It’s easy to forget that beneath all the glitz and glamour of stardom, celebrities are still just people like us. They each have their own hopes and desires. Unlike us, however, most of these eccentric billionaires have both the means and motivation to get what they want.
This combination can lead to some spectacularly bonkers purchases that should have Wikipedia entries of their own. Alas, we aren’t Wikipedia contributors, but we can provide you with a list of the craziest purchases made by billionaires. From golden toilets to multiple private jets, you might not want to believe what you’re about to read, but it is all true.
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The Golden Toilet of Kim Kardashian
We could easily fill a list of the Kardashian clan’s most eccentric endeavors, but the gold-covered bathroom of Kim K takes the cake. When the 40-year-old socialite married her equally extreme partner – the irreplaceable Kanye West – she spent approximately $900,000 covering their bathroom with gold. She also ended up spending an additional $400,000 on six new beds, and another $320,000 on the kitchen. Like we said, celebrities are just like us, right?
Beyonce’s Golden Leggings
Beyoncé has grown something of a reputation for flaunting her wealth and beauty. Why shouldn’t she? She’s one of the most successful singer-songwriters in the world, and for good reason, too. Regardless, one of her most memorable moments on-stage came when she appeared in a pair of golden Balenciaga leggings. This alone set her back some $100,000 – and who knows how much the rest of the performance cost? On second thought, maybe it’s better not knowing.
The Death Aquatic with Steve Cohen
One of the biggest criminal cases in hedge fund history wasn’t enough to keep Steve Cohen down for long. As of this year, he has still managed to maintain a net worth of some 14 billion dollars. One of Cohen’s more notable possessions is his collection of art, which happened to include a shark suspended in formaldehyde. This purchase is estimated to have cost somewhere between 8 and 12 million dollars. Cohen didn’t stop there, though. When the shark’s body began to deteriorate, he commissioned another one.
Mike Tyson’s Financial (Bath) Bomb
Mike Tyson has had a storied career to say the least, one that included spending no less than three years behind bars, a series of comeback fights, plenty of injuries, and a reputation of being one of the greatest professional boxers in history. Still, arguably one of his more eccentric pursuits involved Tyson spending at least 2 million dollars on a single bathtub for his then-wife Robin Givens as a Christmas present. Needless to say, Tyson was never great with his finances, and in 2003, he filed for bankruptcy.
Paris Hilton’s Beverly Hills Chihuahuas
Paris Hilton has proven herself to be a rather savvy businesswoman over the past couple of years, but much of the billionaire socialite’s earlier years involved plenty of scandals, sex, and what seemed to be sheer stupidity. Still, we’re not ones to judge, but the jaws of everyone across the world fell in unison when it was revealed that Hilton had spent at least $325,000 erecting a house identical to her own… for her chihuahuas. Needless to say, on that day, Hilton set a new standard for dog houses everywhere.
The Haunted Haus of Gaga
Lady Gaga is no stranger to monsters (heck, her fanbase is full of them), but she’s also well-acquainted with ghosts, it seems. For years, she claims she’s been haunted by a ghost named Ryan, and she has gone to some desperate measures to stave him off. This culminated in her purchase of a “ghost detector”, which set the singer-songwriter back by at least $50,000. Fear is a powerful motivator, after all.
Elon Musk On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
To our knowledge, Elon Musk is not a British spy, but that certainly didn’t stop the American tech mogul from purchasing a Lotus Esprit submarine, valued at $866,000. The vehicle appeared in The Spy Who Loved Me, the tenth film in the James Bond series. Apparently, Elon Musk hoped to turn fiction into reality when he bought the machine – we wonder how far he got.
The Lost World of Nicolas Cage
In a list based on the eccentricities of famous celebrities and billionaires, Nic Cage may still reign supreme when it comes to behavior that’s… well, just downright strange, if we’re being honest. While we could easily make a list of the craziest things the actor has done across the span of his “illustrious” career, one of his stranger pursuits involved the auction of a dinosaur skull, which he bought for $276,000. It was later discovered that the skull had, in fact, been stolen and illegally released in Mongolia. Eventually, Cage relinquished his score to its rightful owners, though we wouldn’t be surprised if he had been involved in the theft in the first place.
Paul Allen’s Navy
Next to Bill Gates, Paul Allen is one of the most successful stories to ever come out of Microsoft, and at the time of his death in 2018, he was valued at almost 21 billion dollars in net worth. Among his most lavish expenses was a 126 meter-long yacht, which held two helicopters, a submarine, and enough extra space to host decadent parties. The name of this monolithic ship was the Octopus. He also had a smaller one, aptly named Tatoosh.
The Sonogram Machine of Tom Cruise
We may have lied when we said that celebrities are just like us at the beginning of this article. They’re not, and Tom Cruise is a testament to that sentiment. For a man who doesn’t believe in the virtues of certain aspects of modern science and medicine (such as therapy, for one), he sure seemed to have a soft spot for obstetrics when he purchased a $200,000 sonogram machine to monitor the health of his then-wife Katie Holmes and that of their unborn child. We’re not sure what happened to the machine after the divorce, but he probably didn’t have much use for it after he discovered Scientology.
The Leicester Code of Leonardo Da Vinci… of Bill Gates
Bill Gates is one of the wealthiest men in the world, and his inclusion on this list should surprise no one. Among his many, many expenses is the Leicester Code, one of the handwritten manuscripts of Leonardo Da Vinci – yes, that Leonardo Da Vinci. It was valued at over 30 million dollars at the time of its purchase by Gates. We have no idea what insights it had to offer the Microsoft genius, but we sure hope it was worth it.
Richard Branson’s Virgin Sealines
Richard Branson owns an island. Let that sink in. Where most people would have a backyard, he has an entire shoreline to himself. Still, he’s not selfish about it. In fact, many guests have stayed at his residence – called Necker Island – for a spell, enjoying the hypnotic sunshine and the sounds of the ocean. When strolls on the beach aren’t enough, there’s always Branson’s own private yacht (the Necker Belle) or his submarine (the Necker Nymph). What a nice guy.
Mark Cuban Airlines
One thing is clear now that you’ve reached the end of our list – celebrities are not at all like us. For most people, family time means Christmas dinner, brunch on a Sunday, or a picnic in the park. For Mark Cuban, it meant purchasing no less than three private jets in what was one of the biggest purchases ever at the time, over 40 million dollars. These jets included a Gulfstream V, a Boeing 757, and a Boeing 767. Cuban and his family use these jets for business trips and luxury time, and the billionaire has since claimed that these aircraft symbolized a turning point in his life.