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18 Bizarre Inventions From 2016 That Are Borderline Genius

Some things should just stay in 2016.

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1. The Birdly flight simulator:

Reuters

A visitor tries the flight simulator Birdly at the exhibition "Animated Wonderworlds" at Museum fuer Gestaltung (Museum for Design) in Zurich. Birdly simulates the flight of a red kite over New York City, controlled by the entire body of the user. The flight simulator was developed by scientists at Zurich University of the Arts.

2. The Edible Spoon Maker:

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An inventor has come up with a canny way to save the planet by making edible spoons. Anatoliy Omelchenko spent six years developing a nifty machine that bakes dough into the shape of a spoon that is then strong enough to eat food with. Once the meal has been eaten, the spoon can then be scoffed too, which Omelchenko says will drastically reduce the amount of plastic cutlery thrown into landfills each year. His invention can bake four spoons in just a few minutes and the dough can even be flavored to match the foods the spoons will be used with.

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4. The Patience clockface:

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Patience is a clock that uses a human face to represent the passage of time. The term "clockface" has never been taken quite so literally as by this experimental Tokyo-based studio.

5. The Megasus Horserunners horse sneakers:

A pair of canny inventors have launched the world's first running trainers designed specifically for horses. Animal lovers Louisa and Charly Forstner came up with the novel product after years of fitting steel shoes to their horses' hooves. The revolutionary clip-on shoes, called Megasus Horserunners, are made from shock-absorbing plastic materials and claim to make life more comfortable for both horse and rider. Unlike steel shoes, Horserunners move with the horse's hoof and can be removed quickly to allow horses to strengthen their tendons and ligaments.

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This may look like a small car, but it is actually a four-wheeled electric bicycle that has been designed to allow people to ride in any weather. Riders sit in a recumbent seat, similar to one you would find in a car, with a protective canopy and headlights, indicators, brake lights, and an electric motor. Mechanical engineer Mikael Kjellman designed the cycle-car hybrid after snow and rain stopped him from being able to ride his bike to work every day. The 43-year-old, from Ostersund, Sweden, spent 10 years developing his prototype — named the PodRide — which he then used to get into the office whatever the weather.

7. Aquiem designer boxed water:

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Coffee enthusiasts have developed the world's first designer coffee water, which ensures you make the perfect morning brew. Aquiem is a specially formulated water blended with minerals that "enhance the taste and aroma" of coffee, according to developers. Aquiem, which costs about $3 per liter, took five years to develop, with its creators conducting extensive research to determine the precise formula for the perfect coffee water.

8. Saltwater Brewery's edible six-pack rings:

Plastic six-pack rings that kill more than a million birds and marine animals every year have been given an upgrade and could now help feed sea life instead. The world's first edible can rings, normally used to hold beer, are mainly made from wheat and barley, by-products of the beer-making process. The innovative and environmentally friendly product is biodegradable and can be eaten by animals like turtles and fish who often die as a result of ingesting plastic. Saltwater Brewery, a craft beer brand founded in 2013, is hoping their edible six-pack rings will help reduce the serious threat to wildlife posed by plastic rings as well as the pollution to the world's oceans. It is estimated that 80% of sea turtles and around 70% of seabirds are ingesting plastic, which clogs their digestive system.

Designers have created a grow-your-own armchair with grass from your garden lawn. Terra uses a clever cardboard frame, with soil placed over the top of it and where grass seeds are planted. The living piece of furniture takes two months to grow, and ultimately becomes a permanent part of the garden landscape. Designers Piergiorgio Robino and Andrea Sanna from Turin, Italy, created Terra! to help consumers become more aware of the products they buy, by having to construct and cultivate the armchair themselves. They claim the lifetime of Terra is "unlimited," so long as it is properly taken care of.

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10. The Slicer year-round snow sled:

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Children who miss out on sledding due to a lack of snow can now experience the thrill all year round thanks to a new sled that can be used in any weather. The Slicer is equally adept on grass and snow with the use of two blocks of ice underneath the sled, making for a slippery surface. Without the ice blocks, the sled works like any ordinary runner on snow-covered slopes. Scott Ireland, a mechanical engineer, invented the Slicer when he witnessed his children sliding down grass-covered hills on a simple block of ice — a game known as "ice blocking." He said the activity, which is not widely known, has been around for decades, but left children cold and wet from where they sat on it.

