Dumb Ideas And Solutions That Actually Work - Part 2

Lots of things that initially appear dumb, may actually work much better than expected. Let's find out about dumb ideas and solutions that actually work!


You don’t have to be a genius to have a great idea. And, occasionally, some ideas that work amazingly are pretty dumb. Taking the phrase “if it works, it works” to the highest degree, let’s check out some dumb ideas that, against all odds, actually work.

20. Coffee Pot Dogs

All of human history has been leading up to this: the bright idea of boiling hotdogs in a coffee pot.

View post on Twitter

Given that most coffee pots rest on a hot plate, it actually works, albeit slowly. After a half-hour wait, you’ll be ready to load your buns, even if all your other heat appliances are out of action. Just remember to wash the pot out afterwards. Coffee and hot dogs are both great, but that’s not a flavor combo anyone needs in their life.

19. Unhealthy Cure?

Many people assume getting healthy involves cutting out the fatty foods. But, for a number of surprising reasons, that could be totally wrong. And in one particular case, a diet of cheese, butter and other fatty delights might have saved a boy’s life.

It all comes down to a little thing called ‘ketosis’. This is a bodily process that occurs when carbohydrates are cut out of the diet, so the body begins to burn fat instead of glucose. This can be a super-effective way to lose weight, but a 6-year-old boy’s life was changed in an even bigger way when he took on a ketogenic diet.

Charlie Smith, from Surrey, England, used to suffer 300 dangerous epileptic fits a day, and despite a cocktail of prescribed drugs, nothing seemed to help. Desperate for a solution, under the guidance of their doctor, Charlie’s family turned to a high-fat diet containing cheese, mayonnaise and full-fat butter by the spoonful.

cheese butter fatty food keto diet

Miraculously, Charlie’s debilitating seizures came to a stop. No one’s really sure why this diet seems to help epileptics but starving the brain of energy in the form of glucose may be what makes seizures less likely. Either way, it works, and thanks to this somewhat strange idea, many epileptics are able to live a normal life.

18. Pasta Matches

Ever been left with burnt fingertips after trying to light a candle wick that’s sunken beyond reach? This solution is not the most obvious but works like a charm. Simply grab a piece of dry spaghetti, and light the end. Being a high-carb substance, it burns easily, and can turn into an extended match to reach even the deepest candle holes. Best served al dente.

Pasta Matches lighting a candle

17. Easy Fix

Dumb mistakes sometimes require dumb solutions. Case in point: Reddit user Richard-Hindquarters, who punched a hole in the wall of his apartment. Not wanting to incur a fine from their landlord, his significant other stepped up to finally put her art degree to some use.

Using her expertise to match the color and texture of the rest of the wall, she fixed the hole with a single piece of paper. Their landlord never found out. I just feel bad for the next guy who tries to put a poster up and brings the whole thing down with a thumbtack.

Dumb Ideas And Solutions That Actually Work - Part 2

16. Festive Efficiency

Anyone who celebrates Christmas knows the struggle of decorating a tree. To save time on this arguably annoying tradition, cover the whole thing in plastic wrap, decorations included, before you stuff it away for another year.

Christmas tree wrapped in plastic

That way, everything’s already in place, and you can get right down to watching Kevin McCallister sadistically abuse Joe Pesci in Home Alone, as is Christmas tradition.

15. Navy Seals

Of all the technology the US military has at its disposal, it might surprise you to know that the aquatic relatives of dogs rank among the reserves. It’s true: Navy researchers are currently researching how to apply the undetectable, highly-sensitive motion-sensing capabilities of seal whiskers to underwater reconnaissance.

Seal whiskers are capable of detecting the slightest disturbance in water from vast distances. By studying these principles and applying them to naval seacraft, undetectable, efficient new methods of locating enemy submarines could become a reality. But that’s not the only use that oceanic dog-like creatures have been given in the military.

Seal Sea Lion

In the last couple of decades, sea lions have been trained as a secret weapon against explosive mines and underwater saboteurs. Navy-trained sea lions patrol harbors around the world, using their diving skills and acute hearing and eyesight to scout out potential threats.

