Top 10 Weirdest Vending Machines From Around The World
We all love the convenience of snacks and drinks dispensed from a machine, but did you know that the vended-offerings don’t just stop with quick and basic nourishment? All around the world, you can find an outlandish mix of easily dispersed products, as seen in these top ten strangest vending machines.
Would you believe that, in downtown Eastside Vancouver, Canada, there are vending machines that sell crack pipes? Would you also believe that there is a viable, somewhat sound reasoning for the existence of these machines? According to the Portland Hotel Society, who sanctioned the strange concept, the machines are meant to provide drug users access to clean paraphernalia, reducing the spread of infection and black market sales. Initiated in 2014, the machines carried 200 pipes and were typically restocked every five days. Rather than take the approach of trying to pull drugs off the streets and out of the hands of the youth, the society aimed to saturate the market and make it safer and easier to obtain a crack pipe. What do you think - will this ultimately reduce usage?
We’re not typically ones to judge as we follow a simple mantra of “to each their own,” but we couldn’t help our initial disgust when we found out the long-fabled used panty vending machines of Japan were, well, not so fabled. In fact, the whole concept is based on a series of shops, known as Burusera, that sell girls’ used school uniforms and underwear. The vending machine just makes it easier to be creepy on the move. Where truth and fiction seem to collide is over just how “used” these products may be. Though the word is typically plastered all over the machine in English, some claim that it’s just a sales tactic and the state of the undergarment, manufactured to appear used, is explained in Japanese.
How many times have you been left frustrated and cursed the stars for not having a convenient means of purchasing your sex toys? Far too many to count, right? Well, do we have good news for you! If you just keep your eyes peeled, you may happen across a sex toy vending machine! Filled with all sorts of accouterments for the boudoir, these machines make sure those late-night encounters aren’t ruined by a lack of condoms or absence of items of kink. In the United States, the first machine was opened in Philadelphia by a company called PinkBox.
Are you tired of carrying around convenient, foldable cash money? Wouldn’t you like to trade that all in for heftier, less compact bars of gold? With the Gold to Go vending machine, all of your inconvenient dreams can come true! This high price machine, which can weigh up to 1,000 pounds or about 453 kilograms, was initially established at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi and may see upwards of 500 locations in airports worldwide. The purpose is simple – patrons can purchase 24-carat gold bars or gold coins from Canada, Australia, and South Africa just so they can say they’ve held a gold bar in their hands.
“Oh man, my skin is so terrible. I just wish I could awkwardly draw more attention to just how bad it is by shopping at a public vending machine.” Admit it, you’ve found yourself saying this exact thing on multiple occasions. Lucky for you, Proactiv has heard and started providing their product in vending machine form. Why acne medication would need to be in a vending machine is a little beyond us, especially since products like Proactiv are shoved down our throats through commercials, print ads, and mall kiosks, but regardless of the reason, these machines are out there and they’re extremely hard to miss.
Depending on the type of person you are, when you stumble across this unusual vending machine, your first instinct will either be to want to set them all free or melt yourself a giant tub of butter. The interior of the live crab vending machine, which was run by one Shi Tuanjie, was cooled to around 41° F or 5° C, to keep the crabs in a sort of hibernation. Also, to preserve flavor, rather than binding the claws together, the crabs were originally packaged in an edible container, built to keep them from suffocating or breaking their legs. An updated version of the vending machine, owned by one Mr. Liu, preserves the frigid interior temperature but is missing the container.
During times of great sorrow and stress, it’s not unusual for minor details to slip under the radar. So, if you’re ever planning a funeral and realize you forgot something, don’t be too hard on yourself. Especially if you happen to forget about mourning or prayer candles. Yes, that’s right. There’s a vending machine for that. Strange but practical, these machines popped up in graveyards throughout Germany, offering a convenient option for people looking to pay their respects but don’t want to stop at the store beforehand.
Caviar and Gourmet Food
Ugh! You’re late for your socialite dinner again and forgot to prepare your favorite dish, duck a l’Orange. Now what are you going to do? If only there was a machine that could disperse some otherwise expensive treat that could save you from the embarrassment of arriving empty-handed. If you lived in Beverly Hills, California, you would be able to make a stop at a vending machine and pick up your selection of several gourmet foods. Included in the machine’s options are caviar, escargot, mother of pearl plates, and Italian truffles. Just because it’s in a vending machine doesn’t mean it’s a cheap knock-off, either. These eats can run up to $500 an ounce.
One of the companies dispensing these flattened treasures is Wonder Pizza and we assume the name stands for “Wonder if it’s real pizza?” Within just two minutes of making a terrible decision, the machine cooks and disperses a steaming hot plate of regret. Depending on the machine you order from, your choices may include pepperoni, four cheese, or Margherita. Like 7-Eleven’s Mashed Potato Mystery Machine, there’s only one demographic this product can appeal to.
Found at scattered 7-Eleven locations, the mashed potato vending machine serves to eliminate any desire for mashed potatoes and gravy you may have in your life. Truly. Watching it dispense watery mashed potatoes and coat it with an off-color foaming bath of gravy is about as unappetizing as it sounds. Leave it to Sevs, though, to know how to appeal to its late-night target audience: drunkards and junkies. Located primarily in Singapore, one can only hope this travesty doesn't make its way across the globe.