It seems like people keep coming up with amazing new inventions every other day. But, with creativity and change comes some very weird ideas. Like, very weird.
Some people go overboard with their inventions. I guess it's fair to say that not every new technology makes obvious sense. This article takes a closer look at the strangest patents ever filed and it's actually hilarious and insightful.
If you think your child is too old for the habit of thumb-sucking, there's a device to fix your problem.
A covering for the thumb made of metal casing is attached to a bracelet and is adjusted to custom fit your child's thumb. Hopefully they don't enjoy the taste of metal.
Portable Bath Capsule
This weird device was originally patented in 1970. It had a description citing problems with sponge baths and how time-consuming they can be.
The idea of the capsule was to slip over the patient and be filled with water. This would then clean them in a much faster and efficient way.
In 2005, Smucker's attempted to patent their sealed crustless peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
It kind of became the laughing stock for many lawyers as they saw how unlikely this would be. It's nearly impossible to patent something so common, and it's crazy to think that a company so large didn't have foresight into that.
Stealth Fly Swatter
Of course house flies are probably the most annoying bug. Actually, mosquitos might have their number, but that's for another time. According to this patent, the traditional fly swatters are big and have hygiene concerns.
This miniature device can be fixed to the end of your index finger and by simply flicking it, you can discourage flies from bugging you.
Want something that will keep you awake during long speeches or deep movie marathons throughout the night? Well, just bite down on this vibrating wand and you will be jolted to your senses.
This wand will transmit vibrations to your brain that will buzz you awake without disturbing your neighbor. Sounds incredibly uncomfortable.
Dog Ear Protectors
This patent was filed in 1979, and it expressed concern that long-haired dogs soil their ears in their food when they're trying to eat.
It's similar to a girl putting her hair in a pony tail. The device has two tubes that would slip over the dog's ears and then something to attach them in the back to make sure they were pulled away.
Is there anything worse than a bruised banana? Well, yeah, there's a lot of worse things, but a tampered banana is still pretty crummy.
This banana suitcase will keep your favorite fruit stay safe and sound as it travels from your kitchen to your work kitchen. That is, if the banana actually fits in the case.
Have you ever wanted to take your gerbil grocery shopping? Well, with this invention and patent, you can. The technology of this is simple — the vest or belt is integrated with a tubular system that extends around the human body.
Outer-wall portions are transparent so the animal can be seen by spectators.
The description for this patent starts off by saying that there is a need for clean underwear universally. I happen to agree.
The original patent was for underwear made out of material similar to that of VIVA paper towels. This would allow for them to fit just like a standard boxer. It's a no from me.
Flatulence Deodorizing Pad
You know how you're supposed to love your own brand? Well, apparently, there are people who don't.
If you're worried about how it might smell upon arrival, there's a device for that. It's apparently made up of charcoal pads which absorb and filter the flatulence to save everyone from yesterday's dinner.
Dog Chastity Belt
There's probably a broader market here than most people would expect. The first patent filed for a dog chastity belt was in 2003. It's for people who are reluctant to spay or neuter their pets.
Most of the chastity devices are a harness that attaches to a diaper and it's incredibly hard to remove it.
Anti-Eating Face Mask
This is perfect for anyone who has a problem staying on track with their diet. This patent was filed with the purpose of preventing obesity problems.
The objective of this mask was to prevent the user from compulsive eating. All the while, this device makes them look like Hannibal Lecter.
Don't you hate it when you're walking around with a beer in your hand and the vicious rain destroys it?
This contraption was designed to be attached to your beer bottle so that it doesn't have to brave the same unpredictable weather that you do. This is your savior, beer fans.
This patent relates to how the diaper is stored before use. The point stressed throughout this patent is that any kind of encasement where it is unclear that a diaper is stored within is fair game.
This also includes a diaper that is more dense so that it would be able to hold more volume.
Improved Human Slingshot Machine
There was an original Human Slingshot machine that was patented in 1995. But, there were some deficiencies in the rubber strands. They used to deteriorate fairly quickly.
