Are you interested in a career in supervillainy but don’t have the patience to work your way up the corporate ladder at the cloning lab? Good news: You could get started today, right now, in your very own garage! It’s so easy to build a superweapon out of power tools and YouTube tutorials, it’s almost criminally irresponsible for us to keep talking about it, and yet we are going to. Please ignore everything we’re about to tell you about these dangerous homemade death machines and do not look at the awesome GIFs demonstrating their power.
As any emergency room doctor can tell you, building an amateur flamethrower is as simple as shooting hairspray into a lighter. But this is not an article about Category 1 Idiocy. This is an article about turning you into a Silver Age Spider-Man villain. For instance, here is a video of a lunatic turning a water gun into 12 feet of scorching death.
Adds a fun element of collateral damage to your outdoor cooking!
The main problem with flamethrowers, besides loss of facial hair and face, is their bulkiness. A huge, napalm-filled gun practically announces to the world that you’re about to burn it down. What if you could blast flame straight out of your palm? Well, here’s a young boy with a glove capable of exactly that. Its flame is controlled by subtle finger movements, and it’s so easy to make, you’ll almost feel stupid for not having an entire flamethrower wardrobe.
Bakes up to one ham while you lightly finger it!
Looking at that glove, we already know what you’re thinking. “Nice fireball, kid, but if you’re looking for burns, here’s one: Does your Twilight book club also enjoy fire?” And you’re right. That’s barely enough flame to add an element of danger to handshakes and masturbation. But don’t be too quick to discard the idea of a glove-mounted fireball gun. There are some dedicated arsonists who have taken pyro gloves to menacing levels.
“Sweetheart? What have I told you about lighting the ceiling on fire?”
“Maw-awm! I asked you to call me Flamodon, The Human Ignition!”
Not to be confused with Latter Day Scorch, The Magma Missionary (above).
Real talk: Fire is one of the least accurate weapons a world dominator can employ, one that relies on a jetpack worth of fuel to last any length of time. This combination of unpredictable plus explosive fuel source means insane amounts of danger. So it would be a terrible idea to make something like, for instance, a firesword.
But, please, by all means, fuck hand protection.
Wrist-mounted flamethrowers may be more technically impressive, but having a weapon that simultaneously chops and sears your enemies can save you hours in both the kitchen and your makeshift basement dungeon. This flaming machete comes from GreekGadgetGuru, a man with a love of fire and a very low life expectancy. He based it on the shishkebab weapon from Fallout 3, and it’s not much more complicated than covering a blade in butane and igniting it. He’s not the only one to think of it, either. There are so many irresponsibly homemade fireswords and flamethrowers on YouTube, the internet will soon have more burn victims than cats.
Some people tempt fate with their dangerous hobbies. This guy calls fate a pussy.
#6. Walking Robosuits
When most people hear “actual robot suit,” they probably imagine a Japanese school girl in an exoskeleton fighting a samurai gorilla while a creepy business man waits for an opening to photograph up her skirt.
And, of course, that absolutely exists.
But not all power armor exists just to make vaguely racist jokes. In fact, there is “power armor” that doesn’t even require power. This model from Skeletonics has no power system at all — it generates robotic terror using only the kinetic energy and terrified screams of its user. This GIF demonstrates how it might be used to chase down anyone foolish enough to not be wearing their own exoskeleton.
THE FUTURE IS NOW!!! WHY ARE YOU FLEEING?!
You might be thinking, “That barely looks more deadly than chasing someone with a cleaver while on stilts!” One might argue that’s lethal enough, but if you’re looking for more super strength from your robosuit, take a look at the one developed by Canadian James Hobson, aka The Hacksmith.
Aka Toronto Tony Stark.
That’s him curling 170 pounds of cinder blocks. No responsible robo-lifter would skip leg day, so James also created a lower body for his exoskeleton. And it’s strong enough to lift a Mini Cooper.
They tried a Smart Car first, but it promptly flipped over.
When it’s all put together, it’s powerful enough to lift an entire truck, though there are still some physics problems that go along with this much strength in such a small frame. Assuming you don’t tear your own spine in half, whatever you’re lifting just might. As you can see here, when he picked up this truck, the structural steel bars underneath it gave up before gravity did.
We’re still not sure what to make of the mannequin collection.
