There’s a fine line between genius and insanity and it’s fair to say that Elon Musk treads it pretty precariously every single day. But then, what else are you going to do when you’re a billionaire, philanthropist businessman and inventor, but spitball ideas that the rest of the world find utterly ludicrous?
Dropping a nuclear bomb on Mars
The South African owner of SpaceX might also be a comic book villain in his spare time too…
Building a city on Mars
Actually, there’s nothing nefarious about his desire to dabble with nuclear weapons. Instead, his plan is to thicken the Red Planet’s atmosphere for future human inhabitation. Musk has often said he wants to die on Mars, “just not on impact”. Owning a space exploration and travel company will certainly help him achieve his goal of starting civilisation on the fourth planet from the Sun.
Back on Earth, Musk has designs on revolutionising transportation. Hyperloop is the conceptual system that will allow us to travel at stupidly high speeds, an average of around 600mph and tops of 760mph. Like a train but in reduced-pressure tubes, the Hyperloop’s proposed preliminary route is a 350-mile stretch from San Fran to LA, a journey estimated to take 35 minutes – the drive is currently around 6 hours.
Blueprints for test tracks and capsules are currently being developed, whilst construction on a prototype track is due to start sooner rather than later.
A supersonic electric jet
Musk’s already got a lock on the electric car market with Tesla, but he’s apparently got eyes on military-grade airplanes also. During a video chat with entrepreneurs, he said that he may someday work to develop a supersonic, all-electric jet that could take off and land vertically: “I wish somebody would do that. If somebody doesn’t do that, maybe at some point in the future, I will.”
Rollercoasters to get around his offices
In an eternal quest of one-upmanship, Musk sees Google’s slides in its offices and raises them rollercoasters:
“Everybody around here has slides in their lobbies. I’m actually wondering about putting in a roller coaster — like a functional roller coaster at the factory in Fremont. You’d get in, and it would take you around factory but also up and down. Who else has a roller coaster? I’m thinking about doing that with SpaceX, too. That one might be even bigger since SpaceX has like 10 buildings now.”
(Source: Don Griffin)
He’s the inspiration behind Marvel’s depiction of Tony Stark in the Iron Man franchise, but Elon Musk is also a huge fan of the James Bond series, unsurprisingly really. In fact, he’s so much of a 007 Stan, that he dropped nearly a million dollars on the Lotus Esprit submarine car, Wet Nellie, from The Spy Who Loved Me, in 2013. He has plans beyond just keeping it on display though:
“It was amazing as a little kid in South Africa to watch James Bond in The Spy Who Loved Me drive his Lotus Esprit off a pier, press a button and have it transform into a submarine underwater… I was disappointed to learn that it can’t actually transform. What I’m going to do is upgrade it with a Tesla electric powertrain and try to make it transform for real.”
No word on the project’s success though – not yet anyway.
(Main image: TED)