6 Extravagant Deeds Done by Rich People in History

Most wealthy people are known for their unnerving displays of ostentation, but there are a few instances in history of characters who went far beyond reasonable limits.

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They say that money isn’t everything in life, but surely the day-to-day life of the rich must be much more interesting than that of us, mere mortals. And if not, ask the great rich people of history, who overstepped the bounds of extravagance with attitudes that became both ridiculous and bizarre. Take a look at some of these cases below.

1. Caligula swimming in gold.

As you probably already know, the Roman Emperor Caligula loved parties where drinking and unbridled sex abounded, but what you may not know is that he had a fetish for gold that bordered on the truly absurd. He was so fond of this precious metal that he ordered his servants to gather as much of the material he owned in a place where he could roll or even swim over it.


He used to say that he loved the feeling of gold touching his skin. Caligula would also have fed his favorite horse by giving it oats mixed with gold. On the other hand, he insisted on serving his friends with loaves made of solid gold with the sole aim of showing off his immense wealth.

When he wasn’t wallowing in the gold, Caligula used to throw the golden material on the ground just so he could walk on it. Obviously, he also used a lot of gold without any restriction in his clothes and accessories.

2. The Marquess of Anglesey and his costume.

Henry Cyril Paget, also known as the 5th Marquess of Anglesey, was a legendary figure in late 19th- and early 20th-century England, known throughout the country primarily for his unhealthy consumption habits and fixation on clothing.

Henry Cyril Paget

In his lifetime, Paget spent the entirety of his family’s fortune, most of which he invested in buying clothes. The Marquess of Anglesey was famous for wearing suits encrusted with precious stones, which he wore only once and never touched again.

Among Paget’s greatest extravagances are several that seem like apocryphal stories, one of the most famous being when he was forced to sell his belongings once he found himself bankrupt. At the time, 100 silk bathrobes were found among her wardrobe. Another well-known extravagance of this man was when he requested that his entire fleet of private vehicles be modified so that they emitted perfume instead of smoke from the exhaust. For more pleasant pollution.

3. Gordon Bennett and his cow.

James Gordon Bennett Jr. he was a sought-after bachelor at the dawn of the nineteenth century and the son of the founder of the New York Herald. Born in a cradle of gold, Gordon grew up with all the pomp of someone of his class, and when he became an adult the only thing he enjoyed doing was spending mountains of money.

According to various sources at the time, Bennett spent close to $40 million in his lifetime and most of the time making little money. For example, on one occasion when he allegedly threw a wad of bills into the fire just because they didn’t fit in his pocket.

Gordon Bennett

When a person who saw the scene tried to return the bills, he yelled back, saying that the fire was where the money had to stay. On another occasion, Bennett bought an entire restaurant just because someone was sitting on the chair at his favorite table.

But Bennett’s most extravagant acquisition may have been his yacht, which he had built when he realized that an old boat he owned wasn’t so ostentatious. But what’s so extravagant about this? Well, the man had a room set up exclusively for a cow. In this way, Bennett would have fresh butter prepared by the employees every day with milk fresh from his heifer.

As if that wasn’t strange enough, to ensure that the cow was always happy, he had a fan installed that blew a gentle breeze over the cow and the best of all covers to make it endure the winter. A butter of real quality.

4. Marie Antoinette’s hair.

Marie Antoinette of Austria led a life marked by controversy, but also by luxury and opulence. For example, this woman discarded her beautiful custom-made dresses after just one wear, which would probably explain why she had about 300 made a year.

Marie Antoinette

However, another point that drew a lot of attention in matters of extravagance was the way he organized and treated his hair. Once, the woman covered her entire hair with flour at a time when the product was scarce for the people. On another occasion, the lady appeared at a party with a miniature boat on her head. An extremely “discreet” woman.

5. Kim Jong II and the Lobsters.

During his time as North Korea’s supreme leader, Kim Jong Il used his position of absolute power to satisfy his every whim. While the people were starving and droves were dying, the Supreme Leader was buying thousands of bottles of cognac to stock his private cellar.

Kim Jong II

According to a Japanese chef who prepared sushi for Kim Jong Il, each grain of rice was manually inspected before being cooked and served on plates. “Defective” grains of rice were discarded from the food.

Perhaps the best example of Kim Jong Il’s flamboyance, however, came from a testimony by a Russian spy, Konstantin Pulikovsky, who reported that, while traveling with the leader on his private train, he had live lobsters being flown by helicopter to the carriage to be prepared fresh. To eat them, the boy used silver chopsticks.

6. Cleopatra’s pearls.

As one of the most powerful women in all of history, Cleopatra had all the wealth of Egypt at her feet. For some historians, she is considered to be one of the richest people in all of history with a personal net worth estimated at $95 billion today.

Cleopatra Jolie

Although the exact number will probably never be known, suffice it to say that Cleopatra had enough money to live a much, very good life. One of the most curious treasures that Cleopatra supposedly had were the largest pearls on Earth. We say “supposedly” because they don’t exist anymore, and apparently, Cleopatra drank all those pearls. Just like you just read!

As explained by Pliny the Elder in his Natural History, Cleopatra placed one of the largest pearls ever seen by mankind in a container of pure vinegar so that it could dissolve and become a “drinkable” substance. In this way, she was able to drink the pearl after a bet.

The Queen supposedly made this expensive cocktail when her lover Mark Antony bet her that she wouldn’t be able to spend a “small fortune” on a single meal. In response, Cleopatra removed a pearl from her own earrings and threw it into the vinegar.

According to Lucius Munatius Plancus, the man in charge of overseeing the bet, the pearl was worth the equivalent of 800 kilograms of gold and it was only because of his intervention that Cleopatra’s other earring survived. If this guy hadn’t stopped him, Cleopatra would have drunk the equivalent of 1600 kilograms of gold, and all for a stupid bet.

Years ago it was believed that the story was a myth, but a researcher revealed that, in fact, vinegar manages to dissolve a pearl in just ten minutes, if it was crushed beforehand.

Source: Listverse.com



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