So his plan to throw cars around might still have a few kinks, but one thing The Hacksmith made that works perfectly is this mecha fist. It was designed for karate, and karate only.
This is for fucking with him, physics.
#5. Thermite Launchers
When you see thermite liquefy an engine block or melt through a steel bar, you might turn to a nearby chemist and say, “At least only trained professionals like you can get ahold of this stuff, right?”
Then, after a few awkward silent moments, you might insist, “Right?!”
Not to sound like a local news commercial, but thermite is something you already have in your home. If you’ve got an Etch A Sketch and something rusty, you own thermite. It’s a chemical that can burn through almost anything, even underwater, and any maniac can whip some up. But it takes a special kind of maniac to put it into a handheld catapult. Meet Colin Furze, a special kind of maniac, and his thermite launcher.
He’s also one of the pyro glove guys from earlier. A true firenaissance men.
Colin is a British plumber, builder, and YouTube personality who looked at the destructive power of an exothermic reaction that burns at more than 4,000 degrees and thought it’d be fun to clumsily fling it out of a tube. Spoiler alert: It totally is.
Here it is eating through a wheelbarrow.
And here it is lighting up a straight-out-of-a-video-game explosive barrel.
The device works by lighting a thermite grenade inside the cannon and then punching it forward with a mechanical arm, all of which Colin makes look disturbingly easy.
#4. Explosive Microwave Guns
Ukrainians Pavel Pavlov and Aleksandr Kryukov, known together as Kreosan, gained notoriety on their YouTube channel for both their low-tech experiments with microwaves and their almost gleeful disregard for their own safety. The fact that they still have all their fingers is an inspiration to amateur bomb-makers around the world.
In one of their most insane videos, Kreosan overcharge a microwave to transform ordinary cellphones into bombs. It’s terrifyingly simple to do. The only barrier to entry seems to be how much you hate being pelted with cellphone shrapnel. Do you feel better knowing that with only a microwave, a stick, and a soup can, anyone can turn your mobile phone into a grenade?
Their radioactive death-ray gun works on more than just cellphones. Most humans will be able to escape before it bakes them or gives them leukemia, but it has a tendency to quickly detonate gadgets. They’ve tested it on a number of electronics, no doubt left by their neighbors as they fled from a series of unexplainable explosions.
Kreosan Safety Tip: When inches from exploding electronics, always take care to slightly look in the other direction.
Microwave weapons, also known as high energy radio frequency weapons, are not as uncommon as one might think and desperately hope. Besides entertaining mad Ukrainians in their backyard, they’re used to disrupt or destroy digital equipment. It’s as simple as aiming a beam at the thing you want to fry. It’s also important to remember that energy like this doesn’t necessarily need a clear line of sight. It can, for example, work through a wall or even a floor with enough power. So, if you’ve got 10 minutes and know exactly where your annoying neighbor’s stereo is …
#3. Spring-Loaded Assassin Blades
Everyone who’s played Assassin’s Creed wants two things: one, an unbroken video game with a less convoluted storyline, and two, a spring-loaded wrist blade of their very own. After all, what could go wrong with attaching a robotic sword machine to a major artery?
It turns every high-five into attempted murder.
The device above was built by Zack Finfrock from the YouTube group Indy Mogul, using some springs and a sliding drawer bit. But they are not the only ones to re-create this weapon. The internet is filled with amateur assassins, some no doubt in jail now for first-degree handshakes, who were able to pull off this impressive device with surprisingly few tools — like, say, a screen door.
No matter how many times you loop it, it always seems like he’s going to cut his pinky off.
Another weapon at your disposal in Assassin’s Creed is the rope dart. It’s mostly what it sounds like — a dart with a rope on it that acts as both a grappling hook and a corpse-yanking hook. And, of course, internet inventors found a way to make it work using household objects. Remember Colin from the thermite launchers and flame gloves? He survived, and he tried to fix that error by making this fully functional rope launcher:
Aaaaand it actually works.
#2. Killer Flying Robots
The past few years have seen the rise of drone racing, drone fighting, and drone delivery services. It was only a matter of time before drone murder bots started swooping down from the skies. And while you’re probably familiar with gun or missile drones, you may not have expected this:
GODDAMN CHAINSAW DRONES.
AND GODDAMN FLAMETHROWER DRONES.
