Throughout history, people have often found themselves asking the question, ‘What is the most expensive thing in the world?’ There has been a lot of debate as to what exactly makes something more valuable than others. Some would say it’s valued, while others might say it’s a rarity.
The 12 Most Expensive Thing in the World
International Space Station ($100 billion+)
The International Space Station is the first most expensive thing in the world in our list. The International Space Station (ISS) is a space station, or a habitable artificial satellite, in low Earth orbit. Its first component launched into orbit in 1998. The ISS consists of pressurized modules, external trusses, solar array wings, and other components.
ISS components have been launched by Russian Proton and Soyuz rockets, American Space Shuttles (STS), and European unmanned rockets like the Ariane 5. The station is divided into multiple pressurized independent modules, which make up the Russian Zvezda Service Module, the American Unity Module, and the European Columbus module.
Each of the ISS’s components has its propulsion system (internal and external) or a separate propulsion unit. The spacecraft can also be unmanned: for example, the Russian Fregat booster rocket has been used to send Progress probe modules (spacecraft) to Low Earth Orbit and to occasionally place its payload in a higher orbit around Earth (so-called Transfer Orbit).
The ISS serves as a microgravity and space environment research laboratory in which crew members conduct experiments in biology, human biology, physics (such as fluid physics), astronomy, meteorology, and other fields.
The station is suited for the testing of spacecraft systems and equipment required for missions to the Moon and forward to Mars. The ISS maintains an orbit with an altitude of between 330 kilometers (205 mi) and 435 kilometers (270 mi) using reboost maneuvers using the engines of the Zvezda module or visiting spacecraft. It completes 15.54 orbits per day.
The ISS program is a joint project among five participating space agencies: NASA (United States), Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (European Space Agency), and CSA (Canada).
The ownership and use of the space station are established by intergovernmental treaties and agreements. The station is divided into two sections, the Russian Orbital Segment (ROS) and the United States Orbital Segment (USOS), which is shared by many nations.
As of January 2014, the American portion of ISS was funded until 2024. Roscosmos has endorsed the continued operation of ISS through 2024 but has proposed using elements of the Russian Orbital Segment to construct a new Russian space station called OPSEK (“Russian Orbital Station of Alternative Approach”).
VH71 Kestrel($13.2 billion)
The VH71 Kestrel is the second most expensive thing in the world in our list. The world’s most expensive helicopter is a VH71 Kestrel by Lockheed Martin that estimated to cost US$13.2 billion to produce. It is a proposed fleet of 28 VH71 Kestrel helicopters. This has set the record for the most expensive helicopter.
Yacht History Supreme ($4.5 Billion)
The Yacht History Supreme is the third most expensive thing in the world in our list. History Supreme, a new superyacht by British luxury design house Stuart Hughes, is the most expensive yacht ever made. It cost nearly $5 billion to build and required almost 3 years to complete.
Malaysian Billionaire Lim Goh Tong recently bought this vessel for a staggering 4.5 billion dollars according to Boat International Magazine. This 100-foot vessel is not the only costly purchase he has been making lately either because of his recent purchase of the world’s second-largest diamond for 2 million dollars as well as his previous investment in Virgin Galactic.
The History Supreme features a bulbous bow crafted from aluminum and fiberglass, while the stern is fitted with a sweeping “wave” of carbon fiber. The yacht makes use of three masts: one mainmast, a foremast, and an aft-capstan. There are six guest cabins on board with teak decks, marble walls, and marble statues.
The crew consists of 32 staff members as well as 10 British Royal Navy seamen and three officers. The yacht has a helicopter deck with a hangar big enough to hold two helicopters. A submarine is also located onboard the History Supreme.
The Art and technology of this vessel are worth 4.5 billion dollars. It is an extremely stable boat, capable of handling any sea and weather condition possible due to its advanced stabilization systems that utilize gas turbine engines, can produce up to 43,000 horsepower, as well as 75 megawatts of power for its propulsion. The History Supreme is also able to launch and recover twice a day using its retractable bow ramp.
The yacht has the capacity for over 100 guests, with a maximum speed of 18 knots, and can be used as a training vessel. It has 10 luxurious suites with private plunge pools on deck, along with dining rooms that accommodate up to 70 guests at one time. The entire yacht is made from wood as well as metal, which uses only solar energy for power.
The yacht is equipped with an assortment of the best modern technology, including four plasma screen TVs; satellite-linked iPads for all guests; and a multi-sensor navigation system that plots the History Supreme’s position every 15 minutes.
This Boat is so lavish that it could be compared to a floating palace. This is one of the best Luxury Yachts in the World.
US-made B-2 Spirit ($2.7 Billion)
The bomber flies is the fourth most expensive thing in the world in our list. The bomber flies at a speed of 600 miles per hour. Its maximum range is 8,800 nautical miles and the aircraft’s altitude can reach 50,000 feet. The B-2 has computer-controlled bombs making it one of the most accurate bombers in the US military arsenal.
