The Chia Pet was born one afternoon in 1977, by Joseph Pedott. After one conversation, he discovered that a fascinating product – a head-shaped terracotta planter that, when watered, grew a patch of hair – sold well during the holidays. These “lovably tacky botanical totems,” are one of those weird inventions that did incredibly well in the market. In fact, most of us have probably owned a Chia Pet at some point during our lives, and, like most of us, it probably didn’t survive more than two weeks (Adweek).
We’re all about toned arms and a toned body, but it’s the effort that must go into getting toned that we shy away from. The handheld weight is one of those weird inventions that feels like it’s something from the future. Invented by Johann Verheem, over 4 million have already been sold since it first hit the market. Using the Shake Weight is simple, all you do is hold the weight with both hands as it pulses back and forth (The Ledger).
The Band-Aids are one of those weird inventions that are a lifesaver. Earle Dickson developed them in the 1920s, in order to create a bandage his wife could apply to herself. The Band-Aid was a big part of our childhood, since many of us spent the entire summer with band-aids plastered all over our knees. The earlier make was 3 inches wide, and 18-inches long. They had the environment in mind, because once the tins were used for the band-aids, they could be reused for anything like storing pens, money, and even sunglasses. Some bandage companies are bringing this tin idea back (Band-Aid).
Ketchup bottles were a staple of our childhood. In 1991, Paul Brown invented the upside-down bottle. He was quite innovative and sold his product to NASA and Heinz. After receiving $14 million dollars for his invention, he retired. We would, too. Sometimes, we wish we were more innovative and creative and had the foresight to develop these inventions first. At the very least, we can thank Paul Brown for his invention, and our ability to eat French fries and hamburgers more deliciously (Owen Kelly).
All of us have a goal of making a million dollars before college. Alex Tew had the same idea but was one of the very few who actually made it happen. In 2005, he made The Million Dollar Homepage, one of the most glaring, harshest sites we’ve ever seen. He decided to advertise space on it at $1 a pixel, in 10 by 10 blocks. It worked, because his invention made him rich (WNYC Studios).
Sponges help us tremendously. They help us clean dishes, scrub the floor, and get those pesky spots we can’t reach or seem to get clean. Aaron created the smiley-faced cleaning sponge, called Scrub Daddy, which has sold more than 25 million products. When he told his family he wanted to start his own car washing business, he was frowned upon. But he stuck to his gut, and created one of the most successful, albeit weird inventions out there (The CEO Magazine).
The Juggernaut is one of those weird inventions that really make us gasp in awe. Why didn’t we think of this first? It seems simple, really, but that also means we would’ve needed to understand human anatomy a bit more. Judy Edwards experienced constipation in the bathroom and decided to do something about it. After a medical professional suggested she raise her knees on the toilet, an idea was born. That’s how she came up with the Juggernaut, an awesome invention that helps everyone use the toilet (Entrepreneur).
The Drop Stop helps save lives. Weird inventions that are more than just a silly toy really have something going for them. The Drop Stop helps prevent things falling in between the gap in your car between the car seat and center console. Marc and his friend Jeffrey, the creators of Drop Stop, began with a sponge and an old sock that had a few slits in it. Now, it’s an invention that has made them rich, while also saving the lives of many people (Shark Tank Blog).
Catherine Hettinger, the inventor of Fidget Spinners, got rich off her strange, but fun invention. The toy has a dome shape, like a frisbee. Unfortunately, her toy was rejected by Hasbro, but that doesn’t mean she wasn’t successful. We’ve all played with Fidget Spinners as kids, and can all agree they’re a great way to pass the time (Quality Logo Products).
As kids, the night before Christmas feels like one of the most magical nights of the year. We’d send Santa Claus our Christmas list, and the night before Christmas, leave milk and cookies out on the table. We’d wake up in the morning with loads of presents under the tree, and maybe even a handwritten letter from Santa. But who said we had to wait until Christmas to hear from Santa? As a kid, Santa Claus Mail is one of those weird inventions we wished existed. It’s a personalized letter from Santa. Your parents do all the background work, but you get an actual “letter from Santa.” There’s no better way to spend a Christmas than this (Santa Mail).
The iFart is one of those weird inventions we can’t believe exists. Since fart sounds are funny and slightly embarrassing, it comes as no surprise that someone invented the iFart. Basically, it’s an app that makes fart sounds. It’s simple, and again, we’re kicking ourselves for not having thought about this first. You can even get Fart Packs, including Jurassic Farts (dinosaur fart sounds), Shart Toppers, Bands, and Fart Wars (iFart Mobile).
When we were kids, the Popsicle was a staple of summer. In 1905, Frank Epperson accidentally made what has become one of the greatest desserts of all time. He left a mixture of powdered soda water, with a stick in it, on the porch. When he woke up in the morning, he had a frozen treat right before his eyes. That’s how the Popsicle was born. Let’s thank Epperson for his invention, since we couldn’t have survived summer without it (Today I Found Out).
Those stretchy bracelets are one of those weird inventions that became a huge hit. Silly Bandz launched in 2008 and quickly became popular around the world. It comes in a multitude of shapes, like dinosaurs and cowboys. No matter how much you pull and tug at Silly Bandz, they always go back to their original shape. This is probably the smartest thing about Silly Bandz, as kids are always pulling things apart and stretching them to the point of no return (Inc).