Forgot to Prep for the End of the World? Go to IKEA

Apocalypse survival, with a side of Swedish meatballs

Apocalypse survival, with a side of Swedish meatballs

Today, you might have heard, is the end of the world. (I know, it comes so quickly, right? It seems like we just had Thanksgiving.) If you, like me, totally procrastinated on your apocalypse shopping this year, no worries: You can still get some great last-minute -- literally last-minute -- deals on items that could save your life after today's doom-bringing asteroid/pandemic/solar flare hits Earth.

And you can get those items in the same place where you can get pretty much anything that is of value in this world, ending or otherwise: IKEA.

In the video above, artist/designer Helmut Smits demonstrates the mother of all post-apocalyptic IKEA Hacks: a MacGyvered method of sparking flame. The better to survive in a newly-wild world once the power -- and everything else -- has gone out. IKEA, though it sells pretty much everything else, does not sell matches or lighters -- so Smits has devised a means of fire-starting using things that IKEA does carry: hangers, ropes, kitchen knives, wine racks, egg cups, napkins, floral arrangements. And his work is, in all seriousness, amazing to see. There's a delightful back-to-the-future feel to Smits's fire-making: He's using products from IKEA, that symbol of a globalized world, to realize a goal that was as urgent for the first humans as it could be for the last: making fire.

Megan Garber is a staff writer at The Atlantic. She was formerly an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab, where she wrote about innovations in the media.

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