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10 of the most expensive and most surprising materials on Earth.

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# eculizumab, $236 per gram. 

Priced at $236 per gram or $6,690 per ounce,

eculizumab

eculizumab

Eculizumab is the most expensive legal drug in the world, and is sold under the name Solaris.The reason is simple enough, it’s currently the only medication available to treat two orphan diseases, paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome.These rare diseases cause the body’s immune system to attack its own blood cells, and often lead to death. Although doctors say there’s insufficient evidence to prove that eculizumab improves life expectancy, the FDA has recommended it as the first-choice therapy for adults and children who suffer from these terrible illnesses. A year’s treatment will set you back around half a million dollars a year, way out of reach of most people. But if it’s the only option you have, how much is too much? Some have asked whether pharmaceutical companies should even be allowed to charge this much when they know the customer will either cough up the dough or give up the ghost.

#9 LSD $3,000 per gram.

Lysergic acid diethylamide

Lysergic acid diethylamide

It’s one thing spending your money on drugs that save your life, but another when it’s mind-bending hallucinogenic costing $85,000 an ounce. LSD, short for Lysergic acid diethylamide,is the go-to drug of choice for hippies and conspiracy theorists. An incredibly potent recreational drug that can send users on a 12-hour journey to the depths of their subconscious. Creating psychedelic visual effects and even changing your perception of reality, it’s not a drug to be taken lightly. It’s also very difficult to manufacture, partly because it’s illegal of course and this explains its high cost. A gram will set you back about $3000, although this drug is taken in such minute doses that a gram is probably far, far more than anyone would ever need. The psychedelic drug is mainly used for fun, but its most enthusiastic devotees claim it has spiritual powers as a window into the endless plane of infinite consciousness. There is even a cult called the League for Spiritual Discovery that considers LSD a holy sacrament. Maybe they have a point, but then again maybe they’ve just been indulging in too many of their brain-melting communion wafers.

#8 plutonium, $4,000 per gram.

plutonium,

plutonium

Possessing the highest atomic number of all-natural elements, Plutonium, costing $113,000 per ounce, has nothing to do with the planet Pluto except its name is derived from it. In fact, plutonium is a highly radioactive metal with a silvery-gray appearance, and its main use is in the production of nuclear weapons and energy. Plutonium generates the power required to heat homes, propel giant submarines, or incinerate whole cities. It’s a rare earth element found only in traces within uranium deposits, and the process to extract it is an arduous one. Its obtained by burning uranium, the very same method used in nuclear reactors. Even if you could afford to buy some, you would very quickly get a knock on the door from the FBI because this is a tightly controlled substance, and with good reason. Inhaling and ingesting Plutonium dust is deadly, and even being near it can cause your DNA to mutate, causing cancers.

#7, taaffeite, $20,000 per gram.

taaffeite

taaffeite

Extremely beautiful to look at and a hundred times rarer than diamonds, taaffeite is a precious stone worth $567,000 per ounce, with colors that range from lilac to violet, brown to red, blue to green and translucent. This rare gemstone was originally believed to be a Spinel, another precious stone with a very similar structure. The mineral has been found in deep rock formations in Sri Lanka, and contains beryllium, magnesium and aluminum as its main structural components. Even though taaffeite is strikingly unique, it’s not a popular choice for jewelry. But for a collector, it is one of the most sought after,and therefore, one of the most expensive.

#6, benitoite, $25,000 per gram.

benitoite

benitoite

Often called the blue diamond, benitoite is an extremely rare blue barium titanium silicate mineral priced at $709,000 per ounce. Its color ranges from nearly transparent to violet,and under the short waves of ultraviolet light, benitoite fluoresces a bright blue color. The metamorphic rock was discovered in 1907near the headwaters of the San Benito River,the only place this gem can be found. Sadly, the benitoite mine is no longer active, which has added to the value of this prized blue rock. Due to its cerulean shades, Benitoite was initially thought to be a form of sapphire, and today it’s regarded as the official gemstone of California.

#5 tritium, $30,000 per gram.

tritium

tritium

This radioactive gas puts the H in the Hydrogen bomb.You may have learned about tritium, an isotope of Hydrogen, in middle school chemistry. But you might not have known it’s worth a whopping $850,000 per ounce! Tritium occurs naturally only in trace amounts. It’s formed in the Earth’s atmosphere through interaction with cosmic rays, and a tiny amount can be found in water bodies.If you were to produce it yourself, it would cost you about 15 million a pound. Tritium is a radioactive material, but is strangely safe compared to other radioactive substances, most of which can kill, incinerate or poison. This is pretty lucky because if Tritium was dangerous, we’d be in serious trouble, the valuable gas is dissolved in rain and present in the water we drink. Currently, Tritium is mainly used in research as a component in nuclear weapons, neutron generators and fusion reactors. And of course, it’s present in those fluorescent lights that glow for up to 25 years!

