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An island, a mega-sailboat and a Jurassic park: the latest millionaire extravaganzas

Australian billionaire Clive Palmer built the Palmersaurus park in Queensland with 160 replica dinosaurs. The place can be visited and last year it spent 88.2 million euros on renovations.
Money can’t buy happiness, but it can fulfill the most unexpected whims of those with almost unlimited funds.

An island as a utopia of well-being

Larry Ellison, the 77-year-old co-founder of Oracle, is the fifth richest man in the world, according to Forbes. He uses his almost unlimited funds to multiply his fleet of cars, yachts and planes, which he keeps in his collection of mansions scattered around the world. The most visible whim of the businessman was to finance for more than a decade a sailing team with the name of the company to compete in the America’s Cup. He won twice. But none beats Lanai Island in the Hawaiian archipelago, which he bought in 2012 for nearly $300 million, making it the most expensive private island in the world. The pandemic was the decisive push that led Ellison to move there permanently in December 2020, just as Oracle moved its headquarters from California to Texas.
The almost 3,000 inhabitants of the island received the businessman with open arms thanks to his efforts to transform the place into an environmental utopia. Four years ago, he founded the agricultural technology company Sensei Ag there, bent on changing the way food is grown around the world. For now, he has installed some solar-powered greenhouses from Tesla, a company in which he is the second largest shareholder, which grow products that are distributed throughout Hawaii. The plantations use 10% of the amount of water that is spent in an open field controlled by a team of scientists who work to maximize the nutrients in the crops. It has also opened a spa that uses data technology in its treatments called Sensei Retreats at the Four Seasons on Lanai with the goal of helping people live longer and better lives.

Bezos megasailer

Jeff Bezos is living his best moment. Since he relinquished the Amazon throne in July, he has been seen returning from space dressed in a cowboy hat and celebrating the new year in the Caribbean wearing a retro-inspired printed shirt with his girlfriend, presenter Lauren Sánchez. This transition from almost absolute discretion to ostentation had its turning point in mid-2021, in the midst of a pandemic, when he decided to buy what will be the most expensive megasailboat in history. Bezos disbursed 500 million dollars for a boat, still under construction, 127 meters long that will have a support yacht and a heliport, among many other amenities. Nothing is known about its interior, but it is almost certain that as with its current ship, the Flying Fox, it will not lack a gym, spa and bar. The ship will be named Oceanco Y721 when its construction is completed by the Dutch shipping company Oceanco, also responsible for Steven Spielberg’s Sever Seas or Russian businessman Vladimir Olegovich Potanin’s Nirvana. It is known that it will have three large masts and that it will be the second largest in the world, after the 146-meter-long sailboat ‘A’.

A Jurassic Park of its own

Australian billionaire Clive Palmer, anti-vaccine and leader of the populist United Australia Party, has just announced the most expensive campaign in the country’s history. He will invest more than 80 million Australian dollars (50.2 million euros) out of his pocket to try to beat Labor in 2022. But this is not the most outstanding extravagance of this 67-year-old mining and hospitality entrepreneur. In 2012, he contacted several scientists to study the possibility of cloning dinosaurs and creating his own Jurassic Park like Steven Spielberg’s. When he realized that science was not yet capable of fulfilling his dream, he built the Palmersaurus park on the Coolum remnant of his Queensland estate with 160 replica dinosaurs. The place can be visited and last year it spent 88.2 million euros on renovations.

A Staten Island Ferry

The most recent madness has been starred by the comedians of the legendary American television program Saturday Night Live, Pete Davidson and Colin Jost. Better known in Spain for being, the first, the new boyfriend of celebrity Kim Kardashian, and the second, the husband of actress Scarlett Johansson. Their fame has made them the most famous residents of Staten Island. And as good representatives of the most unknown district of New York, they have just bought one of the famous orange ferries that transport thousands of travelers between the island and Manhattan every day. The duo last week paid $280,000 at auction for the 3,500-passenger ship named John F. Kennedy, built in 1965 with the intention of turning it into a restaurant and comedy club. They have a third partner, Paul Italia, founder of The Stand, one of the best-known stand-up venues in the Big Apple.

The mansion motorhome

Filming will no longer be an inconvenience for Leonardo Di Caprio. The actor has bought a spectacular caravan for 1.3 million euros with great detail that simulates a small mansion on wheels. The 16-meter-long vehicle has a large living room with an integrated kitchen, a bar to relax with a drink, a bedroom with a double bed and two interior fireplaces to shelter from the cold in the most remote locations. It also has underfloor heating and the bathroom has a handcrafted ceramic shower and hydromassage for around 40,000 euros. The motorhome allows the space to be extended to four extra zones automatically. Its design and construction belong to the American company King Kong Production Vehicles. De Caprio used it on the set of Christopher Nolan’s Inception, which took him to Tangier, Morocco, Canada, Tokyo, Paris and Los Angeles. A similar one can be rented for 5,300 euros a week.

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