We normally like to keep things simple and do things the easy way, but we’re completely fascinated by Rube Goldberg machines. They require a level of skill and patience we doubt we’ll ever posses and they’re the ultimate expression of doing something just because you can, as the trademark of the machine is using complication to complete a simple task. Plus, they’re really fun to watch when you’re not sober. Check out some of the best Rube Goldberg machines ever posted on the internet.
The Page Turner
Part of the brilliance behind The Page Turner by Brooklyn-based artist Joseph Herscher is the fact that it’s set off in a completely natural way. In order to start the crazy chain reaction, Herscher takes a sip of his coffee while he reads the paper. By the time he’s done reading a page, the machine turns it for him.
Honda – The Cog
We’re no grease monkeys, so if someone took apart a car and laid out all of the parts in front of us we couldn’t say for sure what they all do. It’s likely that it you asked us to put it back together we’d end up with something that looked closer to this Rube Goldberg machine by Honda than a functional car.
Ok Go Music Video
When it comes to Rube Goldberg machines, the more over the top the better. And they don’t get much more over the top than this music video by OK Go which features a moving car and a falling piano. It’s in line with what we expect from OK Go at this point, as the band made a name for itself mostly through its music video antics. Sure, the music’s good too, but people are far more likely to remember your band being shot in the face with paint after a convoluted series of intricate machines.
Mythbusters Rube Goldberg Machines
Toys. Fire. Mentos and cola. When the Mythbusters do something, they do it big, and Rube Goldberg machines are no exception. This one’s great because it looks like it came in the middle of their Diet Coke and Mentos obsession, so they make plenty of us of that, plus they abuse Buster the Crash Test Dummy at the end, solidifying it as a classic Mythbusters moment.
Rube Goldberg Photobooth
As kids we secretly suspected there was really a guy with a camera inside of the photo booth… or an elaborate device like the one in this video. The photograph bookends of the machine are what win us over. It starts with a FujiFilm instant camera, and ends with a traditional DSLR. It’s also a nice touch that they don’t keep the professional quality picture, they keep the instant one, giving it a bit more of a personal touch.
Featured in the documentary “Mousetrap to Mars,” this Rube Goldberg machine is made up of tons of old toys like an Operation board game, a train set, and tons of other stuff you probably played with as a kid. The design is ridiculously compact and it’s clear this thing took a lot of work. In fact, we’d say of all the entries on this list, this one seems most difficult to build. They’re working in tight quarters, so any wrong movement could have set the machine off, ruining all that hard work.
Rube Goldberg machines take a ridiculously complicated route from A to B, so if you think about it, the creation of the universe is kind of like a massive Rube Goldberg machine. At least that’s the idea behind this Purdue University Rube Goldberg machine called “Time Machine” which illustrates the history of the world from the Big Bang to the Apocalypse. Created in 2011, it shattered the record for most steps successfully completed by a machine.
The Christmas Tree Lighter
Turns out the Guinness Book of World Records is a great source for Rube Goldberg Machines. Who would’ve guessed people like building larger and more elaborate pointless machines? Everyone, is the answer, apparently. While the end is festive, most of the machine stays away from Christmas, opting instead for an intricate mix of marbles, appliances, and power tools.
MineCraft Rube Goldberg Machine
The crazy thing about MineCraft is that it’s such a simple game, but people keep using it to make insanely elaborate things, like this epic Rube Goldberg machine. There’s a lot of flowing water, switches, and lava, and the ending is cathartic for anyone who’s spent a good bit of time in Minecraft’s more challenging modes. Watching a giant creeper explode in effigy feels pretty good.
LEGO GBC 20 Modules
Most guys have never built anything this elaborate as adults using real materials, let alone as kids using toys. While not strictly a Rube Goldberg machine, we’re including it because there’s so much going on in this one, from conveyor belts, to elevators, to what sounds like a grocery store barcode scanner sorting balls by design.
Melvin the Machine
While it’s generally understood that Rube Goldberg machines are pretty useless, they usually accomplish something in the end, whether it’s turning the page of a newspaper or covering someone in paint. But Melvin the Machine exists only to promote itself.