#4 diamond, $55,000 per gram.

diamond

diamond

Are you surprised that Diamond isn’t on the top of the list? Well, at one and a half million dollars per ounce, it’s the fourth most expensive substance in the world. But interestingly, diamonds aren’t even particularly rare. So why are they so valuable? Well, the answer is good PR.Thanks to the intense cultural importance assigned to them by movies, advertisements and songs like Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend, the shiny stones have become must-have items. Billions of years old and formed hundreds of miles underground in Earth’s crust, a diamond is almost 100% carbon. Its the extreme pressure that turns common old carbon into a beautiful, shining crystalline structure. Its name is derived from the Greek word adamas, meaning invincible, and the ancient Greeks considered diamonds to be tears cried by the gods. are found in the average candle’s flame, so that’s why candlelight dinners are romantic.If we ever ran out of diamonds on Earth, the universe has us covered. Approximately fifty light years away, there’s a 10 billion-trillion-trillion carat diamond star in the sky called Lucy,

named after the famous Beatles song, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

#3 californium, 25 million a gram.

californium

californium

Weighing in at over 700 million an ounce, Californium isn’t only crazy expensive, it’s also frighteningly radioactive and volatile. Its instability makes it one of the most dangerous chemical elements in existence. Sitting beyond uranium on the periodic table, it’s an actinide element that was first synthesized in 1950 at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory by directing a high-speed stream of alpha particles at curium. After einsteinium, it is the heaviest of all the elements that have been manufactured in amounts large enough to see with the naked eye. But if it’s so dangerous, why are people making it? Well, when other radiation therapies have been deemed ineffective, Californium is used in the treatment of cervical and brain cancers,destroying cancer cells with intense doses of radiation in a last-ditch attempt to save lives.Other than that, very little is known about its properties. It doesn’t occur in nature and its huge price tag makes it difficult to study regularly.

#2 buckminsterfullerene, 150 million per gram.

buckminsterfullerene

buckminsterfullerene

Buckminsterfullerene is a molecule with a hollow cage-like structureresembling a soccer ball, as well as being a very high scoring word to get in scrabble. Buckminsterfullerene would cost over 4 billion dollars per ounce and is popularly known as the magic molecule. Its discoverers, Harold Kroto, Robert Curl,James R. Heath, and Richard Smalley were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1996 for finding it. Composed entirely of carbon, it is a form of fullerene found in soot,and has been identified far away in deep space. It is composed of twenty hexagons and twelve pentagons and is affectionately nicknamed the Bucky Ball. The molecule was named after a renowned architect Buckminster Fuller,who has designed many geodesic dome structures that resemble the molecule’s structure. And there’s a reason Buckminsterfullerene is called the magic molecule, too. The interior of Bucky balls is so large that they can easily entrap any element from the periodic table without reacting to them. Thanks to this unique property, Bucky Balls can be used electrically for insulation, conduction, semi conduction and even super conduction. They have a plethora of other applications such as in lubricants, catalysts, drug delivery systems, photovoltaics, and antioxidants. It’s the usefulness of this custom-built molecule that gives it it’s gigantic value. Before I reveal the most expensive material on earth, I want to mention a few more super-expensive materials that are deserving of a space on this list, Rhinoceros’s horn, poor old rhinos are facing extinction due to poaching, a crime motivated by the high value of their horns. Even though it has no medicinal properties, some people still believe it can be used to treat all kinds of diseases. At more than $60,000 a kilo, rhino horn is more valuable than gold or cocaine.Jade, jade is a highly prized, smooth green stone.

It has been sought after in Asia for thousands of years, but was deemed almost worthless in the Western world until the 1970s when Jade gained commercial popularity as the most respected gemstone in Chinese and Asian art.Today, jade is mined all over the world,

and this gigantic lump was recently mined in Canada. A piece this size is worth around $15 million. At today’s prices, this makes jade much more valuable than gold, at around $3000 per ounce. Ambergris, worth almost $10,000 per pound, ambergris is literally vomit, whale vomit to be precise. This gray waxy substance is found in the digestive system of male sperm whales after they dine on squids and other sea creatures. Fresh ambergris gives off a strong fishy odor

and is found in high-end perfumes like Gucci and Chanel as a result of its properties as a fixative. People who were brave enough to eat it say it has a sweet earthly taste.

I’ll take their word for it.

And now back to our list, its time to reveal

the number one most expensive material on earth.

#1 antimatter, 62 1/2 trillion per gram.

antimatter

antimatter

Antimatter, the stuff of fiction and reality. Scientists claim antimatter to be the mostexpensive material to exist on Earth and priced at $177 trillion per ounce, I won’t argue with that. Antimatter contains the opposite corresponding particles of ordinary matter and it exists everywhere. Antimatter particles have only very recently been combined,and in tiny amounts, by the world’s leading physicists. Theoretically, antimatter could be used as a fuel for the spacecrafts of the future. According to physicists, antimatter and matter can’t exist together, and it’s a mystery why matter got the edge over antimatter when the Big Bang happened. Today, humans have only managed to create a tiny fragment of antimatter, and maybe that’s not a bad thing. Antimatter has the potential to release a ridiculously huge amount of energy, approximately 25 million billion kilowatt-hours of energy. A gram of it could cause an explosion the size of a nuclear bomb so the problem is not only its gigantic cost, but also its safe production and storage. But with climate change making fossil fuels redundant, maybe it’s an investment we have to make. If the prize is an eternity of affordable, clean, and powerful energy, antimatter might one day be worth the price tag. So, can you afford any of the materials on this list?

Do any of them sound like a good value to you?

Let me know in the comments

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