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1. Grey plastic circle with an 8 pronged hole found in my laundry room. Says "do not remove," how concerned should I be that this was removed?
A: I’m a plumber, most likely goes on the drain line for your washer machine. I’m not sure how important it is that it’s there, but I would check where the drain line enters the machine to see if it helps with the seal.
2. What is this oddly burned log I found at a campsite?
A: Swedish log burning….burns longer than firing a log onto a fire.
3. Found in Natural Bridge State Resort Park, KY off a trail. But I’ve also seen them in Cherokee near NC and TN borders also on trails. Seemingly empty inside, no door on this one, but seen elsewhere with a door. Used to have a lid with vent pipe on top entrance. Maybe 7’x35’x21′ if I had to guess.
A: “About 2.25-miles from the Natural Bridge on the Hood’s Branch Trail, the trail passes through a swampy section that was once cleared for a small farm. Cross two small footbridges and you’ll soon see a trail shelter built by the Civilian Conservation Corps when they maintained a camp at Natural Bridge in the 1930’s.”
4. What are these tiny brown and tan beads I found in my carpet and on my windowsill?
A: You have termites.
5. Small black box with four LEDs, an aerial and some sort of terminal.
A: After some short and uninteresting research, these contain theremin circuits which are conveniently set off by handheld 2 way radios. The inventor used a toy kit in the original. At least the “ghosts” can mimic vintage horror movie sounds as they haunt you
6. I found these in a religious thrift store, but I have no idea what they are. These are ceramic cylinders around 6 inches tall. They are glazed on the outside and unglazed on the inside. The word “healthy” is stamped on the base.
A: I think those are vertical poultry roasters. The idea is to insert them into a whole chicken and bake it standing up. You’d need a baking pan to catch the juices of course.
7. Old fused coins or poker chips? I inherited this strange stack of coins from my great grandfather. They appear to be the consistency of quartz when I shine light through a chip on the edge and the whole stack weighs 8grams, each coin is roughly the diameter of a dime and twice as thick.
A: fossil crinoids
8. What is this red leather devil figure, found in a wooden box in an attic?
A: Turns out one of the weirder ways skates and rays have been used by people is as curiosities. These cartilaginous fish, related to sharks, were flipped over and “shaped” into gruesome likenesses of imagined sea devils or maybe evil-looking mermaids. After being dried out and shellacked they were sold in port cities and seaside towns as far back as the 16th century. The origins of the name are obscure, but some articles reference jeune fille d’Anvers which translates as girl from Antwerp. Intentionally fishing and drying out sea creatures as tourist trinkets, whether sea stars, sea horses or Jenny Hanivers, has fortunately fallen out of fashion. But beach combing is still a great way to come upon all sorts of interesting bits and pieces brought in on the tide and tossed ashore by a wave to dry in the sun.
9. I found this thing on the beach in Oregon. It looks like metal but it’s actually soft and rubbery. What is it?
A: It’s a rubber cover for an electrical terminal strip, usually used in industrial or transportation settings. The little holes fit pins on the strip and friction holds it in place.
10. What is (the intended use of) this oddly shaped silver spoon?
A: Caddy Spoon. A caddy spoon is a short handled spoon used for measuring the dried tea from the tea caddy, where it was stored, to the teapot, and most commonly in use from the late 1700’s to the mid Victorian period, although examples continue turning up dated into the early 1900s.
11. What is this thing on our apartment wall with an explosion image, and should I not be messing with it?
A: I believe it is a older style laser beam for house alarms.
12. Silicon cup thing? My parents were randomly mailed this from an unknown address. Material is malleable.
A: Some sort of anti-cellulite hogwash.
13. Metal clamp over breaker?? Plumbers worked on water heater and left. Checked breaker and found this
A: It’s definitely an LoTo device, possibly an Eaton branded one from Home Depot. There is no padlock on it, so you can still move the breaker switch below it freely, so just leave it alone and ignore it. More trouble than it’s worth! It’s just over a flat, block-off plate anyway.
14. Some kind of homemade remembrance piece? Is there a formal/common name for these? Incredible piece!
A: It’s basically the equivalent of a tour jacket. These days they are usually just a literal jacket with patches on to denote service points, but this was before those sorts of patches were widely available. I’d wager each thing embroidered on there signifies a country, place, or incident that was visited and/or notable during his tour of duty.
15. Scissors that don’t cut? One side is a spoon and the other side is a loop that just fits around the spoon. It’s about six inches long. Found in an old junk drawer.
A: Those are pineapple eye scissors. They are for removing the tough spots on a pineapple after you skin it.
16. Found lots of these little things buried in the ground whilst digging out foundations for an extension in the UK. The white around the edge is some kind of plastic and the inside seems like charcoal, but could be something else. Anyone have any idea what they are?
A: They look like individual cells from a battery.
17. Un-glazed ceramic object purchased as a set of 2. Dimensions are 9.5” long x 3.5” wide x 2.5” tall. Marked with the letters BAY followed by four dots.
A: Looks like the ceramic things you put water in and hang it on your heater to raise the uh… water in the air.
18. A small metal rectangle of mystery… with rollers! Picked this up as a kid over 40 years ago. Brass rollers on each end make me think about music staff printing. There’s some kind of felted pad inside but tough to see as the gaps around the rollers are pretty small. Heavier than it looks.
A: it's a roller-type rastrum
19. 1 1/2 inches with hook on one end and cone with lip on other.
A: This thing fits inside of a small, yellow plastic cylinder, and there is a concealed rubber band inside. It’s a “magic“ trick, and it is designed to infuriate and frustrate your mark.
20. 6″ to 8″ black cast iron frying pan with a raised solid 2″ flat surface in the center of the pan
A: It’s a donut skillet
21. What is this two attached differently sized cups made of (probably) uranium/vaseline glass?
A: It’s a vintage smoke set for cigarettes and matches