Whether you philosophically believe it or not, money and wealth do in fact dictate how the world operates, and it has been like that since ancient times. There have always been individuals in society who have possessed far greater amounts of wealth compared to the vast majority of the population, and with that much wealth, individuals have almost always chosen to live extremely luxurious lifestyles. In 2016, the absolute wealthiest individuals in society make up their own social class, known as the billionaire class, and it is such a small group that in a world with over seven billion people, there are just over 1,800 confirmed members of the billionaire club.
There is a common misconception, especially lately, that all billionaires are greedy individuals who frivolously spend money on extravagant and oftentimes unnecessary things, simply because they have more wealth than any one person should have in a lifetime. Now it is true that billionaires like that do exist, but there are also those who donate large sums of money to charities and other philanthropic organizations to help those who live in poverty. That being said though, whether a billionaire is a jerk or a nice human being, does not take away from the fact that they do spend obscene amounts of money on things that regular people would never be able to afford. Here is a list of 15 of the most expensive purchases ever made by billionaires.
15 A Parade
Everyone loves a parade, primarily because they can be quite fun, which is the reason why there are numerous parades which take place throughout North America, including the annual one that takes place every Thanksgiving. There exists one type of parade though that only a select few cities can enjoy a year, one that is dedicated solely to championship winning sports teams. There is a championship parade held each year in a city whose MLB, NHL, NFL, or NBA team wins a title, and these types of parades are always filled with excitement for the athletes, fans, and team owners. Billionaire Mark Cuban, is one of these owners, and when his team the Dallas Mavericks won the NBA championship for the first time in 2011, he paid around 1.2 million dollars for the team’s parade. Expenses for this parade included a bottle of champagne for the athletes which alone was $90,000, and he also tipped the parade’s staff an extra $20,000.
14 A Submarine
Versions of the submarine have existed since the seventeenth century, but it was not until the first World War that the underwater craft began to be widely used. Traditionally, we associate submarines as a part of a country’s naval power, but many submarines are in fact used by civilians in order to do things like scientific research, salvage operations, and deep sea or sea floor exploration. James Cameron has directed some of the most iconic movies in cinema history, including Titanic and Avatar, and because of these movies he possesses a net worth of almost 1.8 billion dollars. What many people may not know about Cameron though, is that he enjoys marine biology and going on deep sea diving expeditions, which is why he bought his own one-man operated submarine to take out whenever he wants. The submarine that he bought is known as the Deepsea Challenger, and it is a good thing that Cameron is a highly successful Hollywood director, because a submarine like that costs around 1.5 million dollars to buy.
13 A Pen
There existed a time when the written word was actually written by using a method other than a touchscreen or keyboard, and that method often involved using either a pen or pencil. The pen specifically has been used in writing for centuries now, and it has come in multiple forms whether it be a reed, a quill, or the ballpoint variety that is primarily used today. When most people need to buy a pen, they go to their local convenience store or a place like Walmart where they end up buying a full pack for a couple of bucks, but for some in the billionaire class, there are pens that exist that are simply too lavish to pass up. The Goldsmith Jack Row Pen (pictured) is an incredibly expensive pen which is studded with 0.90 carat diamonds that are set on white gold; it also has an inner barrel made of sterling silver which is plated with 22-carats worth of gold. As nice as it looks, it is hard to believe that any normal person would buy a pen that costs over 43,000 dollars.
12 Dog Collars
There are many animal lovers in the world, which is why so many people own one or more pet in their homes, and dogs happen to be one of the most common pets that people own. Thanks to breeding, dogs come in many sizes and colors, and with a dog, you usually get a loyal companion who you can walk and play with outdoors; and they will even try to defend you if they feel that you and your family are in danger. Something that every owner needs for their dog is a collar, so that they can properly leash it when outside, and for other people to identify it if the dog ever gets lost; this goes for billionaire dog owners as well, but they sometimes buy collars that are far too extravagant and expensive. At 3.2 million dollars, the Amour, Amour Dog Collar (pictured) is the most expensive collar you will ever see, and for good reason, because the collar itself is made from crocodile leather, but what really makes it expensive is the fact that it comes with 1,600 diamonds which includes a 7-carat centrepiece, all of which are set in white gold.
