Christmas is right around the corner, so I thought it would be fun to look up some novelty gifts for the season. These gifts share a common theme – they are novelties only, and don’t really have any utility. But they are fun!
How to Buy a Star and Name it After Someone
One popular gift for the last couple decades has been naming stars after someone – a significant other, friend, pet, etc. I had heard of this, but didn’t know much about it until I did a little research. It turns out there is an internationally recognized organization responsible for naming stars, the International Astronomical Union. They have an in depth press release on their site regarding buying and naming stars, which you can read here. The short and skinny is this: The IAU names all stars and other celestial objects based on a numerical system designed to make it easy to track and locate objects in the universe.
So what about the companies that claim to sell you a star? Most of them offer a disclaimer on their site stating something to the effect that buying a star is not internationally recognized and it is more of a “symbolic gesture than a scientific gesture.” If they don’t have that disclaimer, the site is probably a scam.
Still want to buy a star? There are several companies you go with, and perhaps the most well known is the Global Star Registry, which has been around for several decades. The Global Star Registry offers “Star Naming Kits” starting at $54.
A Star Kit contains:
- A beautiful 16″ X 12″ full color parchment certificate personalized with the star name, date and coordinates.
- A Personalized 16″ X 12″ sky chart containing the star name, star date, the constellation and the location circled in red where the star is in the sky.
- A booklet on astronomy written by a professional astronomer with additional sky charts.
- A letter of congratulations/memorial for the recipient.
- Name a Star at Global Star Registry
How to Buy the Moon
I had no idea the moon is for sale, but apparently it is! LunarLand.com claims they are the only authorized company offering lunar real estate for sale to the general public (they also offer land on Mars, Venus, and Jupiter’s Moon Io). Lunarland claims they are the only authorized seller of celestial real estate, due to a claim they made that took advantage of a loophole in the The UN Outer Space Treaty of 1967, which stipulated that no government could own extraterrestrial property. The treaty didn’t state anything about individuals or corporations owning extraterrestrial property, so they made a claim, filed it, and opened their business.
So is it a scam? Depends on who you listen to, but there are several competing companies who claim to be the only authorized seller of lunar land, and I have yet to find an international authority that recognizes lunar land ownership. I won’t pass judgment either way, but I will say that it is probably best to treat this as a novelty gift, similar to naming a star.
What you receive with a LunarLand purchase:
- Lunar Deed.
- Lunar Constitution Bill of Rights.
- Lunar Plot Map showing the location of your property.
- Mineral Rights.
- Copy of the Declaration of Ownership filed with the United States, the USSR and the United Nations.
- For more information, visit www.LunarLand.com.
Buy a Star Wars Battle Tank
Buy a battle tank, heheh, nice. You are joking… right? Nope. You can buy a replica Star Wars JL421 Badonkadonk Land Cruiser/Tank from Amazon. From the Amazon description:
The JL421 Badonkadonk is a completely unique, extremely rare land vehicle and battle tank. Designed with versatility in mind, the Donk can transport cargo or a crew of five internally or on the roof, and can be piloted from within the armored shell or from an exposed standing position through the hatch, thanks to special one-way steel mesh armor windows and a control stick that pivots up and down to allow piloting from the standing or seated positions.
The Star Wars battle tank also features interior carpeting, a 400 watt sounds system, a 6hp engine, and a max speed of 40mph. Each Badonkadonk is made to custom specs and you get unlimited consultations with the designer and manufacturer concerning all relevant options. Unfortunately, it is not street legal. List price: $19,999.95. (Currently unavailable).
More over the top gift ideas:
- Excessive, Extravagant, and Downright Gaudy. Selections from Skymall.
- 9 extravagant holiday gifts. 9 over the top gifts from the Neiman Marcus catalog.
- Platinum Cushion Cut Ruby And Round Diamond Pendant. One of the most expensive listings I could find at Amazon, coming in at a cool $117,987.00, a discount from $235,974. Shipping is free!