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11 Ridiculous Things That World Governments Have Actually Wasted Tax Money On

We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but sometimes your tax dollars pay for stupid things. OK, maybe you knew that already. But did you know that the government paid researchers $3 million to play World of Warcraft? And that's not even the worst thing on this list. Check out some of the most absurd things governments have wasted money on here.

  • Jetpacks For Firefighters In Dubai

    Jetpacks For Firefighters In Dubai

    Maybe it's no surprise that the country that gave its policemen Ferraris, Mercedes and Bugattis decided to outfit their firemen with jetpacks. They've been working on the plan since 1981, and though they've yet to use them in the field, the government feels they could be useful in rescuing people trapped in skyscraper fires.

  • An Elevator To Nowhere

    Comune di Sutera

    An Elevator To Nowhere

    The Italian town of Sutera wanted to build an elevator that would take people up to a monastery atop The Mountain of Sao Paolino. So they started on it, but gave up, saying it was too expensive. Now the elevator leads to nowhere. Some think the money ended up in Mafia pockets.

  • A Swedish Town Spent Millions Replicating Itself On The Video Game 'Second Life'

    A Swedish Town Spent Millions Replicating Itself On The Video Game 'Second Life'

    The Swedish town of Malmo wanted to make it easy for residents to go to town hall, so they spent millions of taxpayer dollars on replicating the town in 'Second Life,' a once-popular video game that sought to mirror real life. The idea was that people go visit the town hall in the video game and talk to officials that way. But sadly, no one in Malmo really used the service. 

  • Charging Taxpayers To Have Your Moat Cleaned

    Charging Taxpayers To Have Your Moat Cleaned

    A government official using an expense account to order a pricey meal is one thing. But using taxpayer money to have your moat cleaned is an entirely different story. That's what Douglas Hogg did in England a few years back, as was uncovered through an investigation by The Telegraph. Plus, who owns a moat these days?

  • World Of Warcraft

    World Of Warcraft

    At the University of California at Irvine, video games are important business. So important in fact, that researchers were granted some $3 million to play video games like World of Warcraft so that they could study "emerging forms of communication, including multiplayer video games..." Not a bad gig if you ask us.

  • $700,000 To Study Cow Burps And Farts

    Keith Weller/USDA 

    $700,000 To Study Cow Burps And Farts

    In 2010, the U.S. Department of Agriculture gave the University of New Hampshire some $700,000 so they could study the methane emissions from cattle. Apparently, cows burp and fart a lot, releasing a ton of methane emissions into the atmosphere. Scientists at the university were charged with rendering models of these emissions in an effort to come up with ways to curb them.

  • Teaching Mountain Lions To Run On A Treadmill

    Teaching Mountain Lions To Run On A Treadmill

    The National Science Foundation shelled out $856,000 to researchers who wanted to see if mountain lions could run on treadmills. Turns out they can! After 8 months of training and an exorbitant price tag, that is.

  • Funding A Trippy Play About An Elvis Impersonator And Teddy Roosevelt

    Funding A Trippy Play About An Elvis Impersonator And Teddy Roosevelt

    The NEA gave $10,000 to some artists who wanted to put on a play about a young girl's hallucinatory journey as an Elvis impersonator who hangs out with Teddy Roosevelt. In one scene, the main character hallucinates causing her to believe she is Elvis, parading around a hotel room with Teddy in their underwear. Eventually, Roosevelt rides the main character's back like a horse.

  • Kim Jong Il's Unquenchable Thirst For Hennessy

    Kim Jong Il's Unquenchable Thirst For Hennessy

    At one point, Kim Jong Il was the world's largest importer of Hennessy. His thirst for the cognac cost North Koreans some $1 million per year. And we're going to assume he didn't share a drop.

  • Vladimir Putin's Toilet

    Vladimir Putin's Toilet

    It should be no surprise that Vladimir Putin has wasted a lot of government money (especially now that he has been undeniably linked to the infamous Panama Papers leak). But you might be surprised where some of that money has gone — namely, a $75,000 toilet

  • Digitizing Grateful Dead Memorabilia

    Digitizing Grateful Dead Memorabilia

    The University of California at Santa Cruz was given $615,000 so that researchers could digitize Grateful Dead memorabilia like T-shirts, concert tickets and photos. But to us, this was a waste of money that could have been used in an attempt to reanimate the corpse of Jerry Garcia. #justsayin

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