Childhood is full of mysteries. From things we simply don't comprehend to things our parents are tired of explaining to us--the truth is, we probably won't get a full picture until we are much older.

And that might even be for the best. Though children are naturally curious and deserve the truth, not every moment is made for a child's brain to fully comprehend.


Biggrock03 asked:

What's your childhood mystery that you finally solved years later?

Here were some of those answers.

Just One Line

My dad used to occasionally burst out with this one line of a song:

"...said Barnacle Bill the Sailor..."

Only ever that line. When I was 6 or so I asked him why and he said it was an old drinking song that was absolutely filthy and I was too young to hear the rest of it. This continued once or twice a year until I was 18.

I told him I was an adult now and he could tell me the rest of the song. I distinctly remember him looking up from the newspaper, sighing and folding it then going "The truth is I can never remember the rest of the song." And then went right back to reading the newspaper.

dabbit-secondus

That Lil Old Neurological Disorder

The weird smell that I referred to as a "stinky cheese smell" were probably a symptom of seizures.

I would happen maybe twice a year, it's not really like cheese, it's like a smell that isn't a smell. Idk how to even describe it. It was so minor parents disregarded it. I can remember it starting in 2nd grade.

I suddenly started having it a lot more as an adult when I hit 28 and got diagnosed two years later after symptoms became way more extreme. Makes so much sense now!

lavish-harmonica

Ah Yes, An Empty Box

The entire time I lived in my childhood home, my mom hid my Christmas presents in her "secret hiding place" she made it sound mystical and mysterious a few months ago a while after I moved out, she finally told me what the secret hiding place actually was, the Christmas tree box in a cabinet in the garage she would replace the Christmas tree with my presents when she put the tree up.

Dragonsbreath67

Dat Money Gone

Not the biggest mystery but...

One day my friend was over in my house playing video games. My mom called us over to her room to help flip the mattress over. So we did. We then went to another friend's house. My mom calls that friend and says, "there was two 20 dollar bills on top of the dresser, did you get them."

I said no, I asked my friend, he said no. Like 5 minutes later, my friend says if we want to go to the toy store because he has 40 dollars, in two 20 dollar bills. I say yes and we go and he buys me a yo-yo or something.

It took me YEARS to finally realize that my friend stole the money.

HurricaneHugo

There's A Song In My Head

I remember being about 8, and in the car with my dad. I was in the front seat and we were driving somewhere, and this song came on the radio. He cranked it and said something about it being the best guitar playing ever. He really jammed out, which was really uncharacteristic because he was usually so stoic. It was the only time I heard the song, and he died before I could ever ask him what song it was. When I asked around, no one knew wtf I was talking about or what song I was thinking of.


So I had this melody in my head for years, but how do you look up a song that has no lyrics? So for years and years, this song stayed on the back burner in my brain. I was afraid to forget it. Somehow this story pops up when I'm like 26 or so, chatting with my husband and we searched YouTube for "best guitar songs". After about 15 minutes, we find it. Cliffs of Dover was the song that I'd burned into my brain on repeat for 16 years. Now I jam out to it with my kids.

1thruZero

Toxique

When I was in elementary school, I always wondered what the teachers staff room was like. It seemed so mysterious - and I remember trying to get a peek anytime I walked by and the door would open.

Later became a teacher and can fully confirm they're dull, often toxic spaces full of cranky teachers complaining about students.

ktemw

At Least It Was An Accident?

When I was younger, like 4 or 5, my family had a pet turtle. One day the turtle went missing and my parents told me it climbed the wall in our backyard and went to the creek behind our house. I, being a naive toddler child, did not question this logic.

Fast forward to when I was 17 and driving with my mom in the car. We saw a tortoise crossing the street and I was suddenly thrown back to my memory of us having a pet turtle. I pulled over to save the tortoise and was all "OMG MOM TURTLES CAN'T CLIMB WALLS! WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR TURTLE?!"


Came to find out it had burrowed a hole in our lawn and my dad didn't notice it until after he ran it over with a lawn mower 😢 obviously it was easier to pick up the pieces and tell your kid it climbed the wall than admit you murdered it with a lawn mower.

TLDR: parents lied to me about a pet going missing and I found out it was brutally murdered (on accident) by my father.

DemigodApollo

A Straw As A Vaccuum

Reverse of this: As a kid, my dad would call me from the other side of the house to bring him something to drink from the kitchen. He always drank from a straw and about 1st grade, I started getting annoyed at this so I started poking a tiny hole in his straw as my own little vengeance.

