The content of our vending machines is a reflection of the culture we live in -- we need these things so urgently that we built robots specifically designed to give them to us at all times. In our case, what we value the most is apparently Cheetos and diet soda, but different countries have different priorities. Hilarious, occasionally unnerving priorities.
You know that joke about how Japan has vending machines that sell "used" schoolgirl panties, for the pervert on the go? Well, two things: 1) It's not a joke; they really have those. And 2) that's not the weirdest vending machine product in the world:
A vending machine that spits out live crabs sounds like something you'd see right before Freddy Krueger murders you in some needlessly elaborate fashion, but it's a thing that exists in the real world too. Specifically, in China, where crabs are a popular seasonal meal. The rationale behind these machines, according to a store manager who owns one, is to assist you during those times when it's late at night, all the seafood shops are closed, and you feel the sudden urge to "chow down on a hairy crab" (actual direct quote). See, that's the difference between China and Japan; if it was the latter, you know that'd be a euphemism for something perverted. But nope, the Chinese really do get the hairy-crab munchies.
Before these machines, you had to settle for gluing cat hair on an ashtray and chewing that.
The crabs cost between $1.50 and $7.50, depending on how big and terrifying they are. And, yes, the fucking things are actually alive: The interior of the machine is kept at a temperature of 40 to 50 degrees F to convince the crabs it's winter and make them hibernate inside their small plastic prisons. As anyone who works from home knows, the fact that they sleep late and the general lack of activity will keep the animal's muscles soft and tangy -- just like your palate demands. The shock of being abruptly pushed down a metal ramp is apparently enough to jolt the poor bastards awake, though:
Pictured: the original twist ending for The Matrix.