+
upworthy
Design

The 'glitter bomber' is back with a brilliant new trap for porch thieves who never learn

The 'glitter bomber' is back with a brilliant new trap for porch thieves who never learn
via Mark Rober / YouTube

Back in 2018, engineer Mark Rober instilled fear in the hearts of package thieves, or Porch Pirates as he calls them, by developing the ultimate glitter bomb.

Rober had a package stolen from his porch and the police refused to do anything. "So I used my engineering skills to go full 'Home Alone' on these punks," Rober says.

The thieves clearly messed with the wrong guy because Rober is a genius engineer who worked on NASA's Curiosity rover and later spent four years at Apple as a product designer in its Special Projects Group.


The bomb was a complex device disguised as an Amazon package. But when the thieves opened it up it spewed glitter in 360 degrees and then kicked into fart spray mode that had them holding their noses in agony.

Glitter is a fantastic tool for nonviolent revenge. Once it gets on your clothes, in your hair, or embedded in your carpet, there's no getting it out.

The first video was a smash, earning over 85 million views on YouTube.

The bomb was an effective way to enact revenge on thieves and it's also a beautiful piece of engineering. It's mystifying to watch the multi-colored glitter spiral out of the box like a supernova.

via Mark Rober / YouTube

So for the third year, to encourage porch pirates to choose a different profession, Rober is back and his bombs are better than ever.

The Glitter Bomb 3.0 has been upgraded to have a super sticky, professional-grade glue on the handle. It has a timer that goes off after the second round of fart spay that counts down from 15. The countdown instills immediate fear in the pirates, so many try to get it out of their houses before the unpredictable device explodes.

The bomb has four cameras inside that can catch the unboxing from every angle possible and GPS tracking so that Rober can retrieve the bombs after they've been ditched.

Glitterbomb 3.0 vs. Porch Pirateswww.youtube.com

The footage of the thieves getting blasted with fart spray, hit with glitter, and freaked out by the countdown is wonderfully satisfying to watch. Who doesn't enjoy seeing thieves get their comeuppance?

However, Rober didn't want the entire project to be about revenge.

So he rewarded those he saw trying to return the stray packages to their rightful owners. The experiments show that the vast majority of people want to protect the property of others. "It's only a teensy remaining three percent that get to star in my videos and almost never fit my preconceived notion of what a package thief is," Rober says.

via Mark Rober / YouTube

Some of the most notable thieves Rober caught this year are two teenagers who had the stones to steal a package while the police were arresting someone just a few yards away. Before the teens open the bomb they rationalize what they just did by saying it would have been stolen by other kids anyway.

All in all, this year's glitter bombing campaign seemed pretty successful and Rober got back four of his six bombs. One looks like it was kicked to death by a thief and another shot by a pair of San Francisco thieves.

Hopefully, all his hard work and dedication has made more than a few thieves think twice before treading on our porches.





A teacher's message has gone viral after he let his student sleep in class — for the kindest reason.

Teachers spend time preparing lesson plans and trying to engage students in learning. The least a kid can do is stay awake in class, right?

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Things new parents think they need but don't.

There's nothing like preparing for a new baby. The excitement and anticipation take hold and before you know what's happening, your baby registry is five pages long full of things you've probably never heard of. I've been there before, and now, four kids later, I can tell you with absolute certainty that there are tons of things you actually don't need. It's easy to get carried away when everything is so tiny and cute, especially 'cause marketing around baby stuff is bananas. The following offers some alternative items to the ones you'll likely only use a limited number of times before practicality takes over.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

What I realized about feminism after my male friend was disgusted by tampons at a party.

"After all these years, my friend has probably forgotten, but I never have."

Photo by Josefin on Unsplash

It’s okay men. You don’t have to be afraid.



Years ago, a friend went to a party, and something bothered him enough to rant to me about it later.

And it bothered me that he was so incensed about it, but I couldn't put my finger on why. It seemed so petty for him to be upset, and even more so for me to be annoyed with him.

Recently, something reminded me of that scenario, and it made more sense. I'll explain.

Keep ReadingShow less
Education

12 books that people say are life-changing reads

Some books have the power to change how we see ourselves, the world, and each other.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Books are powerful.

As a participant in the Amazon Associates affiliate program, Upworthy may earn proceeds from items purchased that are linked to this article, at no additional cost to you.

Out of all human inventions, books might just be the greatest. That may be a bold statement in the face of computers, the internet and the international space station, but none of those things would be possible without books. The written recording of human knowledge has allowed our advancements in learning to be passed on through generations, not to mention the capturing of human creativity in the form of longform storytelling.

Books have the power to change our lives on a fundamental level, shift our thinking, influence our beliefs, put us in touch with our feelings and help us understand ourselves and one another better.

That's why we asked Upworthy's audience to share a book that changed their life. Thousands of responses later, we have a list of inspiring reads that rose to the top.

Keep ReadingShow less
Internet

Man breaks down how living in an all-inclusive resort is cheaper than his average apartment

"I just might find myself on a beach somewhere sucking down cocktails and WHAT OF IT."

Representative Image from Canva

Are resorts the new retirement homes?

Don’t know if you heard, but the cost of living is pretty high these days. Prices for groceries, restaurants, gas, and other necessary items just to, you know, live in the world, reaching an all time high is already making what used to be a decent wage barely enough to get by.

And let’s not forget the biggest financial whammy of all: rent prices. According to Zillow, the average rent price in the US was $1,958 ( recorded in January 2024). That a whopping 29.4% price jump since pre-pandemic times. And of course, that not even taking larger, more expensive cities into account.


It’s enough to make you wonder: “Is it actually cheaper to just live in an all-inclusive resort at this point?”
Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Terrified, emaciated dog comes to life as volunteer sits with him for human connection

He tries making himself so small in the kennel until he realizes he's safe.

Terrified dog transforms after human sits with him.

There's something about dogs that makes people just want to cuddle them. They have some of the sweetest faces with big curious eyes that make them almost look cartoonish at times. But not all dogs get humans that want to snuggle up with them on cold nights; some dogs are neglected or abandoned. That's where animal shelters come in, and they work diligently to take care of any medical needs and find these animals loving homes.

Volunteers are essential to animal shelters running effectively to fill in the gaps employees may not have time for. Rocky Kanaka has been volunteering to sit with dogs to provide comfort. Recently he uploaded a video of an extremely emaciated Vizsla mix that was doing his best to make himself as small as possible in the corner of the kennel.

Kanaka immediately wanted to help him adjust so he would feel comfortable enough to eat and eventually get adopted. The dog appeared scared of his new location and had actually rubbed his nose raw from anxiety, but everything changed when Kanaka came along.

Keep ReadingShow less