reflection of the sky. Trust politicians to come up with gold pieces of legislation which lead to results like this.
Question: Found on an apple in East Germany. What is this thing? No. No. No. Thanks, but no thanks. We like our apples a little more organic, thank you. Thanks for the extra seasoning but we're not actually all that hungry anyway. Okay, thanks, bye.
Question: Found on the beach (ocean) in MA, USA. (iPhone 5 for reference). Skull? Sternum? That's one big fish. It would actually be a great mask for a dress up party. And best of all, it's free. Just be sure to clean out the, umm carcass, first.
Question: Interesting cloud formation, what's going on here? Thanks. Just when we were getting excited to hear some cool supernatural explanation for why the clouds look like they're being sucked out, this person pops our balloon. Thanks, science guy/girl.
Question: Seen in the sky while hiking in Manchester today. What is this thing? When they say transformer, do they mean, the electricity kind or the Autobots/Decepticons kind? Because both would make sense to us.
Question: My mom found this on the floor of her beauty salon, she calls it a "cockapiller". What is this thing? Our first instinct was to presume it was a vegetable like a squash. As much as we appreciate this person's explanation, we prefer the poster's mother's name for it instead.
Question: This little girl was photographed in the 1860's with her dog. What is she holding in her lap? Yeah, cool accordion and all. But where can we get a cute little pooch like that? I mean, look at how it's sitting up on its little feet. Aww.
Question: These were all over the beach in S. Maine. Think they were alive. What is this thing? There's an entire world to explore under the sea. And this tunicate is only a glimpse at what the ocean has to offer.
Question: A gift to the Sultan of Brunei. What is it?! By getting one for your household, you too can boast that you use the same coconut grater as that which is used in the palace of the Sultan of Brunei. Cool, huh?
Question: What did I catch? You can catch all kinds of strange things out in the great blue sea. As strange as this creature seems, it's not the strangest thing to come out of the depths of the ocean as we'll see.
Question: Mold? Spores? Something on a tree in the woods. Too scared to touch it. This one requires quite the explanation to answer according to one poster:
"Looks like some wooly aphids. Woolly aphids are sucking insects that live on plant fluids and produce a filamentous waxy white covering which resembles cotton or wool. The adults are winged and move to new locations where they lay egg masses. The nymphs often form large cottony masses on twigs, for protection from predators."
It's best to just let nature be sometimes, folks.
Question: I found this after a rock was broken. What is it? So we have the inside of a horsetail plant's stem. Aristotle once said, "Nothing is what rocks dream about." We wish we could see the look on his face when we show him this. Checkmate. ?
Question: Seen in Ohio. Obviously, a car. But does the top have a purpose? Our minds wondered if it were some kind of supercharged antenna, but it turns out it's used as the start line for horse harness racing.
Question: It's made out of silver and the ball rotates. What is this thing? We would love to see this in a James Bond movie. "How do you like your cigars, Mr. Bond?" The same way I like my women, "buttery".
Question: Any idea what these metal lightweight hollow things could be? The largest one is about five. Thank our lucky stars we don't live in an age where these tools are what is used.
Question: Found in an earth pot at work, was growing in the dark since it had a lid on it. What is this thing? There's a reason some of us don't like gardening. Every time we have to pluck out something, dig a hole, or clear out feeds, we come across something half-bizarre, half-scary like this.
Question: Is this the beginning of a Stephen King novel? This mystery blob just appeared in my remote Maine cabin. There are also signs someone has been in here since I've been away. What is this? After realizing the cause of this mess, this person probably did wish it was an intruder instead. Eww. Ugh. Yuck.
Question: Neighbor was involved in a hit and run and is trying to identify the red vehicle that hit him. Any idea what vehicle this could be from? And just like that the list of suspects just narrowed.
Question: What is this thing? Seen in a charity shop! According to the internet, here's the answer: “Looks like it would dispense cigarettes” – frumble86. We'll stick with our lighters, thank you.
Question: What is this tool? This looks like a tool from the stone age, but it turns out it's much more recent. We can't say we've ever seen this in action, but it's likely these haven't been used in a long time. Maybe it doubles as a back scratcher?
Question: This needle thing was just found in a hamburger at a Lexington, Kentucky Mcdonald's - what is it? What we want to know is why do people pick things like these up and bring them home in the first place? Are we just germaphobes, or is this not normal at all?
Question: It Slid Out Of My Cooked Egg. What Is This Thing? Some might say, they get the chicken with the egg, but we would rather burn this with the hottest fires of hell than put it anywhere near us. No, no. Nada. No, thank you.
Question: For a friend, what is this thing? Butter Bing, Butter Boom! Would your friend appreciate this? Wouldn't it be better to get them a more autonomous machine, or better yet, butter? Why would you torture them with this manual device?
Question: Found these spots on the chicken out of a frozen store-bought package, each bit has this around the bone. What is this thing? This one was an eye-opener. All chickens deserve to have the best life possible before they become food for us. A happy chicken becomes a tasty chicken.
Question: Thing pulled out of a dog's mouth, looks like a sandworm from Dune. What is this thing? Creepy. It looks like a piece of bacon wrapped around shrimp-worm hybrid. Bad doggy.
Question: Found hanging from a tree. Pen for scale. Feels like cotton. What is this thing? The things people bring into their house. What if this plant still had wasp eggs inside it and hatched overnight? People should really think twice before they bring things into their home. Risky business.
Question: What is this professor wearing? I believe he is in computer engineering. It's probably not too much of a stretch to say this was popular with his students. The added benefit, if he got caught staring at someone, is that he could just pretend he was looking at this fine piece of glass. ?
Question: I know this is uranium glass but what is it used for? The top comes off. This would make for a great 21st Birthday Gift. It's also good for your shy friend at the bar who sips on their drink. You can't put it down until you're down, friend. You should never do shots half-assed.
Question: My mom saw these on a car in southwest Florida, not sure what they are? They are the equivalent of training wheels for cars. If you want to tell everyone you suck at driving, please add these to your vehicle. Actually, you know what, it should be mandatory for half of the people on today's roads to have these installed.
Question: What is this tool - some sort of gauge? Made by Starrett. The fact that most of us don't know what this is only tells us that the modern man and modern woman are less hands-on than generations past. But hey, at least we have the internet to lend us a helping hand, right?
Question: Found in a London Airbnb. What is this thing? Some devices from the past should really be marketed better today. Like this ham holder. You could use it for other pieces of meat too. It will make for a much smoother cut of meat. Even Thanksgiving dinner would be a little less messy.
Question: Found in my backyard pond. Floating by that sack filled with fluid. What is this thing? The real question is how did it get there? Did one of the fish suddenly learn to walk and breathe? We need more details, comrade.