By Lilly Workneh Special to CNN - In 2011, the tech world saw the release of game-changing gadgets including the iPhone 4s, Kindle Fire and iPad 2. But along with the good (and, yes, sometimes, the bad) came the bizarre.
And by bizarre, we mean the weird gadget creations and unexpected Internet sensations that went viral (cue Rebecca Black's "Friday").
Nonetheless, the strangest of the strange in the tech world made headlines by pushing the limits of technology, and this year it felt like there were more than ever.
Here are some of 2011's most unusual and out of the ordinary tech headlines, stories we never thought could happen -- which baffled us when they did.
1. Implanting organs in the name of art
As if two ears weren't enough, an Australian artist named Stelarc has decided to implant a third beneath the skin of his arm.
This performance artist wants to make his arm an acoustic device by attaching a wireless microphone to the implanted ear. The process took more than a decade and, he says, will take another year for his cells to fully grow on the ear's structure.
Once the ear is fully grown, the organ will be wirelessly linked to the Internet and allow the artist to share what his third ear hears with anyone who cares to tune in.
But, seriously, who wants to listen to an arm?
2. Japanese lab invents Internet kissing machine
Trying to give your partner a smooch through video chat and leaving lipstick smeared on your webcam is less than attractive.
Luckily, Japanese creators at Tokyo's Kajimoto Laboratory have made a "Kiss Transmission Device" for those long-distance lovers who want to share their affection.
Simply wiggle your tongue on a plastic straw, and it will transmit a signal that remotely makes another plastic straw wiggle -- presumably while it is in your lover's mouth.
This takes "keeping in touch" to a new and literal level.
3. This 'robot ostrich' probably will outrun you
Many animals can sprint faster than a human. Now, a "robot ostrich" is among them.
Scientists are trying to imitate the fastest two-legged runner on the planet by creating a robot ostrich that stands almost 5 feet tall, weighs 66 pounds and can run at speeds up to 32 mph. Fittingly, founders call this speedy ostrich FastRunner.
Although it hasn't been said what the robot bird will be used for, speculators assume that it is designed to go to war. To be sure, watching this birdie in motion may creep out those on the battlefield and beyond.
4. German scientists invent brain-powered car
No need to position your hands on the steering wheel to drive. Now, all you have to do is put your mind to it, and the car will execute your brain's commands.
Scientists at Germany's Free University are the innovators behind this brain-powered car.
A high-tech helmet is linked to an onboard computer that displays a cube on the screen. The driver can manipulate this cube with their thoughts. Using biological signals as patterns, the driver can pilot the car to drive in any direction, accelerate or break.
This may be only the beginning of what can evolve in the world of brain-powered computing.
But don't get too giddy just yet. The creators say the invention is only a "proof of concept experiment" and will not be speeding into action any time soon.
Still, the fact is that this creation is an out of the ordinary idea that bewilders us to think it exists at all.
5. Forget planking -- who's up for owling?
Planking was quite popular this year, as many folks went online to share images of themselves lying stiff as a board in public. But the trend shifted, at least for a brief Web moment, to mimicking everyone's favorite wise and nocturnal feathered friend.
The spinoff became a peculiar addiction for some, and owling has become one of the largest Internet memes.
People have shared images owling atop statues, houses and office desks. Some have even taken this bird's actions below ground level and participated in underwater owling.
It's pretty simple. Squat on an object, press your arms toward the ground, straighten your back and raise your head as you gaze into the distance and sit perched, well, like an owl.
Bellowing a "hoot" or two is optional.
6. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg eats only what he kills
"The only meat I'm eating is from animals I've killed myself," Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's founder and CEO, announced in May.
He calls it a "personal challenge"; we say it's just plain weird. Zuckerberg kills the animals and sends them off to a butcher in Santa Cruz, California, who cuts them into parts. From there, it's left for Zuckerberg to cook and consume.
Zuckerberg has begun his slaughtering challenge and made goats, pigs and chickens his prey.
7. Feeling lonely? Go hug yourself
We all need a hug at times, but it doesn't always happen when someone non-creepy is around to give us one. Instead, you can hug yourself by wearing a vest that hugs you back.
This invention, which was displayed at Japan's 3D and Virtual Reality Expo this year,