The 10 Weirdest Airbnb Listings Let You Sleep in a Shoe, an Elephant, and a Flying Saucer

By Duncan Nielsen / Published by Dwell
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These far-fetched, ultra-Instagrammable homes are blowing up the short-term rental market—and Airbnb wants more of them.

Airbnb just launched a $1,000,000 fund to encourage hosts to build and rent out the world’s wildest, silliest, and most inventive homes. From today until April 15, anyone can submit a personal essay explaining their unique vision—and then a star-studded panel of judges (including Billy Porter and architecture firm MVRDV) will select 10 winners to receive $100,000 each.

"The Unique Airbnb Fund is a great initiative that makes hospitality exciting," says MVRDV partner Fokke Moerel. "It will empower people to create new spaces with daring, imaginative, and fantastic architecture."

Though more are sure to come, read on for 10 of our favorite "daring, imaginative, and fantastic" Airbnbs available to rent right now.

1. An Elephant on the Jersey Shore

Just five miles from Atlantic City, this elephant is the listing. Lucy is a 138-year-old wooden elephant that’s a registered National Historic Landmark and of the oldest roadside attractions in America. She entertained her first stay in 1902, and has even hosted a U.S. president.

Photo: Airbnb

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2. A Psychedelic Condo in Brazil

Floripa House was conceived and built on principals of reuse—and it seems to levitate above the mountains in Brazil. Walls made of windows and glass bottle balconies provide 360-degree views over the surrounding landscape. 

Photo: Airbnb

3. A Potato Hotel in Idaho

After touring the country on a seven-year-long campaign promoting the state’s most famous crop, this six-ton potato—made of concrete, plaster, and steel—returned to its homeland to be transformed into what might just be the quirkiest, most delightful tiny home rental of all time.

4. A Flying Saucer in the UK

Inside this grounded UFO are space-white furnishings and finishes, and genre-minded accoutrements, like the ’80s video game classic Space Invader. The front door—in this case, a hatch—is remote controlled.

Photo: Airbnb

5. A Fairy-Tale Boot in Australia

Located on Australia’s Tasman Coast—an area known for its unparalleled beauty and rugged coastline—this boot house calls to mind the old nursery rhyme, "There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe."

Photo: Airbnb

6. A Secluded Treehouse in Atlanta, Georgia

This Atlanta treehouse would make even the Ewoks jealous. It consists of three separate rooms—Mind, Body, and Spirit— that are interconnected via rope bridges. Though secluded and seemingly remote, it sits just minutes from town.

Photo: Airbnb

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7. A Covered Wagon in Arizona

For those who want to feel like they’re on the Oregon trail (but without the dysentery), the sheep wagon in Arizona puts you within striking distance of Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell, and the Grand Canyon.

Photo: Airbnb

8. A Treehouse With a Spa Near Paris

This treehouse is located near a golf course—but with a perch in the forest canopy, a Nordic bath, and a mysterious, hovering sphere, you likely won’t be taking to the links.

Photo: Airbnb

9. A Dome Hotel in Peru

Located amidst a garden and the towering peaks of La Pacha, Peru, these dome homes let you soak up South America’s incredible nature while getting the best of Andean culture.

Photo: Airbnb

10. A Cave Home in Provence, France

This rental in France is carved into the side of a cliff—and inside, modern finishes take the shape of the the carved rock. A series of steps lead to the hidden home, which is perched above the town of Cotignac.

Photo: Airbnb

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