With these specifications, the B-2 was able to perform its missions in Kosovo, Serbia and Libya without ever being detected by radar (as it stands today). The B-2 can carry more than 20,000 pounds of weapons, including cruise missiles and nuclear bombs.
The Air Force Intelligence report states that the plane’s radar can not detect other aircraft for more than 2,000 feet. The plane also has a fourth engine to prevent seizing up in turbulence.
The report notes that the plane is built in Ohio, with components from 42 states being used to build it. In addition to Michigan and Ohio, Texas has also helped in the production of B-2s.
The plane cost approximately $2.7 billion to build, and its first flight took place in 1997. As of 2011, only 61 B-2s had been built, with plans to produce the aircraft at five times its current rate.
The report notes that the plane’s size is crucial to its stealth capabilities. In terms of height and width, the plane is 13 feet shorter than a Boeing 747, and it has a length of 118 feet longer than a Boeing 757.
Its length allows it to be re-used five times in flight, to allow airframe components to be swapped out over the course of the plane’s lifetime, which means fewer components need to be manufactured. This saves time, money and materials.
The B-2 made its first appearance at the London Air show on June 1, 2012, joining self-driving cars and other cutting edge technologies as one of the most practical innovations in transportation.
Antilla ($2.6 Billion)
The Antilla is the fifth most expensive thing in the world in our list. Meet Antilla—Mukesh Ambani’s 27-storey Mumbai residence. For those of you unfamiliar with this name, Mukesh is India’s richest billionaire who heads a $43 billion empire. The house is owned by Mukesh and he resides there with his wife Nita.
Let us now delve into the lavishness that Antilla entails – what it looks like inside, how it functions and its specifications.
What does Antilla look like?
The 27-storey residence is located in the central business district of Mumbai, located near the iconic Marine Drive. The building takes up a 5,000 square meter plot. It has a total of six storeys that are fully functional and available for public use. On the ground floor, there are three reception halls, which also have meeting rooms on either side.
The three floors above the ground level consist of three huge ‘Antilia’ logos made up of bronze, which seem to be worth $15 million. A large bronze-made sculpture of a bird is also present in front of the building.
As you enter the house, you reach the so-called “hallway,” which is as big as a five-star hotel lobby. The hallway also has a marble flooring, much like what one finds in Vienna’s Hofburg Palace. The hallway leads to a spiral staircase, which, in turn, leads to the entrance lobby and the main reception hall.
The entrance lobby is made of Italian marble and light-colored oak wood. The reception hall on the other hand has an area of 2,600 square feet and looks more like a ballroom than a reception hall. It also has an open kitchen and a dining area, which overlooks the Arabian Sea.
What are the specifications?
Antilia stands at 270 meters tall or 853 feet. The exterior of the house is constructed using materials such as granite, sandstone, limestone, and marble. The building also has inside and outside kitchens on each of its six storeys. Antilia can accommodate up to 16 guests in its five guest rooms and 30 guests in its one-bedroom suites. Each of these rooms has a separate gym and an additional swimming pool.
There is also a Jacuzzi on the ground floor, which contains spa facilities. The house has a total of 60 parking spaces for cars and 250 guest parking spaces, which can accommodate 168-cars. There is a 9,000 square feet garden on the fourth floor, which is designed like the Italian parterre.
How does the house work?
Apart from its two helipads, there are also two landing pads on the topmost third floor. The helipads have a capacity of 10 helicopters, though in reality only three will be used. The house has a ballroom, which has a capacity of 50-people and is equipped with the latest technology and equipment.
The ballroom is on the third floor and overlooks the Arabian Sea. The entire fourth floor, like said earlier, is a huge garden. The topmost fifth floor is where Mukesh resides with his family, along with three private elevators to take them to their personal floors.
What’s on the list?
The house has many luxury features, though most of these are not visible. Perhaps the most well known features of the house are its three helipads, which will allow Mukesh to travel in his private helicopters. The house also has its own helipad bar and club.
The whole 27 storeys of the building are also fully sound-proofed and completely air-conditioned. The air-conditioning is based on the ‘Icelandic geothermal cooling technology’. Although this would seem like a normal thing to have in Mumbai, it would in fact be the most advanced cooling system in the world used in residential buildings.
The building also has special escape routes, which lead directly to five other buildings in the vicinity – thus giving access to security personnel. The escape routes have walls made with bullet-proof glass and the windows are made of unbreakable material.
The house also has three kitchens on each floor, which are interconnected with ramps, in case one kitchen is not working. There is a home theater on the topmost floor along with a 50-seater capacity conference room as well. The house also has a ballroom, which can hold as many as 50 people at any given time. To facilitate this, there is a small seating area on each floor, which can hold 50-people or 10-people at a time.
Antilia has other features as well. The house has five guest rooms on the ground floor and nine suites on the seventh floor. The fifth and sixth floor also have penthouse suites for Mukesh’s family as well as for former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who usually stays in the house during his visits to Mumbai.
Hubble Space Telescope ($1.3 Billion)
The Hubble Space Telescope is the sixth most expensive thing in the world in our list. The Hubble Space Telescope is a NASA satellite named after American astronomer Edwin Hubbell, who designed it while working as a research scientist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center during the 1960s.
