Our Favorite Quirky Graduation Gifts

Consider this scenario:

You’re walking down a dark path through a forest on a moonless night. Suddenly, a man with an eye patch and menacingly unkempt beard jumps out to the brush, wielding wicked curved sword and a weathered copy of The Brothers Karamazov.

“You there!” he growls, “Explain to me the historical context of this novel, or I’ll split ye from neck to navel!”

Would you be able to? In these situations, it’s always good to have someone nearby with a recent college degree.Get them the right gift and they’ll follow you down any path, no matter how pirate-infested.

Psychology: Porcelain Phrenology Bust 

Psych is one of the most popular and fastest growing fields. Make sure that you’ve got a brain expert working on your side with this phrenology bust from Amazon. Phrenology is a debunked and defunct psuedoscience that believed insight to the human mind could be gained through measuring bumps on the skull. It was one to the precursors to modern psychology, however, and this little head will no doubt make a neat little desk item for patients to stare at.

International Studies: Cork Globe

In general, you should avoid giving any graduate anything with the words “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” printed on it. Out of any major, International Studies may be the most prone to receiving this time-worn cliche  imprinted on tote bags and useless wall hangings.

Instead, get this awesome Cork Globe for their desk,  featured on Uncommon Goods.  International travelers can pin routes, photos, tickets, and other mementos to their place in the world.

Later on in his or her career, this will globe smugly imply, “Oh, The Places I’ve Been.”


 Astronomy/Physics: The Moon Halotech Lithophane Watch


Want to make an impact? Our moon’s cratered face knows a thing or two about that.

Get your favorite star-struck explorer something light-years better than naming a star after them. The face of “The Moon Halotech Lithophane Watch” features a 3D back-lit image of Luna.


English: TANK Books


These only look like cigarette packs–there are actually tiny short novels encased in these beautifully designed packages from TANK Magazine.

Next time a group of troubled youth loitering outside the liquor store shoulder-tap your recent grad for smokes, he or she can hand them one of these packs instead. Imagine the delinquents’ surprise when they open up the pack to find not dangerous cigarettes, but CLASSIC LITERATURE.

Computer Science: Aquafarm

Computer science majors face a lifetime of sitting at a computer. Get them a little desk-buddy for company. This awesome Aquafarm (also from Uncommon Goods) is actually an entire little ecosystem. The plants on top filter the nutrient-rich water through their roots, purifying the water below for the fish. You’re never alone with a little fish.

Engineering: Electric Paint Pen with Conductive Ink

How neat is this? This pen from ThinkGeek draws with electrically conductive ink. Low voltage circuit projects are now as simple as connect-the-dots.  This is an inexpensive gift–more stocking stuffer than red ribbon under the tree–but  it’s such a cool gift. It will no doubt crank up the voltage of your friendship to dangerous levels.

Science: World’s Lightest Solid Matter




What is that ghostly material? It’s a sample of the World’s Lightest Matter. It was developed by NASA, and it’s called Aerogel. Aerogel is made up of 99.98% percent air, yet can hold up to 1000x its own weight and withstand extreme heat. You can watch a video about it here. Samples are sold at the wonderful money pit thisiswhyimbroke.com. Give your science buff the gift of wonder this summer.










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