“We found these objects in a river yesterday. Does anyone know what these are?”
These things are called “diya” or “deepak”. It’s a small oil lamp used in a Diwali ceremony. You can see burn marks on the sides.
“What could these be used for? It’s a bunch of shaped wood locked in a cage in a park in Barcelona.”
This weird installation is actually a bug hotel. Different useful bugs and insects can settle in there like ladybugs, butterflies and lacewing flies.
“Found on the edge of the South Carolina coast. Any help would be appreciated!”
This is a sea pansy. Being a part of the cnidaria species (multi-cellular animal organisms), they’re also called soft corals.
“Is this a fossil? My brother bought it when he was a kid.”
There’s a fossilized trilobite in this stone.
“This is a dish from a sushi restaurant that we found on Yelp.”
These are sea pineapples. People usually describe their taste as rubber soaked in ammonia. However, there are connoisseurs of such sea “fruit” that love to eat it with sake.
“My girlfriend found these small doors in trees in Scotland near Loch Lomond.”
Doors glued to trees are called fairy doors. There’s a small room behind the door so that people can leave a note or a present for a fairy.
Is this a 25 ft long trailer?
This is a closed trailer used to carry gliders (unmanned aerial vehicles).
“I found this thing in a dumpster. Does anyone know what this is?”
This is an erhu — an old Chinese musical instrument with 2 metal strings.
“My mom found this at a flea market. I don’t know what this is for but it’s really heavy.”
It’s a display for miniature letter openers.
“I found this weird silver overlay bottle. It won’t open.”
It’s a decanter — a special vessel used to hold the decantation of liquids like wine. You need to ask a jeweler to open a rare and expensive item such as this.
“What is this weird structure on Lake Superior in Marquette, Michigan?”
It’s a forbidden ore dock. The structure was used for convenient ore loading for ships.
“Found a rock on the porch of my new home, flipped it over and saw this. Is it a fossil?”
These are the lycopsids (the division of lycopodiophyta plants). They’re one of the most commonly spread fossils in shale caves. They can grow up to 100 ft!
“I got this from my great-grandfather who was a mathematician. What could this be?”
It’s a pocket decipher device used during World War II. During the 1930s a similar crypto machine, Le Sphinx, was designed in France.
“This is a really weird thing. Does anyone know what it is?”
It’s a Chinese national toy called “Four Happiness Boys”. It symbolizes 4 types of happiness put together: rain after a long drought, a wedding night, passing the imperial exams, and running into a friend in a far away place.
“A customer found this in our lobby. What is it?”
It’s a device used for inserting and removing contact lenses and prosthetic eyes.