April 22, 2021

The Single Most Expensive Thing in the World

Have you ever thought what’s the most expensive thing in the world? Before answering that, it’s also important to note why we should know this? Honestly, there is no point in this, because we probably won’t be able to afford it, but you were the one who clicked on the video, you curious brat, so no judgments.

To answer the question of what could possibly be the most expensive thing in the world, let’s set out some rules.

  1.  It has to be one single thing – This is a tricky rule to define, but it’s all about whether or not something intuitively feels like it’s a single item. For example, a phone is made out of glass, metals, and plastics but forms a single item, therefore it could be accepted as such. But New York City cannot be accepted as a single item, because it is made up of many disparate things.
  2.  It has to really exist – This means that it cannot be a theory someone made, but it has to be a tangible thing.
  3.  And the last rule, it has to be accurately priced. – Things can get tricky here, because a price can technically be whatever the seller says it is, regardless of the item’s actual value. For example, if I take an old notebook that I own and say that it would cost $999 trillion to buy it off me, that doesn’t make the notebook the most expensive item in the world – it just makes me an annoying person. So, the standards to measure this rule will be based on one of these three things: 1. A previous purchase of that item; 2. The cost of creating the item, or an expert appraisal, and 3. The inflation adjustment.

Now that we have the rules, let’s start our research. And who has all the answers to our random questions? Google.

If you Google what’s the world’s most expensive substance, the first answer you’re going to get is antimatter. This substance is claimed to cost about $62.5 trillion per gram. And it’s true, but is not the answer to our question for two reasons: first of all, humanity has only ever created 18 nanograms of antimatter, which amounts to only $1,170,000 – which is less than the cost of the world’s most expensive office chair (that costs $1,500,000), let alone the world’s most expensive thing. Secondly, a substance doesn’t feel like it should count because it isn’t really a single item. If we decide to count it as a single item, we could then say that the answer is all the world’s gold. And, honestly, that would be one pretty lame answer.

Since we haven’t found the answer yet, let’s move on. Apple is the world’s most valuable corporation, worth $1.164 trillion. But still not the answer to our dilemma. And that’s because although Apple can be classified as one company, it still isn’t one thing – it consists of separate factories, warehouses, and physical stores, plus employees, intellectual property, and now, for some reason, a TV show about Jason Marmoa being blind, and that’s just too many things to be counted as one. So now let’s focus on those that could really qualify as one single thing. You’re probably thinking why didn’t we just point it out already, but kept on giving the wrong answers. Well, that’s for two reasons: because knowing these is interesting, and secondly, if we gave the answer right away, this video would be 10 seconds long. Lame.

Okay, so the first thing that came to mind when searching for the single most expensive item was art. And while the most expensive piece of art ever sold is the Salvator Mundi – a blurry-looking painting of Jesus – the most expensive piece of art in existence is the Mona Lisa. Mona Lisa’s painting is insured for about $850 million – enough to buy every person in Wyoming a round-trip ticket to Paris to see the Mona Lisa – but not enough to be the answer to our question.

*Accidentally* we looked up planes and the most expensive aircraft in the world is the B-2 Spirit Bomber, which costs $3.37 billion each. But still, not quite satisfied, so we looked up for boats. Like the most expensive plane, also the most expensive ship is another US military vessel. That most expensive ship is the USS Gerald R Ford, which costs $13 billion – but still not the answer we’re looking for.

The next stop is the buildings. Great Mosque of Mecca costs an estimated $100 billion. That is a lot of money -but while the Great Mosque of Mecca is expensive, it is beaten out by one thing, and here it is: the answer you’ve watched this entire video to learn – or, let’s be honest, the answer that you skipped to the end of the video to find. The world’s most expensive thing is the International Space Station, which adjusted for inflation, costs $177 billion, and look, I know: technically that’s not the most expensive thing “in the world” as te ISS isn’t “in the world”, it’s in space, but the way I see it, it’s not just floating in space, it’s in low earth orbit, it’s subject to the Earth’s gravity, it’ll fall back to Earth eventually, it was made by earth, and most importantly: I make the videos, I get to decide how I define the questions, and if you don’t like that, you can go form your own semi-statistical semi-educational YouTube channel.

In conclusion, you’ve got the answer!