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15 Cool and Unusual Candles

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Candles are a great way to add some ambiance to any room—especially when that candle smells like pizza. The next time you're planning a special evening, with yourself or someone else, consider these options.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers, including Amazon, and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. 

1. SLICED "FRUIT"

These handpainted candles come in all sorts of shapes like lemons, kiwis, and watermelon slices. Smells like summer!

Find it: Etsy

2. GLACIERS 

Icelandic designer Brynjar Sigurðarson's creations have a message behind them: global warming can only be ignored for so long. Just like real icebergs, these wax designs melt when you light them. Choose from five different shapes.

Find it: Generate

3.  CURLING CANDLE 

These tapers look ordinary enough—until you strike a match, that is. Once these ombré candles begin to burn, their sides curl and fold over, creating whimsical, eyecatching designs.

Find it: Uncommon Goods

4. SKUNK- OR CHLORINE-SCENTED

If fresh pine isn’t your thing, may we suggest nacho cheese? The Stinky Candle Company specializes in candles boasting unorthodox odors. Choose from scents like chlorine, garlic, skunk, and potting soil. While we don’t recommend the fart or skunk candles, the money candle definitely has some potential.

Find it: Stinky Candle Company

5. CRYING CANDLES  

The magic to these candles is the ceramic holder. The candles—shaped like a brain, antlers, and bunny ears—fit snugly into a skull, deer, and rabbit holder, respectively. When the colored wax starts to melt, it oozes through the eyeholes of the holder, making it look as though the figurine is crying. The Kickstarter campaign for these creepy-but-cool candles is over, but keep an eye on the designers' page for updates about availability.

6. BOOK CANDLES  

Perfect for curling up with a good book: Candles with scents based on classic works of literature. Pick from “Sherlock’s Study,” “Winterfell,” or “Gatsby’s Mansion.” Or channel the smell of your favorite collection with “Old Books” and “Trashy Romance Novel.”

Find it: Etsy

7. MELTING CAT  

These geometric cat candles hold a (slightly morbid) surprise inside. Once lit, a skeleton cat emerges, which almost makes you feel bad for setting it on fire in the first place. If the cat's not your style, the candle also comes in bird and deer form.

Find it: Amazon

8. ROMAN CANDLES 

The packaging on these punny candles, which come shaped like Roman numerals, promises they'll help you party like it's MCMXCIX.

Find it: Amazon

9. CACTI

These realistic cacti candles might fool your friends—until you light them. The wax candles come in sets of six.

Find it: Amazon

10. PIZZA-SCENTED 

Here’s another unusually-scented candle for your enjoyment. Created by Man Cans, this candle smells just like New York-style pizza. As the name implies, it comes in a metal can. Fancy!

Find it: Man Cans 

11. PLANTABLE PACKAGING

This candle smells like a blooming garden filled with poppies and sunflowers. If the floral candle makes you long for the real deal, simply soak the seed-infused box in water and plant it in the ground. 

Find it: Uncommon Goods

12. KATZ’S CHOCOLATE EGG CREAM-SCENTED

You may know that Katz’s Deli has its own beer, but did you know it sells a candle, too? Made in Brooklyn, these wax creations evoke the restaurant’s famous chocolate egg creams. Light one and be transported to NYC's Lower East Side, no matter how far away you actually are.

Find it: Uncommon Goods 

13. CRACKLING CANDLES 

The next best thing to a real fireplace? These candles, which boast wooden wicks that crackle as though you'd thrown another log on the pile. The candles comes in three cozy scents: Sweater Weather, Mulled Cider, and Snow Day.

Find it: Uncommon Goods

14. 60-HOUR CANDLE  

This long-lasting candle features a coiled design, which promises 60 hours of burn time. Simply pull the candle through the clip to burn more.

Find it: Amazon 

15. BODY PARTS 

If the skeleton cat and the weeping skull weren't creepy enough, consider one of these hyper-realistic candles molded to look like ears and mouths. Not our personal idea of tranquility, but hey: to each their own!

Find it: Etsy

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19 Unusual Socks for Snazzy Feet
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iStock

Kick it in one of these pairs of cool socks.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. ART; $15.99

Make your feet a canvas with these artsy socks. This set of eight pairs features classics including van Gogh's Starry Night and Botticelli's Birth of Venus.

Find it: Amazon

2. BOB ROSS; $12

Look at all those happy little trees! It's impossible not to smile while wearing these Bob Ross socks.

Find it: Amazon

3. ALIEN VISITOR; $11.50

I want to believe—in fancy footwear. These alien socks are perfect for Ufologists and other conspiracy theorists who always have an eye on the sky.

Find it: Amazon

4. SHARK CREW SOCKS; FROM $10.98

shark socks
Amazon

These fun socks make it look like sharks are eating your feet.

Find it: Amazon

5. TAPATIO; $10

These socks are hot! Just like the hot sauce they show.

Find it: Amazon

6. LIBRARY CARD; $10.25

Out of Print makes a variety of book-themed products for bibliophiles—and, even better, they donate one book for each pair of socks purchased. This particular pair looks like the library cards you might have found in libraries back in the day.

Find it: Amazon

7. WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE; $10

Here's another excellent selection from Out of Print. This pair of socks is dedicated to Where the Wild Things Are. The bottoms say "Let the Wild / Rumpus Start."

Find it: Out of Print

8. STUDIO GHIBLI; $12.50

Lovers of the films by Studio Ghibli will get a kick out of these striped socks. Each pair features a scene from a different movie: Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service, and Howl's Moving Castle.

Find it: Amazon

9. HELLO PUPPY DOGS; $12.95

These adorable socks have polka dots and giant dog faces on the front. Each pair comes with floppy ears that peek over the edge of the socks. The breeds include what looks like a Pomeranian, a Boston terrier, and a French bulldog.

Find it: Amazon

10. EINSTEIN; $12

These are the perfect socks to wear while filling up a blackboard with equations. The pair comes with a picture of Einstein sporting some cool shades.

Find it: Amazon

11. CONSTELLATIONS; $11.50

These fun socks feature a few constellations, including Ursa Minor and Orion.

Find it: Amazon

12. DOCTOR WHO; $14.95

Doctor Who Tardis Women's Knee High Socks
Jet

Doctor Who fans are going to want to get their hands on these knee high TARDIS socks.

Find it: Jet

13. POKEMON; $2.42

Pokemon Ankle Socks
AliExpress

Show off your love of Pokemon with Pikachu, Charmander, Psyduck, and Squirtle socks.

Find it: AliExpress

14. SAILOR MOON; $9.99

Defend the world against evil in the name of the Moon, with these Sailor socks. The pack of six comes with Sailor Moon, Sailor Mars, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Venus, Sailor Jupiter, and Chibiusa.

Find it: Amazon

15. THE LITTLE PRINCE; $10.25

According to the pilot in Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's classic book The Little Prince, the titular character probably hitches a ride off of his planet (B-612) and across the universe on a flock of birds. These Out of Print socks depict the pilot's drawing of the Little Prince taking to the skies.

Find it: Amazon

16. PENCILS; $10

Pencils are key for crosswords, drawings, and jotting down important notes. Celebrate the beloved writing utensil with these incredible socks.

Find it: Amazon

17. STORM TROOPER; $25

Stormtrooper socks
Buckle

These cool socks look just like Storm Troopers from the Star Wars franchise. They fit shoe sizes 9–12.

Find it: Buckle

18. SUSHI; $19.99

Sushi socks
Amazon

At first, this looks like a plush platter of sushi. When you unravel the "food," you'll discover it's actually two pairs of socks rolled to look like salmon and cucumber sushi.

Find it: Amazon

19. LEGO; $12

LEGO socks
Lord & Taylor

Stepping on LEGO bricks hurts, so protect yourself! We recommend this pair of LEGO-themed socks, plus a pair of slippers for good measure.

Find it: Lord & Taylor

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18 Tea Infusers to Make Teatime More Exciting
Cost Plus World Market
Cost Plus World Market

Make steeping tea more fun with these quirky tea infusers.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. SOAKING IT UP; $7.49

man-shaped tea infuser
Amazon

That mug of hot water might eventually be a drink for you, but first it’s a hot bath for your new friend, who has special pants filled with tea.

Buy on Amazon.

2. A FLYING TEA BOX; $25.98

There’s no superlaser on this Death Star, just tea.

Buy on Amazon.

3. SPACE STATION; $9.99

astronaut tea infuser
ThinkGeek

This astronaut's mission? Orbit the rim of your mug until you're ready to pull the space station diffuser out.

Buy on ThinkGeek.

4. BE REFINED; $12.99

This pipe works best with Earl Grey.

Buy on Amazon.

5. A RIBBITING OPTION; $10.93

This frog hangs on to the side of your mug with a retractable tongue. When the tea is ready, you can put him back on his lily pad.

Buy on Amazon.

6. ‘TEA’ ALL LIVE IN A YELLOW SUBMARINE; $5.95

It’s just like the movie, only with tea instead of Beatles.

Buy on Amazon.

7. SHARK ATTACK; $6.99

shark tea infuser
Cost Plus World Market

This fearsome shark patrols the bottom of your mug waiting for prey. For extra fun, use red tea to look like the end of a feeding frenzy.

Buy at Cost Plus World Market.

8. PERFECT FOR A RAINY DAY; $12.40

This umbrella’s handle conveniently hooks to the side of your mug.

Buy on Amazon.

9. AN EGGCELLENT INFUSER; $5.75

cracked egg tea infuser
Amazon

Sometimes infusers are called tea eggs, and this one takes the term to a new, literal level.

Buy on Amazon.

10. FOR SQUIRRELY DRINKERS; $8.95

If you’re all right with a rodent dunking its tail into your drink, this is the infuser for you.

Buy on Amazon.

11. HANGING OUT; $12.85

This pug is happy to hang onto your mug and keep you company while you wait for the tea to be ready.

Buy on Amazon.

12. ANOTHER SHARK OPTION; $5.99

If you thought letting that other shark infuser swim around in the deep water of your glass was too scary, this one perches on the edge, too busy chomping on your mug to worry about humans.

Buy on Amazon.

13. RUBBER DUCKIE, YOU’RE THE ONE; $8.95

Let this rubber duckie peacefully float in your cup and make teatime lots of fun.

Buy on Amazon.

14. DIVING DEEP; $8.25

This old-timey deep-sea diver comes with an oxygen tank that you can use to pull it out.

Buy on Amazon.

15. MAKE SWEET TEA; $10

This lollipop won't actually make your tea any sweeter, but you can always add some sugar after.

Buy on Amazon.

16. A SEASONAL FAVORITE; $7.67

When Santa comes, give him some tea to go with the cookies.

Buy on Amazon.

17. FLORAL TEA; $14.99

Liven up any cup of tea with this charming flower. When you’re done, you can pop it right back into its pot.

Buy on Live Infused.

18. KEEP IT TRADITIONAL; $7.97

If you’re nostalgic for the regular kind of tea bag, you can get reusable silicon ones that look almost the same.

Buy on Amazon.

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