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13 Unusual Objects Covered in Crystals and Diamonds

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It's not surprising to see extravagant pieces of jewelry or clothing covered with precious gems on the red carpet. Even “bejeweled” phone cases and other accessories are commonplace these days (though those typically aren't real gems). But some objects covered in crystals and jewels are decidedly more unusual. Here are 13 of them. 

1. Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head

NYC, Style and a little Cannoli

You certainly wouldn’t give this version of these classic toys to your children to play with. These Mr. and Mrs. Potato Heads were hand-jeweled with Swarovski crystals by Jay Strongwater, maker of jewelry and jewel-encrusted figurines. These toys and their accessories are covered with more than 50,000 crystals and were sold for $8000 apiece.

2. A Hot Wheels car

Hot Wheel Collectors

This diamond-covered car was created by Hot Wheels to celebrate the company’s 40th anniversary and is valued at well over $100,000. The car is cast in 18-carat white gold and covered with more than 2700 blue diamonds. The car’s tiny engine is also adorned in black and white diamonds and the tail lights are red rubies.

3. A Coffee Machine

Tech Digest

This Nespresso Crystal coffee machine is covered with 3100 Swarovski crystals, taking its price from around $250 to upwards of $3000. Apparently, some people take their coffee this seriously!

4. A KitchenAid Mixer

Bling Diva Designs

This mixer was given its crystal coating by Bling Diva Designs. The original was made as a bridal shower gift for Katherine Kallinis, co-owner of Georgetown Cupcake. The mixer is covered by more than 8000 crystals. Melissa at Bling Diva Designs continues to decorate mixers in this way—it'll only cost you $2000 to have a shiny mixer in a color of your choice.

5. A Dog Bowl

The Rich Times

Someone seemed to think that flashy kitchen appliances might make the family pet a bit jealous. This bowl is made by BB Simon and is encrusted by hand with Swarovski crystals, complete with a skull and crossbones design. Its price is currently set around $1300.

6. Eggs

Etsy/The Glittered Squirrel

On Etsy, you can find a real egg encrusted with Swarovski crystals, along with some other shiny egg designs. The eggs are blown out and silver leafed, and the crystals are applied by hand. The listed price of the pictured egg is $550 and, at least at this point, it seems to be a one-of-a-kind creation.

7. A Toilet


Several crystal encrusted toilets have been created to add bling to otherwise drab bathrooms. The toilet pictured above has a price tag of $75,000; some other crystal toilet creations are valued above $100,000. This design comes from the same maker as an extravagant gold plated toilet priced well above $300,000.

8. A Vacuum Cleaner

Piece of Cake PR

Although this isn’t covered from handle to floor in jewels like most of these other items, it is one of the more unusual object choices to make decorative with diamonds. This vacuum was created by GoVacuum after the popularity of their million-dollar gold plated vacuum cleaner. This device features a silver plated handle, a powernozzle sprinkled with diamond dust, and an outer filter bag that is decorated with 1000 Swarovski crystals. GoVacuum has not given this item a price tag, but has instead dubbed it “priceless” and decided to give away the one and only model as part of a contest.

9. A Fishing lure

The Most Expensive Journal

This diamond-studded fishing lure would definitely allow a fisherman to pull in that big one in style. That is, if they can afford it. Made by MacDaddy’s, this so-called Million-Dollar Lure is encrusted with 100 carats of diamonds and rubies. This lure may seem a bit too ridiculous to be functional, but it has actually been used in a fishing tournament in California.

10. Luggage


This member of the Samsonite Black Label—a revamped version of a 1920s trunk adorned with Swarovski crystals—is sure to catch everyone’s attention in the airport, but is very exclusive.  Only 30 were made and sold in 2008 when the line came out. While no price is listed, you can be sure these went for a considerable sum.

11. Staircases

Sydney Morning Herald

There are two crystal staircases in the reception area of the MSC Splendida, purportedly the “world’s most beautiful ship.” Each step features about $40,000 worth of Swarovski crystals, making the staircases, with 72 steps between them, worth $2.8 million.

12. A Car

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To be specific, a Mercedes Benz. This car was decorated by Garson USA and is adorned with more than 300,000 Swarovski crystals. It is estimated to be valued at around $1 million and would certainly make a statement on the road. The crystal Mercedes has been exhibited at several auto shows over the past few years.

13. A Skull

Oh Gizmo!

This is a piece by British artist Damien Hirst that is entitled "For the Love of God." The underlying skull is real, and from the 18th century. The entire skull—except for the teeth—was covered in platinum before being smothered in 8601 flawless diamonds that have a combined weight of over 1,100 carats. The large pink diamond on the forehead alone is 52 carats and worth millions of dollars. All of the diamonds used cost a total of over $22 million, which is only a fraction of the sales price Hirst could ask for his creation.

