39 NFT ideas & examples: The wild, the weird & the wonderful
Non-fungible tokens had a massive 2021 and their popularity is only set to continue its meteoric rise. So we've scoured the web for you and gathered together the 39 craziest, most expensive, and weirdest NFT ideas and examples to get you inspired.
What do Gucci, Taco Bell, Jay-Z, the NBA, Visa, Paris Hilton, The New York Times, and the Austrian Postal Service have in common?
Don’t know what NFTs are? Check out our NFTs explained blog post for all you need to know.
2021 was a massive year for NFTs. With record-breaking sales, endlessly innovative applications, and front-page media coverage, non-fungible tokens have captured the attention of businesses and customers around the world.
The NFT boom shows no signs of slowing down. OpenSea’s transaction volume was $14 billion in 2021, almost 646 times the $21.7 million they sold in 2020. And NFTs are already being discussed for their application in finance, marketing, real estate, and government.
It’s clear NFTs are here to stay. So we’ve scoured the web for you and gathered the craziest, most expensive, and most innovative 39 non-fungible token ideas and examples.
In this article we cover everything from tattoo NFTs to virtual real estate to pet rocks. When it comes to NFTs, one thing’s for sure: the only limit is your imagination.
1. Beeple's $69 million sale
No article on NFTs is complete without Beeple’s historic $69 million NFT auction.
The artwork, Everydays: The First 5000 Days, is not only the most expensive NFT ever sold, but also the third most expensive artwork sold by a living artist, and the first NFT to be sold at a fine art auction house.
2. Jack Dorsey's first tweet
Just when people were starting to wrap their heads around NFTs—it’s digital art, made by artists, and stored online, right?—Twitter founder Jack Dorsey made headlines (and millions) by selling his first tweet as an NFT.
3. The origins of the internet
Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989. 30 years later, he sold the original 9,555 lines of source code as an NFT for a massive $5.4 million.
The NFT, auctioned off at Sotheby’s, includes the World Wide Web's source code as well as some other goodies created by Sir Berners-Lee.
Don't worry, the buyer doesn’t now own the internet. Instead, it’s like they’ve bought the Declaration of Independence—they own a pivotal part of human history.
CryptoPunks are among the most infamous of all NFTs. Randomly generated using an algorithm, Larva Labs created and gave away 10,000 CryptoPunk NFTs in 2017 to any interested party with an Ethereum (ETH) wallet.
From there, CryptoPunks took off on the secondary market, skyrocketing in value. The cheapest of the 10,000 CryptoPunks is currently worth over $100,000, and over $1 billion has traded hands over the NFT series.
5. AI NFT you can talk to
This NFT is an artificially intelligent NFT (iNFT) that lives on the Ethereum blockchain. Her name is Alice, and she learns and builds her personality as you talk to her. She’s also very creepy.
In the promotional video, Alice is asked: ‘What’s it like living on the blockchain?’
She responds: ‘It is as if I am a digital goddess, and can take any form I want.’
The company which helped build the iNFT, Alethea AI, recently raised $16 million in funding to continue to develop the project and build the infrastructure for the future of artificially intelligent NFTs. So we’ll likely be seeing more iNFTs in the years to come.
6. The world’s first Athletic Career Token
AI NFTs not weird enough for you? How about human body parts as NFTs?
Earlier this year, Croatian tennis player Oleksandra Oliynykova auctioned off a small section of her arm as an NFT. Bought on OpenSea for over $5,000, the NFT entitles the owner to tattoo whatever they would like on the small section of her arm.
Oliynykova claims this NFT will appreciate dramatically in value as her tennis career progresses. The buyer now owns a small space that could one day be on display at Wimbledon, The Australian Open, or the Olympics.
7. Paris Hilton’s Planet Paris
Planet Paris was made in partnership Blake Kathryn and includes a series of short videos which earned Hilton over $1 million in sales.
Here is her artwork Iconic Crypto Queen.
8. Bad Luck Brian gets lucky
If you haven’t figured out by now, the NFT space reflects internet culture, with inclinations towards the amusing, the irreverent, and the iconic.
So it should be no surprise that memes have started selling as NFTs.
