"Found in a garden. Metallic object that closes in on itself"
A: "Looks like a Hindu ritual box. It is missing the middle piece that would sit in that central hole."
"Curved shovel found in the cellar"
A: "Adze for shaping wood"
"Little brass Buhda with a copper seal on the bottom. When I shake it around I hear something metal inside rattle around. I’m reluctant to break the seal without knowing what it means."
A: "The required filling materials consist of rolled mantras, fragrant wood, incense powders, and the five metals (gold, silver, brass, iron and copper)."
"Object from the 50’s, solid wooden handle, circular metal circle things attached."
A: "Vintage Apex brand Knife Sharpener/Glass Cutter In The Original Box"
"This building was found in a country estate in Scotland. It’s about the size of a large shed and has small slits and platforms on the outside. What is it?"
A: "It’s a bee hotel. Alternatively called a “Slovenian bee house” because there is another structure that people call a “bee hotel” which isn’t a place for a permanent hive but rather a lot of little open tubes and spaces in a frame where individual bees can hide/rest temporarily. The bee house version instead allows for multiple complete hives where the bees live, which I suppose is less like a hotel and more like condominiums."
"What is the device patterned on this tie I got from the thrift store?"
A: "I believe that is the leather strap suspension from a Concord Stagecoach."
"Been walking past this metal thing in the woods every day for 13 years"
A: "Electric water pump"
"A wooden box by a gate in NW UK – on a footpath. Gate separates path from road but you can just step over"
A: "This is to stop motorbikes etc but allow walkers access to the path"
"Got this shirt used. Anyone know what country it is?"
"Found in a molehill near a 17th Century graveyard at Kilmadock, Scotland. What is this thing?"
A: "Loom weights"
"Found stainless steel object when cleaning out a lab space. Has an “H” in a diamond stamp."
A: "It’s a glass tube cutter! Used it many times in chemistry lab"
"What’s happening to my kitchen utensils? Multiple kitchen utensils have this white stuff on them. I hand wash them and dry in rack in sink. Can’t scrub it off. It’s almost like a chemical reaction of something?"
A: "The plastic coating is delaminating. No amount of scrubbing is going to fix that."
"Came in a swag bag for a horse show. About 8 inches long, not sure of it’s purpose."
A: "It’s a mask extender. It wraps around the back of your neck and you attach the ear loops of the mask so your ears don’t chafe/get sore. wear it correctly and you’ll be advertising their website on the back of your neck all day."
"I keep seeing these strange ladders around Brooklyn"
A: "These were actually community clothes lines. There would be many attached to that running to the nearby apartments."
"Weird (possibly rotating?) metal contraption found in a vacant lot outside Hamilton, Ontario"
A: "A “Swinging Gym”. You’d actually pay to get in one of these with a friend, and get it swinging with the aim of making full circles. A ton of effort and skill was required."
"Concrete pad with stainless steel rod protruding, located on the rim of a disused sand quarry. There are several of these located around the quarry. Approx 60cm on the side. Survey point?"
A: "Centering point to allow for reproducible measurements (i.e. yes – a survey marker indeed!)"
"What are these carriages used to transport? In the UK, they maximise neither aerodynamics nor capacity. Look too clean for coal, doors at 45degrees to the horizontal…"
A: "The wagons are basically hoppers filled from the top, and empty down towards the rails, so they’re emptied on a special section of rail that has a conveyor or similar underneath it."
"My dog found this. Bottom is made of metal and top appears to be glass or ceramic"
A: "It’s a Polish 40x47mm grenade from the Pallad grenade launcher."
"A dome room by someone’s dock in the Poconos? Photo was taken from a canoe…passed this thing in the backyard of someone’s house. Looks like you can get into it maybe? WITT?"
A: "An outdoor sauna."
"Found this in the machine shop/ science dump of my college has a needle in a glass container in some sort of oil and a glass pipette. Each were found in this metal containers"
A: "It’s a watch/clockmakers oiling set"
"Family heirloom. It’s a little bigger than an AA battery and has about the same weight. It has a tiny pin hole in the top. It also has a combination with numbers 5 to 9. Combo is unknown so don’t know what (if anything) is in there. Feels hollow. Sterling silver that says “Providence” on it."
A: "It’s a needle case, there are little compartments inside."
"Weird metal tube (now dented) found metal detecting in SE Iowa on a farmstead that stood from the 1890s-1960s. Seems to be made of copper, found 4″ down, and has a bat-like symbol on one end. It’s closed on both ends and feels hollow."
A: "Looks like old lipstick"