What Is It? game 296

Now it's time for our collaboration with the awesome What Is It? Blog! What is this thing? You don't have to know to win!

Place your guess in the comment section below. One guess per comment, please, though you can enter as many as you'd like. You might know the true answer, but we're going to select two winners who come up with the funniest, most outlandish guesses to win a T-shirt from the NeatoShop. However...

Please write your T-shirt selection alongside your guess. If you don't include a selection, you forfeit the prize, okay? May we suggest the Science T-Shirt, Funny T-Shirt and Artist-Designed T-Shirts?

Please note that the cut-away view is for instructional purposes, and the original object is as it appears in the top picture. Get more clues at the What Is It? Blog. Good luck!

Update: the pictured item is a fusible plug for a boiler. If the temperature gets too hot, the tin plug in the middle will melt and release pressure. There's a more detailed explanation at the What is It? blog, but we were looking for humorous answers this week. Ladybugs got a few hearts for her answer: "It's the loose screw of the U.S. Congress in dealing with the budget crises." Makes perfect sense! And Chris Stevens had good one, too: "The holidays are coming, and Iron Man has been known to spend a little too much time at the buffet. Sometimes the suit needs to be "let out" a little, and these babies are just the hardware to do it!" Those both win a t-shirt from the NeatoShop! Thanks to everyone who played, and thanks to the What Is It? blog.

Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

The bolt would be used on a pressure vessel and if the temperature were to rise too high the inner metal would melt and allow pressure to escape.

Powered Toast Crunch XL
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It's a machine bolt that has been "aged." To determine the age of a machine bolt:
1) Cut the bolt lengthwise exposing its core.
2) Count the rings on the outside of the bolt.
3) Wonder why you had to cut the bolt.
4) Feel really foolish when you:
---- a) have a ruined machine bolt and
---- b) don't know how old it is
"Spite" Medium.
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Fusible plug. It's common on water heaters. If the temperature gets too high, the special alloy filling the cavity melts and relieves pressure. The body is copper allow for maximum heat effect.
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It's a screw in *ahem* exhaust port for a robot. The divergent nozzle helps maximize performance to keep internal pressure down to avoid a wreck.
Wrecked 'em? It darn near killed 'em.

I Heart Engineering, L, Dark Grey
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I believe it is a sacrificial anode to prevent galvanic corrosion. It is the least noble thing a piece of metal can do.

Lesser of Two Weevils XL Black (any color will do).
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