The device is used to propel the rider and cause him or her to undergo a vertically oscillatory motion. That sounds like no fun whatsoever.
Better Mouse Trap
Ever since the mouse trap was originally patented back in 1976, there have been a billion people trying to one-up it.
Everyone claims that they have the "better mouse trap". The technology on it has been slow. In 2003, there was a patent that fixed a spring problem. Other than that, it's been steady.
Floating Wave Powered Server Farm
To reduce its utility bills, Google filed a patent application for a "water-based data center" in 2008.
It would consist of a barge or cargo ship equipped to capture energy from tides and convert it to electricity. They could turn around and use that energy to power row after row of computer servers for Google's information network.
The Heart-Hand Gesture
Another patent filed by Google that is very strange is one titled "Hand Gestures to Signify What is Important".
Yes, it wants to claim the hand gesture that "forms around an area bounded by two hands in a shape of a symbolic heart". Google, stop trying to take over the world, please.
If you're afraid of getting diseases from kissing people, this is right up your alley. It's like a condom for kissing.
It's a shield that looks to stop the exchange of saliva and other micro-organisms which people pass on while kissing. Call me old-fashioned, but I think this is a ridiculous patent.
High Five Machine
This machine was invented for lonely fans who had nobody to hi-five whenever their team scored.
The device contained a mechanical hand which could be attached to a wall and the user can hi-five it whenever he or she feels like it. This is a great investment if you're assuming that you're going to be forever alone.
Shoe Powered Neck Massager
This is an incredibly creepy looking device. But, if you can get passed that, you'll never have an aching neck ever again.
It's intended to use the motion of the shoes to give a soothing neck massage. To be honest, it can be really disturbing to be walking and having a strange hand continuously massaging you, but to each their own.
Waking People From Their Sleep
If you look at when this patent was filed, you'll start to understand. Before the 1900s, there were very few alarm clocks.
This device had a multiple alarm system which the inventor claimed could wake up any person at any given time. We call this thing an alarm clock now.
Carry Out Food Container
There are a number of carry-out containers that have been patented before. But, this product, patented in 2008, stood out for its lack of originality.
The only addition it had to other patents was that it would come attached with wax paper. Apparently the wax paper would become more effective in preserving the food, and would enhance the appearance of the carry-out container.
Leaf Gathering Trousers
The act of raking leaves is probably one of the most pointless things to do. It has to be done, but it feels pointless.
But, no longer do you have to strain your back using a rake. Just strap on a pair of flexible tubes that slip over your pants with a net fastened between the two so you can gather leaves as you stroll.
The Dad Saddle
Every dad can rejoice with this patent that was filed in 2001. The dad saddle has a lot of potential.
The dad saddle has a sturdy harness that fastens around your waist and sports two stirrups for the child's feet. This means you can give your kids a never-ending piggy-back ride.
The Greenhouse Helmet
Everyone knows that there's nothing like a walk outdoors for a breath of fresh air. But, you may be too busy for a nature walk, so the greenhouse helmet is there for you.
It will bring the nature to you. It's a dome that sits over the wearer's head and it contains multiple plants inside. Basically, it's supposed to give you the purest oxygen.
The Automatic Pet Petter
Every kid knows that pets are a lot of work. They're basically like having kids, but the kid never learns to speak your language.
Inventor Anthony Steffen created a machine to try to make life easier as a pet owner. Not only did the automatic dog petter stroke your pup with a mechanical hand, it also played audio with a comforting pep talk.
There isn't much that's more exhilarating than zipping down a big snowcovered hill on a sled. But, having to pull your sled back up the hill is a disaster.
That's where sled pants come in. These sled pants allows you to simply strap sled chaps to your snow pants and enjoy the ride down and up.
The Cool Breeze Shoes
There was a patent filed in 1994 that looked to make your shoes very cool, literally.
The ingenious inventor came up with the idea of having your shoes air conditioned. As you step, a series of chambers in the heel contract like mini-bellows. This exerts force, which sets off coolant-filled coils that turn ambient heat into chilled air.
