The internet is simultaneously man's greatest and cruelest invention: it is the largest source of information in the entire world and, with a few keystrokes, allows you to keep in touch with friends scattered across each continent, view breaking news stories live from every corner of the globe, and discover increasingly inventive ways to waste your life.
The internet is also how you found out that the human race shouldn't be able to look itself in the eye when it gets up in the morning, yet somehow it finds the will to keep carrying on and posting stuff on the personals section of Craigslist about trading belly button lint for muscle cars or gold coins or any other actual valuable stuff you have lying around that you'd just love to fork over for one man's esteemed collection of navel stew.
Another great perk of the internet: when Walmart just doesn't have what you're looking for, you can always hop online and buy literally anything you can think of. Socially inept? Just pop on over to eBay and pick up your own imaginary friend. And for those of you with aspirations for world domination, what about your very own tank for a mere $38,965? The internet: purveyor of all the most useless crap you can think of, and some you never even imagined. So if you've got a little extra money just lying around, take a look at this list and pick yourself up something nice.
15 Owl Vomit
For that sciency kid in your life, Toys "R" Us offers the Unreal Upchuck Owl Skeleton Kit for a paltry $14.99. But don't worry: if you have any objections to letting your child root around in some random bird puke from origins unknown in pursuit of tiny dead animals, you'll be pleased to know this is only synthetic owl puke. That's not a sentence I ever thought I would type in my life, but here we are. The internet is a cruel and capricious mistress, after all. Please note this product is a potential choking hazard, and not for children under the age of three; and anyway, imagine trying to explain to the ER why your precious Timmy has a wad of fake owl puke lodged in his throat. It's not going to be the thing that makes them move to Mars, but it'll definitely get the ball rolling on space travel research.
14 Snake Bracelet
Jewelry sans dead animals is for wimps and losers. Man up and take a look at one of these exclusive bracelets by Astali Jewelry. A signature, hand-crafted piece, this little number is made from "authentic African snake vertebrae, strung on brown leather cord, and finished with a brass lobster clasp," because a fish hook clasp would have just looked gauche. Ugh. In Africa, snakes are eaten and their bones used in actual divination rituals, so of course capitalism thought, hey, you know what – let's monetize this. Slap a clasp, the ever-shiny consumer label "exotic" and a $100 price tag on it, and white people will snap it up. I don't mean to call us out like this, but if you've ever gotten any kind of weird "exotic" product, you're kind of feeling this call to you, aren't you?
13 Melting Pig Steamer
If you read this title and had no idea what it meant, you're not alone, because that's exactly what I did upon seeing the picture that accompanies this product. Amazon thought it would be a great idea to foist these things on the unsuspecting public, and it probably started out as a cute concept – why NOT liven up your dinner by substituting an adorable farm animal as a lid? Except someone managed not to notice that this pig looks like it's horrifically melting right into your stew, sinking slowly into the depths of Betty Crocker hell. Amazon's product description states, "It is very funny to watch the steam come out from its snout!" This just seems cruelly flippant as you watch this thing stare helplessly, vacantly up at you, resigned to its fate.
12 Replica Body Fat
You need workout motivation, right? I mean, for most of us it's difficult to find the time and desire to actually get off the couch and pump out a few push-ups. Why not place this lump of plastic human fat and its helpful display stand somewhere prominent, then? After all, you never know when you might need to know what your fat looks like from the inside, and the internet has kindly anticipated that for you and already churned out a mass-produced statue you can buy for $23 on Amazon. But don't take my word for it. This is from the product description itself: "A shocking but strongly motivating attention-getter. Made of soft, pliable, long-lasting vinyl plastic, this replica has a profound, memorable effect when passed among the audience." You're gonna be a hit at your next house party.
11 Haunted Dolls
I'll be honest. I am the idiot in the horror movie who dies first because they went into the haunted house and started taunting all those phantoms condemned to an eternal stroll through the same six rooms and therefore don't have anything better to do than kill the stupid person. Sometimes you just have to prove you're cooler than all your friends. However, I do have some semblance of a functioning brain, and I would salt and burn this from a safe distance. With a flamethrower. And that's before reading the seller's description, which alleges, 'Typically the items I sell have non-aggressive spirits attached to them. This antique composition baby doll has a level of evil attached to her that I have never experienced before.' For a measly $65, you can never sleep properly again, which is no less than you deserve anyway if you're purposefully purchasing what's clearly the Antichrist.
10 Molar Earrings
You know how when your kid loses their baby teeth, you think, man, those would make a great pair of earrings? No? I mean, me neither, but I guess somebody did, because not only are these absolutely terrifying stud earrings being sold on Etsy, if you search "genuine molar earrings," you'll find more than one shop hawking similar pieces. So if you've been looking for that perfect accessory to pair with your shrunken head (pro tip: you can also buy those online), you might want to consider these little chunks of human remains that I'm 100% sure weren't harvested from a ditch in the woods. A perfect last-minute gift idea for that special someone on your Christmas list who's got everything and is into, say, serial murder.
9 Used Dentures
While we're on the topic of teeth, a quick perusal of eBay will show that it has all your dental needs. These teeth, thankfully, are fake; they're also pre-owned. I suppose you can stick a "vintage" tag on anything and people will rush to plop down more than $30 on something that's spent intimate time in the mouth of a complete stranger. I assume (hope) a bidder isn't actually planning on wearing these, but this is the internet, so I really cannot make this assumption with any sort of confidence. Plus, is displaying this set of "vintage" dentures really that much better? "And on the left here you see our kitchen, which we've opted to model after the style of Cottage Charm. On the right: these recycled dentures! They're eye-catching AND beneficial for the environment."
