Occasionally, circumstances don’t unfold favorably, which is a common occurrence for everyone and nothing to be ashamed of. However, imagine being employed by a prominent company and unintentionally making an error that results in a significant financial loss. Keep reading for a definite pick-me-up as we delve into a compilation of truly costly blunders committed by major corporations – they will undoubtedly bring some cheer to your own situation!
Trains That Were Too Fat For Their Platforms
Typically, when constructing railway lines within your city, it is desired for the train cars to be able to pass through the platforms comfortably, correct?
The French company SNCF made a miscalculation, resulting in the 2,000 train cars they bought being too small to pass through the platforms. This error incurred a loss of approximately 50 million euros and led to a delay of two additional years in expanding all 1,300 platforms. Oh dear!
A Building That Melted A Car!
Have you ever come across an instance where a building actually caused a car to melt? This peculiar incident came to our attention recently. In London, a uniquely designed building caused quite a commotion when its owners received a complaint about melting some parts of a man’s Jaguar.
John Keeble/Getty Images
Martin Lindsay discovered that his car, which had been parked on the opposite side of the street, had suffered some damage to its body and mirror due to the reflection from the nearby building. The owners of the building not only compensated for the repairs but also had to invest additional funds in installing sun protection measures in the surrounding areas of the building.
A Hairy Situation
I have an interesting story to tell you – Warner Brothers, following the filming of the successful movie Justice League, made the decision to redo some scenes. Now, reshoots are generally a normal part of the filmmaking process, but this particular instance had some additional complications. The lead actor, Henry Cavill, was already working on another movie called Mission Impossible – Fallout, where he needed to grow some facial hair. However, for the character of Superman, he needed to be clean-shaven.
Youtube/Warner Bros. Pictures
Warner Brothers requested Paramount to allow Henry to do the reshoots without his mustache, but Paramount declined. As a result, a costly reshoot of $25 million was undertaken, which involved hiring a visual effects team to digitally remove all of his hair.
Let’s Stick To One Measuring System Please
Ensuring the uniform use of the same measuring system is crucial in order to prevent significant miscalculations.
Photo by NASA/Wikimedia Commons
In 1999, a satellite was constructed by NASA and Lockheed Martin, but a slight oversight occurred – NASA utilized the metric system, while Lockheed Martin used the imperial system. This minuscule mistake resulted in the destruction of the Mars orbiter, leading to a financial loss of $125 million for NASA.
Not Everyone Liked Harry Potter
The majority of individuals are quite knowledgeable about the beloved Harry Potter book series authored by the renowned J.K. Rowling. Despite the ultimate immense commercial triumph of her books (earning a staggering $7.7 billion from book sales alone), she faced numerous rejections along her journey.
On Twitter, Rowling revealed a few of the rejection letters she received. One publisher’s letter in particular now seems quite amusing in retrospect. The publisher expressed regret, stating that they had reluctantly concluded that publishing [Harry Potter] would not yield any commercial success.
Suez Canal Blockage Costs Millions Of Dollars Per Day
The Suez Canal, a significant global trade route, connects a large portion of East Africa and the Gulf States to the Mediterranean Sea. Regrettably, on March 23, 2021, the canal experienced a major congestion issue, surpassing the magnitude of a minor traffic slowdown in LA.
The Ever Given is an incredibly huge container ship that is actually longer than the height of the Eiffel Tower. Due to strong winds, it veered off course and became lodged in a crucial trading route, resulting in a complete halt to trade for the 369 ships trailing behind it. This unexpected congestion in global trade is projected to cause a loss of around $9 billion every day or $400 million per hour.
Millions Lost In The City Dump
Consider the scenario of misplacing millions of dollars at a garbage site. Back in 2009, James Howell acquired approximately 7,500 bitcoins, which held minimal value at that point. He stored all the pertinent details on a hard drive but carelessly discarded it during a relocation, without attaching much significance to it.
However, as we are aware, Bitcoin became wildly popular and James began searching for his hard drive in the city landfill – until he was eventually banned from doing so due to environmental issues. It is worth mentioning that his initial investment would now be valued at $427 million!
A Submarine That Almost Drowned
When constructing a new submarine, the intention is for it to be capable of submerging underwater and also resurfacing. In 2013, the Spanish government spent a staggering $2.2 billion on a submarine known as The Isaac Peral, but encountered a problem with its design.
