When it comes to vending machines, most of us think of little snacks, chips or drinks. But when you really think about it, technically there's nothing that couldn't potentially be sold in a vending machine. Like, literally anything could be turned into a vending machine business. Don't believe me? Just keep reading, because some of the weirdest vending machines you can think of probably already exist. And really, why should we limit vending machines, the whole concept of them works flawlessly (well, unless when you're in a rush and something gets stuck) and sometimes you just wanna buy something without having to interact with another human being. It's OK, we all have those days, but luckily for us, the world of vending machines keeps getting bigger, better and bolder.
Here are 15 weird, yet somehow genius vending machines around the world.
15 This live crabs vending machine in China.
OK, I'll admit it, this first one is definitely one of the weirder ones. Mostly because the crabs are alive. Yup, they are still breathing, so technically you could buy them to eat them or buy them and keep them as pets (I do not advise the latter, as I'm sure crabs make terrible pets). Jokes aside, isn't it amazing, yet also horrifying how there's actual live crabs in a vending machine and you can buy them? Like, you could walk the streets of China (okay maybe this vending machine isn't available in ALL of China but you get what I mean) and just pass by one of these. And if you're wondering whether the crabs are suffering in these packages, don't worry! According to the Atlantic, these crabs are chilled at a temperature of 5-10 degrees celsius, which makes them go dormant. To add to that, the packaging is actually modeled after caves they would be sleeping in in their natural habitat. It gets even better – if you're wondering how you can get these crabs out of the packaging without getting pinched, the packaging is completely edible, so all you need to do is plop the crab into boiling water, package and all! I wonder what happens if one of the crabs somehow manages to escape its packaging? And get out of the vending machine?
14 This caviar vending machine in Los Angeles, California.
This one is super fancy, but what else do you expect from California anyways? I mean, if you're gonna have the most glamourous and famous celebrities live there, you might as well have super glam vending machines with extremely expensive food that some of us have never even tasted. You know, in case a Kardashian wants some late night caviar as a snack, but for some reason can't find anybody to bring them some, so they have to go to one of these rich-people vending machines. It's OK, celebs are only human after all, even if their vending machines are definitely not filled with sodas. I'm not a celeb or anything so I wouldn't know, but I bet there's plenty of other glam vending machines hidden all over Beverly Hills.
13 This milk vending machine in France.
Raw milk vending machines are quite common in Europe, and sometimes (in order to give the customers the fully organic milking experience), the machines will even make cow sounds during the usage. The machines offer fresh milk in accordance with the country's standards, and they are super easy to use, all you need is an empty milk bottle! However, since it is fresh milk, and it's usually just barely processed to make sure it's fine to drink, it won't stay fresh for as long as the factory milk from the supermarket. But hey, when you run out of it, you can just go to the vending machine around the corner (if you're lucky and you live nearby one, that is)!
12 This banana vending machine in Japan.
I have to admit this one is a bit bananas (yes, I absolutely had to, and I'm not even sorry)! But having fruit or veggies in vending machines does seem kinda strange, since it can't stay there for too long and will eventually go bad if no one buys it. On the other hand, it is a super fast way to get your hands on some yummy and healthy food! And this banana vending machine in Japan is the perfect example of how easily adaptable the vending machine concept is. Literally anything could be sold this way, so why not sell bananas too? Honestly, if I had one of these in my neighborhood, you'd definitely see me using it all the time!
11 This pizza vending machine in Germany.
OK, forget what I said about the banana vending machine. If I had this one in my neighborhood I think I'd probably camp out in front of it. I am not even joking, pizza is life, and anyone who disagrees is just lying to themselves. How amazing is it that you can pick whichever pizza you like and in, like, a couple of minutes a fresh, delicious, hot one pops out?! Whoever came up with this is obviously a mad genius, and I hope that these vending machines take over the world, because we all deserve to experience the pizza vending machine magic at least once in our lifetime (let's be real, more like every day really)! Tbh, I think we should probably start a petition, so that having a pizza vending machine on each street corner becomes a world wide requirement.
10 These egg vending machines in Japan.
As you can already tell, vending machines seem to be extremely popular in Japan, and you can almost find anything in them. And by everything I literally mean EVERYTHING, and eggs are no exception. Yeah, I know, you're probably asking yourself how are eggs sold in a vending machine, but I'm sure they make sure the eggs don't break while you're buying them. And it's pretty convenient if you're up for some late night baking (when that midnight sweet tooth hits you) but you're out of eggs. Well, at least it's convenient if you live in Japan, the rest of us just have to come up with a egg-free recipe which usually ends up in a complete mess (I may or may not speak from experience).
9 This french fries vending machine in Boise, Idaho.
Here's another one I'd camp out in front of. Imagine being on your way home from a night out and running into one of these? And having fresh warm fries in your hand after only 45 seconds? Doesn't that actually sound like every drunk person's dream? Like, I need one of these on my street corner on the weekends. And with French fries it's actual fast food, like you pay and you get it super fast. Plus, you don't have to embarrassingly pretend your sober in front of another human being (it never works anyways). The only down side of fast food vending machines is that they make unhealthy food even more convenient and accessible, but hey, indulging every once in while isn't too bad. It is soul food after all – it's good for the soul!!!
