In the early 1800’s a man named Charles Redheffer showed up in Pennsylvania with a wacky invention: a perpetual motion machine. Indeed, a hypothetical machine that manages to violate both the first and second laws of thermodynamics seemed farfetched even then, but it appeared as though Chuck managed to crack the code without undoing all of existence.
He set up the device in a house and charged admission for anyone to see it. Men were charged between one and five dollars while women were charged one dollar or nothing at all. It’s assumed that he didn’t charge the women he wanted to make perpetual motion with, if you catch our meaning.
Anyway, Redheffer and his hilarious name could have left the con at that but made one huge mistake. At one point he determined he needed more money and applied for some sort of government aid. Somehow he thought that this would just magically end with him receiving buckets of cash. Instead, investigators were sent to see if he was on the level. Even though he forced them to view the device through a barred window (claiming anyone who got too close could damage the device) one of the investigators noted the odd movement of gears and determined that the machine the perpetual motion device was allegedly powering was actually powering the device itself and was responsible for its movement. He would attempt the scam once again in New York before becoming a recluse.
source: weird worm