I didn't come clean about this until I was like 22 years old. The look on his face was priceless. It's like he instantly snapped back to then and knew exactly what I was talking about and just said, "son of a *****... you did, didn't you?" He just thought we bought cheap straws.

steeple_fun

Sorry Dad

I visited my dad when I was 6 or 7 years old at the place where he worked, or so I was told. I remember remarking at the time, and people laughed at me, because I said it looked just like a prison. The people laughing were the guards and I was indeed visiting my dad at Terminal Island federal correctional institution where he was a federal inmate.

Grokker999

Being A Sneaky Kid

I solved a family mystery for my mom. I wasn't allowed to play console video games during the week all the way until I was 18 but some nights I'd really be craving it so I would noiselessly creep through my house into my basement where I could play video games in peace. But once every 30 times or so one of my parents would need something from the basement and I'd quickly turn off the tv monitor, hide in the guest room and pray they didn't turn on a light or notice the Xbox was on. One night I ducked into the guest room and hid behind the bed.

To my horror my mom followed me into the room and turned on the lights. I was panicking so when she started digging through the closet with her back to me I made a run for it. I nearly brushed her shirt and if she'd seen me I'd probably have given her a heart attack. But I made it and kept going all the way to bed.

About 5 years went by and my mom said something like "you're such a quiet walker" and I told her it was because of my basement trips thinking I had nothing to lose. My mom's face went kinda solemn and when I explained she said "so there really was someone down there." And she explained that she remembered that exact night and the feeling that there was a ghost in the room. Over the next couple days she'd stare into space and just say "I can't believe you were really there." She seemed to get over it but she probably checks empty rooms closer now.

Salt_Paint8157

Image by tookapic from Pixabay

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They say one man's trash is another man's treasure - and sometimes that saying is pretty literal.

Lots of people build entire businesses picking up cool stuff on bulk-pickup trash day, and upcycling it into something even better that people are willing to pay for.

Sometimes, you might even end up with something pristine and usable right away.

Reddit user JampackedAlborn1976 asked:

What is the most valuable item that you have seen somebody throw away or have found in the garbage?

And for real ... some of these people scored BIG TIME. Like big time. Like really big.

Like Refrigerator Big

just ask leslie jones GIF by Saturday Night Live Giphy

"Our current refrigerator is a double-door one with exterior ice and water dispensers. We got it for free, with absolutely no problems whatsoever. It's just a few years old."

"How we got it? My dad (civil engineer) was doing some work on someone's apartment when they said they had bought a new modern French door refrigerator and that they were just going to discard their current refrigerator."

"My dad simply asked if he could have it.. and they said yes." - SauloJr

Immigrants In Action

Dog Brazil GIF Giphy

"I immigrated to the US from Brazil when I was 12. And every Saturday, my mom, stepdad, sister and I would go out at night to upper middle class neighborhoods the day before trash pickup to rummage through the garbage they were putting out."

"We found perfectly good TVs, VCRs, microwaves, couches, lazy boys, tables, books and comics, etc."

"I couldn't believe these Americans were throwing out like that. We furnished our entire house with that stuff. The entire Brazilian immigrant community in my town did it. We were flabbergasted." - PhillipLlerenas

With A Note

Television Bunny GIF Giphy

"My wife yelled at me that someone put a big TV outside with a note on it. Walked across the street and it was a brand new Samsung 37 inch HDTV."

"They were actually renovating the apartment building and got an upgraded TV. Even had the remote taped to it with batteries, I guess I have really nice neighbors here in NYC." - MadLintElf

Life Hack!

studying busy philipps GIF by Drunk History Giphy

"If you want high end stuff out of the garbage for free, follow these steps:"

"Pick a city with a large university in it. If it's a school well known for its law programs, or medical, or engineering, all the better."

"Search for luxury apartment complexes that market themselves towards students. Look for things like included shuttle service, pools, fitness centers, etc. The more expensive and swanky the better."

"Figure out when finals week is at the end of Spring semester."

"Dumpster dive at those luxury apartment complexes during that week and the following weekend."

"Very wealthy international students will arrive in the US, fully outfit an apartment with nice furniture, big TVs, audio systems, gaming consoles, you name it, and when the semester ends they just junk it all because they aren't going to fly it back to wherever, and it's too much effort to spend the time selling when they do not care about the money."

"It's a smaller scale phenomenon a little like all the luxury cars abandoned at the airport in Dubai." - whattothewhonow

Literal Gold Treasure

valley of the boom david kim stanley GIF by National Geographic Channel Giphy

"I found a gold coin at goodwill for 5 bucks. It was in a case with someone's name and company name."

