Elon Musk, the mastermind behind PayPal, Tesla and SpaceX, has another innovative product up in his sleeve: a $500 flamethrower.
Musk announced the flamethrower on Saturday, after weeks of teasing a possible flamethrowing product for his newest venture, The Boring Company. The Boring Company's mission is to excavate a low-cost but fast-digging tunnel through Los Angeles to help alleviate its notorious car traffic.
Musk's announcements on Instagram and Twitter about the flamethrower has all been in tongue-in-cheek tone, but his legions of followers have lapped up the chance to buy a flamethrower [pictured above] from The Boring Company. Over 2,000 people have pre-ordered the device so far, according to Musk on Twitter.
Pre-orders are expected to ship in the spring, according to The Boring Company's website.
"When the zombie apocalypse happens, you'll be glad you bought a flamethrower," tweeted Musk. "Works against hordes of the undead or your money back!"
The California Health and Safety Codes 12750 to 12761 outline that owning or selling flamethrowers is illegal without a permit granted from the state fire marshal, joining Maryland as the only two states in the country to have flamethrower regulations. The state has defined flamethrowers as "any nonstationary and transportable device designed or intended to emit or propel a burning stream of combustible or flammable liquid a distance of at least 10 feet."
But since The Boring Company's flamethrower emits fire less than the defined 10 feet, they did not have to get a permit to sell, according to Sam Teller, who serves as the director of the office of the CEO in all three of Musk's companies.
"Flamethrowers that shoot a flame over 10 feet long require a permit in (California)," said Teller in an email. "This flamethrower projects a flame that is shorter than 10 feet and as such does not require a permit."
The state fire marshal's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
From The Boring Company -- which began after Musk's Twitter rant about the Los Angeles car traffic -- and selling 50,000 company hats, Musk has built a reputation for spouting tomfoolery and then following through on it.
But some on social media are speculating this is a mere April Fool's joke, considering the flamethrower is expected to ship in spring. On last year's April Fool's Day, Musk tweeted that chemtrails were actually a "message from time-traveling aliens describing the secret of teleportation."
When asked whether the flamethrower is a joke, Teller said this is no practical joke.
"It is real," said Teller. "You can place an order on the website and we will start shipping in the spring."
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