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10 Obscene And Ridiculous Things The Rich Do With Their Money

by Ward Hazell
fact checked by Jamie Frater

Many people daydream about what it would be like to be rich, but it often seems that the lives of the truly rich are so alien to that of ordinary people lives, it is almost impossible to even imagine it

See Also: 10 Things Rich People Do That You Don’t

It’s a world where you are able to indulge every whim, no matter how fanciful, where you can fulfill every dream, no matter how dumb, and, if you can’t actually climb every mountain yourself, you can pay someone to climb it for you.

So, on the off-chance that you become super-rich overnight, here are 10 ridiculous and obscene things you might want to spend your money on.

10Shoot something rare and beautiful

You don’t need to be rich to be a member of the Dallas Safari Club. You don’t even need to be rich to attend their famous auctions. But if you want to bid on their star items, then you will need to bring the big check book.

The Dallas Safari Club auctions off licences to legally hunt and kill wild animals. The larger, and rarer, the animal, the higher the price. So, while a zebra will only set you back $10,000, if you want to bag yourself an almost extinct black rhino, you will need to shell out $350,000, which is fair, because there are only around 100 of them left in the wild. The South African government currently sells the rights to kill 0.5% of their total black rhino population per year.

Last year over 50,000 people attended the auction, at which members enjoyed a buffet meal whilst bidding for the opportunity to slaughter animals. To be fair, the auction caters for every taste, and pocket. If you can’t afford to kill a rhino or even a zebra, you might be able to afford a deer, a fox or perhaps a sheep.

That’s right. That well-known predator. The sheep.[1]

9 Get Some Really Weird Art

Rich people often become art collectors. Fair enough. What else are you going to hang on your wall? If you get yourself a nice Renoir, or a Matisse, its likely to be a good investment, and it can cover up all the holes in your wall, which is a bonus.

But if you go in for modern art, it can get a bit trickier. Take Steve Cohen, for instance. The hedge-fund manager, with a net worth of around $11 billion, bought Damien Hirst’s piece, “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living”. The title doesn’t quite conjure up the sheer, er, scale, of the artwork, which is a 14-foot tiger shark in a tank of formaldehyde. The installation piece is, in effect, a gigantic fish tank, in which the stuffed shark is suspended, open-mouthed, as if it is swimming around looking for its next meal.

The piece was commissioned by Charles Saatchi who later sold it to Cohen for an undisclosed amount, but which is believed to be somewhere between $8 and $12 million dollars. In order to display it to its best advantage the piece, which is 17 feet long and 7 feet wide, needs to be accessible from all sides, so you would need a pretty big living room. It wouldn’t be so bad if you could use it for something useful, like, maybe, a table or something, but at 7 feet high, that’s not very practical either.

Ah well, its art. Art doesn’t need to be useful, because it’s beautiful.

Isn’t it?[2]

8 Wear a gold shirt

Some people like to keep their money in the bank. Some people invest it. Some people even stuff their money under a mattress. And some people decide to wear it.

While it is not uncommon for people to buy expensive jewelry, Datta Phuge, decided to go one better and he had a shirt made from 14,000 links of 22 carat gold, which he accessorized with enormous gold chains and wrist cuffs. The shirt alone weighed over 10 pounds, and was valued at $250,000.

Phuge, who enjoyed the nick-name ‘the gold man’, was a money lender from the state of Maharashtra in India, and was often seen wearing the shirt when going about his business. Of lending money to poor people.

In 2016, Phuge was beaten to death by 12 assailants. Police speculated that the motive may have been a dispute over money.


7 Buy a Cupboard

If you are furnishing your home, you might want a nice bit of furniture to make a statement. If you’re super rich, of course, your ‘statement piece’ is going to be a very big statement indeed.

Ordinarily buying a cupboard, even an expensive cupboard, wouldn’t be seen as excessively extravagant, but if you bought The Badminton Cabinet, it would certainly qualify. In 2004, the cupboard sold to a private bidder for $36 million.

The 18th century Florentine chest was made from the finest ebony, and inlaid with amethyst, agates and lapis lazuli, among other stones.

Named after the town in England, not because it is somewhere you keep your shuttlecock, the cabinet was bought by Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein, the reigning monarch of Liechtenstein, who also happens to own his own bank.


The question remains, though, is just what do you keep in a $36 million cupboard?

Your check book, perhaps?[4]

6Build a Model Boat

Lots of little boys build model boats. They get a plastic kit, and a big tube of glue, and, if they are lucky, when they are finished, the thing floats. If you are a billionaire, however, that seems a little bit tame.

When the Australian billionaire, Clive Palmer, decided to build a model, he decided to go for a real, working, replica of the Titanic. Not only would it be a faithful copy of the fateful ship, it would be life-sized.[]

Life sized.

Palmer wanted it to be authentic in every detail but one. Titanic 2 would have enough life boats for every passenger.

The project to build Titanic 2 has hit a number of snags. It was due to be completed in 2016. The project, which had a budget of A$700 million, briefly ran out of money, but in 2018 the build was back on after Palmer found another A$150 million down the back of the sofa.

Whether the project will actually come off is unclear. After all the ship, although the height of luxury for 1912, would be lacking some basic amenities by today’s standards. TV, for instance, and the internet. And those 3rd class cabins might not be very appealing to passengers paying thousands of dollars to cruise the Atlantic.

