Elon Musk sells 20,000 flamethrowers to the American public, jokes about 'zombie apocalypse'

'When the zombie apocalypse happens, you'll be glad you bought a flamethrower. Works against hordes of the undead or your money back!'

Andrew Griffin
Thursday 01 February 2018 18:37 GMT
(Elon Musk/Instagram/screengrab)

Elon Musk has sold $10 million of flamethrowers to the British public.

The weapons – which appear to have begun life as a joke, though are probably more of a marketing stunt – will be issued to people in the spring. Mr Musk claims they are completely safe, despite the fact they can spew out flames.

Still, the PayPal co-founder said each of the flamethrowers would come with a free fire extinguisher and buyers need to agree to certain conditions before getting the device in spring.

Four days after announcing that he would sell 20,000 flamethrowers for $500 each – and after several promotional tweets – the weapons have now sold out.

"When the zombie apocalypse happens, you'll be glad you bought a flamethrower," he tweeted last Saturday. "Works against hordes of the undead or your money back!"

Another tweet joked about false rumours that he was triggering such a zombie apocalypse.

“The rumor that I’m secretly creating a zombie apocalypse to generate demand for flamethrowers is completely false,” he tweeted. “You’d need millions of zombies for a so-called ‘apocalypse’ anyway. Where would I even get a factory big enough to make so many!?”

More serious posts suggested that the flamethrower isn't actually dangerous and that "a flame shorter than 10 ft is A-ok", he posted. "Our design is max fun for least danger. I’d be way more scared of a steak knife.”


The flamethrowers appear to have been created as a way of generating publicity for The Boring Company, a firm that Mr Musk hopes will drill holes in the ground to send super-fast transit through. He has sold novelty products in the past, such a 50,000 hats that were also marketed through a range of confusing tweets.

Mr Musk is facing questions over whether Tesla will need to seek extra funding as it struggles to produce as many cars as it had promised.

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