Being such squishy creatures, humans are not particularly well built to thrive in earthquakes. Fortunately, our mighty brains have enabled us to devise a range of clever defence strategies and technologies, such as buildings designed to sway at the same frequency as tremors, in order to minimize damage.
However, since tectonic rumblings continue to generate catastrophes around the globe, the need for improved safety mechanisms is always present, which is why one Chinese inventor has taken it upon himself to design a somewhat terrifying looking earthquake proof bed.
Wenxi has created two separate designs, each with a different mechanism for engulfing users. Youtube/Dan Arrow
According to the Daily Mail, Wang Wenxi received a patent for his prototype in 2010, although little is known about the technical specifications of the design, or indeed whether or not it is actually going to be produced. Regardless, it’s pretty easy to grasp the basic idea – and identify its many potential pitfalls – from the animations that have been released online.
Depending on how one would prefer to be consumed by their bed, two options appear to exist, the first of which involves falling through an opening in the centre of the bed while the other sees the entire mattress plunge towards the floor, before a metal lid slams shut, trapping the sleeper inside. Once entombed in the makeshift shelter, users can make use of anything they may have stored inside for an emergency, such as food and water.
Wang Wenxi's earthquake-proof bed traps users inside a metal box. Youtube/Dan Arrow
Aside from the fact that no information is provided about how users might escape from the entrails of their own bed, the mechanisms displayed also come with a number of safety concerns, offering plenty of potential for limbs and other appendages to become stuck.
For this reason, it’s unlikely that the product will be put to use in earthquake-prone regions any time soon, although the basic premise of an earthquake-proof bed is still a pretty cool idea.