For now, Clive Palmer seems happy with planning and building his ship. No doubt he learned the lessons that all little boys learn – building the boat is much more fun that sailing it afterwards.[5]

5 Write Your Name in the Sand

A day at the beach is normally a fairly cheap day out. With a few sandwiches, and a bucket and spade, you can have hours of fun without spending a penny. You can swim, paddle, sun-bathe, build sand-castles or, maybe, write your name in the sand with a stick.

When Hamad bin Hamdan al Nahyan went to the beach in 2011, however, he decided that a stick just wouldn’t do the job. If he was going to go to the effort of writing his name in the sand, he was going to use something a bit better than a stick.

And, obviously, he was not going to do the carving himself. Hamad bin Hamdan al Nahyan decided to have his name, thankfully for the local ecology, just his first name, carved into the sand in letters so big that you could see them from space. Each letter was half a mile tall, and the name covered 2 miles of beach on his private island.

The word could, indeed, be seen from space. However, in order to be visible at such a distance, the mechanical excavators that the Saudi prince used, had to dig quite deeply into the sand. In fact, they were so deep that they formed canals. As the tide came in, water would flow from letter to letter. Like a very expensive water feature.

Ordinarily, when the tide comes in it washes away graffiti in the sand in a few minutes. His channels, however, seemed destined to stay. Hamad’s name lasted a whole year, until the excavators returned and filled the letters in again.[6]

4 Fly First Class, With Your Hat

There’s nothing more annoying, if you’re rich, than having to talk to strangers on a plane. Flying first class might get you away from the really strange people, but still. Who wants to have to make small talk with people you don’t know?

Most people just have to put up with the inconveniences of travel, but rich people have options. If you are, for instance, Bono, you could buy a second seat in the first-class section, and tell everybody that you bought it for your hat.

Bono is famous for his hats, which, he claims, have ‘iconic status’. He once paid £1000 to have his hat flown out to him when he left it behind on a trip. The hat was given its own seat in the cock-pit before being collected by a chauffeur and driven to a concert hall in Italy where Bono was appearing in a benefit concert to raise relief funds for homeless Iraqis.

Usually, however, if he can’t fly by private plane, he buys the hat its own seat so that he doesn’t have to talk to people. Goodness knows what he does with the sunglasses.[7]

3 Smuggle a Stolen Dinosaur

Fossil collecting is a popular hobby. And, after seeing Jurassic Park, who wouldn’t want their own dinosaur? After all, if you had a T-Rex skeleton, a lot of money, and a bit of time on your hands, well, the possibilities are endless.

It is not known whether Nicolas Cage was actually trying to build his own Jurassic Park, when he bought the skull of a Tyrannosaurus. Maybe he just wanted something to decorate his den with. Either way, he bought the skull for $276,000, outbidding Leonardo Di Caprio to get it. Unfortunately, it turned out that the dinosaur had been stolen from Mongolia, and Mongolia was not happy about it.

The gallery that sold the piece had previously bought dinosaur relics from paleontologist Eric Prokopi, who, it turns out, was more of a smuggler than a scientist. While neither the gallery nor Nicolas Cage were implicated in any wrongdoing, Cage, who had been given a certificate of authenticity with his purchase, was forced to hand back the skull, while Prokopi had been given a 3-month jail sentence.[8]

2Enjoy a Drink

Picture the scene. You have had a hard day managing your hedge fund (whatever that is), and you return home to a nice relaxing drink. But when you look into the bottom of your glass you find, to your horror, an irregular shaped ice cube.

Can you imagine anything worse? Well, alright, maybe you can, but if you are very wealthy, you don’t have to. You could buy yourself a beautiful, hand-crafted, perfectly symmetrical, crystal clear ice cube for the bargain price of six bucks.

Only $6 for some water frozen into a nice square shape.

You do have to buy 50 at a time. But still, $300 for ice seems like a bargain.

Doesn’t it?[9]

1 Build a REALLY Big House

Building your own house may not seem a particularly ridiculous or obscene way to spend your money. After all, we all have to live somewhere, and property is a good investment, so they say. But, if you are living in a very poor city, surrounded by millions of people who own literally nothing, and do not have any sort of shelter, it might seem a little bit tactless to choose that exact spot to build your billion-dollar home.

Mukesh Ambani is the richest man in India, and is believed to be the 5th richest person in the world, with an estimated wealth of $22 billion. So, he could afford to splash out a little when it came to building a new home. And he must have given his builders carte blanche because the total bill for the build came in at $1 billion.

And just in case his poverty-stricken neighbors managed to overlook the house, he built it 27 floors high. And ugly.

Very very ugly.

Built in the middle poorest area of Mumbai, the house has a garage large enough to hold all 128 of Ambani’s cars, with a little extra room in case he finds 128 just aren’t enough. It also ‘boasts’ several swimming pools, a cinema, a ballroom, and a fair few panic rooms, in case the neighbors decide to break in.

Which might be a distinct possibility, not least because, if they were on the inside, they wouldn’t have to look at it.[10]

About The Author: Ward Hazell is a freelance writer and travel writer, currently also studying for a PhD in English Literature

fact checked by Jamie Frater