8 Overly-Complicated Machines That Have Zero Purpose


The world is full of brilliant people, despite how often we try to convince you otherwise. However, some of these geniuses, rather than building machines that help crippled people walk, or bring dinosaurs back to life, are content to build machines that serve barely-definable functions to address nonexistent problems -- because that is how the Internet works.

Paper-Ripping Machine

The Paper-Ripping Machine slowly tears a piece of paper in half with the turn of a crank, which is a mechanism typically limited to when we make fun of old people for how stupid cars used to be. The device utilizes a series of clasps and tethers, meaning you have to strap that piece of paper in like an astronaut before you can begin ripping it in half. You could split an entire ream of paper with a hacksaw in the amount of time it would take you to use this machine, which we hasten to note serves no conceivable purpose -- unless you are a paralyzingly arthritic old shithead who wants to show your grandson exactly what you think of that picture he drew for you.

8 Overly-Complicated Machines That Have Zero Purpose

"This isn't worth the effort to pin up, but it is worthy of heartbreakingly elaborate destruction."

The Useless Machine

The Useless Machine serves absolutely no function beyond lording over a bank of switches and immediately turning off whatever switch you turn on. It's like having a sociopathic roommate without the trouble of having to put out an ad in Craigslist. All you need is a broken printer and a liberal definition of what qualifies as a complete waste of time.

Gasoline-Powered Flashlight

As we all know, the number-one complaint about flashlights is that they are far too wieldy and silent. The Gasoline-Powered Flashlight addresses both of those issues head-on by being the size of a Ghostbuster laser and sounding like a grizzly getting skinned alive by a lawn trimmer.

The Machine That Writes the Time

"La Machine Ecrire le Temps," (literally, "The Machine that Writes the Time") sounds like some awesome Quantum Leap device but is actually just a clock with more moving parts than a space shuttle (1,200 components in all, including 84 ball bearings, 50 cams and 9 belts). Basically, you wind it up like an old pocketwatch and stare in amazement as it laboriously scribbles out the time on an index card like a barely-literate mental patient with muscular dystrophy. Ironically, the machine takes so long to write down the time that, when it is finally finished, the time it has transcribed is no longer correct. The good news is that this machine took 10 years to build and sells for a mere 400,000 Swiss francs (about $342,275).

30 O

"Think of how close we came to not knowing this."

Smoking Machine

The Smoking Machine allows passive smoking enthusiasts to get all the cancer they want without having to smoke any cigarettes themselves. But seriously, we can't begin to imagine what the hell the point of this thing is, unless you're in a struggling garage band that can't afford dry ice or a fog machine.

Waiting Machine

The Waiting Machine allows you to turn a crank to make a flesh-painted wooden hand tap its index finger, signaling to everyone around you your displeasure at having been made to wait. It could also be used to indicate that you are thinking. But, honestly, if you're standing in line at the DMV and spinning the crank on Pinocchio's severed hand, we already know that isn't the case.


Once activated, the Unplugger crawls across the floor like a steampunk Roomba until it yanks its own cord out of the wall to the delight of over one million YouTube viewers. We feel that it, along with the Useless Machine, should be tossed into the Thunderdome together while The Machine that Writes the Time counts the rounds.

8 Overly-Complicated Machines That Have Zero Purpose

"Why ... was I made ... to feel pain?"

Jelly Wobbler

The Jelly Wobbler is a plate of Jell-O balanced on a giant spring that shakes around as you pedal it. That's it. It's like a lava lamp for active stoners.

Scroll down for the next article


Forgot Password?