The 7 Most Needlessly Terrifying Pieces of Heavy Machinery

#3. The Forage Harvester, aka Destroyer of Worlds

Finally someone listened to all of our articles about the inevitable zombie apocalypse and took some action. The only vehicle more specifically designed for undead destruction was the bus in the Dawn of the Dead remake, only with this one, the chance of accidentally chainsawing one of your own guys is pretty slim. But, God help them if they step in front of you.

What It Is:

It's a forage harvester, and the unfortunate truth is that the only thing it's meant to eradicate is corn.


The harvester shreds the corn into silage, which is then left to ferment and eventually become food for livestock. And we've officially made a complete turn from awesome to boring. Nice try, forage harvester, but there's no way to make farming exciting. Unless you're raising dinosaurs, in which case this would make an excellent pooper scooper.

#2. The TBM, aka Planet Earth's Vibrator

It probably isn't clear what this one does if you've never seen it before. For all we know it could be Voltron's penis, horribly dissected for all the world to see. Whatever the hell it is, those guys in front are really, really proud of it.

When you absolutely, positively have to give a volcano a prostate massage.

What It Is:

That is a TBM, or tunnel boring machine, and as its name indicates, it's a machine used for boring holes through solid ground, or even rock in some cases, to create tunnels.

The one pictured above is one of the largest in existence, with a diameter of about 47 feet. There is currently talk of a bigger one being built to bore a tunnel under the Bering Strait. This could potentially link Russia with Alaska via a rail and pipeline system, opening up a whole new world of commerce between the U.S. and Russia, which for some reason is a good thing. Here's a video of a TBM in action:

When the TBM breaks through at about 1:20, it looks so otherworldly that we half expected a hatch to open to allow a swarm of aliens to come pouring out and start vaporizing everyone. That TBM was just finishing boring one of two mile-long tunnels in the Netherlands for the construction of a four-lane highway. The tunnels took just under four months to drill. Before TBMs, it could take years to excavate tunnels that long.

Via Rama
They look sort of like a cruiser from Star Wars on the inside.

#1. The Continuous Miner, aka Satan's Rock-Eating Battle Tank

This looks like the personal vehicle for every member of the devil's staff, and it appropriately enough appears to be climbing out of the very depths of hell itself. At the very least it should be chasing Mad Max down the freeway or battling Truckzilla in a destruction derby. Just looking at the snaggleteeth of destruction at the front will freeze you in your tracks like a deer in headlights, leaving you open to being so intensely obliterated that you will disappear from photographs like Marty McFly's brother.

What It Is:

That is a continuous miner. Its primary purpose, other than starring in your nightmares and stealing children's ability to laugh, is ... well ... mining, continuously. That spinning wheel of metal teeth knocks the coal loose; the coal then gets scooped up onto the ramp below and is collected by the gathering arms on the ramp that you probably didn't notice before because you were too horrified by the metal teeth on the cutting drum to care about anything else.

What were we talking about again?

Then everything is moved by conveyor to the back of the machine, where it is pooped out onto a shuttle car waiting to collect and remove the payload from the mine. Here's a video of one in action:

Also, if you listen closely, you can hear the agonized screams of the damned.

Here the continuous miner is, breaching the barrier between hell and Earth.

And be sure to pick up our book. It's the only thing on Earth that can destroy these machines.

For more devious machinations, check out 20 Japanese Robots Probably Intent on Murdering You and The 7 Creepiest Real-Life Robots.

And stop by Linkstorm to learn how to arm yourself against these things.

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