Public domain/Wikimedia Commons
Due to a miscalculation involving decimals, there was concern that the submarine’s weight would prevent it from resurfacing. Fortunately, the issue was successfully resolved.
Stockbroker Typo That Cost Millions
It is important for us to be more attentive to details, and this incident serves as a solid illustration of that. A stockbroker working for Mizuho Securities Co. in Japan made a minor mistake in handling data, resulting in a significant loss of $225 million.
He intended to offer a single share worth 610,000 yen (approximately $5,000) on the New York Stock Exchange, but mistakenly offered 610,000 shares for just 1 yen. It became evident that investors recognized the advantageous situation and exploited it. It is essential to exercise greater caution and attentiveness in future endeavors.
Rejecting The Beatles
It is evident that someone lacks good judgment when it comes to music if they decided to reject The Beatles. In 1962, the Liverpool band known as the Silver Beatles tried out for Decca Records and were turned down by executive Dick Howe, who believed that guitar music was losing popularity.
After a few months, the band inked a deal with EMI and went on to achieve immense popularity, becoming one of the most adored bands in history. Their record sales reaching a staggering $50 million, Decca Records clearly missed a golden opportunity.
You Take Risks When You Sell Your Shares
When you sell the shares you own from a company, there’s always a chance that the company will do even better in a few years.
In this classic example, Yahoo owned 30 percent of the Chinese multinational technology company, Alibaba in 2005, but sold half their stake, making $7.6 billion. While that is an enormous amount of money, today, Alibaba is valued at around $84 billion!
Why The Oxford Comma Is So Important
If you ever wanted to know why the oxford comma (the final comma in a list) is so important, here’s a good reason. When signing contracts the Oxford Comma separates the penultimate items from the final items on a list – and lawyers representing the company’s truck drivers argued that the contract’s lack of one meant that they were entitled to overtime.
We know it sounds a bit complicated – and it is – so we’ll cut to the chase. Basically, a judge agreed with the legal team representing the drivers and ordered the company to pay them $5 million in overtime. Essentially a company lost $5 million all because of one stupid comma – grammar matters!
Flights Across The World For Only $39
Don’t we wish airlines would make price mistakes more often? The airline company Alitalia once made a huge mistake that cost them $7 million.
Tickets from Toronto to Cyprus were supposed to be $3900, but the airline offered the flight for $39 by mistake. 2,000 people jumped on the deal, and the company was nice enough to honor all of the tickets.
Smashing A Priceless Guitar
If you’re not supposed to use the priceless item you borrowed for a movie scene, you kind of need to inform all the actors on board. We’ll explain— in Quentin Tarantino’s film, The Hateful Eight, the production crew borrowed a priceless guitar from the Martin Guitar Museum.
The Hateful Eight/Imdb
lIn one scene, actor Kurt Russel grabs the guitar from actress Jennifer Jason Leigh and smashes it, only Kurt wasn’t informed that the real guitar was being swapped for a replica for the smashing part. Let’s just say that Jennifer’s reaction in this scene is pretty genuine.
A Prescribed Fire That Got Out Of Hand
A prescribed fire is a fire that’s purposely made in targeted forest areas to avoid huge uncontrolled blazes. Except for one case in Cerro Grande, New Mexico, the prescribed fire got completely out of hand.
In 2000, the controlled fire became unmanageable, and flames spread everywhere for about a month, costing $1 billion in property damage. At least nobody died from the tragedy.
What To Do When Pharaoh Tutankhamun Loses His Beard
When a piece of an artifact becomes loose, it’s probably a better idea to ask the experts first before turning it into a DIY project. If you saw the beard on one of King Tut’s funeral masks falling off, what would you do?
One inexperienced restorer thought he should glue it back on without anyone noticing. Thankfully epoxy glue is pretty permanent and wasn’t the worse choice.
A Fresco Is Ruined But Yields A Positive Outcome
Well, if you thought the last artifact was botched, take a look at this one. An amateur restorer from Borja Spain thought she could restore fresco Ecce Homo (Behold the Man), but the results weren’t pretty, to say the least.
Painting by Elías García Martínez restored by Cecilia Giménez/Wikimedia Commons
The botched fresco was ridiculed and some people even called the painting Ecce Mono (Behold the Monkey). Surprisingly though, it became a huge tourist attraction ever since.
Star Wars Toy Rights
We all know that George Lucas is pretty rich and famous from the critically acclaimed Star Wars films, but he actually could have been a lot richer.
