“I found this while digging up a 100-year-old outhouse in Southern California. Any ideas on what this is?”
“My granddad dug this up in Liverpool. It may be ammunition from World War II, but it’s unusually decorated. What is it?”
Answer: This is called trench art. Trench art is the name of the creation of various things from the objects that military men had at hand, in most cases, from the remnants of ammunition and the equipment that was damaged in a battle.
“I found this on the wall of a house that was built at the beginning of the 1900s.”
Answer: This is a century-old equivalent to the modern circuit breaker panel.
“I was cutting my watermelon and was surprised to see these hard stems in it.”
Answer: It’s likely that due to drought, the watermelon got spoiled inside. It’s better not to eat it. Technically, it’s edible, but it probably doesn’t taste very good.
“This thing was lying next to an abandoned mine.”
Answer: This is a part of the exhaust gas boiler that is used to utilize waste heat on ships.
“I saw a weird door in the sea wall in Biarritz, France.”
Answer: This isn’t a door, but a tide gate that prevents backflow from the ocean into the city storm water system.
“I found this on the beach of Lake Erie. I’ve lived near the lake my whole life and I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Answer: These are the pharyngeal teeth of a fish. You can only see these teeth if you remove the gill cover.
“I found this in the woods.”
Answer: This is a steam boiler. Maybe, from a train engine, or more likely from a building used for heat or some kind of power for a mining operation.
“I found this in a drawer in my office at a marine biology institute. It looks like an egg, but it’s not.”
Answer: It’s likely to be a dummy seagull egg. The real egg gets swapped with a fake plastic one, so the bird quietly sits on it all season without laying another egg. This technique helps to reduce the population. Besides, seagulls get very aggressive when they have chicks, but they keep calm and quiet when they sit on their eggs.
“This came in a bag of pots and kitchen utensils.”
“I found this in my checked luggage after a flight.”
Answer: This is a manual scanner for explosives. Through a special filter, the pump draws in the air from hands and clothes, and the scanner analyzes it for traces of anything illegal.
“What is this black cord in my banana?”
“I found this in my attic.”
“A strange tool I found while cleaning out my grandpa’s workshop.”
Answer: This is a Japanese style saw rasp with a large notch that is used for processing soft materials.
“I found them in canned food for cooking spaghetti.”
Answer: Don’t eat the spaghetti. They may be rosary peas and you may get seriously poisoned.