Styrofoam dome houses — much cooler concept than it sounds like

What's the home of the 21st century? Contenders abound — you've got green houses, cool prefab designs and even apartments themed around gadget fads — but none are quite so… modular as these Styrofoam domes. Made by Japan Dome House, the igloo-shaped homes have 13-foot ceilings and are 25 feet wide, so the insides are actually fairly roomy.

Lest you think your Styrofoam home will crack apart the first time you try to hang a painting, the foam used in the 7-inch-thick walls is considerably stronger than the stuff your DVD player was packed in. Not only that, but it'll never rust or attract pests like termites, and is said to be highly resistant to earthquakes and hurricanes. The walls are also treated with a flame retardant, so they don't give off toxic fumes if there's a fire.

Assembling the prefabricated pieces is fast work. Two or three people could put the whole thing together in an afternoon… without any cranes or heavy equipment. You can also connect the domes with joint pieces to create larger dwellings. Once your dome is put together, the possibilities are endless — create anything from a steam room to a swanky bar. In any case, it'll be a lot better than a FEMA trailer.

International Dome House, via Pink Tentacle