Auctions can be a lot of fun. From casual events held in small neighborhoods to formal affairs at ritzy establishments like Christie’s, there’s no knowing what treasures you can find.
However, sometimes the stuff that comes up for auction is just plain weird. It never fails to amaze what people will do to try and make a buck, and that goes double in the world of auctioneering.
When these 15 items went up for auction, nobody could believe what they were seeing. The money these people were willing to spend to own such weird items has to be seen to be believed…
1. New Zealand: Yeah, like, the whole country of New Zealand. A man from Australia thought it would be hilarious to try and auction off the country on eBay. The starting bid was just one penny. Not surprisingly, neither eBay nor the prime minister of New Zealand thought the auction was very funny. “I think that kind of stupidity, I’ll leave to the tabloid media,” said the prime minister when he learned that the auction had risen to $3,000 before it was cancelled.
2. J.D. Salinger’s toilet: In 2010, the couple who bought the late—and famously reclusive—author’s home decided to auction off his commode. The bids started at $1,000,000 to sit where the author surely must have pondered his greatest work of all.
3. Taxidermied ostrich: A “rare northern Italian taxidermy ostrich” was made in 1785 and was auctioned off by Christie’s in 2013 for a whopping $40,000. That’s a lot of money to spend on a stuffed bird, even one from Italy.
4. Cake: A slice of the cake from the 1947 wedding of Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth was recently sold at auction for $730. In addition to this slice of (very clearly moldy) cake, a note with the compliments of Prince Philip and the Queen herself is included.
5. A violin: The Titantic‘s bandleader, Wallace Hartley, famously continued to play his violin as the ship sank in the chilly North Atlantic Ocean to soothe frantic passengers. When his violin went up for auction, it sold in 10 minutes for $1,250,000!
6. A single record: When the band The Sexual Objects released their album Marshmallow, they decided just to release one copy on vinyl and auction it off on eBay. It wound up selling for $5,500, which is considerably less than the album would’ve made had it been distributed by a label.
7. Actors’ breath: A man auctioned off a jar that he claimed could possibly be filled with the breath of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. He had virtually no evidence that it did, nor was this really even possible. All the same, the jar sold for $444.
8. A wedding ring: People still have a weird fascination with Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who murdered President John F. Kennedy in 1963. When his wedding band went up for sale, it sold to an anonymous Texan for $118,000!
9. A space suit: Well, not a real space suit, but the one worn by Justin Bieber when he paired up with Ozzy Osbourne to shoot a commercial for the Super Bowl in 2011. It wound up being sold to an anonymous bidder for $5,580.
10. Watermelon: These rare black watermelons from Japan are only grown on the island of Hokkaido. When this one came to market in 2013, it sold for $4,053, making it easily the most expensive melon in the entire world. Wonder what it tasted like…
11. Dirty underwear: Elvis wore this pair of underwear underneath one of his infamous white jumpsuits during a concert in 1977. Proving that most human beings have some sense of decency, this stained underwear (thankfully) failed to find a buyer when it went to auction.
12. Skeleton: The skeleton of man wearing a tuxedo along with his “bride,” a female skeleton clutching a bible, was sold at auction for $950. Sounds like one heck of deal, right? That is… if you happen to be in the market for two sets of well-dressed human remains.
13. Negligee: A floor-length black negligee owned by Monica Lewinsky was just part of more than 60 items inspected by prosecutor Kenneth Starr in the case against President Bill Clinton. The items were supposed to go for no less than $50,000, though their actual selling price was unknown.
14. Human hair: During a manic episode in 2007, pop singer Britney Spears shaved off all of her hair and chased after paparazzi with an umbrella. The hair salon seized the pop culture moment and auctioned off the singer’s locks for more than $1,000,000.
15. Dentures: The dentures worn by Winston Churchill were sold at auction for $18,860 to a man who can only be called a real Churchill-head. In fact, the winner already owned the microphone that Churchill used to record some of his most famous speeches.
Isn’t it crazy the sort of stuff that comes up for auction? The only thing crazier is just how much money people are willing to spend on such weird stuff!
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