Just how wealthy is Jeff Bezos? Turns out he’s so wealthy that it’s hard to apply any context… but we’ll try.
Attempt #1 – Pixels
A 4K screen is needed in order to properly resolve this graphic. At the tip of the leftmost red arrow is a single black pixel, which represents the median net worth of someone in the first world. At the tip of the other red arrow is a tiny purple block, which represents a net worth of $1M. The blue block represents the net worth of a billionaire. It wasn’t possible to represent the median net worth of someone in the third world as that would have resulted in an unworkable file size, far beyond the resolution of any graphics display that currently exists. But you get the idea.
Attempt #2 – Arson
If two workers were employed full-time, with both tasked to burn $1 million every hour, then it would take them over 48 years (40 hours a week and 46 weeks per year) to incinerate Jeff’s fortune. That’s their entire working lives! At US minimum wage it would cost $1.29 million just to get the job done. No shit.
Attempt #3 – Rice
One guy did it with rice, but that was back when Jeff was only worth $122Bn, and now he’s worth $178Bn… still gives you some idea though… if you just imagine adding another whole sack.
Attempt #4 – Time
The median US citizen would have to labour for over 3 million years (this is without spending any of their salary), in order to amass a fortune comparable Jeff’s. The median citizen of the world in general, would have to labour for almost 40 million years to accumulate that amount… some 200x longer than the 200,000 years or so that humans have walked the earth, almost ⅔ of the time elapsed since the Jurassic period.
Attempt #5 – Cocaine
If the median 35 year old US citizen invested their entire net worth in cocaine, then they’d be able to afford around a third of a kilo (street value). By way of comparison a $178Bn stash would weigh as much as a medium sized aircraft carrier. And “no” we have absolutely no idea how long that would take to snort, but guys in the second example would most certainly incinerate all that money quicker than you could inhale it.