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People Wondered about the Purpose of These 10 Things & Got Unexpected Answers

As more things are invented, more things become obsolete. Still, it can be exciting to stumble upon an old or historic artifact.

However, many mystery items from days long ago have left people stumped and confused, forcing them to turn to Reddit for answers.

Here are 10 popular yet confusing objects that once served a major purpose and, in some cases, still do.

1. Wooden Box

Colorful slats in a Wooden Box

Although wooden boxes aren’t hard to identify, this one in particular had someone stumped. It turns out the box contains little and colorful wooden slats. After asking, it soon became clear. These mystery items are actually no mystery at all and are actually still relevant today. The wooden box contains 22 slats, or “tablets,” for a total of 11 colors and a matching piece for each color. It’s a Montessori toy that helps children learn their colors and improve their matching skills, and in some cases, it can be used to provide a more comprehensive explanation to children about how certain colors are made.

2. Mystery Items that are as They Appear

Explosive on a Wood Plank

Someone found a bizarre and clearly old piece of equipment in Montreal, Canada. Without recognizing it, they turned to Reddit, where someone confirmed for them these mystery items were exactly what they resembled: an unexploded artillery round. Fortunately, a bomb squad was recruited to dispose of the explosive properly.

3. Tiny Metal Spoon

Tiny spoon in hand. Tire in background

Someone found this tiny metal spoon and turned to Reddit for answers. Unsurprisingly, there were a number of mixed responses, including people who joked about the mystery items and their origins. Meanwhile, others offered plausible explanations. After all, it was actually meant to serve a variety of purposes, including cleaning out ear wax or under fingernails.

4. An Odd Little Building

Brick structure, traffic sign and a power line

For example, this building was found in Kerry, Ireland. It is seemingly just a tall brick building that served no purpose. However, it was actually part of the railway, storing water to refill tanks and tenders. There are structures like these worldwide, particularly along old or still-in-use railway tracks. Another example of this is a still-functioning water refill station that can be found along the historic train ride from Durango, Colorado, to Silverton, Colorado, and vice versa.

5. Extra Durable Pillow Case Zippers

These mystery items are often found in hotels and resemble security tags, leaving many to wonder what their purpose is. It’s actually a very simple answer and reassuring for anyone who may be germophobic or hyper-vigilant against bed bugs. It turns out the heavy-duty zipper and tag are actually designed to keep bed bugs away and prevent them from laying eggs and reproducing inside of common hotel items like couch cushions or pillows.

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6. Mystery Items that are Seemingly Unpleasant for Everyone

Hand holding one of the mystery items

This bizarre metal object was found by someone in their grandmother’s basement. Some may argue that it resembles a torture device of sorts, and while that may be true, it would only be so for cows. It turns out there’s a simple explanation for these odd mystery items. They were used for milking cows. However, the details are rather unpleasant and, therefore, won’t be shared in this brief explanation.

7. Egg Cutter

Hand holding one of the mystery items

This tool, also resembling a torture device, was actually used in the kitchen. It was designed to break eggshells easily so people could enjoy a soft-boiled egg without making a massive mess trying to crack the shell. These are called egg toppers, and they’re actually useful kitchen tools.

8. Mystery Items that Resemble other Common Items

Plumb bob with a brick wall background

The item in question semi-resembles a popular children’s toy, the Top, or a pendulum used to regulate a clock and by spiritual individuals as a tool for healing. However, it’s actually a type of “plumb bob”, used for measuring the length of things like depth or height.

9. Brick Poorly Laid

Brick wall with outcropping

With such fine craftsmanship put into homes and buildings, stumbling upon a seemingly poorly laid foundation can be confusing. However, there’s a reason for this “outcropping,” and it’s very much intentional. It turns out these mystery items are actually meant to drain spouts, absorbing water from roofs and from inside the structure.

10. Mystery Items Found In Matches

Match pin

This odd but very cool piece of history came in handy back in the day when nearly everyone smoked, and lighters weren’t as readily available. It’s actually a pin to stick on a shirt and also holds a match. Therefore, it is very handy to have once upon a time.

People have been around for a while, creating nifty objects designed to make everyday life easier. However, with the ever-changing world in which we live, mystery items are bound to be uncovered occasionally. Likely hidden in the depths of dirt in backyards, basements, garages, and other forgotten-about places that are just a mirror glimpse of what once was.

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