Imagine you could travel with 100 camels, each carrying 300 lbs of gold, while trekking across Africa and the Middle East. In fact, you were giving away gold so freely that you actually deflated the price of it across an entire country.
Well, that's exactly what the richest man in the history of, well, history, did. His name was Mansa Musa, the King of the Mali empire back in the early 1300s. So the tale goes, the King of Kings gave away so much gold that that he decreased the price of it across all of Egypt.
But how rich would you have to be in order to pull this off?
After adjusting for inflation, try $400 billion in today's currency. That's more than Bill Gates and Warren Buffet combined, with about a cool $200 billion left over.
To get an idea of how rich Mansa Musa truly was, lets try to put this in perspective.
10. He could have built about 400 Burj Khalifas.
The Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, cost an estimated $1.5 billion to prop up in the middle of the desert city of Dubai.
To make things a bit easier, let's just round this down to $1 billion. At that number, King Mansa Musa could have built himself nearly 400 personal Burj Khalifas. That's a lot of office space.
Speaking of expensive projects in Dubai...
9. Mansa Musa could cover the cost of the "Mall Of The World" 16 times over.
You think you know extravagant? Pfft. You don't even know the half of it.
The "biggest mall in the world" is currently under development in Dubai. It will basically contain more clothes than you could fit in the universe, but just how much will this mega, 50 million square foot mall cost to build?
Try $25 billion. It is so expensive to fund, that developers are spacing out their payments over the next 10 years.
10 years you say? Pffffft again.
Mansa Musa could cover that cost at the flick of the wrist and do it again another sixteen times if he truly wanted. Put that in your penny loafers and smoke it.
8. He could have created 400,000 rolls of pure gold toilet paper.
Since the King Of Mali made his fortune through gold, lets say he wanted to supply his empire with rolls of pure gold toilet paper.
According to Design Taxi, a roll of 22-karat toilet paper costs an estimated $1.3 million to make. Lets say Mansa Musa skipped out on a few rolls and generated each roll for a solid $1 million.
At that rate, he could have made 400,000 rolls of golden toilet paper. Since we use about 50 rolls per year, he would not only be literally wiping his rich butt with gold, he would have enough to do it for the next 8000 years.
Considering we spend about only 3 years of our life time on the iron throne, he'd have more than enough for all those camels and servants on his voyage to Mecca as well. That's a happy camel.
7. He could easily buy YMCMB.
Drake, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne and Birdman make up the bulk of the net worth of their record label YMCMB (Young Money Cash Money Billionaires) and are some of the most successful musicians today.
So, even at a combined $450 million, it pales in comparison to Mansa Musa's staggering wealth. In fact, the Mali King could have bought YMCMB over about 1000 times. Sorry Drizzy.
6. Jay Z and Beyonce would have to spend 5000 years on tour in order to meet Mansa Musa's net worth.
She might be flawless, but Beyonce sure isn't the King of Mali. Neither is Jay Z for that matter.
During their On The Run Tour, Billboard says that the couple was reportedly paid a combined $4 million per show. Hey, we'd take that pay day any day, but if they have aspirations of controlling nearly an entire continent, they better start hiring a ton of back up dancers.
On the North American leg of the tour, the couple performed a total of 19 shows. At that rate, they would have to perform 100,000 shows and tour the U.S. for, say, the next 5000 years.
No wonder they say there is no escaping those entertainment contracts. Bob Seger wouldn't be too happy about that either. He would be "On The Road, Again" again, again, again....you get the idea.
Musa also made his fortune by cleverly controlling key trade routes between the West African coasts and the Mediterranean.
Since he was so fond of trade and export, let's say he felt generous enough to supply the entire United States with oil. How much could we freeload off him?
5. He could supply the entire US with free oil for a year straight.
Now before you go and say, "What!? Only a year." Lets first understand how many barrels of oil that is and how much that would cost.
The number is so staggering, that even Musa would have to probably take out a loan or two or try to find a few spare gold bars from under his golden couches.
According to Green Lifestyle Changes, in 2012, the US imported nearly 4 TRILLION barrels of oil at a price of about $430 billion.
Time to call up Elon Musk and go electric.
4. Mansa Musa could cover your electricity for the next 200 million years.
Want to go electric? PERFECT! You are literally set until the world forms back into Pangea.
According to MNN.com, the average person spends about $2000 on electric per year. Assuming you aren't living in David Siegel's mini version of Versailles, you can let that volcano lamp of yours run in perpetuity.
That's because Mansa Musa would be your new General Electric, covering your wee costs for the next 200 million years. Just don't stick that volcano lamp in a microwave.
Assuming you didn't just spend 200 million years watching the billions of videos on YouTube, lets continue.
One of the most exciting sporting events last year was the Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fight. It wasn't just exciting because they are the two best fighters of their generation, it was also because of the ridiculous paychecks.
3. We could be treated to nearly 1500 title fights courtesy of Mansa Musa.
As per Bleacher Report, the total payout of the Mayweather vs Pacquiao fight was about $300 million.
If the King of Kings truly wanted to be treated to the spectacle again, he could cover costs for about the next 1500 fights for the belt.
Hey, we wouldn't mind seeing Mayweather amount a record of 1548 - 0. Not sure how many brain cells he would have left though.
While we're on the subject of Mayweather, he is known to spend outlandish amounts of money on gambling, cars and of course $100 bill mouthpieces.
2. If Mansa Musa was a fan of the NBA, he could cover Mayweather's gambling costs for the next 2 million games.
As you can see, Mayweather's most expensive bet out of these four was $150,000 on an Atlanta Hawks game. Cuz, why not.
However, while that seems like a lot to us, the King of salt and gold would easily scoff at this puny bet.
If Mayweather was to bet $150K on every game going forward, Mansa Musa could cover thext 2 million games for him. That's enough cash flow to satisfy Floyd for the next 24,000 NBA seasons.
By then, Kobe Bryant might have his one millionth ACL surgery, which costs about $5000. We're sure Musa could cover that cost to keep things exciting.
Last but not least, we're pretty sure a man of this much wealth, would certainly need some other entertainment other than Floyd Mayweather, not that he isn't great to watch. So let's just say Mansa Musa wanted to catch up on some Hollywood flicks. Since we're talking big dollars here, let's assume Musa's favorite actor was the highest one paid in the game today.
1. Mansa Musa could cover Robert Downey, Jr.'s paycheck for the next 5000 years.
Robert Downey, Jr. made a reported $80 million last year for Iron Man and Avengers. This made him the highest paid actor of the year and sounds like a ton of money to us non-ruling kings of Africa.
However, we're dealing with the richest person in history here and his pockets are DEEP.
If he wanted, Mansa Musa could honor the contracts of Downey Jr. for the next 5000 years. We don't even know if there are enough villains for Iron Man to fight, but we're sure Marvel could come up with something.
He can probably cover the overhead for marketing too.