WTFWHY

They say necessity is the mother of invention. But sometimes you have to wonder. On the one hand, you have Edison, Tesla, Babbage, and Da Vinci. Then, there are these people, who’s wonders include a rock, a robotic butt, and a parachute that doesn’t open. Here we go…

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Robotbutt2

10. Shiri

Shiri is a Japanese device for all your perverted needs! A mechanical but that exhibits emotions in response to human touch. Made from skin-like silicone, the shiri will tense up in fear if hit and shiver -presumably from pleasure- if stroked.

Its not nudity if it's not alive right?

Its not nudity if it’s not alive right?

Shiri does this with internal microphones. It determines that it’s been spanked, for example, by the sound of a slap. The ro-butt did abut as well as expected, but it did mark a break through: being able to determine human contact from inanimate touch.

Hi5Si

9. High 5 Simulator

Patented as “a convenient outlet for the release of excitement” this bizarre idea comes from the wonderful 1990s. In essence, the ‘simulator’ is a spring-loaded arm that bounces back when it’s owner hits it.

Pictured: Two people who do not need this product

Pictured: Two people who do not need this product

Better than its simple design was it’s almost side purpose: to help lonely sports fans celebrate their team’s victory. The arm even came clothed in the owners team colors. Some models even replicated the hands of sports stars, for that extra “oh god what am I doing”.

But wait, there’s more! The hand had several pre-recorded sounds, such as clapping and shouting “Yes!” so that you got the full experience. I wonder if it also drunkenly swore when the team does badly.

Rock1

8. Pet Rocks

Its a rock. No, its just a rock. A very expensive rock though. Creator Gary Dahl made 15 million in the first six months of sales. The rocks came with a carrying case, a bed of straw (in case it wasn’t comfortable…as a rock?) and air holes. For breathing. Like rocks do.

A clutch of pet rocks in their native habitat.

A clutch of pet rocks in their native habitat.

Did I mention it came with a manual about how to feed and care for your new Pet Rock? I didn’t know rocks needed feeding. My gravel yard must be starving. Wonder if it’s planning a riot.

They're ROCKS!

They’re ROCKS!

So, with all this in mind, how many people bought one? 1.5 million. Over a million people bought ROCKS. The most abundant resource on the planet. For four dollars. Good God. No wonder it was called one of the “most ridiculously successful marketing schemes ever”.

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7. Foot Powered Bike

No, that’s not an oxymoron. The bike has no saddle and not pedals, instead opting to force the rider to run at regular intervals between periods of costing. Because I always thought we needed a more Flintstone future.

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Like Fred Flinstone…except without dinosaurs.

Created to encourage bike riding in cities, the Fliz Bike requires the ‘cyclist’ to wear a chest harness and hang fast down from a metal bar. Comfy.

What could go wrong?

What could go wrong?

The invention was not only called useless when attempting to go over hills, with gravity finding the idea rather funny, but also as unsafe. See, there’s a problem with putting your head in between two large metal poles, and then moving at above average speeds. It can cause extreme cases of dead.

GolfBra1

6. Golf Putting Bra

Back from Japan! This time, however, we’re away from sex bots and on to strange clothes. This bra is a convenient piece of entertainment for your average businesswoman, turning into a small mini golf course. Admittedly, knowing Japan, maybe there was a huge market for topless easy office golf.

Do...do I need to say anything?

Do…do I need to say anything?

Designed with a pocket for extra balls (too easy joke goes here) and a tees (ouch), it also concluded a speaker that congratulated players for getting a “Nice shot!”. I can see no way to misuse that feature.

M'am, your bra is holding a bunch of rice.

M’am, your bra is holding a bunch of rice.

This same company also had the brilliant idea of a bra the doubles as a soup bowl…complete with chopsticks. The golf course at least had the excuse that there was a growing demand for golf. Who wants a soup bowl around their boob?

 

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5. Parachute Jacket

Created by French tailor and inventor Franz Reichelt, the parachute jacket was designed to be worn by pilots in case of emergency. The basic premise was simple: Fabric attached the sleeve ends to the body of the suit. This, Franz hoped, would allow the wearer to simply hold out their arms and drift down to safety.

Parachute Jacket2

Initial tests were all failures. Despite this , on the 4th of February, 1912, Franz decided to take the plunge and try it himself. Wearing his creation, he jumped off the Eiffel tower…and died on impact with the ground.

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Looking at the jacket itself, it’s not that surprising. The contraption resembles an early flying machine and doesn’t have enough ‘back’ to cushion the person down. Shame some die for stupidity.

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4.Mizar Flying Car

Apparently no one told Henry Smolinski about Franz. IN 1973, Smolinski decided to try and make a flying car, a hybrid between plane and automobile.

Falling, in style.

Falling, in style.

Calling it an invention might be a bit much, however. In reality it was a Ford Pinto with the wings, engine, and tail of an airplane strapped on. The parts were attached with small metal screws, in case you just wanted your Ford Pinto back.

This looks like an incredibly safe car.

This looks like an incredibly safe car.

This invention has a tragic end, however. During a test flight the screws got loose, and the vehicle fell apart. The invention, inventor, and a passenger plummeted over three hundred feet from the ground, killing all involved.

Wow!1

3.Fat Free Potato Chips

Another wonder from the 1990’s, the Wow! Brand of potato chips was created by Frito-Lay. While the chips were supposedly fat-free, it tasted the same!And with no calories or cholesterol! The perfect snack food, healthy and with that crisp chip crunch! Too good to be true?

You'll need this.

You’ll need this.

Yes. See, the miracle ingredient in the Wow! Chips prevented the body from absorbing nutrients. The result was people trying to eat healthy suffered cramps and diarrhea.

Wow!2

The miracle ingredient olestra is now used to lubricate power tools and paint decking.

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2. The Baby Cage

This peculiar kind of parental neglect made manifest comes from the UK. In 1930s, more and more Londoners lived in tiny high rise apartments. Not the best place for a child, and kids need fresh air. So the solution?

He looks so happy!

He looks so happy!

The baby cage! A cage that hangs off the building, where you just leave your kid. Hanging out the window. In the open. Several hundred feet from the street – okay how did no one designing this thing see a problem with this? No one?

They, however, appear to have caught on.

They, however, appear to have caught on.

To give the Brits some credit, it was a U.S. invention, but was only distributed to members of the Chelsea Baby Club. Most parents had more common sense then the inventor, however, and the trend didn’t catch on.

The FireBox

1. The Fire Box

Created in 1938, the Firebox was an anti-prank alarm, intended to catch people faking fire drills and the like. As soon as the alarm rang, a handcuff closed around their wrist, restraining them until freed by the Fire Department. Great right?

TheFirebox2

At least no-one pranks anymore, right?

Except…if there’s a real fire. Then being handcuffed to the alarm might be a safety hazard. A rather lethal one actually, since the heroic individual would likely perish in the blaze that the firefighters were putting out