culture The Most Amazing Rube Goldberg Machines Ever Built  

Richard Rowe
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Rube Goldberg machines are a paradox. They're purposefully over-designed, super-complicated machines that perform a simple task. Some of the best Rube Goldberg machines are so elaborate that they take weeks or even months of planning to build. All for something that could easily be accomplished without a custom-built, complicated contraption. If you find yourself asking, "Why?" perhaps you should be asking "Why not?" instead. 

These Rube Goldberg machine videos are totally mesmerizing. It's hard to explain why. They just are. So watch the Rube Goldberg clips below, and be warned: they're very addicting. 

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'Isaac Newton vs Rube Goldberg' - 2D House


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Video: YouTube

Don't worry: there are no spoilers here about the..."unique"...physics involved with this relatively simple machine. Suffice to say you'll probably start to question your perceptions about gravity at around the 14-second mark. See if you can figure out what's going on before the box gives it away at 45 seconds. 

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'This Too Shall Pass' - OK Go


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Video: YouTube

OK Go is no stranger to dynamic music videos; you probably remember them best from that one with people on a treadmill that was popular for like 90 seconds. In "This Too Shall Pass," the band plays with motion again, this time using a giant Rube Goldberg machine constructed specifically for the video. If you don't care for the music, that's all right. Just mute this video, and start "Go to California" by Rob Zombie in another window. The two sync up pretty well. Weird, huh?

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'Dog Goldberg Machine' - Beneful


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Video: YouTube

It's not every day you see a "machine" of any sort incorporating live dogs. While showing off a bushel of puppies is all sorts of adorable, this video appears to be, like, 98% CGI. Which isn't to say the machine itself isn't plausible. It probably is. But beating the odds of putting that many dogs together and somebody's leg not getting peed on... that's a flight of fancy. 

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'The Cog' - Honda


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Video: YouTube
Holy CRAP! Don't you just NEED to buy a Honda station wagon after this commercial? No? It's all right, neither did anybody else. But "The Cog" did win a few awards for Best Commercial, and it is cool to watch in a relaxing sort of way.