Back in the ’70s, the film studio was hesitant to spend so much money that Lucas gave up his merchandising rights as a part of a deal. Imagine if he also got money from every lightsaber and droid toy sold around the world!
Someone Didn’t Measure The Bridge Correctly
Looking at this photo, you kind of wonder what was going through the workers’ heads when this happened. How could a bridge be built with a gap?
National Ocean Service
The good news is that the two parts seem to be lined up, so all they need to do is set up a ramp to connect the two. Let’s hope no one got fired for this mishap.
Poor Construction Leads To Building Collapses
This residential complex in Shanghai collapsed due to some terrible construction issues. A certain amount of soil was piled against one side of the building, and it fell over after workers starting digging to make a parking lot.
The destruction cost a worker’s life and $800,000 for the repair. At least this incident forced people to see the ongoing construction supervision problem in China.
An Unstable Pedestrian Bridge
How safe would you feel if you walked across a swaying pedestrian bridge? An 18.2 million pound bridge was build in 2000, connecting both sides of the River Thames in London, England. But after three days, the bridge was closed due to instability.
Alexandre Buisse/Wikimedia Commons
Apparently, the bridge wasn’t able to accommodate the 160,000 people who crossed it at once time. Much more money was spent, and the bridge eventually opened two years later.
Why would anyone give up Alaska? Some of you may not know, but Alaska wasn’t always part of the United States – it was owned by Russia until 1867.
Alexander II didn’t think too much of the cold state and sold it to the US for $7.2 million without knowing how rich it was in oil and gold. Today, Alaska’s oil and gas reserves alone are worth $200 billion. Wrong move, Russia!
Withdrawing From Your Apple Share
Everyone’s heard of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, but does the name Ronald Wayne ring a bell? Unless you’re very familiar with Apple’s history, you probably didn’t know that there was a third founder to the wildly successful tech company.
Wayne drew the famous Apple logo, but due to personality clashes, Wayne sold his 10 percent stake for a mere $800 in 1976. Knowing that Apple is currently valued at over 1 trillion dollars, Wayne might have sold his shares a bit too early.
If Only Blockbuster Partnered With Netflix
Believe it or not, Netflix and Blockbuster could have teamed up with each other. Back in 2000, the cofounder of Netflix met up with the CEO of Blockbuster to propose a partnership – Blockbuster would run the Netflix stores while Netflix would work on Blockbuster’s brand online.
In hindsight, that may have been a great idea, but we all know what happened. Blockbuster laughed their way out of that meeting and ended up going bankrupt, while Netflix soared and is currently valued at $15.8 billion. Not so funny now is it, Blockbuster.
Remember The Search Engine, Excite?
Here’s another example of a company opting out of a deal that could have made them billionaires. For those of you who were around for the early stages of the internet, you probably remember the search engine, Excite.
In 1999 Google (hilariously called Backrub at the time) entered the market, and Excite was considering buying it but passed because Google wanted Excite to only use its technology. Google is currently valued at around $167 billion, so maybe Excite made the wrong decision there.
New Jersey’s Education Reform Error
We’ve all written down the wrong year by mistake on our papers, tests, or even government forms. In this case, writing the wrong year cost more than just a bit of embarrassment.
The person who forgot to proofread an application cost the state of New Jersey a large federal grant for education reform. By writing down the years 2010-2011 instead of 2008-2009, New Jersey lost out on $400 million. Yikes!
The Howie Hubler Morgan Stanley Trading Loss
This is the story of the second-largest trading loss in history. 2007 was definitely not the best year to be trading bonds due to the financial crisis.
Howie Hubler (a bond trader at Morgan Stanley), decided to buy risky credit default swaps for $2 billion while selling collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) for $16 billion. The CDOs were not secure, and when the market crashed, Howie cost Morgan Stanley billions of dollars.
Chrysler Goes Bankrupt
The maker of Mercedes-Benz, Daimler-Benz bought Chrysler for a whopping $37 billion but sold the company for only $7 billion, nine years later. How did that happen?
Although Chrysler was doing well for several years, it took a hit in 2006. Despite launching ten new vehicles, the car company lost $1.5 billion and filed for bankruptcy in 2008.
Oil Rig Drilling Gone Wrong
Sometimes when we push something too far, it will end up costing us quite a lot. A good example of this was when an oil rig drilled too far into Lake Peigneur, Louisiana.