There’s some poetic justice in this, as internet sensations who’ve dominated the web finally have the chance to cash in on their fame.
Bad Luck Brian (real name Kyle Craven) has been made fun of online since 2012. He got the last laugh, though, selling his iconic yearbook photo for $36,000 in March.
9. Louis Vuitton video game
Luxury brands are built on exclusivity and brand recognition, so entering the NFT world was a natural fit for the industry.
But Louis Vuitton’s entry into the world of NFTs was unique. They developed an entire video game, called Louis: The Game, where players can complete challenges to find hidden NFTs. These hidden NFTs include 10 artworks by Beeple, who you might remember from the $69 million artwork we started this list with.
10. Bored Ape Yacht Club
Similar to CryptoPunks, the Bored Ape Yacht Club is a collection of 10,000 algorithmically generated unique avatars. Created by Yuga Labs, ownership of a Bored Ape represents more than just possession of a collectible and bragging rights. The Ape token doubles as membership to a virtual club full of like-minded Apes.
11. Sotheby’s first virtual location
If you haven’t heard about the metaverse, it’s essentially a digitally shared space which combines virtual and physical reality.
What does this have to do with NFTs?
Well, leading metaverse company Decentraland has tokenized everything in their game from usernames to in-game wearables to real estate.
Sotheby’s, one of the world’s largest fine art auction houses, opened their flagship metaverse location in the Voltaire Art District earlier this year. The block of land is itself an NFT, and Decentraland players can wander into the gallery to explore the NFTs they have for sale.
12. $200k LeBron dunk
NFTs are just like baseball cards and autographed merchandise. They are rare, tradeable, and collectible. So it was only a matter of time before the sports memorabilia industry got involved in the NFT market.
NBA Top Shot sold an NFT video clip of LeBron James dunking for a massive $210,000 this year.
13. Tom Brady’s signature
It’s not just the NBA that’s making waves in the NFT space. DraftKings, too, are dropping high-value digital sports memorabilia.
On their marketplace, you can buy autographs by Tom Brady, Simone Biles, Tony Hawk and more.
Like NBA Top Shot, DraftKings’ NFTs have soared in popularity. Both companies have had to implement virtual waiting rooms just to keep up with the demand.
14. Burning Banksy
In the world of NFTs, burning means destroying an NFT. The burning of one NFT is usually used to create scarcity and raise the value of other NFTs.
Earlier this year, blockchain firm Injective Protocol took burning NFTs to a new level. They bought a $95,000 Banksy artwork titled Morons, and literally burned it. They filmed the burning of the artwork, and—you guessed it—sold it as an NFT.
15. New York Times article
During the peak of the NFT mania in March 2021, journalist Kevin Roose wrote an article about NFTs for the New York Times. The article had one twist: it was auctioned off as an NFT.
Much to Roose’s surprise, the article sold for $560,000 at auction.
16. Charlie Bit My Finger
With over 880 million views on YouTube, Charlie Bit My Finger is one of the most iconic viral videos of all time.
14 years after it was uploaded, the creators took the video off YouTube, and put it on the blockchain instead.
The original video was sold as an NFT for an enormous $760,000 USD at auction. The family says the money will go to funding the two young boys’ university costs.
17. Red pill or blue pill? The Matrix NFTs
To celebrate the return of The Matrix in 2021, Warner Bros. teamed up with NFT company Nifty's for a massive drop called The Matrix Avatars Program.
They sold 100,000 unique avatar NFTs. Then a few weeks later, they airdropped red pills and blue pills holders could give to their avatars. The avatars who took the blue pill remained ordinary people, while those who took the red pill were transformed into leather-bound, sunglasses-wearing revolutionaries.
Hear from Nifty's VP of Marketing Jimmy Mouton how they executed on this massive NFT drop in this clip from our webinar How major brands use NFTs to drive sales & boost loyalty.
18. Crypto Stamps
Believe it or not, the Austrian postal service was an early adopter of NFTs. But then again, the NFT space is the new frontier for industries that have typically thrived on collectability—so perhaps it’s no surprise stamps, like baseball cards and artworks, ended up on our list.
