Romantic hissing roaches? Five weird Valentine's Day gifts

This Valentine's Day may be the year to think out of the box and win a little extra love. Check out these options.

Mario Anzuoni/Reuters/File
Anyone can give roses or chocolates. Unique thinking, on the other hand, brings its own kind of special.

A marriage proposal by drone. A surprise trip to Europe for an anniversary gift. A simple-yet-adorable photo booth proposal.

Thanks to the Internet’s penchant for sharing the utterly and over-the-top romantic, it’s getting harder to find ways to impress your special someone. And with Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) just around the corner, the hunt is on to find that perfect present.

Here are five unusual suggestions for those who are willing to think out of the box during this "season of love":


Perfect for the conservationist couple. Since 2011, the Bronx Zoo has been letting interested patrons name one of their Madagascar hissing roaches after a person of their choice.

Customers receive a certificate of honor featuring the name of their roach for just $10, according to the zoo’s website. The money goes to helping the zoo “conserve species big and small, beautiful and damned” via the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Their tagline? “Seal it with a hiss.”

Body-part jewelry

Nothing says “I want to be with you” like a necklace made of hair – unless it’s a ring made of teeth. Artist Polly van der Glas specializes in both, along with a number of other pieces of jewelry and miniature sculptures made with real human hair and teeth.

Designed and handcrafted in Melbourne, Australia, each piece consists of raw materials that are filed, shaped, and sterilized before being cast in sterling silver or gold.

Van der Glas makes most of her work from donations of hair and teeth, but customers who want to send her their own for commissioned pieces receive a 10 percent discount.

Han and Leia hand towels

It’s probably the most romantic scene in the original Star Wars trilogy: As debonair pilot Han Solo descends into the pit that will freeze him in carbonite, the beautiful Princess Leia says, “I love you.”

Solo responds with classic cockiness: “I know.”

Geeky couples can commemorate that well-loved moment during their morning ablutions with ThinkGeek’s matching Han and Leia hand towels, available for $19.99.

Smitten? Heart-shaped mittens

Yet another reason to dislike the snow pummeling parts of the nation: Gloved hand-holding. It’s just not the same.

These heart-shaped mittens – also called “smittens” – solve that problem, allowing skin-to-skin contact while keeping the fingers toasty and warm. The fleece mittens, available on, come in traditional red, hot pink, baby pink, and, for the sportier couples, a football pattern, and retail for about $20.

Invisible Boyfriend (or Girlfriend)

Singles deserve presents too! The Invisible Boyfriend (or Girlfriend) app is the perfect gift for the single man or woman whose only desire this Valentine’s month is to be left alone by over-curious friends and relatives sniffing for details of his or her love life.

The app lets users customize a virtual significant other, complete with profile and photo. The team behind the app will then create the user’s ideal partner and send real-time replies to texts, leave voice messages, and deliver one handwritten postcard – all for $24.99 a month.

“Invisible Boyfriend gives you real-world and social proof that you’re in a relationship – even if you’re not – so you can get back to living life on your own terms,” according to the app’s site.

While the app has its drawbacks, it might not be a bad idea for seasonal use.

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