Science is fun
Looking for science-themed holiday gifts that are offbeat, humorous, or even a little strange? Live Science has you covered. From whiskey stones shaped like T. rex skulls and an animal tracks doormat to a bleeding hand candle and plenty of science puns, these silly gifts are infused with just the right amount of science.
Huey the Color Copying Chameleon Lamp
Enjoy a new take on mood lighting with Huey, a chameleon-shaped lamp that changes color to match its surroundings, dynamically mimicking the hue of the surface it sits upon. Or if you want to see all of Huey's colors, the lamp can be set to cycle through different shades automatically, pausing on the color of your choice when you give Huey a squeeze.
Available from ThinkGeek for $9.99.
Harness the power of physics to help you make tough choices! The Decide-O-Matic Game uses a magnet and a pendulum to help you decide what to eat, what to watch, and what music to play. A blank disk is included for you to customize, so that even your toughest quandaries can be easily resolved.
Available from American Science and Surplus for $7.95.
Everyone loves a good selfie, even the cells that make up our bodies. This would be the perfect mug for that person in your life who perhaps needs a little perspective? Or maybe a biologist (or any science enthusiast) who would appreciate, deeply, the joke. This handmade "Cell-fie" mug is dishwasher safe, so no special treatment required.
Available from Etsy seller FacultyLoungers for $17.00.
Heavy Metals Mug
This metals mug is downright metal … especially if you need a gift for that chemist, err, rocker on your holiday list. The 11-ounce ceramic mug has the rad design on both sides, so you're never amiss if you or a friend is looking for the atomic symbol of one of your favorite metal characters from the periodic table. (For a gassier gift, there's always the "Nobel Gases" version of the mug.)
3D printers typically use inedible plastics, but the PancakeBot turns a cartridge of batter into delicious pancakes, cooked on its nonstick griddle. Choose from hundreds of ready-made shapes, or customize your own pancakes using the free PancakePainter software.
Dinosaur Whiskey Stones
Get a head start on chilling your whiskey (or any beverage) with a pair of granite stones carved in the shape of a Tyrannosaurs rex skull. In life, an adult T. rex skull measured about 5 feet (1.5 meters) in length, but these miniature skulls are the perfect size for dropping into your glass, and they'll cool your drink without diluting it.
Available from Uncommon Goods for $30.00.
Animal Tracks Doormat
You probably don't want a horse, grizzly bear or African elephant to walk through your front door, but if they did, the prints that their feet left behind would look like the ones pictured on this coconut-fiber doormat. Colorful images show an array of animal prints in actual size, alongside a human footprint for scale.
Available from Uncommon Goods for $30.00.
Spider Pet Costume
Transform your dog or cat into the eight-legged arachnid that you always wanted, with a costume that brings out their inner spider. Suitable for pets up to 15 pounds (7 kilograms), the costume's fit is adjustable, as are the posable legs.
Anatomically Correct Heart Bath Bomb
Make your bathtime just a little more goth, with a black-cherry-scented bath bomb that resembles an anatomically correct heart. Infused with essential oils, this foaming bath treat is perfect for medical students, cardiac surgeons or anyone who makes your heart beat just a little faster.
Available from Etsy seller TheMADbombers for $13.00.
Bleeding Hand Candle
You have to hand it to Etsy seller CreepyCandles, their handy candle provides an unexpected anatomy lesson while it melts. As the "flesh" fingers in this realistic hand heat up, they release a red liquid that resembles blood; when the candle continues to burn, it reveals a framework of "bones" inside the wax.
Available from Etsy seller CreepyCandles for $34.95.
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Mindy Weisberger is a Live Science editor for the channels Animals and Planet Earth. She also reports on general science, covering climate change, paleontology, biology, and space. Mindy studied film at Columbia University; prior to Live Science she produced, wrote and directed media for the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Her videos about dinosaurs, astrophysics, biodiversity and evolution appear in museums and science centers worldwide, earning awards such as the CINE Golden Eagle and the Communicator Award of Excellence. Her writing has also appeared in Scientific American, The Washington Post and How It Works Magazine.