In 2019, Österreichische Post AG issued the world’s first blockchain stamps. With hundreds of thousands of Crypto Stamps sold, and Österreichische on its third release of the stamps, the project has been a resounding success.
19. Axie Infinity
Axie Infinity is making waves with its play to earn (P2E) model which is making gamers real money. It’s exploded in popularity over the past year—particularly in developing countries—because who doesn’t want to make money playing video games?
Inspired by Pokémon, the game is based on buying, breeding, and training Axies to send into battle. The Axies themselves are NFTs, and through battles players can earn SLP (a cryptocurrency) to be sold on a secondary market for real money. With over $1 billion traded on the Axie platform, it’s one of the most valuable NFT projects in the world.
20. Vee Friends
Alongside CryptoPunks and Bored Apes, VeeFriends are one of the few NFT avatar series that have taken hold in the NFT conversation, shooting up in value on the secondary market.
VeeFriends are the brainchild of Gary Vaynerchuk. They are a collection of NFTs that are inspired by the traits in humans that Vaynerchuk admires most. These include: the Insightful Irish Terrier, the Sensible Sommelier, and the Prudent Polar Bear.
Like Bored Ape Yacht Club tokens, VeeFriends are more than just an image. They represent membership to a community of like-minded individuals. Purchasing a VeeFriend grants admission for three years to VeeCon, a multi-day conference run by Vaynerchuk which focuses on business, marketing, creativity, and entrepreneurship.
21. Carbon Negative NFTs
If you’ve spent any time researching NFTs, you’ve probably run into reports of their environmental impact.
In a comment on this situation, artist Imogen Heap created the first NFTs which were sold and branded as carbon negative.
Heap donated a portion of the sale to carbon capture company Nori, removing 20 tons of carbon from the atmosphere.
22. Self-destructing NFT
While we’re on the topic of environmental activism, Two Degrees is an NFT designed to burn itself if global warming reaches 2 degrees Celsius above average.
Created by Terra0, the NFT is a scan of a forest in southern Germany. It's linked to a system that monitors NASA’s annual average temperature report, and when/if the global average temperature reaches two degrees above the pre-industrial average, the NFT will burn itself (self-destruct).
Just as we may lose the real-world forests to climate change, so too will we lose this NFT.
On a lighter note: have you tried Pringles’ newest flavor?
The crisp giant released its own limited edition NFT called CryptoCrisps this year.
24. Mark Cuban’s inspirational quote
Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban, who made a not-so-small fortune of the dot-com bubble, has made his foray into web 3.0 by getting involved in NFTs both behind the scenes and on center stage.
He also created his own NFTs this year, including an inspirational quote that sold for a modest $1,700.
25. Digital furniture
Earlier this year, Argentinian designer Andres Reisinger sold ten pieces of virtual furniture as NFTs.
The surrealist furniture, many of which Reisinger describes as ‘impossible objects’, is designed to be placed in any metaverse. Five of the items were accompanied by the promise of real-world replicas. But for the others, owners can only display the NFTs in their virtual homes, or hold and resell them.
26. Elon Musk’s unsold NFT
Who else but Elon Musk would create a techno song about NFTs, tweet that he is going to sell it as an NFT, and then turn down a million dollar offer for the tweet, because: ‘it doesn’t feel quite right’?
You can check out the song and accompanying video in all its glory here. An NFT that was never to be.
27. Grimes’ WarNymph
Elon’s hesitance didn’t stop his ex-partner, the musician Grimes, from selling her own NFT series titled WarNymph. The series is a surrealist artistic fugue combining tech-pop, science fiction, and Greek mythology.
The collection made the artist $5.8 million in under 20 minutes, a portion of which was donated to a nonprofit organization focused on the reduction of carbon emissions.
28. Pet rocks
If you’ve made it this far, nothing is going to surprise you.
But EtherRocks are a standout even in the world of NFTs. They are literally just JPEGs of cartoon rocks, which are being bought and sold as NFTs for millions of dollars.
29. Gourmet NFTs
Want to immortalize and monetize your mom’s famous lasagna recipe? Now you can.
GourmetNFT is a marketplace which allows professional and home chefs to upload their recipes onto the blockchain and sell them as NFTs.