11 A Razor
We all have excess body hair, whether it be on our faces, legs, arms, chests, backs, or even inside our nose and ears. For the most part, people do not enjoy having any type of excess body hair, which is why we have been shaving off specific hair for centuries now ever since the invention of the knife and razorblade. In 2016, people mostly use razors to shave, whether it be electric or the standard kind, and prices for both these types of razors range anywhere between a couple of dollars to a few hundred. There are certain razors though that cater to the very wealthy, individuals who want to feel stylish as they shave themselves. At 100,000 dollars, the Zaffiro Razor (pictured) is the most expensive shaving tool in the world, as well as one of the rarest as only 99 were apparently ever made. This razor is made with medical grade stainless steel and sports blades made out of artificial sapphire, as well as a handle made out of iridium (a metal similar to platinum).
The sun is essential for all life on Earth, but despite its immense importance, many of us find ourselves annoyed by it because of two things, the heat that it produces, and the sunlight itself when it directly hits our eyes. Human ingenuity has found solutions for both these annoyances, with air conditioning taking care of the heat, and sunglasses taking care of the sometimes painful glare. People can buy sunglasses at a reasonably cheap cost, but sometimes, we are attracted to specific brands and spend a few hundred dollars on a pair of sunglasses which provide more or less the same amount of relief from the sunlight. It is because of our infatuation with brand names, that certain companies produce expensive accessories like sunglasses to cater to the richest members of society. Dolce & Gabbana has the DG2027b sunglasses (pictured), which have a frame made out of gold, and nothing makes a billionaire feel like a billionaire more than wearing a pair of 383,609 dollar sunglasses on their face.
9 An Entire Skyscraper
Almost everything you buy depreciates in value, with a car being the prime example, but the one thing that almost certainly always goes up in value is a person’s property. Most people who own property, either own one house or condo, as well as maybe another small place where they can go to whenever they have time off from work. The richest people in society though, tend to not only live primarily in large homes located on big patches of land, but they also own and construct multiple large living spaces for themselves. In the case of Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani, he built his very own 27-floor skyscraper which comes with its own movie theatre, parking garage, helipads, and an actual winter simulation room. This skyscraper (pictured), which employs around 600 people, required 1 billion dollars to construct, which sounds like an unimaginable amount of money to spend on property, but luckily for Ambani he has a net worth of over 21 billion dollars, so he remains pretty financially solvent.
8 A Pair of Heels
Most of us own at least one pair of shoes, along with at least one other form of footwear, and that is because footwear makes it much more comfortable and safer for our feet when we walk outside than if we were to do so barefoot. There are several different kinds of footwear, like the ordinary running shoe, cleats, boots, heels and even sandals, and for the most part they do not really cost that much. There are however, specific brands of designer footwear that cost a fair bit of money, like certain Air Jordan sneakers and Louis Vuitton heels, and for those who thought Louis Vuitton had the most expensive heels, you would be mistaken, There exists heels by Christopher Michael Shellis, that cost nearly 220,000 dollars a pair, and the reason why they are so expensive is because they are made from solid gold and come with 2,200 diamonds that are valued at 30-carats (pictured).
7 A Yacht
People have been using boats for fishing and travel for thousands of years now, and in 2016, many people still own and use boats, primarily for hobbies like fishing and sailing, or as vacation and party vessels. As with a lot of things in life, the larger the boat, the more expensive it tends to be, which is why most people have a generally small sized boat that does not require a huge upkeep cost. For the world’s wealthiest individuals though, upkeep cost is usually not an issue, which is why they have no problem dishing out loads of money for large, luxurious and incredibly expensive yachts. One such yacht belongs to former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who paid around 72.3 million dollars for his vessel, which he promptly named The Oasis (pictured). This yacht in particular can house up to 19 people, and it comes with its own pool, helipad and gym, that can be converted into a disco.
