8 Most Expensive Types of Liquids Ever

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When talking about the world’s most expensive liquids, we could be talking about anything from Scotch to venom to human blood. Insanely expensive liquids could be valued for their rarity, utility, taste, scientific value, and more.

Note that we didn’t include expensive liquids whose prices are inflated by other means, such as the $3.7 million Billionaire Vodka, whose bottle is encrusted in thousands of diamonds and rare crystals. On this list, we wanted to focus on liquids whose value is in the liquid itself. Without fancy bottles or pro bono diamond rings, here are the 8 most expensive liquids in the world.

  1. Horseshoe Crab Blood
  2. Price: $60,000 per gallon
    Use: Bacteria tests
    Location: Atlantic Ocean
    Horseshoe Crab Blood
    photo source: Natural History Museum

    Horseshoe crabs have been around for hundreds of millions of years in nearly the same physical form they take today. Their tank-like, spiky bodies and tapered, thorn-like tails are instantly recognizable. Less commonly known is that they have 10 eyes, a bad case of light sensitivity, and bright blue, incredibly valuable blood.

    Their blood contains amoebocytes, single-celled creatures that detect and attack bacteria. They can be farmed into a chemical called coagulogen, which is the basis for the most sensitive bacteria test on earth. This is why hundreds of thousands of horseshoe crabs are bled alive every year for their blood, which can be sold at a figure equivalent to $60,000 per gallon.

    Did you know?

    Using coagulogen to test for bacteria, scientists can detect foreign organisms even if they are present at a concentration of only one part per trillion. Recently, horseshoe crab blood played a vital role in creating and testing the COVID-19 vaccines.


  3. LSD
  4. Price: $123,000 per gallon
    Use: Recreation
    Location: Various
    LSD
    photo source: Wikimedia Commons

    You may know Lysergic Acid Diethylamide by its more common acronym, LSD (or just “acid”). Introduced to the public 60 years ago now, LSD was created synthetically starting with a compound found in the ergot grain fungus. Lysergic acid was further developed for its psychedelic properties until a full-blown commercial hallucinogen was born.

    It can be bought for high prices, the highest of which equates to $123,000 per gallon when you do the math.

    Did you know?

    LSD is more commonly sold in crystal form, diluted with other materials to create a nice visual since the drug itself could have the desired effect in a dose small enough to be invisible to the eye. However, it has also been condensed into a powerful, and ultra-valuable, liquid.


  5. King Cobra Venom
  6. Price: $153,000 per gallon
    Use: Pain-killer
    Location: India, Indonesia, China
    King Cobra Venom
    photo source: Wikimedia Commons

    The peptide toxin Ohanin is one of the world’s most potent painkillers, researched to be 20 times more powerful than morphine. It’s a high concentration of this compound that makes the venom of King Cobras coveted for its medicinal properties.

    While not the most powerful venom in the world in terms of deadliness, this peptide makes King Cobra venom the most valuable of any reptile’s. Even at $153,000 per gallon, a King Cobra bite that produces 7 ml of venom on average is not a huge payday. However, those who are experienced at milking these powerful animals can reap the rewards.

    Did you know?

    Though this venom is not the deadliest in the world, it’s still far from a joke. A King Cobra’s bite contains enough potent neurotoxin to incapacitate and kill an elephant, or roughly 20 adult humans. The first system to fail is the brain’s respiration centers. Respiratory arrest and cardiac failure are not long to follow.


  7. Domaine De La Romanée-Conti, Romanée-Conti Grand CRU
  8. Price: $384,804 per gallon
    Use: Recreation
    Location: France
    Domaine De La Romanée-Conti
    photo source: Decanter

    Domaine De La Romanée-Conti is often considered the king of vineyards and this bottle of Romanée-Conti Grand CRU is often lauded as the wine to beat all wines. The estate in France services 62 acres of land that produces some of the world’s finest wines (also including Richebourg and La Rache)

    In 2018, a bottle of 1945 Romanée-Conti Grand CRU sold for $558,000, winning the record for being the world’s most expensive wine. This equates to about $384,804 per gallon.

    Did you know?

    Only 600 bottles of Domaine De La Romanée-Conti 1945 were ever produced and this one, sold at a Sotheby’s auction, remains the most valuable. Harsh weather in France in 1945 contributed to a low production year, setting this wine up for its destiny as one of the most coveted on earth.


  9. Horse Semen
  10. Price: $4,700,000 per gallon
    Use: Breeding
    Location: Netherlands
    Horse Semen
    photo source: Stallion AI

    Horse semen may not be the most appetizing liquid on this list, but its utility in horse breeding makes it one of the most valuable substances per gallon, nonetheless. The most valuable known is that of the horse, Big Star, who was foaled in the Netherlands. 80 ml of his semen is worth about $100,000 to breeders, which equates to approximately $4.7 million per gallon.

