Crowdfunding has amazing potential — it has been used to create opportunities for millions of people, to finance cutting edge technology and to support artistic endeavours. It has also be used for some slightly less virtuous projects…
Here are 8 of the most bizarre ideas ever crowdfunded:
1. Potato Salad
Arguably the most famous ridiculous crowdfunding campaign ever — in 2014 Zach ‘Danger’ Brown in Ohio decided to crowdfund his first ever potato salad.
He obliterated his goal of $10 to raise $55,92, going viral around the world.
His pledges ranged from a ‘thank you’ whilst making the potato salad, to a recipe book, a bite of the potato salad itself, and a shirt and a hat.
Upon raising the absurd sum, he used his funds to throw a huge ‘potato salad party’ and donated generously to local charities
2. Squirrel Census
Our furry park-abiding friends don’t often get the attention they deserve, which is why Jamie Allen from Atlanta Georgia decided to crowdfund a census for the fluffy critters in 2013.
Recognising the growing community of squirrels in Inman Park, Atlanta, Jamie wanted to compile stories and data to create updated high quality posters reporting information on the squirrel population.
The campaign tipped over its $7,500 goal, making $8,982. Pretty nuts hey?
3 . Skywriting
The sky is the limit with what crowdfunding can achieve — quite literally in the prank pulled by Kurt Braunohler in 2013.
The US comedian raised $6,000 in 2013 to pay a skywriter to draw the message ‘How Do I Land’ above Los Angeles. Thousands of people saw the message in the sky, and it received over 1 million views on Reddit.
4. Anti-Zombie Soap
Have you ever worried about the day of the zombie apocalypse? If so, then no need to fear — zombie superfan Noah Thompson has got you covered. His campaign to produce anti-zombie soap products raised £319 on Kickstarter in 2013.
For a £3 pledge you can choose from an anti-zombie soap bar in chocolate, peppermint, or lavender (obviously all of the smells that zombies are most scared of!)
Just because you’re being chased by the un-dead, it doesn’t mean you have to be unclean!
5. World’s Largest Jockstrap
Definitely one of the most bizarre uses for crowdfunding in its history — in 2011 New York based performance artist managed to raise $854 to make the world’s largest jockstrap.
The 3.7m tall/4m wide undergarment gained him entry into the Guinness Book of World Records. Who says size doesn’t matter?
6. Pi Pie Pans
A delicious combination of baked goods and maths — Pi Pie Pans might just be the geekiest project ever crowdfunded.
The basic concept was to create baked goods in the shape of the ‘Pi’ symbol. What started as a fun pet, project, ended up raising Garrett H from Texas, over $17,000!
That’s some yummy mathematics!
7. A Mummified Head
Need some money for your mummy?
Darkly alternative London Museum — The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiousities — did in 2016 when they started a crowdfunding campaign to purchase a mummified head.
The campaign, hosted by Indiegogo, set a spooky goal of £6,666 to buy a 1000-year-old mummified head of a young boy from the Chimú in Peru.
After much controversy from the archaeology community, the campaign raised only a third of its funding goal. Some of the rewards included- a drink out of a real human skull, a walrus penis bone and two headed teddy bears.
8. Lionel Richie’s Head
Hello? Is it my giant head your looking for? In 2013 Barcelona-based art collective Hungry Castle bought the Mowtown legend to life by crowdfunding a giant inflatable head of the iconic singer. Over $8000 was donated to the project and it was unveiled at the UK’s Bestival festival.
To celebrate its unveiling, two Australian backers spent a night in the inflatable structure.
Do you have an idea for a project you’d like to crowdfund? From the ridiculous to the sublime — we want to hear it!