Take something really-really boring and banal, say … a putty! Then sprinkle some (OK, a lot!) microscopic ferromagnetic particles on it and knead it really-really well for a very long time 🙂 Add some Hollywood magic, too, such as a slow motion camera footage, and you have a perfect way to entertain a bunch of geeks! I guarantee you, there were great many more people that were entertained by the ferromagnetic putty videos than people who actually bough it (yup, Puttyworld sells it for $15 a pack) and used it. It has been a couple of hours since I first saw the video and I still cannot come up with any useful application for it (except perhaps to hold something magnetic and of course, shoot some creepy Sci-Fi videos with it). But then, again, it’s been 8 and 7 years and I still have no useful application for my dogs even though I love the little rascals. A fascinating example of an awesome material in search of an application!
On a second thought: I wonder if it can be formed (pushed or pulled) by an oscillating magnetic field so the particles have to time to rearrange themselves to always attract, no matter what magnetic pole, to the source. Hmm….