As you may have heard, the Japanese like to invent things. Not just normal things. Seemingly weird things, like, say, the hand-cranked vending machine.
What’s that for, you might wonder? To get a workout in before getting a drink? In actual fact, it’s a practical solution to a serious problem: how, in the wake of natural disasters, to get your hands on food and water.
The Japanese use vending machines a lot. It’s what happens when space is at a premium and you can’t go for suburban sprawl. The problem is, Japan also happens to be subject to just about every kind of natural disaster you can think of: meteors, fires, volcanic activity, and as we all know, earthquakes and tsunamis.
These tend to knock out the power and render a key source of vital supplies, those vending machines, utterly useless.
OK, so it takes seventy cranks to get the machine going, but frankly, when you’re desperate for clean water or just something to eat, that’s not a big deal. But as silly as this looks on the surface, it’s a great thing to have.