Most Expensive Materials On Earth


– [Narrator] They say diamonds
are a girl’s best friend, but would they still be BFFs
when that girl finds out what else is out there? Many people assume gold
and precious stones to be the most valuable
materials there are, but in this video, I’ll show you how wrong that assumption is. There are medicines that
cost you an arm and a leg, rare and dangerous materials
that could destroy the earth. And if you’ve ever wanted
to buy any rhino horn, well you better get saving. In this video, I’ll show
you 10 of the most expensive and most surprising materials on earth. (uplifting music) Number 10, eculizumab, $236 per gram. Priced at $236 per gram,
or $6,690 per ounce, eculizumab is the most
expensive legal drug in the world and is sold
under the name Soliris. 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. Number nine, LSD, $3,000 per gram. It’s one thing spending your money on drugs that save your life, but another when it’s mind-bending hallucinogenics 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 the 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, probably because it’s illegal of course, and this explains its high cost. A gram will set you back about $3,000. 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. Number eight, plutonium, $4,000 per gram. 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. It’s 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. Number seven, taaffeite, $20,000 per gram. 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. Number six, benitoite, $25,000 per gram. 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 1907 near 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. Number five, tritium, $30,000 per gram. 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. Number four, diamond, $55,000 per gram. Why are you surprised the 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. It’s the extreme pressure
that turns common old carbon into a beautiful,
shiny crystalline structure. It’s name is derived from the Greek word adamas, meaning invincible, and the ancient Greeks considered diamonds to be tears cried by the Gods. If you ever wondered how
diamonds and romance relate, it could be due to an ancient Roman belief that cupid’s arrows had
diamonds on their edges. It was also more recently discovered that about one and a half million
diamond nano-particles 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 50 light years away, there’s a 10 billion trillion
trillion caret diamond star in the sky called Lucy, named after the famous Beatles song, Lucy
in the Sky with Diamonds. Number three, californium,
25 million a gram. 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, and 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. Number two, buckminsterfullerene,
150 million per gram. Buckminsterfullerene is a molecule with a hollow cage-like structure
resembling a soccer ball, as well as being a very high-scoring word to get in Scrabble. Buckminsterfullerene
would cost over $4 billion per ounce, and is properly
known as the magic molecule. Its discoverers, Herald
Kroto, Robert Curl, James R. Heath, and Richard Smalley, who 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 20
hexagons and 12 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 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 its 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 $3,000 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 creates. 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 are 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. It’s time to reveal the number-one most expensive material on earth. Number one, antimatter, 62
and a half trillion per gram. Antimatter, the stuff
of fiction and reality. Scientists claim antimatter
to be the most expensive 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
and thanks for watching. (casual offbeat music)

100 thoughts on “Most Expensive Materials On Earth

  1. 12:52 NOT WORTH THE RISK……. We ALLLLL know human will only use it for war so YEA F-that I hope we will not ever be ale to reproduce it

  2. "You may have learned about tritium in your middle school chemistry class". I didn't even hear about it my senior year chemistry class. You lucky ducky. You must have gone to school in the big city.

  3. Buckminster would not be a valid word in Scrabble. It's a proper noun (it's some dude's name). However, the noun buckminsterfullerene would be valid but impossible to produce (you'd have "buck" and "full" as valid intermediary words so how would you weasle "minster" and "erene" with just seven letters?). Be amazed bitch!

  4. Every time 1milon anti mater made 1 milond and 1 mater atonms are made and anti mater and Antin amnti mater toch they trn into enargi and that enargi can be trn into mater or anti mater so a sutcol of this and only mater exists

  5. yeah i can afford diamonds, they are cheap as fuck.. it is used in all kinds of abrasives, cutting tools and whatever…
    the only reason people have to pay for fancy diamonds is because of de beers.. so fuck off..

  6. "Fossil fuels" are not really from fossils, and they are not going to run out anytime soon. Climate change is an excuse to carbon tax those of us who are not part of the financial elite class, and also an excuse to spray things in the sky, using the excuse they are trying to protect us from the sun's rays (called Solar Radiation Management).

  7. Lsd is fun lol 1 dose around 150 ug micrograms usually 1000 micrograms to make a milligram it takes 1000 milligrams to make a gram so if your buying a gram of it YOUR A DRUG DEALER!! lol

  8. LSD is nice, but it's around
    Secanol is harder to get coming in at 300 a Gram

    Plutonium is used in Russia smoke detector in micrograms.
    We use Am.

  9. Lsd is exspensive if bought in large quantity if you buy a tab which is a single dose normally around 10 bucks

  10. One reason it's so expensive as soon as you make a molecule of antimatter and is not in a super magnetic field is vaporizers

  11. 1:41 LSD @ $3,000 / gram? That is a bargain considering anything over 200 micrograms typically causes "unpredictable and often negative results". So you get 5 standard doses out of 1 milligram…or 5,000 per gram. 60 cents a dose is a bargain and $10 per dose is a typical street price if you can find it . Edited: Plutonium came next and I am updating comment and off to another vid that has better content. Fact about Plutonium: While it occurs naturally in minute concentrations…. the entire world's supply is created by humans and it is generally considered a man-made element.

  12. 7:48 I was always told that that song was a reference to LSD, as in
    Lucy in the
    Sky with
    Diamonds
    The song sounds quite trippy too

  13. Pharmaceutical companies are wicked scoundrels. They know that red meat is dangerous for health. However in collaboration with meat industries they promote it, and when you get dangerous diseases they offer expensive cures. Shameless, aren't they? Their favourite tagline: Either you cough up the dough or give up the ghost. We don't care for anything but money, money and more money.

  14. Plutonium is not a natural element and to say it is "extracted" from Uranium is to misunderstand nuclear chemistry. Plutonium requires a change to Uranium at an atomic level, some of the Uranium in a nuclear reactor literally changes into Plutonium. No Plutonium exists in the environment, it is totally a man made element which is why it is so rare.

  15. weekend plans:
    – rob banks around the world for 62 trillion dollars
    – buy antimatter
    – destroy the world so I canโ€™t get arrested

  16. What's the difference between the number-one most expensive material on earth and simply the most expensive material on earth?

  17. This, that, drug delivery systems that this

    11 year old kids wait drug delivery systems hahahahaha hahaha he said drug delivery ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

  18. Contrary to what you say, plutonium is not found in nature because of it is radio active decay it would have all depleted to nothing. Instead it is manufactured by man.

  19. to be honest these videos are quite shit! they are not accurate half the time and this guy can't pronounce anything properly haha

  20. "Its a mystery why matter got the edge over antimatter when the big bang happened"

    Religious people: So let me tell you a lil something about a man named God

  21. Its not pronounced die eff lamide, no no no, its di ( as in 2 ) ethyl's and 1 amide which gives us di ethyl amide complex.

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