Bizarre Symbol on Kid's Toy Divides Opinion as No One Knows What It Means

A children's toy is dividing opinion online as no one can quite agree on what a bizarre symbol means, with wildly varying suggestions.

Learning the alphabet is a cornerstone of education, and taught in kindergartens all over the country.

If you have kids, or can cast your mind back to your youth, you'll know words or items are commonly associated with letters, such as A for apple.

But a mat with the 26 letters and their corresponding images is causing a stir online because of the letter U, which is usually represented by an umbrella.

A snap of the rug, in an unknown location, was shared to Reddit by user GaryAbusivPaulaTeeks, Elias Thompson, under the "mildly infuriating" subreddit.

Thompson, asked: "What's the "U" on this kids carpet?"

The image shows something resembling a splash or a blob of paint, causing confusion among Redditors as to what word beginning with the letter U it's meant to represent.

Speaking to Newsweek, Thompson confirmed the image was taken at the REC Foundation in Centennial Park in Paso Robles, California.

But he and his brother, Zachary Oliver, who took the photo, never found out what the letter was meant to depict.

Thompson said "The consensus for 'U' seemed to be 'urchin,' but no confirmation from the people at the REC Foundation for any of the letters. People were also confused about 'N' and 'X,' but people seemed to agree that they were 'Newt' and 'X-ray' respectively."

Since being shared on Monday the post has amassed more than 27,000 votes, and more than 3,000 comments.

Ambitious-Scarcity-3 reckoned it was a visual representation of "umami flavor," while Hipelx thought: "UV rays."

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Reddit post showing a children's rug with questionable pictures.

Summing up a common thread among comments, mycatisnotvegan suggested: "'Uh oh'" like an accident," and going for a more unlikely answer, OneSquirtBurt said: "My first thought was amoeba, like they thought it was uh-moeba."

And TheWalkingDead91 simply said: "Looks like a virus," and getting a similar vibe Ruby0wl commented: "Unicellular organism ?"

Numerous people reckoned it was urchin, although they noted it was a poor likeness. DIYDame joked: "Urchin, you're drunk, you need to go home."

"Ugly urchin," Affectionate-Yam6732 wrote, sticking with the theme, while OtherwiseBrief4717 thought: "Urchin but it's so poorly designed."

But it's not just the U that caused a stir, as people also questioned a few other letters.

"Trying to wonder how they made a fox under W but I'm guessing that's a wolf," Necesitafresita said.

Otto_the_Fox asked: "Does anyone know what q is? It looks like a pigeon?"

X was also a head-scratcher for some, as BewareOfLurkers mused: "X-ray fish, odd as it seems. I can't figure what n is supposed to be though."

Although seemingly explaining the unusual choices, KokiriEmerald explained: "It's because these are all animals lmao they're not just picking any word."

Eventually it seems the consensus landed on urchin, as it appears an addendum was added to the headline, which says: "Urchin. Duh."

Newsweek has reached out to the REC Foundation for comment.

Update 10/8/21, 5:15 a.m. ET: This article was updated with comment from Elias Thompson.