Fair use/Wikimedia Commons
The Texaco drill hit a salt mine, causing a huge hole that swallowed the lake and caused a massive whirlpool. The damage cost $44.8 million, but at least no one was hurt.
B-2 Military Jet Crashes
In the most expensive crash of history, a $1.4 billion B-2 military jet planned a practice flight in Guam in 2008 and crashed during takeoff.
U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Bennie J. Davis III/Wikimedia Commons
Fortunately, the pilots managed to leave the jet before the crash, and the sensors reported airspeed, altitude, and trajectory errors. Later on, it was believed that heavy rain caused too much moisture to seep into the machinery. Crazy!
This story is quite possibly the most famous one out of the whole list. Who hasn’t heard of the Titanic? The large passenger ship that set off in 1912 was called “unsinkable,” which is pretty ironic considering what happened to it.
F.G.O. Stuart/Wikimedia Commons
The Titanic hit an iceberg on its first voyage, causing the ship to sink and took down 1500 people with it. Also, the loss of the vessel cost about $7.5 million (which is around $175 million in today’s currency).
Don’t Drop That Satellite
Honestly, looking at this photo makes us cringe. This was the NOAA-19 weather satellite that was launched in 2009. But in 2003, much before the launch, the satellite fell to the floor at a tilt of 13 degrees while being rotated.
And just as expected, the repairs were extremely costly – it was $135 million to continue working on this project!
Imagine if you’re working in the aerospace industry, and all of sudden the fire suppression foam is released into the room. That seems to be what happened in this photo.
Although someone could try to argue that there was fire first, there seems to be way too much foam suggesting that someone did this by mistake. Unless it was done on purpose to simulate clouds!
Don’t Forget Where You Parked Your Car
Wow, this photo is very hard to look at. Here’s what happened – someone parked their car in the driveway but then parked a second car in the secret underground garage.
When the bottom car got flooded, he brought it up but smashed the top car in the process. One ruined car is bad enough – imagine the cost of repairing both!
Tailgating A School Bus Will Have Consequences
We shouldn’t have to remind people about this, but don’t tailgate a school bus. Why? Because you’ll end up being in the same situation as the tiny silver car in this photo.
This small car was driving way too close to the school bus, and the bus clearly didn’t know anyone was behind it because when it backed up, it crushed the small car. And the shape of the silver car only made things worse.
Crane Splits This House In Half
We think it’s safe to say that these repairs are going to be through the roof! Terrible mistakes can happen at any time, and unfortunately, this house was ripped apart when a truck fell to its side.
The truck was carrying a crane, and as you can see, the crane split this house in half. Let’s just hope no one was in there when it happened.
Maybe Don’t Park On The Beach
From the looks of this photo, this expensive car may not be worth saving. These guys are trying too hard—it’s too submerged.
We’re not sure which genius thought it would be a good idea to leave this Mercedes so close to the water, but lo and behold, the tide came in, and the car sunk halfway through the sand. Next time, park in the parking lot when you go for a swim!
There Might Be Some Issues With Your Internet
We are definitely going to get nightmares from this photo! There appears to have been a storm, and workers are in the process of cleaning up. We could be wrong, though.
Now it’s pretty obvious from the tangled wires drenched in mud that the internet cables are down and won’t be up and running for quite some time. How much do you think it cost to get the cables fixed?
Don’t Forget To Tip Your Server
If you were ever wondering what a server looked like if it tipped over and fell on the floor, here’s your chance.
Since these towers are extremely heavy, we’re not really sure how this happened, but either way, it’s going to be a massive cleanup project and will cost a ton of money. Maybe people should be more careful next time.
Vulcan Cannon Crushing an F-16
As seen several times on this list, a worker’s mistake can cost an entire company millions of dollars. The F-16 Flying Falcon is a fighter aircraft used by the United States airforce.
Unfortunately, a maintenance worker accidentally activated a Vulcan cannon, and the F-16 happened to be on the runway at the time. The fighter jet caught fire, and the rest is history.
Who Would Microwave Their Money?
After seeing this disturbing image, we can’t help but wonder, is the person who did this sane? A wad of 5000 Canadian dollars appears to have been put in the microwave, and not surprisingly, the bills came out shriveled and unfit for use.
The guy who did this wanted to disinfect his money, but microwaving is certainly not the way. What a huge waste of cash!