15 Most Expensive Liquids on Earth

Did you know that there are some liquids which are more expensive than gold? Today, we are going to talk about those kind of liquids. If you are wondering that it could be about some hard-core liquid or any alcohol, then you would be quite disappointed.

From scorpion venom, horseshoe crab blood to gamma hydroxybutyrate acid, we take a look through at 15 of the most expensive liquids in the world. All of the listed items are measured in Gallon, the British imperial systems of measurement.

15. Liquid Paper – $200 per gallon

Liquid Paper is a Newell Rubbermaid brand that sells correction pens, correction fluids, and correction tape. Bette Nesmith Graham invented the first correction fluid in 1956. She offered the product to IBM, which declined the offer. Graham sold the fluid for 17 years from her house. By 1968, the product was profitable, and in 1979 she sold the royalties to the Gillette Corporation for $47.5 million.

Why high cost?

According to Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), the Liquid Paper contains solvent naphtha, resins, titanium dioxide, mineral spirits, dispersants and fragrances, which makes the small Liquid Paper bottle quite expensive.

14. Scintillation Cocktail – $210 per gallon

Scintillation cocktail is a solution of a beta particle emitter to be analyzed in an organic solvent along with a fluor that emits scintillation of light, which can be detected by liquid scintillation counter. The goal is to allow efficient counting due to the intimate contact of the activity with the scintillator. It is basically used for alpha and beta particle detection.

Why high price?

Each scintillation cocktail is checked for sample acceptance, chemiluminescence, sample capacity, clarity, photoluminescence and counting efficiency.

13. Penicillin – $300 per gallon

Penicillin (also called pen) is a group of antibiotics that include penicillin V, penicillin G, benzathine penicillin and procaine penicillin. It was created in 1928 by Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming. After 12 years, in 1942 people began using it to treat infections.

Why high price?

Penicillin can be used to treat various infections caused by certain susceptible bacteria, including Listeria genera, Clostridium and Streptococci. Also, it can be used to fight against lung infection in children, dental abscesses, tonsillitis, middle ear infections, for preventing recurrence of rheumatic fever.

12. Patchouli Oil – $810 per gallon

Patchouli is a species of plant from genus Pogostemon, which is extensively cultivated in India, China, Caribbean, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Malaysia. Its oil is distilled from the fresh or dried leaves and flowers of various species of Pogostemon. It has anti-inflammatory properties.

Why high price?

The patchouli oil precipitates a mild sedation that is helpful in taking the edge off acute pain and sorrow. It’s a mood enhancer and antidepressant, and works as antiseptic. It can also help you with sexual dysfunction. The oil can be used to treat cold and fever, fungal infections. Furthermore, it prevents kidney and gallbladder stones, and fights bad breath and body odor.

11. Cover Girl Nail Polish – $900 per gallon

Nail varnish can be cheap, but the average cost of the little bottle puts it number 11 on the list. Either colored or clear, most of the nail polishes are made of nitrocellulose dissolved in a solvent such as ethyl acetate or butyl acetate.

What makes nail polish expensive?

The quality brands cost high because they include plasticizers to yield non-brittle films, dyes, pigments, adhesive polymers to ensure nitrocellulose adheres to the nail’s surface, thickening agents to maintain sparkling particles and ultraviolet stabilizers to resist color changes.

10. Human Blood – $1,500 per gallon

The human blood is a combination of plasma and cells that float in it. It supplies necessary nutrients and substances like oxygen, sugar and hormones to our cells and carries waste away from those cells.

Read: 30 Surprising Facts About Blood You Might Not Know

Why it is expensive?

We all carry around 5 liters of blood with us all the time, so it isn’t something rare, but the cost of processing blood donation is expensive. Although the price varies geographically, in general cost of handling donations continues to rise.

9. Gamma Hydroxybutyric Acid (GHB) – $2,600 per gallon

GHB is a Central Nervous System (CNS) depressant, commonly referred to as “club drug”. It is also produced as a result of fermentation, and found in small quantities in some wines and beers, beef and citrus fruits.

Why it is expensive?

GHB is used illegally as an intoxicant to try to increase athletic performance and sometimes mixed with alcohol and given to unsuspecting victims prior to sexual assaults. The common medical use of GHB today is treatment of narcolepsy and often it is used off-label for treatment of fibromyalgia. Moreover, it also increases slow-wave sleep.

8. Black Printer Ink – $2,700

The ink costs more in the long run than even the printer itself. The black ink is the key to printing almost everything. It is even used when printing with other colors. That means, there is no way you can avoid using the black ink.

Why it is expensive?

The black ink is made of carbon black. It also contains additives like lubricants, waxes, surfactants, and drying agents to aid printing and to impart any desired special characteristics.