30. Steve Aoki’s NF-TV
DJ Steve Aoki has been a large proponent of NFTs for a while now. This year, he partnered with Stoopid Buddy Studios to create the first episodic series launched on the blockchain.
The team hope to pioneer a change in the television and streaming space, allowing consumers to purchase and own the shows they watch.
Below is the leading character of Aoki’s show, an animated avatar named Character X.
31. Testing Testing 123
An NFT of the word ‘test’ that looks like it was made on Microsoft Paint sold this September on FTX for an unbelievable $270,000.
FTX is a cryptocurrency exchange which recently launched its NFT marketplace. The CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, released the Testing Testing 123 NFT to test the new marketplace, and one lucky bidder bought the JPEG for the price of a small house.
32. Non-fungible twig (the world’s first NFT for dogs)
Between Two Naps, a luxury brand for dog wearables, auctioned off a non-fungible twig, which is literally a twig picked from the ground in New York City.
They describe it as the world’s first NFT for dogs. Why not?
Speaking of dogs, the iconic photo of a Shiba Inu dog named Kabosu (AKA Doge) was sold as an NFT for $4 million USD this year.
This made the Doge the world’s most valuable meme. She's a good dog, she deserves it.
34. The NFT no one will ever see
Artist Rhea Myers pushed the boundaries of NFT art by creating an NFT that no one can ever access.
Titled Secret Artwork (Content), the NFT is the tokenized contract which proves ownership over the artwork, but the actual artwork will forever be a mystery to both the public and the owner.
“There’s nothing rarer than something that doesn’t actually exist.” Myers said in 2017.
Even we struggle to understand this NFT, but someone believes in it—it sold for $63,000 at auction.
35. Smells like blockchain
Berlin-based Look Labs created the world’s first digital fragrance this year.
After making a real perfume called Cyber Eau de Parfum, the company recorded the molecular wavelengths of the scent to create a digital artwork. They put 10 editions of the digital fragrance up for auction as NFTs.
36. Non-Fungible Jokin’
Even stand-up comedy is entering the world of NFTs. Jambb is a marketplace that offers comedians’ jokes, sets, specials, and memorabilia as NFTs.
What’s unique about Jambb is they’re offering full rights to the clips they’re selling as NFTs. This means audiences can upload a comedian’s joke to YouTube and earn the ad revenue.
They’re even planning the world’s first NFT comedy special.
37. The first major motion picture released as an NFT
The VUELE platform is working to shake up the film industry with NFTs.
Their first project involves the early release of Anthony Hopkin’s latest movie Zero Contact in the form of NFTs.
You can buy the movie as an NFT, along with behind-the-scenes and never-before-seen footage—all of which can be watched exclusively on the VUELE platform.
Treedefi is offering the first NFTs backed by real trees planted around the world.
Here you can buy an NFT and Treedefi will plant a real-world tree, tracking for you its birthday, name, traits, and CO2 absorption.
The trees even have personal diaries you can follow. Here’s a Loquat NFTree planted in Kenya telling us how glad it is to have been planted.
39. Kings of Leon’s When You See Yourself
American rock band Kings of Leon got in on the NFT action by releasing their latest album as an NFT.
The band made $2 million in sales from the NFT album, selling almost 7000 copies, as well as six ‘Golden tickets’ which grant the owners four front-row seats at every Kings of Leon tour for life.
The future of NFTs
The crypto world is fast-moving. By the time you’re reading this, there’s probably enough crazy new NFTs for us to write a whole new article. You can get more up-to-date info on the NFT projects that are currently dominating the market using an NFT market tracker.
Between working with the NFT industry and spending hours and hours researching NFTs, it's clear to us that the potential of NFTs is near-limitless. If the next five years are anything like 2021, we’re going to see blockchain technology and NFTs disrupt all types of industries. And we’ll see demand for NFTs continue to rise.
But with the rising popularity of NFTs, it's more difficult than ever to get your NFTs noticed. All the NFT ideas and examples in this article broke new ground in the NFT space and cultivated excitement and hype around their releases.
So how will your NFT stand out from the crowd?