Answer: For fire training, for the airport fire brigade.
Imagine you’re headed to your attic to retrieve a box of old family photos, or mannequin heads, or your anarchist manifesto, or whatever it is you keep in your attic. While searching, you glance at the wall, and there’s the gnarliest Spider you’ve ever seen. It’s huge and multicolored and looks like it’ll kill you with one bite.
Then it bites you. Now you have to identify thw Spider so you can find some antivenom. But you’re no arachnologist, so your ass is grass.
Or it would be, without the Internet! Because chances are, there’s a community of Spider experts on a website like Reddit. All you have to do is post a picture of the spider and they’ll probably know what it is. Even better? It’s not just for spiders. It works for anything!
The Internet makes it easier to identify the wild and weird stuff we all see in the world. Here are 15 times when someone asked the Internet to identify something strange, and the Internet delivered. (via Bored Panda)
1. Researching plantation houses in the 1700’s. What is the thing hanging from the ceiling in this dining room?
Answer: Very early ceiling fan. The rope at the top would be pulled to create the back and forth motion to fan the air and keep flies away from the table during a meal.
2. Went exploring in White Sands, New Mexico and found an…object
Answer: Looks like it could be titanium – titanium spheres of similar size are a relatively commonly found space debris.
3. This sticker on the inside cover of a second-hand bible. Pretty sure it depicts a partridge and a fig tree, both of which have biblical connections but no idea what it means.
Answer: No Bush/Quail. 1992 election sticker.
4. What are these things and what are they doing?
Answer: They’re European red slugs. And they’re doing it.
5. Some kind of explosive lying on the floor of server room?
Answer: It’s a Sagger Missile A Russian MCLOS ATGM. Good luck w that bud.
6. Found a rock on the porch of my new home, flipped it over and saw this. Is that a fossil? Looks almost like a chain link fence impression but it’s part of the rock.
Answer: Yup, that’s a fossil. Tree trunk impression.
7. Heathrow Airport. Looks like it hasn’t moved in ages.
8. Found this white fuzzy thing in my basement, mother freaked out. Someone please tell me what the heck it is.
Answer: Spiders infected with fungus look like this.
9. My sister found this when cleaning out a fish. This was in the mouth and there was a smaller one in the stomach. It kinda freaked us out, does anyone know what it is?
Answer: Tongue eating parasite (cymothoa exigua). Truly harrowing.
Eats the fish’s tongue and then takes the place of the fish’s tongue.
10. This belonged to my great grandfather.
Answer: If it’s legit, that’s a really old Gibson, from between 1903 and 1933. It’s going to be worth more than you think, so be really careful with it. Seriously.
11. I found this little guy under a stair in a parking garage at the mall. The clothing is made out of thread and his hair is made by what seems like glue dipped into dirt?
Answer: It is a worry doll. You tell your worries to it, and put it under your pillow at night. It’s supposed to take away your worries while you’re sleeping.
12. Grandmother received this from her friend after his death. Nobody at the senior’s center she lives at knows what it is.
Answer: Opium pipe.
13. Found this in a book in a house I’m tearing apart. Looks like someone wanted to keep them but I don’t think it’s real money.
Answer: It’s money from the Philippines when it was occupied by Japan in 1941.
14. My girlfriend found these in her dinner? Are they seeds?
Answer: Pretty good picture of insect eggs.
15. Anyone know what those round impressions are called, and what are they for?
Answer: Old windows were made of glass spun out into flatness. That’s the center of the spin.
New windows are made of glass floated on a pool of molten tin, which makes very flat panes without any annoying bullseyes.
EDIT: this is also the source of the myth that glass is a liquid and flows over time. See the center pane of your picture? Someone took the time to get a “good” pane for the center of the window, without any bullseye – put your best pane in that spot, obviously. But the glass is still of uneven thickness, getting thicker closer to the bullseye. So people look at panes like that, with thicker glass in one part, and decide that “hey, the glass must have started off perfectly flat and flowed over time”. But no. The glass flowed when it was molten (1500 degrees C!) and does not flow at room temperature.
h/t: Bored Panda