8 Haunted Jewelry
If your hobbies include long walks on the beach, enjoying the sunset, and collecting the murderous spirits of the restless undead, eBay is your friend. This vintage jewelry box is available under the handy "buy it now" option and features a horrifying product description in which the seller describes her "emotional state depleting" and a constant, pervasive darkness that followed her everywhere while wearing a necklace she stored in this box. The seller believes an evil entity is haunting this necklace and has now moved on to the box, so, naturally, she is selling them both. And wouldn't you be stupid to not jump on a deal like this: box, jewelry, and shipping included all for a reasonable $45. Spirit of a demonic ghost free with each purchase. And that's priceless.
7 Gummy Bear Anatomy Puzzle
You're probably thinking, uhhh, what is there to a gummy bear's anatomy anyway? it's just a lump of berry-flavoured plastic. Apparently, it's a tiny animal trapped in some kind of transparent torture chamber (I guess the better for kids to see their results), judging by the fact that it appears to be screaming in terror and pressing its hands against its prison in desperate supplication. So if you've ever wanted to dissect a gummy bear while it shrieks silently into the indifferent void, this nifty little puzzle comes complete with a detachable skull-cap and "solid and durable organs" in case you're the "bull in a china shop" type. If the china shop were filled with dead gummy bears helplessly awaiting the obscene afterlife indignity of having their brains pulled apart.
6 Unborn Baby-Shaped Soap
This is a completely horrific title heading, so let me first begin by reassuring you that this is not a real unborn baby. It's sculpted from glycerin by an Etsy seller who invites you to "meditate those deeper questions through the routine of daily cleansing," because contemplating those ever-elusive existential questions is the first thing this soap shaped like a developing baby inspires me to do. I'm trying to picture actually cleansing with this. What happens when there's no more soap left and it's just this half-baked bun... clattering onto your shower floor? I'm all for fun artisan soaps, but I was kind of thinking something, like, apple-shaped, not something I can already picture suspended between all those possessed jewelry boxes and Satan dolls that will no doubt populate my next nightmare.
5 Wormbaby Sculpture
I'm not quite sure what inspired this unholy melding of baby and caterpillar, and I really don't care to know. It's bad enough this is a thing that exists that I can see with my own two eyes. The seller's description describes this artwork as a "sweet little crawling wormbaby figurine vermin fella to bring a glow to your heart and warm a dark corner of your home," but I'm trying to imagine stumbling on this in the middle of the night in a dark corner of my home, and "heart-warming" is not exactly the first adjective that comes to mind. I guess you could set it up somewhere close to your haunted murder doll and let things just play out; may the creepiest vessel win.
4 Latex Baby Mask
Because babies aren't creepy enough (I'm sorry, but they have the most intense laser stares. WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME, TINY HUMAN?), why not make them into a latex mask for a full grown adult to wear over their real face? If you just leapt back from your monitor and let out the kind of shriek you probably haven't uttered since completing puberty, that's because you're having a normal human reaction to the sight of a full grown man wearing a disturbingly realistic recreation of a crying baby. It is the creation of artist Landon Meier, who can be reached at a site called Hyperflesh, if you'd like to ask him why he made such a thing. These baby masks are apparently award-winning, which I guess I can believe, because it's not like people haven't been awarded for much more useless and disturbing things, like James Cameron's Avatar.
3 Crochet Plush Digestive System
The best educational tools are the ones you can curl up next to at night, and luckily Etsy has you covered for only $260. "It's like a 3-D anatomy diagram, that's also cuddly," as the seller puts it. Certainly it's a unique piece, and if you and your whole family, like one reviewer of this plush, "really like organs," you can always frame it and hang it in your living room, as this same reviewer did. I'm going to show some superhuman restraint in abstaining from any Hannibal jokes and instead just remark that if your kid ever tires of playing with synthetic owl puke, they can always cuddle up next to these intestines. You want the little cherished kiddo to be well-versed in science, after all, don't you?
It's that time of the year again, and you know what that means. Some jerk on your Christmas list is going to wring their hands and say, "Oh, I don't know" every time you ask them what they'd like until it's Christmas Eve and you have to brave the last-minute holiday crowds plus your own moral compass, and still all you come away with is three assault charges and some ugly sweater that you know is just going to Goodwill anyway. Well, for that impossible person on everyone's holiday shopping list, Skulls Unlimited has the answer for you! Proud retailer of both replica and real skulls, you can find the creepy leftovers of just about every animal and human you can think of. And for the collectors in your life: why not sign up for their subscription service? Who couldn't use a box of dead parts on their doorstep every month?
1 Uranium Ore
Since it isn't easy enough for idiots to get hold of radioactive material, Amazon has a radioactive ore sample available for sale (third party seller only, sadly, so no Amazon Prime shipping for those of you who need your radioactive waste, stat). While the product description does specify that "radioactive minerals are for educational and scientific use only," I'm not sure how that one little disclaimer is going to dissuade people from trying to recreate some sort of super villain lab accident. I can't say I'm surprised that Amazon is probably going to inflict some kind of nuclear-powered moustache-twirler on us, and I'm not going to say that I won't closely follow all the news reports, but I am a little sad the same race that invented space travel thought to itself, "Hey, Steve, you know how you can use that uranium stuff to power nuclear reactors? How about we sell it to randoms on the internet?'