Why would anyone buy these products? WHY? WHY? WHY?

I wish I had thought of this: A British man is selling fresh air to people in China. At $116 per jar, Leo De Watts is making thousands.

Is this not one of the most ridiculous things you’ve ever heard of?

Each week I ask, “Is this right?” about some issue in consumerism. This week I don’t think there’s a question of right or wrong. But I did love this story and wanted to bring it to you, our readers.

De Watts has the right to sell air. The thing that’s ridiculous is that people are actually buying it.

The air is “harvested” in large nets in different locations throughout Britain before being sealed in glass jars and readied for shipping. Hundreds of the 20-ounce bottles have sold, and many are headed to Beijing and Shanghai, cities plagued with pollution.

They’re even offering a Chinese New Year Special that includes 15 jars collected from five different locations, and a “luxurious” wicker hamper. Only $1,742, and on sale now for just $1,289.

“The AETHAER project provides clean, fresh and pure natural air in bottled form,” says the company’s website. “The process involves traveling to some of the most beautiful, pristine areas of countryside, far away from industrial pollutants, motorways and impurities, in search of the most immaculate quality of air.”

Some are choosing to enjoy the inhalation of this pure air for a few seconds. Others are buying a bottle for the novelty. Regardless of why, as of last week 180 bottles had been purchased.

Who could resist?


Think anyone would want to buy air from Dallas?

Related story:   Travel travails top list of 2015 consumer complaints

This story led me to do a little research on other crazy things for sale on the internet. For the friend who has everything, here are some gift ideas:

Breakfast in a snap.
The Nostalgia’s 3-in-1 Breakfast Station gets your morning going with a mini-toaster, removable nonstick griddle plate and a four-cup coffee pot. It’s currently out of stock on Amazon, but will hopefully be available soon for those who need toast, coffee and eggs in a rush.

Everything’s better with bacon.
Apparently it’s fact: Everything is better with bacon. Injured? Bacon bandages will make it better. Need to brush your teeth? Why not use bacon flavored toothpaste? Have a kid? Wrap him in bacon.

How do you know if it’s been licked yet?
A London company, Engine, installed lickable wallpaper in its elevator, inspired by Willy Wonka. You can buy your own lickable wallpaper. My only question: Is there a way to tell which part has already been licked?

There are plenty of other ridiculous products that you can buy online. Some of them make great gag gifts while others may actually serve a purpose that I’m not visionary enough to see.

But if you’re interested, I’d be happy to bottle a fresh jar of Dallas air for you. Just $100 a pop. I’ll even throw in free shipping.

Which of these products is the most ridiculous?

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Kent Lawrence

Kent Lawrence is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism. He is a husband, father to two, executive pastor, travel enthusiast and sometime writer. You can contact him at kent@kentlawrence.com.

  • Jeff W.

    More power to him. If there are people gullible enough to buy “fresh” air — and hoping it truly is from the countryside an not from his flat in Loindon, I wish him well. No one is forced to buy the air.

    Just like the pet rock of years past, it is a novelty. An expensive one, but still. Could be a gag gift for the holidays.

  • Patrica

    Couldn’t vote. Needed “ALL OF THE ABOVE!!” ;).

  • sirwired

    I’m pretty sure the bottled air is a political statement about air pollution more than a product meant to be taken seriously. That said, it wouldn’t shock me if some people DID take it seriously.

  • Alan Gore

    In my state, we have a proliferation of “Ice & Water” stores. How do any of these survive?

  • Tom McShane

    Is that an Arizona thing?

  • MarkKelling

    They survive because people have no problem paying $3 for a half litre of filtered city water. :-)


    I once gave bacon bandages to my adult niece. She had a great laugh and used them.

  • PolishKnightUSA

    The lickable wallpaper makes me laugh because due to people wiping their flu infested nose and touching the elevator button, I treat the elevator with more caution than the bathroom! I would rather touch a public toilet at the Philadephia train station than the button for my office elevator (I use the tip of my employee ID badge).

    (FYI, last time I checked, the Philadelphia train station bathroom appears as if it hadn’t been remolded since Witness.)

    It’s not an “invention”, but elevator buttons should have proximity detectors that allow you to pick your floor by waving your finger just barely in front of them.

  • KanExplore

    Tom I had a few other things to say, but it got edited.

  • Carchar

    I feel I have to develop some immunity somehow, so I choose my exposures. Elevator buttons are one of them. Money is another.

  • CycleAZLindyB

    Our tap water tastes TERRIBLE here in Tuscon. We buy water in five gallon jugs for around .50/gallon. We also have a water filter on our ice maker on our freezer. I think most people here do the same thing.

  • Tom McShane

    About Ice and Water stores?

  • Tom McShane

    Yah, I’d never heard of any such of a thing as an Ice and Water store. When I googled it, the hits I got were around Phoenix.
    Next big idea: Open Sand Stores in rainforest cities.

  • MarkKelling

    They had those type of elevator buttons in many of the buildings where I grew up. They were heat sensors that, depending on the temperature of your finger, would select a floor before you even got your finger close to the button. I remember visiting a doctor in a building with those elevator buttons. I selected not only my floor but the floors from the buttons all around that one in the panel when I was running a fever. When fires broke out in the buildings with these elevator buttons, the elevators went straight to the floor that was on fire. They have been discontinued as an option.

  • MarkKelling

    I remember George Carlin talking about swimming in the rivers around New York City when he was growing up. Liked to say that with all the germs in the water it made him resistant to everything you could possibly catch elsewhere.

    But seriously, it is a problem where people don’t develop any immunities due to over use of antiseptic hand lotion and even by not playing outside in the dirt as a child. Many germs that used to not cause problems have become dangerous to the over sanitized first world residents.

  • JewelEyed

    I’d say that’s more attributable to two things: 1. Immunocompromised people living longer. 2. Increased antibiotic resistance due to the persistent insistence of the public that they get antibiotics for viral illnesses because people think it’ll make them better. Too bad we can’t give people water instead of medicine and tell them it’ll cure their cold (because nothing cures a cold). Oh wait, homeopaths already turn crazy profits doing that. :P

  • JewelEyed

    Wow, that sounds like a terrible idea for the external elevator buttons, especially because of the fire thing. O.o’

  • BMG4ME

    I am sure I’ve heard about this being done before, many years ago.

  • LonnieC

    Wait. What about selling bottled water? Other than international travelers, why?

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