Sometimes the best things in life are the smallest things. We humans like to always try to make things bigger and better. But size isn't always the most important thing, and sometimes you just need to get smaller. Let's take a look at some of the smallest things mankind has ever created. You'll see some amazing feats of miniature engineering.
1) The smallest production car.
The Peel P50 holds the title of smallest car. Launched in 1962, the car was advertised as the perfect car to drive on narrow city streets. The P50 measured only 137 centimeters long and 99 centimeters wide and weighed 58 kilograms. In the '60s, the Peel engineering company said it was big enough to hold вЂњone adult passenger and a utility bag.вЂќ
If you like tiny vintage cars, you can buy a P50 again. Peel Engineering began making the P50 to order in 2010.
2) The Tiniest Firearm
No, it's not the Derringer from the Westerns. The smallest functional handgun ever made is the SwissMiniGun Miniature Revolver C1ST.
The revolver is just over 5 centimeters long and fires regular 2.34mm cartridges. Incidentally, it is also the world's smallest rimfire cartridge.
The gun works just like a regular revolver, although it is mostly sold as a collector's item. Unfortunately for U.S. gun collectors, it is illegal to import a C1ST вЂ” it is too small to be classified as a legal firearm in the States.
3) The smallest computer.
We've come a long way since the first computers filled the world. But the University of Michigan has taken microcomputers to a whole new level -- their smallest computer is only 0.3 mm on each side.
By comparison, it's smaller than a grain of rice. However, it's a bit questionable if this thing counts as a computer since it doesn't save any programs when it's turned off.
But that's okay since the UoM also claims to be the smallest truly certified computer. The Michigan Micro Mote is a completely functional computer system measuring only two by four millimeters.
4) The Smallest Lighter
There are many companies on the Internet that claim to sell the world's smallest lighter. But the smallest lighter вЂ” at least according to the Guinness Book of World Records вЂ” was made in Spain in 2011.
The size of the lighter, created by Jose Perez Rihart, is 6 mm by 11 mm and 2.4 mm. Made of brass, the lighter is fully functional with a 4cc fuel tank.
5) The smallest airplane.
The Bumble Bee II was custom built to win the title of the smallest airplane in the world. He achieved what he set out to do вЂ” the Guinness Book of World Records certified the Bumble Bee II as the smallest airplane built-in 1988.
The plane was only 2.5 meters long and had a wingspan of 1.6 meters. Experts at the time said it was very similar to its namesake because its wings were too small to ensure efficient flight according to the laws of aerodynamics.
It turned out they were right. The creator of the plane, Robert H. Starr, crashed the plane on the first flight, but fortunately, it survived and won the title of the record.
6) The smallest commercial
The world's smallest commercial was made to promote cutting-edge technology. We'd say they succeeded.
The ad was made by Dutch semiconductor manufacturer ASML. Measuring 33 microns wide and less than 8 microns long, ASML etched it on a tiny silicon wafer.
With the ad, the company wanted to increase brand awareness among engineering students. The ad reads, вЂњTo get small, you have to think big #Smallest_AD ASML.вЂќ
7) The smallest country.
Yes, we think of countries as human creations. After all, they don't occur in nature.
The title of the smallest sovereign country goes to the Vatican. Its area is 0.19 square miles and its population is about 500 people.
You could find countries smaller if you started counting some one-person micronations, such as the Principality of Sealand. But we've listed countries with international recognition.
8) The smallest working phone.
Cell phone manufacturers have tried to make them small, but in recent years, phone sizes have started to grow again. That means this title won't go to Apple or Samsung.
Instead, the world's smallest work phone was made by Jan Peter Krutiewicz in the United States in 1996. The phone is only 4.5 centimeters long and 0.76 centimeters wide.
How did they even check to see if it worked? We can't imagine that it's very easy to make a phone call with this thing.
9) The Smallest Sculpture
The world's smallest sculpture is also the smallest artificial object ever created. At least for now.
The sculpture, called вЂњTrust,вЂќ depicts a nude female figure. It is 100 microns in height, equal to the width of a human hair. It took South African artist and engineer Jonty Gurvitz 10 months to create the sculpture. During that time, he used 250 cameras to 3D scan his model.
10) The Smallest Snowman
The world's smallest snowman is also the smallest artificial object ever created. It was completed by Canadian Todd Simpson of Western University Nanofabrication in 2016. He created a вЂњsnowmanвЂќ out of silica spheres and platinum hands. The little guy is only 3 micrometers tall. When the snowman was first created in 2005, he only had a body and hands. However, Simpson felt he could also make a smile on his face, so he added facial features in 2016.