The telescope was built by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) with contributions from the European Space Agency (ESA). NASA Goddard Space Flight Center manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) conducts Hubble’s science programs.
STScI is operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) in Washington, D.C., which also manages Chandra X-ray Observatory and Compton Gamma Ray Observatory.
Villa Leopolda ($750 Million)
The villa is the seventh most expensive thing in the world in our list. The villa was commissioned by King Leopold II of Belgium, who desired a palatial home that would adequately demonstrate the grandeur of his royal lineage to European monarchs visiting France.
The architect was Eustache Charles-Joseph Mangin, who died before the villa was completed. His successor, Henri Senetsky, completed the work later in the 19th century.
The house is made up of a large main building and several annexes. The main building contains an entrance hall and a great hall which open into the library with wooden bookcases and the ballroom with marbled flooring.
A hallway leads to a series of rooms on either side with bathrooms opening off each end of the corridor. The lounge has an 18th-century fireplace, over which is a painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The bedroom wing comprises the master bedroom with a private terrace and a marble bathtub and the children’s bedrooms. The villa also has an underground sewage system connected to a nearby cave.
The grounds have extensive landscaped gardens with mature pine and palm trees, colourful flower beds and statues of lions, monkeys, birds and other animals. The gardens are mostly laid out in the French style, with central paths.
Salvator Mundi ($450 Million)
The Salvator Mundi is the eighth most expensive thing in the world in our list. With the $450 million painting known as “Salvator Mundi” coming back to the spotlight, it’s time to remember its rich and storied background. Leonardo da Vinci is perhaps the most famous artist in history. And, in addition to doing so much on his own, he also painted this phenomenal piece called “The Salvator Mundi”.
It was last bought by Saudi Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud at a Christie’s auction for an enormous sum of $450 million. The man has a history of purchasing ridiculously expensive art, such as the famous “Le Grand Monarque” that he bought for his collection for $450 million.
When Will You Marry? ($300 Million)
The “When Will You Marry?” is the ninth most expensive thing in the world in our list. It depicts a Tahitian woman who, upon seeing the viewer, hurriedly covers her face with her hands. Despite its questionable message, this painting is striking and memorable. The work went on to become one of Gauguin’s most famous pieces.
The Card Players ($250 Million)
The Card Players is the tenth most expensive thing in the world in our list. The Card Players was painted in the artist’s studio, located at 8 rue de Courcelles, Paris. The painting is quite large, measuring 194 x 225 cm (6.4 x 7.4 ft), and took two years to complete.
With all the four figures represented on a single canvas there was far less work showing the effects of perspective, and Courbet’s style was considered by many as “flat” and “unrealistic”.
It is a large-scale oil on canvas painting depicting two old farmers playing a card game in a barn. There is an intense gaze and intimacy that Courbet captures in this particular piece, which was greatly influenced by the realism of Gustave Flaubert and his 1853 novel “Sentimental Education”.
The precursor to the Impressionist movement, Courbet drew a large number of sketches, over 300 paintings and several sculptures. It was during this time that he created his most famous painting “The Card Player”.
Inspired by the painting’s subject’s solitude, as well as darker themes in the artist’s life such as illness and guilt, Courbet poured all his passions into its creation. Benjamin Disraeli, while visiting the Louvre in 1856, describes it as “the most perfect picture I have ever seen”, when entering the “History of French Painting” room.
The Dream Jet, BBJ 787 ($239 Million)
The Boeing Business Jet is the eleventh most expensive thing in the world in our list. The Boeing Business Jet is one of the most lavish and extravagant aircraft in the world. Its architects claim it is “a game changer,” as it offers everything from inflight catering, entertainment systems and even a soundproof glass-encased shower.
It boasts a 3,267 square-foot (293 square meter) cabin and showers that can be used while flying. The choice of music is also customizable and the designers claim it even has an interesting “stretch zone” in the toilet.
Masjid al-Haram ($100 Million)
The Masjid al-Haram is the twelfth most expensive thing in the world in our list. Masjid al-Haram, also known as the Great Mosque of Mecca is one of the most important and frequented buildings in Islam.
It is both religiously significant and expensive, with millions of worshippers around the world coming to pray to its Holy Kaaba. This building has been a prominent figure in Islam since at least AD 692. It is also one of the most famous places in the world.
Masjid al-Haram has a very large span, extending back as far as 11 kilometers (6.8 miles). The Holy Kaaba makes up the central focus of this space and is at the center of all Muslim prayers. In addition, it has been a prominent religious site for over 1,000 years. It is also one of the religious sites where Muhammad took his last breath. It is also the site of striking religious and historical events.
It has been used for other important events, including the story of Abraham and Ishmael. It has also been confirmed that the Holy Kaaba was a significant historical location during Jesus Christ’s death. In addition to its religious significance, it is also a monumental landmark that can be seen from space. With over 80 mosques throughout the world, Masjid al-Haram is one of the most important religious sites in the world.