These houses look like they were built on LSD

Words: Josh Rakic
Photos: Airbnb

These vacation rentals aren’t just off the grid, they’re out of this planet.

Reminiscent of a dystopian future with homes that look like they belong in a Mad Max film, Earthships have taken eco living to the abstract. And while the name of the world’s most sustainable homes - made entirely from trash - mightn’t conjure any memories, one look at the New Mexico masterpieces will dominate your dreams for years to come.

Some time in the early 1970s a genius architect by the name of Michael Reynolds dreamt of going off the grid, and then applied his kick-ass skills to make his dream a reality. The result? A passive solar house made entirely of recycled goods, including dirt-packed car tires and beer bottles, that not only naturally heats and cools itself, but is powered by the sun and wind. Seriously. And they look cool AF to boot.

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Effectively a living, breathing house in the middle of the desert, the lifestyle caught on and spurned not just an entire town of Earthships but a movement. Today, Earthship designs are becoming more and more sought after, the company not just selling blueprints to build your own, but offering building services the country over. And these ain’t no tract homes.

Better yet, if you’ve always wanted to live off the grid but haven’t tried it, a bunch have become available for vacation rentals in recent years. Here are five of the coolest Earthships available to rent on Airbnb in New Mexico.

Magic Mountain

With surprisingly luxurious interiors and amenities, Earthships may make living off the grid look easy, but getting to this place is no simple feat. Perched on the mountainside with views of the valley, you’ll either need a four-wheel-drive or rental with full boat insurance (AKA: DGAF insurance) to make it to this gem. Well, most of the way. When there’s snow, you mave have to walk the final quarter-mile. But that’s half the fun.

Boasting some of the most aesthetically stunning interiors of any of the Earthships, this lime green pad stays 72 degrees year round - drought or snow. There are epic views of mountains across the valley, and with no neighbors inside, clothing - like electricity and gas bills - shan’t be required.

The Odd house

If there were a hipster Smurf, this is what his pad would look like. Part mid-century cave, part atrium, it combines all the seclusion of living underground with rooftop living. It’s a contradiction, a rarity and a dream all at once.

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The Dome
dome, kitchen, house

© Airbnb

A common theme is starting to build here, with this humble abode bearing a distinct similarity to one of Bedrock’s most notorious homes - that of Fred and Wilma Flintstone. And with a spiral staircase to the bedroom loft, it’s as if Slate Rock and Gravel gave Mr. F a raise and allowed him to remodel the place. More seriously, the home is a geodesic dome with all the comforts of home.

Outdoors in

The most distinctive home of the list and arguably the most luxurious with circus tent-style ceilings, you’ll never have to step outside with what is effectively a forest (see: self-sustained garden) on the inside. But you probably should, because there are a ton of hikes and other cool Earthships to check out. Plus, the Taos Pueblo ancient ruins are nearby.

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