Forget “An Arm and a Leg” — Here’s The Really Expensive Stuff

We refer to something outlandishly expensive as "costing an arm and a leg." Perhaps a better comparison would be the cost of a unit of blood. The sale of body parts is illegal in most parts of the world, so it is hard to evaluate the fair market value for an arm and a leg.... Continue Reading →


The Getty Kidnapping: How Much is a Grandson’s Life Worth?

  Jean Paul Getty (1892-1976) was one of the wealthiest man in the world. In 1966 the Guinness Book of Records named him as the wealthiest man on the planet with a fortune of $1.2 billion ($9.1 billion in 2017). He earned his fortune in the oil business, and in 1996 The Wealthy 100 ranked him as the 67th... Continue Reading →

If You Can’t Afford This Fruit, You’ll Be Melon-choly

The Densuke watermelon -- commonly known as a black watermelon -- is a luxury item. Grown only on the island of Hokkaido, Japan, this gourmet fruit sells in department stores for $200 - $300 apiece. In 2008 one 17-pound Densuke melon sold at auction for $6,100. Connoisseurs tell us that the melon is unusually crisp, with... Continue Reading →

The Gift That Didn’t Please His Wife

Cecil Chubb (1876-1934) was in the market for the perfect gift for his wife and thought he found just the thing. Apparently thinking that her love for "big stones" meant something other than diamond jewelry, Chubb purchased Stonehenge for her. The world-famous landmark became his for £6,600 (£477,000 or $624,000 in 2016 values). He was rather... Continue Reading →

That’s Bloody Expensive!

One of the most expensive substances on the planet comes from one of it's unlikeliest -- and ugliest -- sources: the horseshoe crab. The bright blue blood of the of these inhabitants of shallow ocean waters fetches an astonishing $60,000 per gallon. With one gallon containing 75,708 drops, this equates to each drop of blood being worth... Continue Reading →

Do You Want Your Peanut Butter Creamy, Crunchy, or Diamond?

Peanut butter has been a source of delight since the time of the Aztecs, and just when it seems well decided that nothing can be done to improve upon an already good thing, scientists have figured out a way to make peanut butter even better. Geophysicist Dan Frost has subjected peanut butter to forces equal... Continue Reading →

All that Glitters Might be in Fort Knox

Completed in 1937, the United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox, Kentucky is the primary location of the US gold reserves and other precious items. According to the December 31, 2015 report of the US Bureau of Fiscal Service, Fort Knox holds 147,341,858.382 ounces of the 261,498,926.230 ounces in the total US reserve. At December 31, 2015... Continue Reading →

You Can Buy a Lot of Fries for That

Someone really likes potatoes -- or at least pictures of potatoes. Someone likes them enough to shell out a lot of money for one particular potato picture. Kevin Abosh, an Irish visual artist and portrait photographer sold his picture of a potato against a black background to an unnamed European businessman for €1 million ($1,095,850). The... Continue Reading →

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