11. The Toasteroid customizable bread toaster:

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This revolutionary new toaster connects with smartphones so users can print images, messages, and even the weather forecast on their bread. Hungry users can select a template or create a design themselves before the high-tech toaster brings it to life by toasting certain areas of the bread more than others.

12. The MTA multipurpose hair clip:

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This clever clip not only holds your hair in place, but is also a tiny toolbox on the go. At a glance, the 6-by-2.4-centimeter piece of metal looks like a normal flimsy hair clip — but it can also open bottles, tighten screws, file your nails, and even cut open boxes. The clip is strengthened with steel and features a screwdriver, an 8-millimeter wrench, a ruler, a nail file, a trolley coin, a bottle opener, and a serrated knife. It was designed by Yaacov Goldberg, from Tel Aviv, who said he came up with the idea thanks to his Jewish friends who held their kippah — a cloth cap that is part of their religion — in place with hair clips. He decided to create a miniature multitool around the simple accessory as part of his design degree.

13. Dutch designer Aniela Hoitink's biodegradable mushroom dress:

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A showstopping dress that is better for your skin and the environment has been created using just mushroom root. Dutch designer Aniela Hoitink, 41, from Amsterdam, made the revolutionary garment, which is antimicrobial so it is kinder for the wearer than most traditional textiles. The discs of mushroom stick to each other to form a fabric, allowing Hoitink to shape a dress on a mannequin without any sewing. And once it's no longer needed, the biodegradable material can be composted so it does not add to the world's landfill problem. The petri dishes have to be left for a week and a half to allow them to grow, and Hoitink needed 350 discs to make one dress. However, with no sewing required, there is no waste or leftover material and more discs can be added to create length or sleeves. It can also be cut without any fraying or need to hem it.

14. The entirely wooden Toyota Setsuna:

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Toyota chose wood as a material that can capture the developing relationship between people and their cars in the way it changes in appearance over the years. Setsuna’'s surfaces will gradually transform, as if absorbing the hopes, memories, and aspirations of successive generations of family. The name Setsuna, –which means ‘"moment’" in Japanese, was chosen to reflect how people can experience special and memorable experiences with their cars. Toyota believes that, over time, these collective moments can give cars a significant place in their owners’ lives.

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15. The NodPod head-hammock:

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Many people have experienced the drowsy head-nod associated with napping while traveling. However, a new head-hammock called the NodPod could end your dozing woes. Kentucky-based Paula Blankenship says she created the US- patented NodPod after years and years of traveling for work and never being able to get good rest on long journeys that left her "tired and with aches and pains."

16. The Bluetooth-enabled toothbrush with visual tooth surveillance:

A dentist has created the world's first toothbrush with a built-in HD camera that lets you watch a live feed of your brushing to get teeth cleaner than ever. The revolutionary toothbrush uses state-of-the-art technology to pair wirelessly with smartphones and iPads. This allows users to closely monitor the inside of their mouth, ensuring every one of them is brushed properly. Users can also take and save pictures of their mouth if they are concerned about their teeth or wish to track their cleaning progress. The Prophix toothbrush, which connects to devices using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, records in HD and also allows users to zoom in and out of specific areas of the mouth.

17. The ISHU anti-paparazzi scarf:

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Celebrities are snapping back at pap snappers — with an anti-paparazzi scarf. The ISHU blacks out all mobile phone pictures and videos when flash is used. The result is an image of a bright scarf shape — and blackness.

The Berenson robot strolls among visitors during the exhibition Persona: Oddly Human at the Quai Branly museum in Paris. The Berenson robot, developed in France in 2011, is the brainchild of anthropologist Denis Vidal and robotics engineer Philippe Gaussier. Its programming allows it to record reactions of museum visitors to certain pieces of art and then use the data to develop its own unique taste, which allows "Berenson" to judge whether or not it likes a certain work of art within an exhibition.

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