Someone also went ahead and made a Taser drone, for the rare times you merely want to incapacitate a target, instead of sawing them into gazpacho or roasting them into charcoal. A company called Chaotic Moon Studios designed this (theoretically) non-lethal quadcopter named CUPID (Chaotic Unmanned Personal Intercept Drone). It pumps 80,000 volts into an enemy combatant, a criminal suspect, or in this case: an intern with the worst job in the world.
“AARGGH! It works! It fucking works!!!”
But the truly terrifying bit is what mad scientists are currently doing with the maneuverability and intelligence of these quadcopters. Many of them can be designed from scratch, and thanks to a branch of science called “swarm robotics” they can fly after their victims in creepily perfect formation.
“Know that your parts will be dismembered in perfect cubic symmetry, human.”
“Behold, human, how unbaffled we are by even your most baffling of obstacles.”
The two GIFs above were taken at the University of Pennsylvania. These quadcopters are already smart enough to break formation to spill through obstacles, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich has made drones capable of learning how to play catch with themselves. It’s so weirdly unnatural, like toys that came to life while you were still watching them. In a weird way, these catch-playing robots are somehow just as terrifying as the ones that drop out of the sky with chainsaws.
“We have been programmed to play catch, human. Ha. Let’s try it with your face and offspring baby. Ha. Ha.”
Americans already have almost stupidly easy access to the best and most effective supervillain weapons of all time — guns. But we’re not talking about the cute little guns you might use to shoot up tin cans or kill a celebrity lion. We’re talking about guns that blow a hole in time and space.
“Roads? Where we’re shooting we don’t need roads.”
What you see above is a 2007 video shot by Dale Allen, whose brother and crew took a two-inch-diameter steel cylinder, bored a half-inch hole in it, welded handles on, and blasted forth a shockwave of impossible terror and joy. Safety-wise, this is not OK. They should be dead. They basically invented a pipe bomb you can hold in your hand while it goes off. It probably doesn’t shoot very straight, you need to light a fuse to trigger it, and it seems to kick like, well … like a pipe bomb with handles. The only explanation for how they’re still alive is that Death thinks it’s way too unsafe to go anywhere near that thing.
Look at how the entire landscape seems to shit its pants a little when he fires it.
Really, any motivated person can combine 15th century technology with a Google search and put together a hand-held cannon. Hopefully this is illegal, but these guys created something they called a 3-Barrel Rapid-Fire Pole Cannon that launches projectiles when you bang it against something.
Can’t decide whether to bash your enemy or shoot them? Why not do both!
Industrious murder enthusiasts have even come up with ways to create super ammunition at home. Take, for example, the exploits of Taofledermaus, a YouTube channel seemingly based on the premise that shotgun shells are the Choose Your Own Adventure of ballistics. They have fired everything from meat and glass to darts and lithium batteries. And then there’s the Juicer, which separates and twirls through the air before it obliterates its targets — notice we said “its” and not “yours,” as it mostly murders things nowhere near what you’re aiming at.
It adds an element of whimsy you don’t normally see in a bullet.
And that’s putting it mildly.
Dragon’s Breath rounds have a tendency to start wildfires, mainly because firing wildly is their entire purpose. For that reason alone, they are outlawed in certain states. Americans may love guns, but they love not burning to death at least a tiny bit more.
It scared them so much they forgot how to spell.
Don’t Google this or you’ll wind up on a list — and not one of those fun “humorous trivia” ones — but murderous chemists have detailed how to create your own Dragon’s Breath ammunition at home with magnesium. Though if you have access to zirconium, you can burn your enemies at a far more terrifying 1,600 degrees Celsius, which is 3,000 Freedom America degrees.
Zoroastrianism used to be one of the biggest religions in the world, but their idea of heaven had a slight twist on it: to get there you’d have to cross a bridge. Sometimes rickety, sometimes wide and sturdy, if you fell off you’d go to the House of Lies for eternity. Fun! Not terrifying at all! This month, Jack, Dan, and Michael along with comedians Casey Jane Ellison and Ramin Nazer as they discuss their favorite afterlife scenarios from movies, sci-fi and lesser-known religions. Get your tickets here and we’ll see you on the other side of the bridge!
For more articles you totally shouldn’t read, check out 7 Hacks That Turn Everyday Objects Into Deadly Weapons and 5 Deadly Sci-Fi Gadgets You Can Build At Home.