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8 Tricks to Help Your Cat and Dog to Get Along
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When people aren’t debating whether cats or dogs are more intelligent, they’re equating them as mortal foes. That’s a stereotype that both cat expert Jackson Galaxy, host of the Animal Planet show My Cat From Hell, and certified dog trainer Zoe Sandor want to break.

Typically, cats are aloof and easily startled, while dogs are gregarious and territorial. This doesn't mean, however, that they can't share the same space—they're just going to need your help. “If cats and dogs are brought up together in a positive, loving, encouraging environment, they’re going to be friends,” Galaxy tells Mental Floss. “Or at the very least, they’ll tolerate each other.”

The duo has teamed up in a new Animal Planet series, Cat Vs. Dog, which airs on Saturdays at 10 p.m. The show chronicles their efforts to help pet owners establish long-lasting peace—if not perfect harmony—among cats and dogs. (Yes, it’s possible.) Gleaned from both TV and off-camera experiences, here are eight tips Galaxy and Sandor say will help improve household relations between Fido and Fluffy.


Contrary to popular belief, certain breeds of cats and dogs don't typically get along better than others. According to Galaxy and Sandor, it’s more important to take their personalities and energy levels into account. If a dog is aggressive and territorial, it won’t be a good fit in a household with a skittish cat. In contrast, an aging dog would hate sharing his space with a rambunctious kitten.

If two animals don’t end up being a personality match, have a backup plan, or consider setting up a household arrangement that keeps them separated for the long term. And if you’re adopting a pet, do your homework and ask its previous owners or shelter if it’s lived with other animals before, or gets along with them.


To set your dog up for success with cats, teach it to control its impulses, Sandor says. Does it leap across the kitchen when someone drops a cookie, or go on high alert when it sees a squeaky toy? If so, it probably won’t be great with cats right off the bat, since it will likely jump up whenever it spots a feline.

Hold off Fido's face time with Fluffy until the former is trained to stay put. And even then, keep a leash handy during the first several cat-dog meetings.


Cats need a protected space—a “base camp” of sorts—that’s just theirs, Galaxy says. Make this refuge off-limits to the dog, but create safe spaces around the house, too. This way, the cat can confidently navigate shared territory without trouble from its canine sibling.

Since cats are natural climbers, Galaxy recommends taking advantage of your home’s vertical space. Buy tall cat trees, install shelves, or place a cat bed atop a bookcase. This allows your cat to observe the dog from a safe distance, or cross a room without touching the floor.

And while you’re at it, keep dogs away from the litter box. Cats should feel safe while doing their business, plus dogs sometimes (ew) like to snack on cat feces, a bad habit that can cause your pooch to contract intestinal parasites. These worms can cause a slew of health problems, including vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and anemia.

Baby gates work in a pinch, but since some dogs are escape artists, prepare for worst-case scenarios by keeping the litter box uncovered and in an open space. That way, the cat won’t be cornered and trapped mid-squat.


“People exercise their dogs probably 20 percent of what they should really be doing,” Sandor says. “It’s really important that their energy is released somewhere else so that they have the ability to slow down their brains and really control themselves when they’re around kitties.”

Dogs also need lots of stimulation. Receiving it in a controlled manner makes them less likely to satisfy it by, say, chasing a cat. For this, Sandor recommends toys, herding-type activities, lure coursing, and high-intensity trick training.

“Instead of just taking a walk, stop and do a sit five times on every block,” she says. “And do direction changes three times on every block, or speed changes two times. It’s about unleashing their herding instincts and prey drive in an appropriate way.”

If you don’t have time for any of these activities, Zoe recommends hiring a dog walker, or enrolling in doggy daycare.


In Galaxy's new book, Total Cat Mojo, he says it’s a smart idea to let cats and dogs sniff each other’s bedding and toys before a face-to-face introduction. This way, they can satisfy their curiosity and avoid potential turf battles.


Just like humans, cats and dogs have just one good chance to make a great first impression. Luckily, they both love food, which might ultimately help them love each other.

Schedule the first cat-dog meeting during mealtime, but keep the dog on a leash and both animals on opposite sides of a closed door. They won’t see each other, but they will smell each other while chowing down on their respective foods. They’ll begin to associate this smell with food, thus “making it a good thing,” Galaxy says.

Do this every mealtime for several weeks, before slowly introducing visual simulation. Continue feeding the cat and dog separately, but on either side of a dog gate or screen, before finally removing it all together. By this point, “they’re eating side-by-side, pretty much ignoring each other,” Galaxy says. For safety’s sake, continue keeping the dog on a leash until you’re confident it’s safe to take it off (and even then, exercise caution).


