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Becoming a supervillain is easier than you think: All you need is proper motivation and a trip to Home Depot, apparently. That's how these guys did it, anyway:

6
Shoot Fire From Your Hands (and MIND)

Nothing says "supervillain" like being able to shoot fire from your hands. Sure, there are a few good guys with that power, but generally speaking, launching blasts of fire tends to be more useful when your goal is to, you know, burn stuff.


"I'm going to use this to fight crime" doesn't seem like a logical conclusion here.

That's why it's slightly unsettling that so many crazy people on YouTube have managed to achieve the exact same ability through the use of homemade gadgets.

To illustrate the type of people we're dealing with here, this guy calls his flamethrower "the Prometheus Device," and he explicitly says that he created it to "emulate the power of the X-Men character Pyro."

Gosh, if only there was some way to make that invention more disturbing. Maybe have the flames shoot from his eyeballs? Or his crotch? Oh, wait, we know! How about a flamethrower that's controlled with telepathy? That's why the PK4A was invented.


We're dying to read the OSHA regulations for this one.

PK4A is a 20-foot flamethrower controlled by a wireless EEG headset. EEG as in brain scanning. As in, this thing fires on mental commands. The entire project was built from the ground up to be a real-life method of achieving pyrokinesis, only with science instead of mutant powers and/or wizardry. The results look something like this:


"You're right -- the middle of the woods seems like the perfect place to test this project."

Keep in mind that this is all just a demonstration of the potential for a system like this. The creators have made it a point to make it completely customizable. In the video, it has a dead man's switch and fires straight up in the air, but those were just safety precautions. It's only a matter of time before someone takes this technology, modifies it into a shoulder-mounted device and uses it to take over a small city.

5
Retractable Steel Claws

But fire isn't for everyone. Some aspiring supervillains prefer a more subtle approach -- namely, having metal claws erupt from their hands.


Pictured: Subtlety

That's what this guy did:

These are real-life, functioning Wolverine claws: They're spring-loaded, and the guy can actually make them pop out by flexing his bicep. According to the assembly video, he made them in two days using copper tubing for the arm brace and 1/8-inch x 1/2-inch steel for the track and blades. We honestly hope he wasn't still wearing the claws when his mom gave him shit about messing up the rug.


"GRAAAAHH!!! Oh, sh-"

And apparently, YouTube is full of these people: This other guy spent a lot more money on the video-editing software, if not on the claws themselves.

The claw-ejection method in this case seems to be "violently push your arms forward and hope they don't come flying off and stab someone in the penis." Sure, none of these guys look like they could make very convincing criminals, but the first put the instructions online and the second says you can buy a custom made pair for $375. Please ... please don't.


Everyone at the hospital will laugh at you.

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4
An Anime-Style Personal Battle Tank

Most of you are probably under the impression that it is impossible to build a tank by yourself. Once again, Japan takes your preconceptions about life and shatters them in the most devastating way possible: Yake Hitoshi Takahashi who built a 15-foot battle tank in his garage -- and it only took him 11 years.

Also, he shaped it like a rhinoceros beetle, just because.


Those letters are actually projected in the air wherever it goes, as a theme song plays.

No, that's not a CGI simulation of what it would look like -- that's the actual thing. We feel the word "tank" doesn't do it justice: "Horrific abomination" comes closer. It even has a port on top for the pilot to poke his head out and laugh maniacally, spacious cargo room to hold children as hostages, and the ability to emit smoke, as if a method of intimidation was even necessary.

Here's a video where Takahashi talks about making it, but it's all in Japanese, so we'll assume that the interviewer is asking "Why would you do this?" over and over, and maybe "What are its demands?" a few times, as well.


If Satan was reincarnated as a robot.

Most insane of all is the fact that, as demonstrated in this video, the thing actually works. It may not be the fastest vehicle in history, but it would still be pants-shittingly scary to see it slowly drag itself up the street toward you. Crushing everything you love in its path.


Also, it shoots smoke out of its ass.

What's perhaps even scarier is that, although Takahashi is the only one who knows how to pilot it, he also designed it to be remote-controlled -- so he can send the thing after you and your family from the comfort of his volcano headquarters.