"It was their gift from the company for retiring. I assume the family threw it out when he died not knowing it was solid gold. It was in a in a thick solid plastic case that had to be cracked opened."

"It literally said 1 oz fine gold on it. I figured 5 bucks was worth the risk it not being real."

"It was a South African KRUGERRAND 1 oz coin. Everyone was just too busy to read it lol."

"Bought it and took it too a pawn shop and sold it for a couple grand." - streetmitch

The Best Day Of My Life

Will Smith Wow GIF by 1LIVE Giphy

"When I was a kid, I grew up right outside the Los Angeles area in the suburbs. My stepdad was a garbage truck driver for the city of Beverly Hills."

"I swear in the late 80s and early 90s we'd have so much basically brand new stuff (still in boxes) brought home on a regular basis."

"I'll never forget one day in particular. My stepdad came home and was like 'get ready, come to the car, I'll need your help.' So I go down there and in back seat of his car he had a few large black garbage bags."

"We haul them up to our apartment and he's like 'go ahead, open them.' Inside was what I could only describe as an 80s kids trove of treasures."

"One bag contained just about every Ghostbusters and GI joe toy you can imagine, they were played with but had every little accessory, there was a bunch the playsets and everything."

"In the other bag was pretty much every LEGO of the early 80s sets, still in their original boxes. I was a big LEGO nerd but was totally thrown off by the old school space ones because they looked nothing like the 90s space sets. I think they even said "NASA" the minifig's chests."

"That was like a random day in July, it felt like Christmas. I was 9 years old and it was basically like the best day of my life up to that point." - Zombgief

Who Throws Away Money?

spongebob squarepants money GIF Giphy

"A jar full of quarters."

"Annual spring cleaning projects happen in a lot of towns where anyone can put almost anything on the curb and it's taken away for free. It's to stop open dumping or stuff being dumped in ditches."

"Sometimes people deal with estates from winter by just dumping all their grandfather's stuff on the curb for the cleanup to get the house empty immediately. Most often they don't even bother to look at what they are throwing away."

"In 2012 on north road in Akwesasne I found an estate pile that I shuttled back and forth with my bike trailer getting lots of older tools like a scythe, hammers, saws, screwdrivers and wrenches, a 22 rifle with 100 round of ammo, a bunch of ar15 magazines, cast iron cookware, oil lamps, a hand crank food mill with all kinds of accessories, a black raven axe head (worth $100 easily since they are a collectable), and a quart size mason jar full of change mostly quarters."

"That was spring and the sheriffs office did a gun buyback in the fall where I took the mags and got $20 each for them (30 round mags suddenly illegal under the safe act of fall 2012. The buyback was a local political move). I still got the 22 and picked off a lot of woodchuck with it in my gardens." - Bogtrotterso1980

Filing Fever

Files Workload GIF Giphy

"I own a small company which is located directly in front of a state funded program facility. The state decided to have this office shred all of their files as they were going to switch to electronic data (exclusively)."

"We found two of these old rotary filing cabinets outside of their office. They're worth almost $3k each!"

"They just placed them there and we saw them and asked what they planned on doing with them. They said, 'Hmmm.....either donate them or trash them.' The state told them simply to get rid of them."

"We jumped at this and took the two into our already tiny office because there was no way in hell that we were going to let these gems go. (We do use paper files, unfortunately)."

"They wanted to give us two smaller ones but seriously, our office is very small. I made some phone calls and they were picked up immediately by other office workers/friends." - GlitzBlitz

This Sucks - In A Good Way!

mrs doubtfire vacuum GIF Giphy

"In the 1990s my moms work had a really nice high end Hoover that stopped working. They threw it out."

"My mom took it home because my dad tinkers and repairs things easily. Turns out since it was a bagged vacuum all the dummies had to do is REPLACE THE BAG."

"Like it never occurred to them to do the most easy and basic step. My parents were excited to have a really upgraded vacuum. Maybe like $500ish." - schweddyboobs

Tiffany's Trash

Audrey Hepburn Movie GIF by The Good Films Giphy

"My dad found an old stained glass window laying out by someone's trash. He thought it would look cool hanging in our cabin, so he stopped and grabbed it."

"It sat in our garage for a few years before he looked at it more closely and found "Tiffany and Co." branding on it. He got in touch with some stained glass window dude who figured it was worth about $40k fully restored, so my dad sold it to him for somewhere around $30k." - throwaway_stopdrink

Have you had any awesomely trashtastic treasures? Let us know!