7. Mercury – $3,400 per gallon

Mercury occurs naturally in the environment and typically found in the form of its common ore cinnabar – mercury sulfide. To extract pure mercury, the ore is ground up and heated up to 580 degrees Celsius with oxygen present in the process.

Why high price?

Mercury is the only metal that is in liquid state at room temperature. That’s the reason it can be used as a liquid contact material for electric switches. It is traditionally used in medicine and the production of thermometers. Because of its high density, it is used in manometers and barometers. Mercury is also used in the production of chlorine and sodium hydroxide, and in certain electric batteries.

6. Insulin – $9,400 per gallon

Insulin is a hormone created by the pancreas that lets your body use glucose from carbohydrates in the food. It helps to keep your blood sugar level from getting too low or too high. It also affects other metabolic processes like breakdown of protein or fat.

Why high cost?

The price of insulin has more than tripled in last 10 years. There are multiple reasons behind the price hikes: –

  • Captive Market: Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes patients can’t live without insulin. They have to pay what seller demands.
  • No Competition: There are only 3 manufactures of all the insulin used in the United States.
  • No Generics: Anyone wanting to manufacture a ‘biosimilar’ insulin has to pass extremely strict test to be allowed to sell it.

5. Chanel No. 5 – $26,000 per gallon

Chanel No. 5 is one of the world’s most expensive perfume, first went on sale in 1922. It was the first perfume launched by French couturier Gabrielle Coco Chanel. The chemical formula for the fragrance was compounded by the Russian-French perfumer and chemist Ernest Beaux.

Why so expensive?

Rare flower petals or essence of a rare root which are difficult to obtain, makes Chanel No. 5 expensive. It is the first perfume in the floral-aldehyde group and the first by the quantity of aldehydes in its composition. The top notes are composed of aldehydes, lemons, neroli, bergamot, rose, lily, heart of jasmine, while the base is created of sandalwood, amber, vanilla, patchouli and vetiver.

4. Horseshoe Crab Blood – $60,000 per gallon

Image credit: CNN 

The horseshoe crab lives primarily in and around shallow ocean water on soft sandy and muddy bottoms. They occasionally come onto shore to mate. Their blood is harvested in large quantities. It doesn’t have hemoglobin, instead horseshoe crabs use hemocyanin to carry oxygen. The blood contains copper, that’s why the color is blue.

Why high price?

Horseshoe crab’s blood contains amebocytes, which is similar to white blood cells of vertebrates, and defend the organism against pathogens. Amebocytes from the blood of L. Polyphemus are used to create Limulus amebocyte Iysate, which is used for the detection of bacterial endotoxins in medical applications.

3. LSD – $123,000 per gallon

LSD (Lysergic acid Diethylamide) is made from lysergic acid, which is found in the ergot fungus that grows on rye. It is produced in crystal form in illegal laboratories, especially in the US. These crystals are converted to liquid for distribution. It is colorless, odorless and has a quite bitter taste.

Why high price?

LSD is one of the most potent, mood-changing chemical/drug, that is very hard to come by and illegal. LSD users describe the experience a “trip”, lasting 12 hours or so. When things go wrong (and that usually happens), it is called a ‘bad trip”, another name for a living hell. One gallon would be enough to send about 55,000 people on the trip for their lifetime.

Read: Top 15 Lethal and Addictive Drugs With Their Effects

2. Thailand Cobra Venom – $153,000 per gallon

Image source: newsweek

The king cobra is one of longest and most venomous snakes on earth, which is capable of killing of a full grown elephant. With just one bite, the victim immediately suffers from symptoms like vertigo, blurred vision, drowsiness and paralysis before falling into a coma. Soon, the death becomes inevitable due to respiratory failure.

Why the price is so high?

The venom has been used to treat pain for many years. It was once even thought to be an aphrodisiac. This specialized saliva can be used in excessive bleeding during surgery or major trauma, breaking blood cots and treating stroke victims, finding cures for Parkinson’s disease, treatment of breast cancer and in aging wrinkle creams.

1. Scorpion Venom – $39,000,000 per gallon

With an alarming price of 39 million dollars per gallon scorpion venom is considered to be the most expensive liquid on earth. Scorpions use their venom to paralyze or kill their prey, and as a defense against predators. There are thousands of species of scorpion, but only 25 have venom that is deadly for humans.

What makes it so expensive?

The protein present in the venom can be used for the treatment of conditions like inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

Read: 20 Rarest, Most Expensive Material On Earth

It contains a mixture of biological chemicals called peptides, which are known to trigger cell death by generating pores in biological membranes. One small peptide known as TsAP-1 has anti-microbial and anti-cancer properties.

Written by
Varun Kumar

Varun Kumar is a professional science and technology journalist and a big fan of AI, machines, and space exploration. He received a Master's degree in computer science from GGSIPU University. To find out about his latest projects, feel free to directly email him at [email protected] 

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