3
A Human-Catching Net-Launcher

A while ago, the Air Force announced it was interested in developing a "Spider-Man cannon" to trap would-be assailants coming down on parachutes or hand gliders (because it finally realized something needs to be done about all those hand-gliding terrorists). Actually, that sort of gadget already exists: Police officers in China have been using compact web-shooters to catch subjects up to 49 feet away as part of what is obviously an organized global effort for law-enforcing agencies to "be more like Spider-Man."


A goal we can get behind 100 percent.

But why should such awesome, cartoonish tools remain in the hands of trained professionals? This tutorial gives simple instructions on how to make one out of some PVC pipes and $75 worth of materials.

According to the creator, it can fire a 90-foot net 15 to 20 feet away using about 100 PSI of compressed air -- perfect for capturing Penelope Pitstop and dragging her to the nearest set of train tracks. Here's a demonstration of the homemade net launcher in action (from the point of view of the victim):

Notice how time slows down as the net approaches you? Yeah, that's not the video, that's your brain telling you you're about to be captured and probably molested.

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2
A Homemade EMP

Remember the scene in The Matrix where they use an EMP (electro-magnetic pulse) to instantly disable those machines attacking the ship? Pretty awesome, right? But what if anyone could do that? What if that was your robot squid they shot down, causing you to be late for work? This scenario is closer to reality than you might think.

Fun fact: EMPs aren't all big bombs that send out pulses in every direction, like you see in the movies. Apparently, anyone who knows a little about electronics can make his own EMP gun and fire cone-based waves of data-killing energy with frightening precision. Technically, when it's a weapon, it's called a HERF gun, or high-energy radio frequency gun, also known as a microwave gun.


Better than our microwave gun concept that fired convenience store burritos.

This website offers instructions on how to build a microwave gun out of an actual microwave oven. Basically, all you need to do is carefully take it apart and put it back together in the shape of a pistol. It works just like a regular EMP, only on a smaller scale. The writer says you can use it to "kill cockroaches and computers," which should come in pretty handy when you're in bed and can't be arsed to get up and turn off the PC. It's not portable, though ... unless you can find a power source capable of generating 1 kilowatt of electricity.


"GREAT SCOTT! That's -- actually, that's pretty doable."

So could someone, in theory, build a microwave gun big enough to, say, stop a car dead in its tracks? Yes, and they already have: These guys built one capable of shutting down the electrical system of a car from 600 feet. away. That's right: Within a few seconds, this thing can disable any type of vehicle that relies on electricity -- that is, anything made within the last 35 or so years.


You know, it might be time to get the old Pontiac out of the garage.

1
A Giant Robotic Hand

You can tell why Christian Ristow, a former Hollywood animatronics expert, won Popular Mechanics' 2009 "Backyard Geniuses" contest for DiY projects just by taking a quick look at his picture:


It's because of his rugged good looks.

Ristow, who used to build puppets for Jim Henson's company, moved on to bigger and better things, by which we mean sitting in his yard building a giant robot called "Hand of Man." It's a 20-foot-tall gasoline-powered mechanical hand made primarily of steel girders and pneumatics. It's even controlled by a glove that mimics your real hand movements, like what kids in the 90s thought the Power Glove would do.


It can also crush your entire family in one movement!

Seriously, watch this video, where the Hand of Man crushes a barrel, followed by Ristow explaining that he also uses it to crush cars. When you've got an enormous remote-controlled hand, there's really nothing else to do with it besides create mayhem and destruction. This thing doesn't fuck around.


You can also use it to flip a 20-foot bird.

By the way, see that kid operating the hand in the video? Yeah, that's not Ristow's son or something like that: That's a random kid from the audience. Ristow intentionally made it easy to use so that anyone could operate it during demonstrations. Also, the Hand of Man is entirely mechanical, meaning it doesn't depend on electricity or computers. In other words, if it ever goes rogue, there's no way to turn it off.

In the meantime, Ristow will probably be working on the rest of the body, afterward proceeding to disguise it as a large Austrian bodybuilder.

To read more of Ashe's work, check out weirdshitblog.com

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For more real-world supervillainy, check out 5 Real World Criminals Who Were Certified Supervillains and 6 Web How-To's That Are Apparently For Supervillains.

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