We have all made mistakes that have cost us quite a bit of money, but what you may not have considered is the expensive mistakes the world has made over the centuries. We are only on this earth for a short while, but that means that earth has had plenty of time to come up with its own costly mishaps.
We have compiled a list of some of the most expensive mistakes the world has ever made. We are certain there will be more to come, but this list has opened our eyes to the blinding expenses the world has incurred due to its own stupidity. Keep reading to learn about the ten most expensive mistakes the world has ever made!
10 Alaska - $50.7 Billion
This may have been something you heard of as it is common knowledge that we bought Alaska for only $7.2 million dollars back in 1867 because Russia saw it as a useless and uninhabitable piece of land. They realized their mistake after they realized many years later that beneath the surface was liquid gold, or what we like to call oil. It is now estimated that Alaska is worth $50.7 billion dollars, and it is part of the reason Russia has been trying to get Alaska back.
9 Mars Climate Orbiter - $327.6 Million
This was a grave mistake made by NASA in their mathematical calculations as it caused this expensive orbiter to crash land on Mars. It came to light that two of the scientists working together had used different units of measurement, which caused a final miscalculation for its trajectory and speed. NASA blamed the error on their checks and balances system and spurred an internal review after this simple mistake was made. Humans are known to make errors, but an error like this should have definitely been avoided.
8 The Lake Peigneur Whirlpool - $44.8 Million
This disaster happened back in 1980 during a failed oil exploration probing. The men on the rig in the lake heard a loud pop, which is all it took for them to decide to abandon the task and head for sure. Shortly after the lake formed a whirlpool that sucked all of the water down into a salt mine below, along with several boats.
The miscalculation on where to drill sent water rushing into the mine, and fortunately all of the miners made it out alive. The lake lost 3.5 billion gallons of freshwater that day and it turned into saltwater and the originally eleven-foot deep freshwater pond turned into a 1,300-foot saltwater lake.
7 Ronald Wayne's Sell Out - $35 Billion
Wayne had feared that the financial risks the other founders were taking would fall back on him, so he decided to sell his share before things got ugly and he had to pay the price. His poor decision cost him billions, but Wayne says he is happy how things ended up and he does not regret a single thing.
6 Fox Gives George Lucas the Rights to Star Wars - $27 Billion
Fox thought that Star Wars would be a flop on the movie market, and boy, were they wrong. George Lucas negotiated a major deal where he would obtain the rights of any sequels to the movie and he even bought the merchandising rights back after the first movie was a hit. It was the intellectual heist of the century and Fox lost big time, which we are all certain is probably one of their biggest monetary regrets as a company.
5 Japan's Stock Market Error - $236 Million
This typing error performed by one of the many workers at Japan's Stock Exchange caused Mizuho Securities Company millions of dollars. The broker was supposed to set the amount for 610,000 yen for each share, but instead, the worker sold 610,000 shares for a single yen. It was an avoidable human error and one that left many large companies in shock over the simple mistake, but there is no fix that will cure the major financial loss this company endured.
4 The Hateful Eight Destroys a Priceless Guitar
This was an accidental mistake caused by a miscommunication with the actors on the set. Kurt Russel smashed the 145-year-old guitar that was on loan from the Martin Guitar Museum and was irreplaceable as it was one-of-a-kind.
Russell was never informed the scene was supposed to cut before the guitar was smashed so they could switch it out for a cheap rendition. Russel never knew the guitar was a priceless artifact until after the fact, but it did create a new museum policy that they would no longer loan out any guitars for movies.
3 BP Oil Spill - $60.9 Billion
The oil spill occurred back in 2010 and although it was assigned a cost, it cannot really be evaluated. The company lost a lot of oil and revenue when the rig collapsed, but it also did untold damage to the oceanic environment it was placed in, as oil and gas were leaked into the ocean. The work that had to be done to stop the spread of the oil was costly and many animals lost their lives due to this unfortunate tragedy.
2 The Challenger - $1.7 billion
This disaster occurred back in 1986 in front of the eyes of the entire world. Schools had it on in their classrooms all over the United States because it was the first time they implemented their Teacher in Space program. The craft exploded after 73-seconds and everyone was in shock, especially the students in classrooms who witnessed the tragedy. The explosion was blamed on a faulty O-ring which cracked due to the cold temperatures on launch day, which ended in lost lives and an explosion that cost $1.7 billion.
1 Chernobyl - $235 Billion
Chernobyl has recently come into the public eye thanks to a TV series, but it was the biggest nuclear disaster we have suffered to date. It occurred back in 1986 but is still leaking radiation to this very day. It failed due to cheaply manufactured parts that caused the core to explode, which led to the death of thousands.
It is a tourist attraction today, but efforts to fix the damage and resettle civilians is an ongoing process. The entire cost of this endeavor is currently priced at $230 billion, but that number will rise as more years pass and increased protective measures have been implemented.