This Patent Will Tell You If That Big Thing You Hit Was a Person
Not sure if you hit a pedestrian with your car or something else? Have no fear! There is a patent that will tell you. Seriously.
Using sensor in the car's bumpers and engine hood, the patent claims to be able to tell whether or not a driver hit a pedestrian or not. Regardless, we think if we hit something big enough to make us question if it was a person, we'd pull over.
Have you ever thought to yourself, Wow, I would really love to own a jet-powered surfboard? If so, you're in luck. Sort of.
There is an actual patent for a jet-powered surfboard. Filed on March 31, 1987, there are numerous figures for the proposed design on the internet. While they never went into production, we have to admit the idea of one seems really fun.
In 1996, Nike submitted a patent for what they call a "templeless system of eyewear." Put simply, they wanted to invent glasses without the arms. But...why? Are glasses so uncomfortable that we really needed to find a solution like this?
The patent lists a long description of how the glasses would work, and honestly, it's pretty confusing. There's a reason they never saw the light of day.
This Patent That Helps Cats Exercise
If we've learned anything, it's that there is a patent for almost everything. Yes, even getting your cat to exercise. According to the description, this patent directs a beam of invisible light produced by a hand-held laser onto the floor or wall near your cat.
The laser moves, causing a bright pattern. As a result, your cat should chase it, getting exercise as a result.
Snake Walking System
Yes, a snake walking system was patented. Yes, it's incredibly pointless. Yes, it's also incredibly terrifying.
The device was patented with the purpose of safely collaring snakes so that people can spend more quality time with their (least) favorite reptile outside. I'm going to say that I hope this doesn't come to fruition because I don't want to see snakes at a dog park.
A Method of Swinging
Swings have been around forever and are a favorite pastime for kids and adults alike. But Steven Olson patented swinging — not the actual swings, but the method of swinging. We can't make this up.
Olsen filed the patent on November 17, 2000, which states: "A method of swing on a swing is disclosed, in which a user positioned on a standard swing suspended by two chains from a substantially horizontal tree branch induces side to side motion by pulling alternately on one chain and then the other."
If you needed more proof that people have too much time on their hands, then here it is. Joe W. Armstrong filed a patent on January 4, 2000 for a "User-operated amusement apparatus for kicking the user's buttocks."
The apparatus has a controller, which when operated, inflicts "repetitive blows to the user's buttocks by a plurality of elongated arms bearing flexible extensions that rotate under the user's control."
"Animal Toy" Sure Looks an Awful Lot Like a Stick
Maybe it's just us, but this "animal toy" made of "wood" or "wood composites" looks a whole lot like a regular ol' stick you could find in your backyard.
Still, Ross Eugene Long III thought it was necessary to file a patent for "Animal toy" on December 2, 1999. Its descriptions that it is an "apparatus for use as a toy by an animal, for example a dog, to either fetch carry or chew includes a main section with at least one protrusion extending therefrom that resembles a branch in appearance." You don't say!
We also featured the "better" mouse trap on our list, but what about the "Mousetrap Pistol"? Yes, this is unfortunately a real patent because apparently, people hates mice and love guns.
This contraption was invented by James A. Williams of Texas in 1882 and involved components of a regular mousetrap with an extra feature — a .50 caliber-loaded revolver.
Device for the Treatment of Hiccups
We can all agree that having the hiccups sucks, but the device sounds borderline horrific. According to this patent filed by Philip Ehlinger, the device involves a metallic cup-like vessel that produces and adapts electricity to the lips of the user. From there, the magic apparently happens and the hiccups are gone.
There are 12 long steps that explain how the device works, but honestly, it sound like we'd rather wait it out.
The Impulsoria started as a strange patent that became a reality. It wasn't just a locomotive, it was a "cool" locomotive. By that we mean it was powered by horses on a treadmill. The first successful mobile treadmill was created by Clemente Masserano. The device was thought to be significantly cheaper than a steam locomotive, so it went into production.
With two to four horsepower, it topped out at just 20 miles per hour.