Vending the rules: World’s weirdest vending machines dispensing everything from gold bullion to live crab

Vending the rules: World’s weirdest vending machines dispensing everything from gold bullion to live crab

The rest of the world appears to be leading the way with the pinnacle of vending luxury – Britain take note

They are usually the source of a quick snack or a drink on the go – but vending machines around the world seem to be serving a far bigger purpose.

The mechanical vendors sell everything from cupcakes to caviar and even, if you find yourself in the right place and with enough spare change, gold bullion.

So here’s a list of dynamic dispensers you really must see to believe…

1. Gold

The “Gold to Go” vending machine at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi dispenses the precious metal to order.

Getty An Emirati man tries the "Gold to Go" vending machine at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi on May 12, 2010
Gold to Go: The vending machine at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi
Getty A man shows a 10-gram gold ingot which he purchased from the "Gold to Go" vending machine at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi on May 12, 2010
Bling buy: A 10-gram gold ingot from the vending machine

2. Live crabs

Crawling crustaceans are on sale from this vending machine in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China. A cruel twist on the conventional KitKats on offer in the UK.

Rex Live crabs for sale in the vending machine in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China
Making it snappy: The live crabs can be purchased in Hangzhou, China
Rex Live crabs for sale in the vending machine in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China
Seaside snack: Punters are keen to buy the crawling crustaceans

3. Cupcakes

A woman takes her order of cupcakes after using a “Cupcake ATM” created by Sprinkles bakery on March 25, 2014 in New York City

Getty A woman takes her order of cupcakes after using a "Cupcake ATM" created by Sprinkles bakery on March 25, 2014 in New York City
Baking bliss: Satisfying an urgent sugar craving will never be a problem in NYC

4. Caviar

Only those with the finest culinary tastes – and the fattest wallets – are likely to be seen in front of this Beverly Hills vending machine dishing up posh portions of caviar.

Lovinkat/Flickr Beverly Hills Caviar vending machine
Flashy fish: Tubs of caviar are on offer at this vending machine
Dj-venus/Flickr Beverly Hills Caviar vending machine
High end help: The posh snack is available at all times of the day and night

5. Ties

This tie vending machine in Tokyo, Japan, ensures no-one in the city has an excuse for an untidy appearance at work.

Ant & Carrie Coleman/Flickr Tie vending machine in Tokyo, Japan
All tied up: The tie vending machine in Tokyo, Japan

6. Umbrellas

No-one will be caught out by the weather in China with the ULA umbrella vending machine at their disposal.

Karl Baron/Flickr ULA umbrella vending machine in China
Weathering the storm: An umbrella vending machine in China

7. Lego

The Lego vending machine is building up a strong fan base in Munich, Germany.

Erica/Flickr Lego vending machine in Munich, Germany
Brick by brick: The Lego vending machine in Munich, Germany

8. Pizza

A hostess takes a pizza out of a Pizzomatic vending machine, baking and selling pizzas in Cologne, France.

Getty A hostess takes a pizza out of a Pizzomatic vending machine baking and selling pizzas on September 8, 2011 in Cologne
Perfect slice: Emergency pizza problems are solved by this vending machine
Getty A hostess takes a pizza out of a Pizzomatic vending machine baking and selling pizzas on September 8, 2011 in Cologne
Pizza perfection: These tasty treats are straight from the oven

9. Mashed potato

This Maggi mashed potato vending machine in Singapore serves up its own mash in a paper cup topped with chicken and gravy.

Tengrain/Flickr Maggi mashed potato vending machine in Singapore
Magic mash: The Maggi vending machine in Singapore

10. Guitar Strings

This vendor keeps the live music scene alive and kicking in Memphis by providing 24-hour access to new guitar strings and accessories

Memphis CVB/Flickr Guitar Strings vending machine in Memphis
Rocking out: The party is 24/7 in Memphis with this guitar vending machine

11. Baguettes

Straight from the oven – or vending machine – these baguettes are served up fresh and instantly in Paris.

Davitydave/Flickr Baguette vending machine in Paris
Beautiful bread: Never queue at the bakers again – just head to Paris’ baguette vending machine
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