In its finest form, crowdfunding is egalitarian and beautiful, bestowing everyday people with the power to breathe sudden life into their wildest dreams. Or, it can be a vehicle for the inane -- a platform where potato salad recipes garner tens of thousands of dollars and Exploding Kittens are king.
Today, a cursory glance at Kickstarter can be downright disturbing, with campaigns that seem to parody the crowdfunding paradigm and products that blur the lines of logic, propriety and taste. You see some of these projects and think to yourself, “Come on, is this for real?”
Here are three of the most awesomely absurd projects making the rounds right now:
1. The Cool Baby
With a chilling promotional video vaguely reminiscent of a horror film, Simon Philion of Brooklyn, N.Y., is hoping backers will crave a sip from his forthcoming beverage insulator, which is shaped like a real-life baby featuring a straw protruding from its skull.
Two hundred and ninety-five backers have already pledged almost $16,000 of a $70,000 goal -- which is so high, Philion says, because he may have to use up to three different factories to manufacture the babies’ various body parts.
OK, we can’t not share the video. Judge for yourself:
2. Fart in a Jar
Billed as a “multicultural feast of flatulence,” this campaign -- which is technically a performance art project -- is vending bottled farts from 80 different countries on all seven continents. The 19-second video for the project, care of Pasadena, Calif., native Roy Stanton, consists exclusively of fart sound effects. But backers aren’t being deterred. With 11 days to go, $30,000 has already been pledged of a $10,000 goal.
Yes, people have pledged real money for bottled flatulence.
“Please note that exact fart odor and consistency may vary, even between farts from the same region,” writes Stanton, “as dietary fluctuations exist within most countries.”
3. The Shrimp Cloud
“Sometimes you want to see shrimp so bad it hurts,” says to New York resident and Kickstarter quack Eric Dennis. “It’s a pain no person should ever endure.”
If this longing sounds familiar, Dennis is looking to quench it with a terabyte’s worth of shrimp images -- over two million shrimp, to be exact -- that can be accessed via any device over the cloud.
While Dennis estimates that hosting the shrimp on Google Drive will cost roughly $120 per year, his goal of $100 has already been bested by 110 backers who pledged $801.
What does a terabyte worth of shrimp look like? Here, this might give you an idea: