In the spirit of finding that next bizarre item or gift, I stumbled upon weird umbrellas that look cool on Amazon site. However, before introducing the weird Umbrellas I thought it would be good to look at the Umbrella culture first, then a bit of Umbrella history before diving in into the weird Umbrellas.
Umbrellas are a necessity that we can do without as long as we don’t mind getting wet or as long as we have another option to shield ourselves from unpleasant torrents.
We look at umbrellas in different ways based on our upbringing and what we picked up along as we grow up. For instance, I grew up in an Island in the East Africa Coast – Mombasa. In my hometown most households have no umbrellas despite the heavy and unpredictable monsoon rains that hit the coastal town once or twice a year.
Whenever rain starts pouring in Mombasa, residents normally run under shop canopies or any other architectural shelter they might find on the sides of the buildings or on the buildings’ façade. Alternatively, they cover themselves with anything that they might have with them such as newspapers, paper bags, handbags and so on.
On the other hand in places like Japan there is no household without umbrellas. In fact, I guesstimate that there are 2 to 3 umbrellas per each adult person in a household. There are so many umbrellas around at any one time such that after every rain spell you will find a lot of umbrellas lying about abandoned.
It would be an understatement to say umbrellas are fashion items. Umbrellas have been used as fashion items since the medieval periods in all civilizations. Now some people use umbrellas to compliment their style, to stand out or to make a fashion statement
There is evidence that Umbrellas were first used as parasols about 4,000 years ago. They were mainly used to provide shade from the sun. However, it is believed that later on the Chinese waxed and lacquered the paper parasols and converted them to umbrellas.
The word “Umbrella”
The word “Umbrella” has its roots from a Latin word “Umbra” which means shade or shadow. For those of you who know a thing or two on solar eclipse, you might have come across the terms “Umbra” and “Penumbra”. Umbra meaning total shadow and penumbra mean partial shadow.
Umbrellas in Europe
In the 16th Century Umbrellas were used in Europe mainly by ladies. They were seen as ladies accessories. The first documentation of men using umbrellas was by a Persian writer and traveler Jonas Hanway. He popularized the use of Umbrellas by men in England in the 17th century.
By around 1830s, Umbrellas were so popular in England such that the first all Umbrella shop was opened by a man called James Smith in Oxford.
From the crude beginnings of whale bone and wood midrib umbrellas, many inventions and innovations took place along the way to what we have now. However such improvements haven’t stopped yet. Just imagine each new innovation or invention was seen as weird or bizarre at some point before getting fully accepted.
1. The UFO Hands Free Umbrella.
This umbrella looks like a funnel hood but some people went further to imagine it like a condom. You put it on like a hood and there are arm bands like straps that you sneak your arms in like when wearing an under shirt vest, and that’s it!
Please check out the video link (Courtesy of Logan F.)
2. Bubble Dome Umbrella
Although this umbrella looks bizarre, it is probably the sturdiest in the market. It can with stand Gale force 7 wind up to 40 miles per hour. That makes this the best companion in stormy weather.
Check out video on the wind tests conducted by Rainshader.com on this Umbrella below.
3. Cabernet Wine Bottle Hidden Umbrella
Check out the video from pulse TV below
4. LED Flashlight Umbrella
As weird as the LED Flashlight Umbrella might seem, it is super light and the safest Umbrella to have at home or in your car.
It can help one to see on dark rainy nights especially when the power is out. It’s perfect for dog walking, hiking and can work as a reflector to help motorists notice. The tip of the flashlight can bend at a good angle and rotate to give you an all round view.
The umbrella is quite durable due to the highly flexible fiber glass ribs. The ribs will let you turn the umbrella back to its original shape after the wind turns it inside out.
Video Courtesy of Clickz 4
5. Bagail Inverted Umbrella
This umbrella folds very smartly to avoid any unnecessary drip when getting in and out of the car. It is also durable and wind proof. Furthermore, it can prop up by itself and takes very little storage space.
Check out the video below(Courtesy of Product Peeks)
6. Couples’ Umbrella
This Umbrella was thoughtfully designed for couples or someone with a date. It can also work for mums and dads carrying their babies in a baby buggy.
With this umbrella even rain can’t come between you and your sweetheart!
Check out the video(Courtesy of Insider Picks)
7. Light Saber Umbrella
For the Star Wars lovers this is a great umbrella. It has a LED light midrib that looks like the light saber. It looks so cool at night and can be used for refractive purpose to let the motorist notice someone walk in the rain at night.
It can also be a great gift to any youth out there.
Check out the video here (Courtesy of Oyane P.)
8. Samurai Umbrella
Samurai Umbrella is also known as Katana Umbrella. Katana is a Japanese word for sword. This Umbrella is Japanese sword inspired. If you’d like to look like a ninja or Samurai or if you are a fan of swords, this is just for you.
It can be a great display gift or a gag gift as well
Check out the video here (courtesy of Better Man Things)
9. Dragon Knight Umbrella
This is a fun adventure item for boys and girls. Kids would definitely love to go with this item to school when it rains.
The Umbrella comes with a Velcro strap for quick storage and the tips of the ribs come with safety caps to protect kids’ faces.
10. Teanfa umbrella
As you can see on the picture this is a pet umbrella but I though it befits the class of weird umbrellas a probably most of us haven’t seen something like this practically.
Check the video to see how it works.
(Video Courtesy of Essential Merch)
Your input please.
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Which umbrella on this list would you pick as the most weird and which one is the coolest?
Would you consider using a bizarre umbrella? (if so or if not, give your reasons)
If you know of any weird or cool umbrellas please let us know. With your help we can make this list longer.