Seven of the most bizarre patents ever filed

There’s a Tom Waits song called ‘What’s he building in there?’ It goes like this: “What the hell is he building In there? He has subscriptions to those magazines. He never waves when he goes by. He’s hiding something from the rest of us. He’s all to himself. I think I know why.”

I used to think about that song a lot when I had a job sifting through patents (don’t ask). You see, inventors are strange. It’s not all smartphone circuitry and waterproof components. There’s a lot of weird stuff – ideas that looks even stranger when you see it sketched out in detailed diagrams.

To save you the trouble of searching through stacks of wet, crinkled documents stored in a patent office cabinet, here are seven of the weirdest patents ever filed.

Sex chair


It’s a chair with two backs, for when you want to make the beast with two backs.

As the documentation says: “If a man and woman wish to have intimate relations on a known chair they face the problem that the woman once astride the man will be unsupported since there is no back supporting section for supporting her back once she is sitting astride the man, facing the man. This makes the act of coition difficult and uncomfortable.”

Nothing is more of a turn off than poor lumbar support.

Horse-powered minibushorseminibus

Want to transport your horse but can’t fit it in your minibus? Want to drive your minibus but don’t have an engine? Here’s the horse-powered minibus. Two birds. One stone.

Attach your horse to the vehicle’s “endless movable belt” and let it power you and your friends as you make the journey to Asda. The documents make it clear that “the horse has no control of the direction and speed of the vehicle”, so you don’t have to worry about your meaty engine taking the wheel.

There doesn’t seem to be any function for jumping over hurdles – a missed opportunity, perhaps? It’s probably the reason we don’t see any of these on the motorways.

Pivot dildopivot

This monstrosity looks like a scooter crashed into Anne Summers. Lord knows why anyone would put this anywhere near their body, as I’d imagine it would turn masturbating into an act akin to operating a railway handcar.  

Then again, the dildo “pivots relative to the shaft in two orthogonal directions,” which sounds pretty arousing.

Kissing shieldkissing_shield

Want to kiss your partner but don’t want to put up with all the germs slavered across their lips? You need the kissing shield, made up of a thin membrane stretched over a wire frame.

“The kiss is one of the first forms of affection that we display to another,” the documentation says. “It seems only natural that we would start at a fundamental level and teach ‘safe kissing’ before we teach ‘safe sex’.”

Filed in the 1990s, the documentation goes on to link the need for the shield with the growing awareness of AIDS, although it also mentions using the shield as a way to prevent cold sores.

Surgical procedure for making unicorns


The best inventions make the world a more magical place. Sometimes, the best way to do that is to mutilate the scalp of a goat.

This patent claims to be able to make unicorns by cutting into the head of a young horned animal and rearranging a series of flaps. If this is done correctly, the documentation explains, a single horn should grow in the centre of the head.

The patent description also states it wants to be able to make unicorns because they have “what is thought to be a higher mental capacity and greater physical capabilities.” Nuts.

Portable fallout shelter


The 1980s were a different age. Mullets were in style; Wham! were in the charts; the threat of a nuclear apocalypse loomed above the heads of every man, woman and child.

This portable nuclear fallout shelter is designed for protection against radioactive dust particles, and consists of “tightly woven, rip-resistant fabric panels” that can be quickly erected over a dug-out hole. There doesn’t seem to be anything in the documents about a special material to shield against radiation, but every bit helps I guess.  

Testicle pouchballcup

I’ll let the official description explain the final patent on this list:  

“From time immemorial an integral element of the male psyche has been his awareness of the presence or absence of pronounced manly form in his loins. What man not generously blessed by nature, would not wish for the carefree confidence of his more robustly equipped fellows who suffer no modesty when ‘in-the-flesh’ (or in clothing) their manly form naturally draws envious glances.

In bygone days the padded codpiece placated manly pride.

Today there is padded underwear, but as in days of old, whilst padding can create the prerequisite manly contours in clothing, it cannot provide for the ‘in-the-flesh’ communal shower or locker room-type situations, when form is exposed and manly pride can be most vulnerable.”

Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.

Todays Highlights
How to See Google Search History
how to download photos from google photos