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Here are the most expensive things in the world, including the priciest car, house, NFT, watch, painting, jewel and footballer.
Most expensive NFT
Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) apply the blockchain verification system developed for cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, to digital artworks. An NFT is a unique digital token, akin to a certificate of authenticity, which confirms ownership of the "real" or "original" digital artwork.
The most expensive digital artwork sold at auction is EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS by digital artist Beeple (aka Mike Winkelmann). It was sold by Christies for $69,346,250 (£52.1 million) on 11 March 2020.
Back in 2007, when Beeple started posting art pieces online every day, he did not expect for a collage of them all to fetch such a princely sum 13 years later.
The jpg file was bought by Vignesh Sundaresan, known to the cryptocurrency community as MetaKovan.
Whilst the image is freely available online for anyone to view and download, Vignesh is the verified owner of the original. His ownership is logged in a blockchain (a digital, decentralized public ledger), meaning it can't be stolen.
Most expensive thing
The most expensive single object on Earth is the Itaipu hydroelectric dam on the Paraná River between Brazil and Paraguay. It cost $27 billion (£20.2 billion) to build in 1984 ($72 billion; £63 billion adjusted for inflation in 2021).
The Itaipu Dam – which is actually four dams joined together – took 18 years and 40,000 workers to build.
Construction involved re-routing the course of the Paraná River, shifting over 50 million tonnes of earth and rock in the process. Four rock-crushing centres and six concrete mixing plants were built on site, in addition to two monorails, seven aerial cableways and 13 tower cranes.
12.3 million m³ of concrete was used altogether. The Itaipu Dam also contains around 380 times more steel and iron than the Eiffel Tower.
The most expensive thing not on Earth is the International Space Station, which holds the record for the most expensive man-made object at a total cost of $150 billion (£112 billion).
Most expensive house built
The most expensive private house in the world is Antilia, a 27-storey personal skyscraper located in Mumbai, India. It is the home of billionaire Mukesh Ambani.
Completed in 2010, its construction cost approximately $2 billion (£1.2 billion).
Accommodating 600 staff and occupying a 4,532-square-metre (48,780 ft²) plot on Mumbai’s exclusive Altamount Road, the house features:
- Total living floor area of 37,000 m² (400,000 ft²)
- A health spa
- A 50-seat cinema
- A temple
- An ice cream room
- A ballroom
- A yoga studio
- Three helipads
- Several swimming pools
- Nine elevators
- 168 parking spaces
The house is named after the mythical Atlantic island of Antillia, and the design uses ancient Indian Vastu shastra ("science of architecture") principles.
Most expensive car
The world’s most expensive car is the 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO (4153 GT) racer. It was sold to David MacNeil (USA) in 2018 for $70,000,000 (£52.7 million).
The 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO is one of the rarest and most sought after cars in the world. Only 36 were ever built.
This particular model famously won the 1964 Tour de France Automobile, with Lucien Bianchi and Georges Berger behind the wheel.
With its 3-litre V12 engine, the 250 GTO can go from 0 to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds and reaches a max speed of 174 mph.
David MacNeil is a Ferrari fanatic and has at least 8 other models in his collection.
Most expensive painting
The world’s most expensive painting is Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci, which sold for $450,312,500 (£343 million), including buyer's premium, at an auction held by Christie's in New York, USA, on 15 November 2017.
It was purchased by Prince Badr bin Abdullah, allegedly on behalf of Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The painting depicts Jesus making the sign of the cross with his right hand, while holding a crystal orb in his left, signalling his role as Salvator Mundi (Saviour of the World).
Some specialists believe it was originally painted by Leonardo for the French Royal family, although there still remains speculation over the painting's origins, with some art historians attributing the work to one of da Vinci's apprentices.
Most expensive football player (soccer player), single transfer
On 3 August 2017, Neymar Jr (Brazil) transferred from FC Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain for a world record fee.
With financial backing from the State of Qatar, PSG activated Neymar’s release clause of €222 million ($262.8 million; £198.7 million).
Neymar’s eye-watering price tag is more than double that of the previous world record – €105 million ($116.4 million; £89.1 million), paid by Manchester United to Juventus for the transfer of Paul Pogba in 2016.
Most expensive jewel sold at auction
The CTF Pink Star, formerly known as the Steinmetz Pink and the Pink Star is an internally flawless pink 59.6-carat diamond.
It sold for HKD 553,037,500 ($71.2 million; £56.8 million) at a Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong on 4 April 2017.
Mined in 1999 by De Beers in Africa, the rare diamond was 132.5 carats in its rough state and took two years to cut and polish.
Now mounted on a ring, the oval-shaped diamond is the largest internally flawless or flawless fancy vivid pink diamond that the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has ever graded.
It was bought by Hong Kong conglomerate Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, who immediately renamed the diamond in memory of the late Dr. Cheng Yu-Tung, father of the current chairman and founder of Chow Tai Fook.
Most expensive watch sold at auction
The most expensive watch ever sold was a one-off stainless-steel edition of the Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300A, selling for 31 million Swiss francs ($33.6 million; £24.3 million).
The record-breaking bid was placed at the eighth Only Watch auction held at Christie's in Geneva, Switzerland, on 9 November 2019. 99% of the proceeds from this auction went to funding research into muscular dystrophy.
Several features make this watch unique; such as its one-off steel casing, the golden opaline and ebony-black dials, and an inscription on one of the dials of "The Only One".
The previous record was also held by a Patek Philippe & Co watch. 23.22 million Swiss francs ($24 million ; £15.1 million) was paid for the unique Henry Graves Jr Supercomplication in 2014.
Header image credit: Getty (Left), Shutterstock (Right)