They can even attach clamps to mines and intruding divers, effectively hand-cuffing unauthorized intruders to nearby buoys before swimming away. So, don’t go committing any international crimes while out on the waves!

Sea Lion Seal attaching clamp

14. Walk-In Winter

Sick of feeling too hot in the snowboard supplies store? Step inside the T-Max Below Zero Winter Simulator! This machine is a semi-ridiculous, semi-genius concept that allows you to test out winter clothing without having to leave the store.

Decked out with internal fans and a freezer system, the walk-in machine allows you to experience the windchill of the mountains to make sure that your new winter jacket is just right.

Watch on YouTube

13. Urine Luck

When janitor and Reddit user Thudly’s workplace grew sick of workers making a real splash in the men’s toilets, they decided to stick little red stickers in the toilets. Why? He figured, by giving the peeing men something to aim at, they’d be less likely to miss.

This is actually a psychological tactic occasionally employed by urinal manufacturers, who place their logo in just the right spot to minimize splashback when users inevitably take aim and fire. For the janitor, the idea worked a charm, and the pee-pee problem stopped.

urinal target dot for aiming

12. Speed Peeler

What mundane task isn’t made better with power tools? Call it dumb if you wish, but shoving a drill into an apple, or other peelable produce, and giving it a whirl against a peeler works wonders.

It turns a boring chore into a real spectacle, and you’ll be finished in a fraction of the time. I promise, you’ll barely even look like a crazy person. Barely.

Watch on YouTube

11. Anti-Squirrel Slinkys

A bird-feeder is a great way to attract all kinds of avian pals to your garden. But, all too often, squirrels come along, outmuscling your intended recipients. Luckily, there’s a hilarious way to keep squirrels away from your bird feed.

Just attach a slinky around the pole from the top. This’ll make an ascent almost impossible for squirrels, saving the feed for the birds and guaranteeing any onlookers a hearty chuckle.

Watch on YouTube

10. Spoiled Food

For some, tables are too boring to eat off. Instead, by combining flashy cars with dining on-the-go, some people have taken to using car spoilers as dinner trays. It brings a whole new meaning to ‘meals on wheels.’

View post on Twitter

If you try this, make sure the car is off, and the brakes are on before tucking it in, or it’ll be bye-bye burrito.

9. DIY Zoom Lens

Sure, you might look a little foolish doing this, but did you know you can hold your phone lens up to a pair of binoculars to snap pics at a great distance? A company called Snapzoom have even cashed in on this idea, allowing you to mount your phone directly and securely onto a pair of binoculars.

snapzoom DIY smartphone Zoom Lens

Perfect for when you end up with bad seats at a game, or when you’re convinced FBI officials are watching you from that big black van parked outside your house.

8. Crime Doesn’t Pay

In 2007, in Richmond, California, the Office of Neighborhood Safety was set up with a simple, yet unusual aim of paying people not to kill each other. And guess what? It worked. The idea was to provide those at risk of being pulled into gang violence with social-service referrals, life-skills training, job-seeking support and cash stipends to get them on their feet.

cash payment dollars exchange

Staffed largely by ex-convicts, the scheme proved to be overwhelmingly successful. Before the scheme was initiated, Richmond had one of the highest murder rates in the USA; more than 11 times that of New York City. By 2014, the murder rate had dropped an unbelievable 77%.

The success of this model has led other violence-stricken communities and sociologists to take heed of the obvious impact and begin trying to adapt the system for wider use. By giving at-risk individuals an opportunity to begin, and continue, a better life of lawful work, the change can be extremely profound.

So many are deprived of this, which makes a descent into crime almost an inevitability. But with this almost ridiculously simple solution, change is proven to be possible.

7. Bagel Care

With the age of music CDs behind us, it’s about time we found some other uses for the countless CD stack holders scattered in drawers and attics around our homes. Little did we know, the ultimate purpose was already under our noses, dusted in a light sprinkling of sesame seeds and filled with cream cheese.

I’m talking about bagels folks, and there’s never been a better way to keep yours protected on-the-go than with a CD holder. For all that bagels have done for us, it’s really the least we can do.

