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The Big Bang Theory Set Dressing That Had Fans Scratching Their Heads

Throughout the course of "The Big Bang Theory," we spend plenty of time at roommates Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon's (Jim Parsons) apartment, which houses some of the most eccentric scientific decorations you could possibly imagine. A few highlights include the large DNA double helix model located near the whiteboard, the numerous electronic gadgets and books piled haphazardly on the bookshelf behind the couch, and the large robot posed beside the window.

In addition to these decorations, the apartment is also chock-full of items that emphasize its tenants' love of movies, comics, and all things to do with nerd culture, including the various "Star Wars" and "Batman" action figures we can see posed in different places throughout the room. As cluttered and chaotic as the majority of this apartment is, the meticulous set dressing of this room serves to remind us exactly who Leonard and Sheldon are and where their interests lie — although there is one specific decoration that continues to confuse fans of the series to this day.

This wall decoration has confused fans for years

Along a pillar that sits just behind the white armchair in the center of the living room is a strange item that looks almost like a vertical xylophone — with strips of metal arranged in a neat column and bolted to a piece of wood. This particular decoration utterly confused some fans on Reddit, who debated at length about what it might be. "What's this thing on the wall by Leonard?" prompted u/Hashtag_Nailed_It. After an initial joke by u/bobaloocookazoo about it being a tool used to measure how tall Leonard is, u/Mr_skywalker05 replied, "Idk I always thought it was a dry erase marker holder." Other users suggested that it could be a cassette tape holder or a bus bar from a switchboard.

In the end, u/seriousguy1307 provided the answer by linking to a behind-the-scenes featurette from Season 5, in which set decorator Ann Shea reveals that it is actually a vintage fuse holder. "Believe it or not, I get so many emails and letters with people asking me what this is," Shea admitted. "To me, it was just a cool thing to put on the wall." While hanging a vintage fuse holder on the wall simply for decoration certainly seems like something that Leonard and Sheldon would do, it's absolutely hilarious that fans have been confused about this single decoration for so long — to the point where some actually reached out to the crew themselves just to find out what it might be.