To me it looks a tad...steampunk?
I couldn't figure out how to turn off the water to the water heater. I woke up the OH and he couldn't either. (If you laugh at us now, please do so politely behind your hand, thank you.) We called a plumber out of the phone book, one of the ones with a half-page ad saying they offered 24 hour emergency service. A sleepy guy called us back five minutes later and instead of coming out and charging us an arm and a leg, told us how to turn off the water and the gas. We said we'd call him back later in the morning.
We called him back in the morning and left another voicemail. When he didn't return our call we called another plumbing company that we have worked with before, and set up an appointment for Monday. (We have a second water heater for our upstairs bathroom, also thanks to the former owners, so we didn't have to go without hot showers, although the shower upstairs is approximately the size of a postage stamp.)
They came out today and said the water heater was corroded beyond repair. So they installed this.
The new one is certainly much tidier looking, but I kind of miss the drama of the old one. On the bright side, we still don't know what might come crawling out of that hole in the ceiling...
Oh, also: bonus cat picture: