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We see many wasteful projects daily, but some take the cake and display the highest opulence ever imagined. Based on the discussion in an online forum, here are the ten biggest wastes of money and resources in human history.
1. Sochi: The Ghost City
Six months after the 2014 Russian Olympics, the town worth $51 billion now stands abandoned. Property costs in such manufactured towns are beyond the capacity of average citizens, making it a hub of dubious investments.
2. The House Always Wins
Las Vegas is the world’s gambling capital, where the waste of money is prevalent. A minority of people in the casino gamble away their life savings and loans they took to chase this delusion. In one such case, Archie Karas ventured to Las Vegas in 1992 and borrowed $40 million only to lose
This $750 million hotel cost 2% of North Korea’s economy at the time of construction. Beyond the money spent, several power shortages occurred during construction as the nation’s resources were severely depleted. This state-level project was a bite too big to chew.
4. Mane Garrincha Stadium
$900 million were spent on this stadium due to fraud and corruption. After the World Cup, the stadium was left unused due to its exuberant maintenance costs. Many believe it to be the most enormous waste of money in Brazilian history.
5. Naypyidaw’s Empty Highway
In 2005, the capital of Myanmar was moved three hundred and twenty miles inland, where almost no development was happening. Instead of congested highways, Naypyidaw, the new capital city, faces the opposite problem of unused roads. As a member highlights, when a government tries to move away from its core city, it doesn’t end well, even if money is invested.
6. Time Is Money
In 1986, Danny Hillis designed the world’s first clock that would tick once a year with a century hand advancing once every hundred years. Since then, many small-scale versions of the clock have been made, but Danny Hillis’s foundation went ahead with a full-scale version worth $42 million in Nevada. Now, that’s a lot of money just to tell the time.
7. Failed Generosity
Mansa Musa, who many claim to be the wealthiest figure in history, went on a pilgrimage to Mecca. On his way, he showered everyone in the passing cities with so much gold; the coins graveled in the street. However, the unintended effect of such generosity was the rampant inflation seen by those cities in the coming decades.
8. Lit Lamps and Dark Futures
In 2022, an estimated 1.6 million oil lamps were lit to celebrate Diwali in India, setting the record for the highest number of lamps ever lit. While a core cultural moment, many are left questioning the thousands of liters of oil, resources, and energy invested in this event as the nation remains high on the Global Hunger Index.
9. A Glorified Tourist Attraction
The Palace of Versailles was built in the 17th century during King Louis XIV’s reign. Like most lavish structures in history, its construction cost was excessively high. Today, the palace serves as a symbol of French heritage, but let’s not forget the financial strain it put on the country at the time.
10. Sports Saga: Qatar’s Exuberant Expenditures
When hosting the FIFA 2022 World Cup, Qatar blew a staggering $200 billion. This wasted amount includes all sorts of infrastructures built from scratch by exploited labor in the middle of a desert. Like many other structures built for hosting sports events, the stadiums will serve little use now that the World Cup is over.
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