View post on Twitter

6. Bun Away The Baldness

For centuries, men have been desperately searching for new and inventive ways to hide their receding hairlines from the rest of the world. Thankfully, man-buns, or topknots, became slightly more acceptable in the last decade, and with that came an inventive way for balding men to deceive onlookers.

Man Bun hiding Baldness

Combining man-buns and comb-overs into what some (meaning me) have called: a ‘bun-over’. It’s surprisingly effective, but once you get down to your final three-or-so hairs, I wouldn’t recommend it.

5. An Unlikely Medicine

Now, before we get into this one, let's make something clear: cigarettes are not medicine. They’re endlessly more likely to give you illnesses than cure them, despite what early-20th-century adverts would have you believe.

That being said, in the early 2000s, researchers discovered that smoking cigarettes can significantly reduce the risk and symptoms of a relatively-common bowel disease called ulcerative colitis.

soldiers smoking cigarettes

It may have something to do with how cigarettes reduce inflammation in the colon, but as yet, there’s very little certainty. Regardless, smoking was found to be so effective, that for 1/5th of the participants in one study, no other treatment was necessary.

Then again, smoking hugely increases the risk and severity of another bowel ailment, Crohn's disease, so probably best to stick to what your doctor prescribes. And if he prescribes cigarettes, get a new doctor.

4. Cable Tied

If you don’t mind your phone’s charging cable looking like a plastic knockoff of a sunflower, you can keep it working for longer by adding a few trimmed cable ties. These reduce the amount the internal wiring bends while charging, keeping it from fraying and eventually breaking. Worth the slightly ugly appearance, for sure.

trimmed Cable Ties charging cable hack

3. Whiskey Business

In 2012, a New Zealand man suddenly went blind while at a party. After being rushed to the hospital, the doctors figured out the vodka he’d been drinking had reacted with his diabetes medication, giving him formaldehyde poisoning and blinding him.

Talk about black-out drunk! Luckily, there was a treatment, but it required ethanol; something the hospital had run out of.

Dumb Ideas And Solutions That Actually Work - Part 2

That’s when things got weird. On the doctor’s suggestion, a junior doctor rushed to the local store and returned with something with equally-useful contents: a bottle of whiskey. They dripped the whiskey through a tube into the man’s stomach, and 5 days later, he could see again. Liquor giveth. Liquor taketh away.

whiskey given as treatment hospital

2. Key To Success

Ever been stuck without the coin needed to unlock these types of supermarket grocery carts? Well, in the process of angrily jamming other stuff from their pockets into the hole, someone figured out a round-headed key will do the job just as well. Just make sure you can get it back out; shopping carts do not make good key rings.

shopping cart coin hack using key

1. Raining Rodents

In recent years, the West Pacific island of Guam has had a lot of trouble with an invasive species of brown tree snake. There are so many of these reptiles, putting other native animal species in danger, that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has had to step in, and get creative with its solutions.

The most elaborate of all have been a series of death-from-above missions, but not the kind you’d expect. These missions involved dropping hundreds of dead mice, strapped into parachute-like devices to get them stuck in the canopy where the snakes reside.

poisoned dead mice dropped by air

The mice are pumped full of concentrated acetaminophen, a painkiller for humans, which results in coma and eventual death for snakes. The snakes eat the poisoned parachute mice; the snakes die. The bizarre population control attempt has enjoyed some success, and the efforts continue to this day. Forget raining cats and dogs; in Guam, it’s raining mice.

Dumb Ideas And Solutions That Actually Work - Part 2

If you were amazed at these dumb ideas & solutions that actually work, you might want to read part 1 of this series and this article about historic ideas so dumb that they turned out to be smart. Thanks for reading!

icon Top Picks For You

Top Picks For You

Embarrassingly Dumb Ways People Died - Darwin Awards Winners (Part 6)
Craziest Cartoon Secrets You Won’t Believe Are True
True Stories That Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity
Ridiculous Devices People Patented
icon Popular


icon More From Culture

More From Culture

icon More From Entertainment

More From Entertainment