No one can keep track of every single thing in their attic or backyard. You’re bound to come across a mystery hiding in your own home sooner or later. The real challenge is figuring out exactly what the heck you’re dealing with, especially when it’s really weird.
These 20 curious redditors had no clue what to do with their bizarre finds, so they enlisted the all-knowing hive mind of the internet to help them out. When truth behind each unusual discovery came to light it was just too much…
1. A girl found this monstrosity while playing in her backyard. Though it looks like an evil brain with tentacles, it’s actually cedar apple rust, a parasitic fungus that feeds off of trees.
2. Does the ocean get pimples too? A tourist in Cancun spotted these mysterious pods at the end of a pier. In reality, they are reef balls — manmade, concrete habitats that shelter endangered marine life.
reddit / adelaide345
3. Yikes, that is a creepy bug. It happens to be a male Creatonotos gangis moth with its scent glands extended to attract a mate. All humans should feel grateful we can just use dating apps instead.
reddit / BundleOfSticks556
4. Is that person holding a melted water bottle? It’s actually a salp. These transparent sea creatures connect to each other in long chains that can cover thousands of square miles of ocean.
reddit / Lostndamaged
5. One Goodwill shopper stumbled across this $300 item, which resembles an alien heat ray. It does get quite hot, as it is a microincinerator used to sterilize needles and other equipment.
reddit / mynameisdatruth
6. This object looks like a lime, but it’s light as a balloon. It’s called an oak apple gall, which is a wasp nest laid inside a tree’s leaf tissue. You definitely won’t want to use this in any recipes!
reddit / AnimatedWyrm
7. What’s this, a buried treasure trove of bad toupees? These fuzzballs are curled up fern fronds, sometimes called ‘hairy knuckles,’ that unravel and sprout leaves as they mature.
reddit / jw2702
8. Feed me, Seymour! This plant looks like it’s out of the Little Shop of Horrors, but don’t worry, it won’t be eating anyone. It’s the flower of a skunk cabbage, which grows in swamps and smells about as good as you would expect.
reddit / spamisafoodtoo; flickr / peet-astn
9. Let this critter serve as a reminder not to touch every unusual thing you find. That’s because this is a Portuguese man-of-war, one of the most dangerous types of jellyfish in the world. Whether or not the person taking this photo ever figured that out… remains to be seen.
reddit / goforajog
10. Nope, that’s not a medieval battle axe. It’s a strainer for frying pans, useful for discarding grease and oil while saving all the delicious tidbits of fried food.
reddit / AxelTheFajita
11. This creature washed up on Vancouver Island after a crash landing of sorts. It is a velella, an organism similar to a jellyfish with a sail-like fin to propel it across the ocean’s surface.
flickr / brunomalfondet
12. Only the biggest kitchen gurus will recognize this gadget, let alone have one in their utensil drawer. These slicer tongs are perfect for chopping up onions, though they won’t do much to stop you from crying.
reddit / 917caitlin
13. Discovered in Southwest Florida, this patterned shell is the egg casing of a horse conch. True to its name, the horse conch is one of the largest mollusks in existence.
reddit / CovertTiger
14. You might mistake this for some kind of heavy metal clothespin, but it’s just a roofing jack. Once unfolded, it provides scaffolding support on slanted roofs and is a wise investment for serious DIY home improvement projects.
reddit / LindsE8
15. This glass cylinder seems like it belongs in a mad scientist’s laboratory, but it really is just an oil lamp. The inner bulb needs to be filled with oil and a wick, and presto! You have instant mood lighting. Just don’t tip it over.
reddit / imi929; flickr / Scott B DeSelle
16. Is this some kind of leather punk bracelet? Maybe, as long as sewing falls under your definition of ‘punk.’ Known as a sailmaker’s palm, this accessory is worn on the hand and provides padding for the needle to strike.
reddit / chihuahuab
17. This type of outlet won’t do much good for your phone charger. That’s because it’s exclusively for old-fashioned TV antennae. Can you imagine the inconvenience of having to plug in a device to watch your favorite shows?
reddit / Dresden89
18. This contraption looks like it could be a futuristic magnifying glass, but it’s actually a watch link remover. It is a must-have tool for a jeweler… or anybody with wrists that keep changing size.
reddit / WoodburyTV
19. One unlucky soul found this metal shard embedded in his truck. Though it looks like a ninja weapon, it’s actually a piece of a Nissan Sentra, which must’ve slammed into the truck and sped away.
reddit \ Goat_Legged_Fellow
20. Speaking of cars, this device in the trunk of a 1994 Honda will be a mystery to most millennials. Anyone else might identify it as a CD changer, allowing drivers to cycle through multiple discs before the dawn of downloads and streaming.
reddit / BhlooBoy
How many of these strange discoveries did you correctly identify?
Try to stump your friends by sharing them below!