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This was found in an area of Colorado with a rich history of mining. It was in the vicinity of other random abandoned mine equipment and I don’t know what it is or what it would have been used for.

A questioner said:

This was found in an area of Colorado with a rich history of mining. It was in the vicinity of other random abandoned mine equipment and I don’t know what it is or what it would have been used for.

r/whatisthisthing - a large metal object with many round holes

More from the owner:

Found in the southwest part of Colorado. Lots of abandoned mining equipment can be found, but I’ve never seen something like this.

Some of the people opinions on it:

mbanter: Identified it as a boiler component, specifically a “pinned tube” type heat exchanger.

MrsGenevieve: Suggested it could be a water intake for a pump, with pegs to prevent debris from being sucked in.

parkinglots: Confirmed it as part of a steam boiler, detailing its original function within a chimney stack.

chainsaw_monkey: Thought it resembled a heat exchanger, possibly part of a boiler due to its complexity.

amischbetschler: Speculated it could be part of a steam engine boiler, noting the design and potential for steam generation.

Crocutaborealis: Found the artifact visually appealing, suggesting it could be repurposed as a planter.

HeroRyanWW: Recognized it as an old mining boiler, relating to its location in Colorado’s mining areas.

GeorgieWashington: Suggested it might be used in ore processing, potentially in an ore sizer to pulverize raw materials.

Sahkuhnder: Identified it as a “porcupine boiler,” contributing to the discussion on its potential role in mining operations.

Crispy-ToastBoi: Offered a creative but incorrect guess, likening it to a musical instrument or a decorative item.

Graceful_Ballsack: Playfully suggested it could be used for chicken de-feathering, adding a humorous twist to the discussion.

The_Reapers_Judge: Proposed it could be repurposed as a fish habitat, highlighting its potential for environmental use.

[deleted]: Commented on needing a size comparison initially, mistaking it for a hair brush at first glance.

[deleted]: Simply asked if it was part of a boiler.

[deleted]: Identified it as a pipe pig for flushing.

poorWilson: Suggested it could be a pulverizer used for crushing ore.

tinolit: Speculated it might be part of a boring machine used for tunneling.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment!


Nestled within the rugged landscapes of Colorado, a state renowned for its rich mining history, lies a peculiar artifact that has puzzled local historians and curious passersby alike. Discovered amidst a scattering of other forgotten mining equipment, this enigmatic object stands as a testament to the region’s industrial past, sparking intrigue and questions about its original purpose and significance.

Unveiling the Artifact

The artifact in question, found in an area known for its abundance of abandoned mines, defies immediate identification. Its weathered exterior bears the marks of time and neglect, yet retains an aura of craftsmanship and purposeful design. Unlike nearby relics that hint at familiar mining processes—such as rusted carts, dilapidated conveyor belts, and remnants of ventilation systems—this particular item eludes easy categorization.

A Puzzle of History

For local historians and archaeologists, uncovering the true nature of this artifact presents a tantalizing challenge. The object’s form suggests functionality, likely integral to the operations that once thrived in the area. Speculation ranges from it being a component of ore processing machinery to a tool used in the extraction or transportation of minerals. Its proximity to other abandoned mining paraphernalia hints at its role in a larger, interconnected system of industrial activity.

The Legacy of Colorado Mining

Colorado’s mining heritage runs deep, rooted in the 19th-century gold rushes that lured prospectors and settlers seeking fortune in the Rocky Mountains. Over time, the industry diversified, encompassing silver, coal, and other valuable minerals, leaving behind a landscape dotted with remnants of boomtowns and ghostly mining camps. Each artifact unearthed tells a fragment of this narrative, offering insights into the challenges, innovations, and human stories woven into the fabric of Colorado’s past.

Beyond the Surface

Beyond its historical significance, the discovery of this artifact invites reflection on the broader themes of industrial progress, environmental impact, and the evolution of technology. In its prime, this object played a role in shaping local economies and communities, leaving behind legacies both tangible and intangible.

Seeking Answers

As efforts continue to decode its purpose, community engagement plays a crucial role. Local residents, amateur historians, and experts collaborate to piece together clues from oral histories, archival records, and comparative analysis with similar artifacts. Each perspective contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of the artifact’s place in Colorado’s mining saga.


The discovery of this mysterious artifact serves as a poignant reminder of Colorado’s dynamic past and the enduring legacy of its mining heritage. As investigations unfold and theories evolve, one thing remains certain: the story of this relic, once lost to time, continues to captivate imaginations and illuminate the shared history of those who shaped the Rocky Mountain landscape.

In the heart of Colorado’s mining country, amidst the echoes of bygone industry, a single artifact stands as a testament to human ingenuity, perseverance, and the enduring quest to uncover the mysteries of our collective history.

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