Crooks, there’s plenty of history. But guys who can sell emptyfrom Nothing at all, for astronomical sums… There are far fewer! I’m perplexed between respecting them HARD for their masterstroke, or insulting them just as HARD to take advantage of human bullshit so much…
1. Emmanuel Nwude
What he sold : an imaginary airport, in Nigeria. The third biggest scam in history, just that!
Selling price : $242 million
How? ‘Or’ What ? Nwude had a major advantage: he had been a director of the Union Bank of Nigeria. In fact, he can consult documents to which no one else has access. This information allows him to pose as the Governor of the Central Bank of the country. He then targets Nelson Sakaguchi, a bank manager in Brazil, offering him to participate in the “Abuja airport construction plan”. To convince him, he promises him 10 million dollars in commissions. Sakaguchi takes the bait and immediately pays him $191 million in cash. The rest, in the form of outstanding interest. BANK. Since sometimes there is justice, Nwude was still scolded, then sentenced to 5 years in prison and a fine of 10 million dollars.
Who is it ? In 1822, Gregor McGregor a Scottish soldier, cowardly and mediocre.
What he sold : A country that did not exist. NOTHING. THAN. THAT.
How? ‘Or’ What ? To make his imaginary country as realistic as possible, he invents fake money, a fake flag, hymns to the glory of “Poyais” (that’s the name he chose),… Everything you need to give credit to the deception! It attracts many investors, who eventually discover hostile and abandoned lands in place and place of this paradise state. As crazy as it may seem: the survivors (yes, because in addition, his bullshit kills a lot of people on the trip) do not blame the scammer. They even protect him from any media coverage.
3. Salvatore Garau
Who is it ? An artist from Sardinia. Also THE genius who managed to sell vacuum.
What he sold : An invisible statue for… €15,000 !
How? ‘Or’ What ? ” The vacuum is nothing more than a space full of energy and even if we empty it, according to Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, the vacuum has weight. Therefore, it has an energy that condenses and turns into particles, which is within us. After all, aren’t we fashioning a God we’ve never seen? Didn’t you understand the artist’s explanation? It’s normal. It’s bullshit his thing. Basically, for him, his “creation” comes to life through the spirit and exists because God exists. But… that makes no sense! In short, he sold his vacuum at auction and a bullet hole not knowing what to do with his money to spend 12 and a half minimum wage to acquire it. In addition to being useless, the work is a candy buster: it must be installed in a private house, in a room empty of any other construction. The center of it must be reserved for the sculpture, in a space of 150×150 centimeters, precisely. Wesh quiet cousin! Since when does emptiness need so much space???
4. Angeles Duran
Who is it ? A Spaniard, who declared herself the owner of the sun in 2010. A strange property that she had confirmed and ratified before a notary. Simple.
What she sold : Pieces of sunshine on eBay. Small plots at 1 euro per square meter. Basic.
How? ‘Or’ What ? She simply said that“in five billion years, no one had yet appeared”. Not false. She then relied on the international convention of 1967 which prohibits countries from owning the planets, but not individuals.
Well, E-bay still withdrew this “product”, deeming the sale “illegal”. The woman then did not hesitate to file a complaint and claim 10,000th in damages! Business is business.
Bonuses: The good woman obviously can’t get enough of it… In November 2021, she declares that she wants to make humanity pay for its use! NO BUT SHE WILL CALM DOWN DIRECTLY, I’m not paying for the three poor rays of sunshine that surface in Paris during the year.
5. Dennis Hope
Who is it ? The owner of the Moon since the 80s. Guess what?? Yes, it was he who inspired Angeles Duran!
What he sold : Bah, parcels of moon, suddenly.
How? ‘Or’ What ? As mentioned just above, he also relied on the “space treaty” of 1967. He then set up his own real estate agency, the “Lunar Embassy” and used it to sell each plot 24 $ (still!!). He even set up a fee schedule: 19 dollars for the property, 1.5 dollars for lunar tax and $2.5 to print the owner’s name on the certificate. Since then, he has become a millionaire thanks to human bullshit. Style.
6. Leo De Watts
Who is it ? A British businessman, proud owner of the company “Aethaer”.
What the company sells : Well… Country air in jars! Here is. I don’t know if a comment is really necessary…
How? ‘Or’ What ? By surfing the news, of course! The man saw the heavy pollution in the city of Beijing as a great opportunity. Since the air in the city is rotten (really. Breathing the air of Beijing for a day would be equivalent to smoking about 40 cigarettes), Leo decides to sell them some good country air. Price per jar? Sit down… 100 balls! No but seriously, you have to be completely stupid.
Bonuses: Kirill Rudenko did almost the same thing, but the other way around. He sells cans of “city air” on the internet, for the cursed sum of… 11th, the can. What a story !
7. Stephanie Matto
Who is it ? An American influencer, former reality TV star.
What she sold : His farts. Its benefits. Its gases. His flatulence. It sucks!
How? ‘Or’ What ? On the internet, quite simply, in particular by filming themselves “filling their jars” on tiktok. Glam! Price of this fart in a jar: 870 euros! BUT SERIOUS FUCK. Thanks to this gas trade, she will have made more than $200,000, before being forced to stop for medical reasons…
8. John Cage’s
Who is it ? An American composer, poet and visual artist.
What he sold : Concert tickets for a highly elaborate performance… That is to say: an interpretation of silence. Here is.
That is to say ? The “piece” is called “4’33”. It is divided into 3 acts: (0:00–0:30) First movement — silence / (0:31–2:53) Second movement — silence / (2:54–4:33) Third movement — silence. The nerve has no limit, it’s official.
Who is it ? A mysterious digital artist.
What he sold : One pixel. Yes Yes. More than 1 million euros a fucking pixel!
How? ‘Or’ What ? This “work” is an NFT (non fungible tokens): a stupid thing that is totally beyond us. Basically, it’s like buying something you can’t handle. BRIEF. Dude sold it as “art” at auction. After 90 minutes, the work is acquired for 1.76 million euros… Uh, guys, I don’t want to blow it, but I have a lot of pixels on my computer, personally!! I’m potentially rich, right?
Bonuses: Alex Tew had already monetized pixels in 2005, with his page “The Million Dollar Homepage”. The student suggested that brands buy pixels from the site to place their logo on. Pixel price: $1. Number of pixels on the page: 1 million. 1 x 1 million = 1 million euros in the pocket of the young man to pay for his studies. Alright yeah.
10. Georgia Horrocks
Who is it ? A 22-year-old English girl.
What she sold :Bernard. His imaginary friend…
How? ‘Or’ What ? On eBay. She first described her friend as possessing the childlike innocence and wisdom of the old wizard. OKAY. Eventually, Georgina sent Bernard “through her imagination” to her acquirer. No shipping costs.
Bonuses: This is not the first time that an imaginary friend has been sold like this. In 2007, a young man sold his for… $2,750!