6 A Shark
The shark, in one form or another, has been swimming around in the world’s oceans for more than 420 million years now, and for a long portion of that time, it has been considered as one of the Earth’s fiercest and greatest predators. Sharks are much smaller now than they used to be millions of years ago, but there are still certain species that still grow to be pretty large in size, and because of that fact, there are people in the world who pay top dollar in order to obtain one of these creatures. The tiger shark can grow as long as 16 feet, and in 2007 a hedge fund manager named Steven Cohen (pictured), who has a net worth of over 12 billion dollars, bought the body of an already dead tiger shark which measured 14 feet long. In order to prevent decay, the body of this shark is kept inside of a tank of alcohol, and if you were Cohen, you would want to keep the shark in great condition too, especially if you paid 8 million dollars for it like he did.
5 A Private Jet
Every year, millions of people travel to different places all around the world, using various forms of transportation, but the most commonly used method is without a doubt the airplane. Oddly enough, whenever an ordinary person is asked to list some of the things they would buy if they ever became an instant millionaire or billionaire, a private jet is almost always somewhere on the list. The reason for this is simple, because unlike passenger airplanes, a private jet basically allows you to travel to any destination you want whenever you want, without having to buy tickets, wait in lines, or check luggage. Many billionaires do in fact have their own private jet, and Russian Billionaire Alisher Usmanov has one of the largest and most expensive jets in the world. Usmanov bought an Airbus A340-300 (pictured), which is the largest private jet in Russia and Europe, and he had to pay a hefty penny for it, as this Airbus is currently valued between 350-500 million dollars.
4 A Haircut
Earlier on this list, it was mentioned that people like to get rid of excess and unwanted body hair, but that is not the only type of hair that we take care of. The hair on our head is actually pretty important to us, and as a result of that, we frequently wash it and take some time every few months to get it cut, either by ourselves or by a professional. If you do go to a barber or stylist, then a normal haircut will probably cost you under 30 dollars, but there are some people who willingly pay over a 100 dollars or more for a haircut; but then you have people like the Sultan of Brunei (pictured), who for some reason chooses to pay a ridiculously large amount of money to have someone cut his hair. The Sultan, who is one of the richest people in the world with a net worth of over 20 billion dollars, gets his hair cut by stylist Ken Modestou, who he flies 7,000 miles to his home; and overall, he spends over 20,000 dollars for each haircut.
3 A Space Shuttle
Richard Branson is one of the most well known and most liked billionaires on the planet, and he primarily made his fortune from being the founder of Virgin Group which is a multinational conglomerate made up of over 400 separate companies. Branson’s financial portfolio includes many different things, with transportation being one of them, primarily in the form of the airline Virgin Atlantic. People like to travel, it is one of the primary reasons why the airline industry exists, and whether you believe it or not, many people are also interested in space, which is why Branson decided to combine the two. It took Branson about 200 million dollars to build a fully functional craft that is capable of sending at least eight passengers into orbit. Branson believes that shuttles like these will lead to space tourism and scientific missions, but do not get ahead of yourself because it is believed that people will have to pay about 200,000 dollars for just a single ticket.
2 A Clock
In 2016, most people tell time by either using their computer, cellphone, or one of the other various electronic and digital appliances that they have at their disposal; but for most of human civilization, people had to tell time using different methods, which at one point solely included the sun and moon. The clock is actually one of humanity’s oldest inventions, and it has undergone multiple transformations, including the sundial, hourglass, pendulum clock, pocketwatch, and the wristwatches and electronic clocks of today. Some people pay a lot of money for clocks, and in the case of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, he is spending an obscene amount of money to help build an incredibly large clock. This clock is being built inside of a cave in Texas, and it is expected to tell time for at least a 10,000 year period; and if that alone was not impressive, then you will be pleasantly surprised to know that Bezos (pictured) has spent 42 million dollars on this clock.
1 A Book
That past decade in particular has seen a drastic decline in the number of physical books being read, which in itself is quite a shame because reading a book off of a screen just does not have the same feel as an actual hardcover or paperback book in your hands. In the entirety of civilized human history, there have likely been millions of books written by hundreds of individuals, which deal with all kinds of fictional and nonfictional topics, like biology, religion, philosophy, history, economics, mythology and science. Leonardo Da Vinci is one of history’s greatest minds, and when he was alive, he wrote several books, some of which were fortunately able to survive the test of time. One of these books was his scientific journal known as the Codex Leicester (pictured), which is considered to be the most valuable and expensive book in the world, which is probably true considering that Bill Gates, the wealthiest man in the world, paid 30.8 million dollars for it.