8 This hot bread vending machine in Germany.
I have no idea how these vending machines that offer fresh, hot food actually work, but I don't even care, I am truly thankful that I live in a world where they do exist. Seriously, getting delicious, hot, German bread in pretty much one second at literally any time of the day sounds like the absolute dream, doesn't it? Sure, bakeries smell lovely and all, but the lines are often very long (especially when delicious, hot, German bread is offered), and most of the time they don't work 24/7. Unlike all of these vending machines, that even work on holidays. They don't care, they just wanna make more money. ??? OK, Ill stop now and see myself out.
7 This lettuce vending machine in Japan.
As I already said, you can find everything in vending machine form in Japan – Japanese people just love vending machines! But who can blame them? They are kinda fun, like you pay and then this thing you ordered pops out of it – it's like you win in a game and get a prize every time. As you can see, lettuce is also no stranger to their vending machines. And it's amazing that they offer quite the selection when it comes to lettuce. I have to also point out that it somehow looks really nice, the green leaves the impression of a cute little garden, rather than a boring vending machine. These lettuce vending machines look so pretty, I wish they were around everywhere just for that reason. But yeah, getting lettuce out of a vending machine is definitely pretty damn cool.
6 This umbrella vending machine in Hong Kong.
Hey, you never know when you'll end up needing an umbrella, and when you do, chances are you won't be able to find one so easily. I have to say, the umbrella vending machine might be the most genius vending machine on this list. Sure, it is still unusual, but it's definitely very useful, especially if you it starts pouring out of nowhere, and you need an umbrella ASAP (most of the times you unfortunately can't find one right away, and you end up being soaking wet). And as for this one, it doesn't hurt that they have color options, so you can actually pick an umbrella that you'll like and want to carry around. I wish there were more of these umbrella vending machines around, because the world really does need them. Especially places where it rains a lot. *cough* UK *cough*
5 This burger vending machine in Russia.
I promise, this is the last fast food related vending machine on this list. But after including pizza and fries, I could not have excluded burgers, that would've been just rude from me now, wouldn't it? Again, as with the pizza, you can pick which burger you'd like and it will be ready for you to devour in no time at all. No, really, I wish they sold everything in vending machines from now on, because stores and restaurants are crowded and stressful, and vending machines provide you with the comfort of not having to interact with people if you don't feel like it. It's OK, nobody is judging here, we've all been there.
4 This sock vending machine in South Korea.
How awesome is this sock dispensing vending machine in South Korea? Hey, you never know when you'll need a fresh pair of colorful socks, am I right? Besides the fact that the vending machine is super cool and hipster, it's also hella relatable with the 'I hate Monday' quote. I feel you, vending machine, I really do. No, but really, clothing in a vending machine seems so weird, but somehow also really amazing. I know for sure that I'd buy socks from here every now and then (probably every time I pass it, let's be honest). And I have to say, they have quite the options when it comes to designs. Don't judge me, yeah I'm a nerd, I'm into sock designs.
3 This envelope vending machine in Japan.
Remember the good old days when people sent out actual letters instead of emails, tweets or snaps? Yeah, neither do I tbh, but it does seem like it was a good time, so why not bring it back? There's probably a lot of people who'd love to have a pen pal, and having vending machines like these around definitely helps. Honestly, all these vending machines just make me wanna move to Japan, because they know what's up over there. They know that putting things in vending machines is the best way to sell them, because people like me are fascinated by it all. I bet if we had more of these envelope vending machines around, we would probably be more inclined to send actual letters to one another. Wouldn't that be nice? Having a letter on actual paper, that you can re-read and keep forever!
2 This makeup vending machine all over United States airports.
As a makeup addict I am absolutely obsessed with this one. I wish these were a thing everywhere, and even though my bank account would definitely cry (A LOT), I would be incredibly happy! Imagine the joy of waking and running into one of these huge box on the street filled with all your favorite makeup, skincare products and perfumes?? I don't know about you guys, but that sounds like heaven to me. No, but makeup addiction aside, It's pretty damn convenient having these are at airports, because you're always in a rush, but you might wanna get that highlighter on fleek real fast, and this way you can. You know, in case there's a bae sitting next to you on the flight.
1 And lastly, this vending machine that takes bottles and gives food to stray dogs in Turkey.
This last one is definitely the most important vending machine on this list. You can find it in Istanbul, Turkey and all you need it to put some empty bottles in it and in return it gives you food that stray dogs can eat. Besides having empty bottles ready for recycling, it also ensures that dogs without owners have a place to be fed. Out of all these amazing (and weird) vending machines, this one is by far the most useful one because it serves a higher purpose than just making the customer happy. I wish more vending machines like this one existed, and hopefully one day they will, because, besides motivating people to recycle, they also give pups a chance at a healthy life, even without an owner.
Now go and put all of these on your travel bucket list!