#3. The Noah
The Noah tsunami escape pod is marketed as "the only product guaranteed to protect against tsunamis, earthquakes and typhoons." And while that descriptor brings to mind images of concrete bunkers and invincible robots, you're going to need to scale your expectations down a little if you want to avoid disappointment.
No, even more than that.
Way more. OK, let's just scale them aaaaallll the way down to a metal ball with a stripper pole in the middle of it. Because that's what the Noah is:
"I could save you, but I'd have to charge."
The Noah's main, and essentially only, defense against a foaming wall of death is the fact that it is both sealed and buoyant. When the wave hits, the pod should be (and you know better than to find the phrase "should be" reassuring by now, don't you?) carried along with the tsunami, rather than sink under it.
It even contains chalk, so you can scrawl out a hateful rant before you die of dehydration in the open sea.
So what's the problem, then? The only danger in a tsunami is sinking -- not being crushed by all the debris that's been lifted up and hurled at you by the wave, not being buried beneath thousands of tons of wreckage above you -- it's totally just the sinking thing, right? And this here doesn't sink.
We've established that.
Look, it's totally close to that water, and it's not sinking!
So you're good to go. You can crawl smugly into your giant Pac-Man orb and just wait for that wave to pick you up and whip you along at about 45 mph, where you hopefully never encounter another solid object. Because on the off chance that you do run into something -- and this stupid world tends to be full of those pesky "somethings" -- that means you're getting into a near highway-speed collision inside of a glorified Pokeball with a frightened stripper grimly contemplating her own mortality.
What, you thought we were kidding? It's the pole; it's like Stripper Salt Lick.
#2. The SEIE MK 10
Quick, think up a concept for an escape pod on a submarine.
What'd you come up with? It's a buoyant metal sphere, isn't it? Half this list is inappropriate spheres for desperate optimists to die inside of, but this time it finally makes sense! Huzzah!
Nope! You're way off. That's not how you escape a submarine. This is:
"My eardrums have ruptured."
That's the Submarine Escape Immersion Equipment Mark 10. It's like a dry suit for the frumpy and self-conscious submariner. It's even got a little built-in fanny pack so you can embarrass any potential Aqua-Men you pass on the way up. The SEIE is carefully weighted so you will float at a relatively slow rate to avoid decompression sickness, and, because these designers have thought of everything, it's also a life raft.
No, there isn't a life raft and supplies in that fanny pack, silly. Who wants to get out of that big ol' suit and climb into a whole separate thing? That sounds hard, and you just survived a submarine crash. Don't you deserve to take a little break? You simply press a little valve on the suit and ...
A one-man life raft. A completely autonomous -- though totally immobile, leaving you bobbing there awkwardly with your legs dangling beneath you like shark commercials advertising the bloated beach ball stuffed with tasty meat filling that is your bright red body -- and self-sufficient flotation device. This isn't a peek into the wacky, failed future: SEIEs are being deployed on American submarines right now. If you just can't wait to get your Baron Harkonnen on, they can even be bought off the Internet this very second.
Their animated website is black text on dark blue, so you know they're deadly serious.
#1. Project M.O.O.S.E.
Project MOOSE is the single most terrifying form of transport ever devised by man. Here it is:
Oh hey, that doesn't seem so bad. It looks like a seed or something. Kinda cute. So what does it do, float or something?
Wait, is that a space suit? Does that ... does that say "parachute," "ablation shield" and "crush up foam"? Yep, this right here is an escape pod designed for astronauts to return back to Earth, from outer space ... without a ship.
Weirdly, "shitting out your lungs" doesn't appear in this sequence.
Imagine it: The worst has come to pass, and your shuttle is breaking apart. You climb into the airlock and start to unpack the escape pod. In bright red letters, it says: The MOOSE. Well that's ... less than confidence-inspiring, isn't it? Also a bit worrisome: The fact that the thing that you're about to hurtle downward in at incredible speeds, through a burning atmosphere, to the Earth's surface, miles below, all fits inside of a suitcase. It's all just a bit disconcerting.
They really did not take into account all the variables here.
And that's before you pull it out and realize the whole thing is nothing more than a transparent plastic sack with a bit of metal underneath and a rocket for guidance ... that you hold. With your hands. It looks like a bag that you'd bring home groceries in and a small fire extinguisher. That's your entire spacecraft. But oh well. Your alternative is certain death, so you might as well opt for the uncertain death that the MOOSE offers. You shake that bag out, lay inside of it ...
... pour the urine out of your boots ...
... press a button on the canister inside, and are covered in what science calls "high-tech heat-resistant polyurethane cushioning gel," but we'll just call it "death lube" (because all it really does is grease your screaming way into the afterlife). So the goo fills the bulk of the MOOSE, and that's it. That's the end. Your spaceship is now complete: You, in a wet sack of foam.
Like in the womb. During an emergency Caesarean.
So how about it? Feeling confident about firing yourself at the planet below?
It's OK. That doesn't come as much of a surprise. After all, MOOSE stands for "Man Out Of Space Easiest." Not "quickest" or "safest" or "sanest," just "easiest." Somebody asked the question: "What's the easiest way to get a man out of space?"
And the answer, of course, was "Fuck him. Let him fall."
"Boy, that's a deep patch of ocean. I'm glad I'm landing in that spreading crimson area."
For more terrifying vehicles seemingly designed on the back of a middle school Trapper Keeper, check out 7 WTF Military Weapons You Won't Believe They Actually Built and The 5 Most Mind-Blowingly Huge Machines Built By Science.