Watch the World’s Largest Useless Machine Light a Christmas Tree

Rube Goldberg machines are some peoples’ jam. Garage-hobby engineers get a real kick from stringing several feet of levels, fulcrums, swinging arms, springs and spinny things together from the junk drawer to accomplish an action that’s otherwise doable by a human hand. If you’re looking for an incredibly time-consuming and occasionally frustrating hobby, this is it. Will it survive to the end, or not? The longer the track, the higher the probability for failure and sadness.

By Samantha Cole | MOTHERBOARD

But when it does make it all the way, it’s a huge relief. That, plus an extra helping of holiday merriment, is what happened when the creators of the so-called world’s largest Rube Goldberg machine (certified by the Guinness World Records group) demonstrated recently. Their epic track involved 412 individual mechanical steps and ran for 10 minutes until finally hitting a giant button with a Santa sleigh. The button triggered a Christmas tree’s lights in the town of Riga, Latvia.

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