When you encounter a vending machine, you’re usually faced with a variety of chips, candy, and sodas on which to drop some coin. But not always! You’ll never look at that Coke machine the same way after discovering these 10 bizarre vending machines that dispense things you didn’t even know you needed.
Live Crabs, China
Hungry? Hungry to kill? If you prefer to work for your food and to kill it yourself (but without all the stress of catching it first), simply stick some cash in this vending machine and a live crab will drop out to greet you (and its death). You’re supposed to eat the crabs, but since the machines are located in subways in China, we suppose you could also throw them at unsuspecting commuters in order to get a seat on the train.
Gold-Dispensing Machine, Dubai
Who needs an ATM when you can insert a card and pull out some gold? The Gold to Go machine not only dispenses gold, it’s also coated with a layer of gold itself. Buy gold bars and coins and rest assured that the machine automatically updates every 10 minutes to keep the prices current.
Bike Dispenser, Netherlands
Why are you walking like a sucker when you could be pedaling along on a bike? Unlike other bike rental systems where bikes are stored outside on racks, the Bikedispenser is an actual machine that pops out a bike when you’ve inserted money.
If we had to name one food we wouldn’t trust out of a vending machine, it would probably be raw fish. Yet this Japanese vending machine sells sushi! Hey, it’s probably healthier than a bag of chips and a candy bar, though.
Dog roll around in something during your walk? Or just feel like torturing your pet? Drop it off at the Dog-O-Matic, an automatic dog washer. Open door, insert dog, and pay depending on the dog’s size—and try not to feel like a monster for sticking your dog inside a vending machine. Although the Dog-O-Matic’s inventor claims that animals don’t mind the machine, this video and photos make the case otherwise. The machine can also be used for cats, but we’re pretty sure a clean kitty is not worth the face-clawing you’d get when you let it out.
Canna MedBox, California
Finally, no more face-to-face interaction with shady drug dealers! We feel like many stoners have already dreamed up the idea of a marijuana dispensing vending machine, but Canna MedBox has brought the vision (hallucination?) to life. You’ll need a medical marijuana prescription, a pre-paid membership card from a licensed clinic, and to have your fingerprint scanned in order to buy one of the 60 different types of medical marijuana available in this machine. We forsee a lot of customers hitting the Canna MedBox and then moving on to our next pick, the Cupcakes vending machine.
Cupcakes, Beverly Hills
If there’s anything America needs, it’s more access to 24/7 junk food. Beverly Hills bakery Sprinkles is helping to fill the void in the market and your belly (no matter what time of day or night) with cupcake vending machines. Restocked daily, customers can pop in $4 and be rewarded with a sweet treat.
Fingernail Painting Machine, Japan
Chipped your nail polish? If you’re in Japan, the fingernail painting machine could save the day. Stick your finger in and get a design painted on—but then you have to clean and topcoat your nails yourself, which seems like way too much effort to do outside a vending machine.
Automatic Apparel, Boston
Hey, we’re not here to judge you about what happened last night. But if you find yourself at select locations in Boston in need of an entirely new outfit, from shoes to underwear to shirts, the automatic apparel machine can help you out. Get a two-pack of underwear (just in case you don’t make it home again tonight), ballet flats if your heels are killing you, sunglasses if you need some darkness right now … even a fresh pair of running shorts and socks if you’re struck by a sudden urge to work out. Clothes don’t fit? Pop them back in the tube for a refund.
Let’s Pizza, Italy
Forget pizza delivered in 30 minutes or less—the Let’s Pizza vending machine will whip you up a fresh pizza in under 90 seconds. Hey, Italian pizza from a vending machine is probably still better than the normal takeout pizza in the U.S.
Readers, what’s the coolest vending machine on our list? Tell us in the comments area below. Bonus points if you’ve ever used one of them!