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worst mistakes ever made in history - Photo KnowInsiders

When human error costs billions.

Nobody likes making mistakes, especially when there’s money on the line. Even mistakes costing as little as fifty cents can be pretty darn frustrating, so imagine how you’d feel if you had made one of the most expensive mistakes in history. These people made mistakes costing thousands, millions, and even billions of dollars, and some of them even cost people their lives.

From causing horrible disasters to disastrous corporate mergers, expensive mistakes come in all shapes and sizes. We’re counting down to the most expensive mistake in history, so hopefully whatever you’ve fudged up lately won’t seem so bad in comparison.

1.The Sinking of the Titanic

Photo Wiki
Photo Wiki

The sinking of the Titanic is one of the most disastrous maritime errors in history. This White Star Liner was built by architects Thomas Andrews and Alexander Montgomery Carlisle from 1909 to 1912. April 14, 1912, four days after leaving the port for her inaugural crossing, she was wrecked in the Atlantic Ocean North following a collision with an iceberg. The drama caused the deaths of around 1,500 people. Financial loss is estimated at $ 7.5 million, or about 175 million dollars currently.

2.Drunk oil tanker captain causes ecological disaster in Alaska

Photo Rolling Stone
Photo Rolling Stone

In 1989, the oil tanker Exxon-Valdez caused the worst oil spill ever in terms of damage to the environment. It then carried 180,000 tonnes of oil gross. The accident damaged 11 of the 13 tanks on board and spilled 40,000 tonnes of crude oil on the coast. This resulted in 800 km of coast being polluted by 7,000 km² of groundwater oil and 300,000 birds killed. The oil group ExxonMobil spent more than $ 3.4 billion to clean the coast and the seabed, compensate more than 30,000 fishermen, and end the legal proceedings. The investigation revealed that the tanker captain was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident.

3.A lost hunter set off one of the biggest forest fires in California

Photo Homeland Security Digital Library
Photo Homeland Security Digital Library

In 2003, a 34-year-old Californian hunter got lost in the forest in San Diego County and lit a campfire for help. He quickly lost control of the fire and started one of the most devastating fires in Californian history. The “Cedar Fire” caused the loss of $1.2 billion, wiped out over 110,500 hectares, destroyed 2,820 buildings, and caused the deaths of 15 people, including a firefighter. The man was indicted in federal court and sentenced to 960 hours of community service as well as a fine of $ 9,000 in restitutions.

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4. $225 Million blown away because of a typographical mistake

Photo Wiki
Photo Wiki

A typographical error cost the Japanese company Mizuho Securities $225 million. December 8, 2005, the brand issued an order mentioning the purchase of 610,000 shares, for one yen per share. In reality, they had the intention to offer a single share of J-Com for 610,000 yen (around € 5,000) on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

5. Three Mile Island: the worst nuclear disaster in the United States

In 1978, the Three Mile Island power plant, located in Pennsylvania, was the scene of the worst nuclear accident in the United States. The night of March 28, following a chain of mechanical failures, human errors, and faulty design, the core of reactor number two of the American power plant melted and released radioactive gases into the environment. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, this catastrophe was a turning point for the global nuclear industry sector. Since then, the United States abandoned the construction of new power stations.

6.Continuity chaos

Game of Thrones fans couldn’t help but notice a Starbucks cup mistakenly left in a pivotal scene on the HBO series, but other television and movie mishaps actually cost studios a ton of money. When Warner Bros. gathered the cast of Justice League for some badly-needed reshoots, Henry Cavill (Superman) was in the midst of shooting another film that required him to have some pretty heavy facial hair. He had to film the reshoots with a mustache and, according to Looper, Warner Bros. spent millions of dollars digitally removing the pesky hairs from the Justice League film to make Superman appear as his smooth self. They might not be as costly as this one, but these newspaper typos are certainly funny.

7.King Tut’s beard

Photo Getty
Photo Getty

Ancient artifacts are priceless and curators go to great lengths to keep these irreplaceable items in exceptional condition. In 2015 a funeral mask belonging to King Tutankhamen was damaged at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo after its beard started coming loose. In an interview with the Associated Press, a curator admitted the restoration process didn’t go as planned. “Unfortunately he used a very irreversible material,” they said of the would-be fixer. “Epoxy has a very high property for attaching, and is used on metal or stone—but I think it wasn’t suitable for an outstanding object like Tutankhamen’s golden mask.” We all make mistakes—and this is the best way to handle failure, according to science.

8.AOL buys Time Warner

Cost: $146 billion

In the year 2000, the Dot Com bubble was at its height. AOL was regarded as the hottest tech company in the world, and the Time Warner deal was hyped to the max. AOL paid $182 billion to buy Time Warner, adding Time Warner cable packages to their then-popular home Internet offerings.

9.Misspelling a company name

The British government was sued for £9m after a clerical error inserting a rogue "s" saw the wrong company recorded as being in liquidation.

More than 250 people lost their jobs when Companies House mistook a 124-year-old Welsh family business called Taylor and Sons for Taylor and Son - a company that filed for bankruptcy in 2009.

10.Sizzling skyscraper

Photo Shutterstock
Photo Shutterstock

A London skyscraper nicknamed the “Walkie-Talkie” designed by architect Rafael Viñoly was originally notable for its unique shape, boasting curved eye-catching walls. Unfortunately, it became known for something much different when its south-facing wall, which is covered in reflective glass, began redirecting sunrays in such a way that was actually melting (yes, melting!) cars and causing fires. Fixes for the problem, included temporary netting and then a permanent sunshade, that cost in the estimated “low single-digit millions,” according to The Standard. Check out these hilarious typos found in popular books.

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