    In showjumping, Big Star won double gold medals, making him one of the most coveted genetic lines. Since a few thousand dollars’ worth of semen can become a foal worth hundreds of thousands in a year or two, Big Star’s handlers are going to take advantage while they still can.

    Did you know?

    Big Star is not actually the most valuable breeding horse. That honor goes to Galileo, an Irish thoroughbred racehorse that won The Derby, Irish Derby Stakes, Queen Elizabeth Stakes, and more. It is estimated that his semen would be worth $49 million per gallon based on the average amount in ml per dose multiplied by his breeding fee of $650,000.

    However, thoroughbred horses can only be bred naturally. This means that for breeding purposes, Galileo will never be available for purchase in liquid form.


  11. The Macallan 1926
  12. Price: $10,867,942 per gallon ($2 million per bottle)
    Use: Recreation
    Location: Aberlour, United Kingdom
    The Macallan 1926
    photo source: Sotheby’s

    The Macallan 1926 is the world’s most expensive alcohol. It’s a bottle of scotch from the legendary cask 263, often called the holy grail of Scotches for the world’s most avid collectors. For its taste and its vintage quality, the bottles from this cask have been lauded with every possible award. Now they get one more by being in the top 3 most valuable liquids on earth.

    A particular bottle of The Macallan 1926, aged in ex-Sherry casks and bottled after being flavored and preserved for six decades, has sold for 1.5 million pounds or $2 million. That bottle, which contains 750 ml of Scotch, can be multiplied in value to a figure of $10.86 million per gallon, if that much of this legendary whiskey was ever assembled.

    Did you know?

    Only 40 bottles were drawn in cask 263, making any that have survived that much more valuable. To be fair to other liquids on this list, the bottle itself does hold some significance for The Macallan 1926 as only 14 were designed with the rare label that sold for this exorbitant amount. However, this Scotch is valuable whenever, wherever, and however it is sold, regardless of the label.


  13. Deathstalker Scorpion Venom
  14. Price: $39,000,000 per gallon
    Use: Medical research
    Location: North Africa
    Deathstalker Scorpion Venom
    photo source: Wikimedia Commons

    Current research points to scorpion venom as a possible treatment for many chronic ailments, from autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus to certain cancers. It is an effective analgesic, which is the scientific word for “pain reliever,” as well as a strong antimicrobial.

    Scientists are currently conducting more research into scorpion venom to determine if it has long-term promise as a treatment for staph infections and tuberculosis or as a future cure for arthritis. The limitless potential of high-quality scorpion venom has driven its prices sky-high. If anyone ever assembled a gallon of venom from a high-value scorpion like the Deathstalker, it could sell for over $39,000,000.

    Did you know?

    In many places around the world, including Pakistan and China, purposely being stung by scorpions has become a new kind of drug addiction. Angry scorpions use venom glands connected to the barb in their tail for self-defense, often killing smaller prey, but non-lethal stings cause short and long-term memory loss, appetite changes, and delusions. For some, scorpion stinging or even smoking has become an addictive and dangerous pastime.


  15. Zolgensma
  16. Price: $1,462,545,751 per gallon ($2.125 million per dose)
    Use: Treating muscular atrophy
    Location: Illinois, United States
    Zolgensma
    photo source: Clinical Trials Arena

    The most expensive liquid is Zolgensma. It’s a gene therapy medicine in liquid form that is used to treat spinal muscular atrophy. This debilitating condition causes muscles to become inactive and weak and eventually waste away due to dysfunctions in the nerves.

    Those who inherit the condition have what’s called SMN1, which is the more severe version. While rare, the condition is debilitating enough to warrant research and development of a treatment, which came in the form of the substance, onasemnogene abeparvovec, or the brand name, Zolgensma.

    The treatment is delivered as a 1-hour infusion of 5.5ml, costing $2.125 million. This equates to over $1.46 billion per gallon, making Zolgensma the world’s most expensive liquid.

    Did you know?

    While spinal muscular atrophy or SMA is rare, in the modern world it is the most common way that infants die of genetic causes. The disease is diagnosed early as motor neurons and muscles are observed to be dying. Voluntary muscles such as those in the legs, arms, and respiratory system are the first to be affected.


The Takeaway

The world’s most valuable liquids are an interesting group, ranging from horseshoe crab blood to Scotch whiskey to horse semen. What they lack in common traits, however, they make up for in common value. All these liquids are worth thousands, millions, or even billions per gallon, even if for many of them, a gallon is a completely unachievable amount.

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