“Baby related, it is hardish foam. What is it?”
Answer: It is a door stopper, to stop fingers from getting caught when a door slams.
“A miniature mask I found in New Zealand. Any ideas?”
Answer: Balinese ‘yawning’ dance mask. It looks like a miniature version of the actual masks used in Balinese dance performances.
“On the underside of our cabinet in a house we recently bought, built in the 70s. Plastic with metal teeth on one side, very dull. Each side is ~4 inches long.”
Answer: Jar opener.
“What are these structures? They’re all over the public parks in my city. The inside edge of each ring has 2 hooks on either side, so they seem to have a purpose beyond public art.”
Answer: I think it is a hammock stand used for swinging, sleeping, or resting.
“I found this wooden object as I was standing on a beach in Miraflores, Lima, Peru.”
Answer: That’s a ceremonial chonta. It’s a traditional healer thingy.
“Hollow silver oval found in our kitchen drawer, we don’t remember buying it.”
Answer: Stainless steel soap. It’s to rub on your hands after chopping onions or garlic. It gets the smell off.
“Spinning wind turbine clipped onto telephone/power lines, was near some road works if that helps?”
Answer: Bird flight diverter which provides an economical means of reducing the hazard to both lines and birds.
“There are about 6 or 7 of these around the local park, 2 inside the running track, and the rest outside, UK. What are these?”
Answer: They are vents for underground gasses.
“Found this near a military camp in the woods in the Netherlands. Can anybody tell me what it is? It has 9 beads on the bottom and 4 on top.”
Answer: They are called ranger beads. They are used to count distance through a known pace.
“Found in my backyard in East Nashville, Tennessee.”
Answer: It’s a decent fit for Hopewell Indian culture arrows from about 2,000 years ago.
“Found this thing while digging in the garden, in the south of the Netherlands.”
Answer: It’s a Roman oil jar made of terracotta.
“What kind of axe is this supposed to be? All I know is that it is from Japan!”
Answer: This isn’t an axe. It’s a delimbing tool. You use it to reach high limbs and cut them with a swift pass. These things are razor sharp.
“Found this leaking in my basement today. It’s hooked up to the water line but doesn’t seem to serve any purpose.”
Answer: It’s a sediment filter with a very old filter cartridge inside.
“Found this and I have no clue what it is. Anyone recognize this thing?”
Answer: It’s a very old audio head demagnetizer.
“What is this thing?”
Answer: It is called a spacer wheel or chair. It’s meant to hold rebar in place prior to pouring the concrete.
“Anybody know what this is?”
Answer: Double inkwell which was commonly used in the 19th century.
“Found this in my garden, no clue what it is.”
Answer: This is an electrostatic animal guard. When an animal touches the spokes, it receives an electric shock.
“My uncle found this and has no clue what it is. I don’t have a lot of information, but it’s clear and just has these holes in it.”
Answer: Flower “frog” for arranging flowers. It uses a number of holes that stems could be fit through for arranging.
“What is this yellow thing? They appear to be made of aluminum and are on a lot, if not most, of the telephone poles around here. I’m located in southeast Pennsylvania.”
Answer: These yellow mesh objects are called grid reflectors. Their purpose is to help motorists see and avoid utility poles.
“Was going through my family’s fine China cupboards and came across this weird cup thing.”
Answer: I believe it is a shaving scuttle, which is used to keep soap lather warm and ready for multiple passes.