There is perhaps no greater joy in life than the feeling you get from building things with your own hands, be it making simple airplane models, or completely redoing your secret torture basement.
But as with all things, there are people out there whose inventiveness and hard work can make even your greatest Do-It-Yourself projects look like a pile of off-brand crap in comparison. Here are the top 10 examples of some of the coolest stuff people just got up and built in their spare time, because screw you, feeling good about your own accomplishments for even a second:
10. An Alien Tank
This real-life replica of an alien robot in tank form is perhaps the greatest thing to ever come out of Michael Bay’s CGI Explodogasmarama, also known as the Transformers movie series.
A Chinese Transformers fan who goes by the online handle of “Steel Legend” has built this monstrous 4.5m-long, 2.5m-high badboy based on the look of the villainous Megatron’s transformation in Revenge of the Fallen. So perhaps Bay might have been on to something when he decided that his Megatron shouldn’t transform into an old NES zapper pistol, like in the original cartoon.
The replica is made out of real metal, and weighs a staggering five tons. No word whether Steel Legend is planning to sell it or use it to overthrow and destroy the Chinese government.
9. A Video-Game Racing Cockpit
The problem with driving games, is that they just don’t feel immersive enough on a PC or a game console. Meanwhile, the problem with running people over with a real car is the law, morality and common sense. Sure, you can always pop into the nearest arcade and try out one of their more realistic driving simulators … or you can do what Matthew Boyer did and build one on your own.
Boyer’s home gaming shell is a huge plywood box equipped with enough high-end electronics to mimic the feeling of driving a car as best as possible. It took seven months to build and cost a grand total of $1650 (with most of the money going to the $540 steering wheel, because Boyer might actually be a tiny bit insane).
Boyer’s project started out with a purchase of a normal Logitech driving wheel and sort of escalated from that, as he searched for more and more realism and excitement in his hobby, which is pretty much how most serial killers start out. And yes, most of us would kill a random pedestrian for a personal racing cockpit like that. The point is: all gamers are potentially-dangerous psychos.
8. A 4-Person Monster Bike
Some time back, Tom Wilson apparently felt envious of all the good will and positive public opinion that Hummer drivers were getting, and decided that he too wanted to take up half the road while traveling from point A to point B. But there was a catch: he wanted to remain eco-friendly while doing so. Therefore, he decided to build a monster quad bike for four people, the size of an SUV. It was the only logical thing to do.
Wilson’s quad bike is a veritable Frankenstein, put together from bicycle, go-cart and golf cart parts, with a few patio chairs thrown into the mix. The contraption might not exactly be practical (or sane) but, thanks to it, cyclist can finally have the same rights as car drivers. Namely, the right to be an obnoxious road hog.
7. A Star Wars-Themed Bunk Bed
A Gizmodo reader by the name of Jonathan had a problem: his mom moved in to a new house with limited space, and needed help with setting up a bedroom where her grandchildren could visit and not be bored out of their minds. So Jonathan built her a triple bunk bed. In the shape of an Imperial Walker from Star Wars, because of course he would do that. Wouldn’t you? No? Tell me how having sex in high school felt like. I bet it was great…
Anyway, this geek wet dream (appropriately suitable for having wet dreams) took Jonathan about 300-400 hours to complete. It was worth it though, because now his kids get to sleep in a walking tank used by an evil, genocidal empire. Sweet dreams, kiddos.
6. A Working Submarine
Many years back, factory worker Mikhail Puchkov had a dream: to escape the dreary, dream-crushing reality of living in Soviet Russia. Naturally, the cold, black depths of the ocean seemed like they would be way less depressing than his current living situation, so Mikhail set out to build his own submarine in the attic of his house.
His home-made submergible craft took 3 years to complete while Mikhail overcame a few minor drawbacks, like the time the sub’s prototype sunk like a stone in the nearby river. The finished product was a 16-foot long fiberglass torpedo that can dive 30 meters down and travel 100 miles in one day, something Puchikov has actually tested out, making many trips in his sub between Helsinki and St. Petersburg, along the coast of the Gulf of Finland.
However, how the vessel manages to not sink under the gravitation-defying weight of Mikhail’s balls, is a question that has plagued physicists for years now.
5. A Jet-Powered Mini Monster Truck
It’s frankly fascinating that, somewhere in between deciding to put a jet engine on a monster truck (a perfectly reasonable decision which we can all understand,) someone would also decide to shrink the resulting machine to the size of a clown car. And yet here we are. These are interesting times we live in.
This mini mean machine is the work of Dieter Strum, who seems to have built it for the age old reason of “Why The Hell Not.” The small monster truck is powered by an ATDI GS-100 Turbojet engine, which can provide 160 pounds of thrust and puts the car at 700 pounds, or roughly the average weight of a monster truck fan.
4. A Gigantic Optimus Prime Statue
So, it turns out that Transformers are REALLY big in China. 35-feet big, to be exact.
That’s the size of the giant Transformers statue built by students at Hangzhou University, and now exhibited at their Innovation Park. The statue is made from discarded car parts and depicts the Autobot’s leader, Optimus Prime, clutching a red car in his right hand: An obvious metaphor for America trying to assert control over Communist China. Either that or a metaphor for Optimus Prime being really cool.
Full disclosure: I’m not entirely sure what a metaphor is.
3. A UFO
In 2011, a man in China tried to build a hover-UFO out of bike parts. That short bit of news both tells us a lot AND demands a Titanic-load of questions. Already, we can see that obsessing over Transformers wasn’t enough to distract this man from the horrible reality of life, but the question remains whether his DIY project was just a hobby, an attempt to escape China, or a very elaborate suicide waiting to happen.
Seeing as this Chinese UFO, made from 8 motorcycle engines powering exposed wooden propellers, looks about as stable as a typical Middle Eastern regime nowadays, I’m going to go with “an impressively elaborate suicide.” This man is asking for OUR HELP and all we can do is watch and cheer him on as his home-made suicide-copter tries to take off the ground.
2. A Helicopter
Hey look, another potentially fatal flying contraption from China. Dear God, what the hell is going on in that country that people seem so eager to risk their lives just to escape it? Oh, Communism, right, right. I forgot…
Wu Zhongyuan is a Chinese farmer, who felt he had what it took to build his own flying cage powered by spinning wooden blades attached to a motorcycle engine. For some reason, he also referred to it as a helicopter. Wu claims that the copter cost him about $1,600 and can go as high as 2,600 feet but, unfortunately, the government has officially forbidden him from doing test flies, citing sanity.
There is still some talk whether Wu’s contraption is a hoax or not but, as we’ve seen so far, the Chinese people are both high on boredom, ingenuity, and a frightening disregard for their personal safety. So Hell yeah, I’m calling this DIY helicopter real.
1. A Roller Coaster
The story of how Jeremy Reid built a working roller coaster in his parents’ backyard can be best summarized the following way: He was living in Oklahoma City…
That’s pretty much it. I mean, it was either “build a roller coaster behind the house” or “develop a destructive meth addiction.” All in all, Reid seems to have made the right choice. His “Track Star” roller coaster took 4 years, 2,900 board feet of pine and 7,000 assorted screws and nails to complete. It cost about $10,000 and can reach speeds up to 18mph which is about 18 miles faster and roughly a million times less fatal than any home-made roller coaster most of us would have made.
So … congratulations on not killing yourself, your friends, and your family, Jeremy?