After you've successfully ingratiated the cat and dog using feeding exercises, keep their food bowls separate. “A cat will walk up to the dog bowl—either while the dog’s eating, or in the vicinity—and try to eat out of it,” Galaxy says. “The dog just goes to town on them. You can’t assume that your dog isn’t food-protective or resource-protective.”

To prevent these disastrous mealtime encounters, schedule regular mealtimes for your pets (no free feeding!) and place the bowls in separate areas of the house, or the cat’s dish up on a table or another high spot.

Also, keep a close eye on the cat’s toys—competition over toys can also prompt fighting. “Dogs tend to get really into catnip,” Galaxy says. “My dog loves catnip a whole lot more than my cats do.”


Socializing these animals at a young age can be easier than introducing them as adults—pups are easily trainable “sponges” that soak up new information and situations, Sandor says. Plus, dogs are less confident and smaller at this stage in life, allowing the cat to “assume its rightful position at the top of the hierarchy,” she adds.

Remain watchful, though, to ensure everything goes smoothly—especially when the dog hits its rambunctious “teenage” stage before becoming a full-grown dog.

10 Juicy Facts About Sea Apples

They're both gorgeous and grotesque. Sea apples, a type of marine invertebrate, have dazzling purple, yellow, and blue color schemes streaking across their bodies. But some of their habits are rather R-rated. Here’s what you should know about these weird little creatures.


The world’s oceans are home to more than 1200 species of sea cucumber. Like sand dollars and starfish, sea cucumbers are echinoderms: brainless, spineless marine animals with skin-covered shells and a complex network of internal hydraulics that enables them to get around. Sea cucumbers can thrive in a range of oceanic habitats, from Arctic depths to tropical reefs. They're a fascinating group with colorful popular names, like the “burnt hot dog sea cucumber” (Holothuria edulis) and the sea pig (Scotoplanes globosa), a scavenger that’s been described as a “living vacuum cleaner.”


Sea apples have oval-shaped bodies and belong to the genus Pseudocolochirus and genus Paracacumaria. The animals are indigenous to the western Pacific, where they can be found shuffling across the ocean floor in shallow, coastal waters. Many different types are kept in captivity, but two species, Pseudocolochirus violaceus and Pseudocolochirus axiologus, have proven especially popular with aquarium hobbyists. Both species reside along the coastlines of Australia and Southeast Asia.


Sea cucumbers, the ocean's sanitation crew, eat by swallowing plankton, algae, and sandy detritus at one end of their bodies and then expelling clean, fresh sand out their other end. Sea apples use a different technique. A ring of mucus-covered tentacles around a sea apple's mouth snares floating bits of food, popping each bit into its mouth one at a time. In the process, the tentacles are covered with a fresh coat of sticky mucus, and the whole cycle repeats.


Sea apples' waving appendages can look delicious to predatory fish, so the echinoderms minimize the risk of attracting unwanted attention by doing most of their feeding at night. When those tentacles aren’t in use, they’re retracted into the body.


The rows of yellow protuberances running along the sides of this specimen are its feet. They allow sea apples to latch onto rocks and other hard surfaces while feeding. And if one of these feet gets severed, it can grow back.


Sea apples are poisonous, but a few marine freeloaders capitalize on this very quality. Some small fish have evolved to live inside the invertebrates' digestive tracts, mooching off the sea apples' meals and using their bodies for shelter. In a gross twist of evolution, fish gain entry through the back door, an orifice called the cloaca. In addition expelling waste, the cloaca absorbs fresh oxygen, meaning that sea apples/cucumbers essentially breathe through their anuses.


Most full-grown adult sea apples are around 3 to 8 inches long, but they can make themselves look twice as big if they need to escape a threat. By pulling extra water into their bodies, some can grow to the size of a volleyball, according to Advanced Aquarist. After puffing up, they can float on the current and away from danger. Some aquarists might mistake the robust display as a sign of optimum health, but it's usually a reaction to stress.


Sea apples use their vibrant appearance to broadcast that they’re packing a dangerous toxin. But to really scare off predators, they puke up some of their own innards. When an attacker gets too close, sea apples can expel various organs through their orifices, and some simultaneously unleash a cloud of the poison holothurin. In an aquarium, the holothurin doesn’t disperse as widely as it would in the sea, and it's been known to wipe out entire fish tanks.


These invertebrates reproduce sexually; females release eggs that are later fertilized by clouds of sperm emitted by the males. As many saltwater aquarium keepers know all too well, sea apple eggs are not suitable fish snacks—because they’re poisonous. Scientists have observed that, in Pseudocolochirus violaceus at least, the eggs develop into small, barrel-shaped larvae within two weeks of fertilization.


Syzgium grande is a coastal tree native to Southeast Asia whose informal name is "sea apple." When fully grown, they can stand more than 140 feet tall. Once a year, it produces attractive clusters of fuzzy white flowers and round green fruits, perhaps prompting its comparison to an apple tree.


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