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Sure, mistakes happen

Sure, mistakes happen
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Making a mistake is not the end of the world—but that does not mean it won’t break the bank. From losing an NASA orbiter in space to forgetting a Starbucks cup in an episode of a previously well-acclaimed TV series, there are some mishaps that came with very hefty price tags. For those of you wondering what they are, here are 12 of the most expensive mistakes ever made.

Continuity chaos

Continuity chaos
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Game of Thrones fans couldn’t help but notice a Starbucks cup mistakenly left in a pivotal scene on the HBO series, but other television and movie mishaps actually cost studios a ton of money. When Warner Bros. gathered the cast of Justice League for some badly-needed reshoots, Henry Cavill (Superman) was in the midst of shooting another film that required him to have some pretty heavy facial hair. He had to film the reshoots with a moustache and, according to Looper, Warner Bros. spent millions of dollars digitally removing the pesky hairs from the Justice League film to make Superman appear as his smooth self.

They might not be as costly as this one, but these newspaper typos are certainly funny.

Lost in space

Lost in space
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Most people lose their sunglasses or a set of keys, which is frustrating and, sure, can be costly. But in 1999 NASA lost a $125M Mars orbiter because of what CNN referred to as a “metric mishap.” What happened? The mistake occurred because Lockheed Martin engineers used English measurements (inches, feet, etc.) in their calculations in contrast to NASA’s metric calculations (centimetres, metres, etc.). Because of this navigation information couldn’t properly transfer and the orbiter was lost.

Sizzling skyscraper

Sizzling skyscraper
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A London skyscraper nicknamed the “Walkie-Talkie” designed by architect Rafael Viñoly was originally notable for its unique shape, boasting curved eye-catching walls. Unfortunately, it became known for something much different when its south-facing wall, which is covered in reflective glass, began redirecting sunrays in such a way that was actually melting (yes, melting!) cars and causing fires. Fixes for the problem, included temporary netting and then a permanent sunshade, that cost in the estimated “low single-digit millions,” according to The Standard.

Check out why we make and miss typos.

Bad apple

Bad apple
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We’ve learned a lot about Apple founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak over the years, as the tech company changed the way we live and do business. But there was a third founder of the giant who at one time owned 10 per cent of the company and his name is Ronald Wayne. Wayne was an Apple founder for just 12 days before deciding to sell his share to Jobs and Wozniak for a mere $800. Unfortunate considering the company is worth $1 trillion, according to NBC News.

King Tut’s beard

King Tut’s beard
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Ancient artefacts are priceless and curators go to great lengths to keep these irreplaceable items in exceptional condition. In 2015 a funeral mask belonging to King Tutankhamen was damaged at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo after its beard started coming loose. In an interview with the Associated Press, a curator admitted the restoration process didn’t go as planned. “Unfortunately he used a very irreversible material,” they said of the would-be fixer. “Epoxy has a very high property for attaching, and is used on metal or stone—but I think it wasn’t suitable for an outstanding object like Tutankhamen’s golden mask.” We all make mistakes—and this is the best way to handle failure, according to science.

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Botched bridge

Botched bridge
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The last thing an architect wants to hear is their structure being referred to as “the wobbly bridge,” but that’s exactly what happened in London when the Millennium Bridge was unveiled in June 2000. It was shut down after only two days of use because the number of pedestrians using it (which, by the way, was its purpose) caused the bridge to shake and sway. It took two years of modifications for it to stop swaying and for the Millennium Bridge to reopen.

Fight or flight

Fight or flight
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Air travel is expensive for customers looking to book a getaway, but it was in 2006 when the airline Alitalia found itself stuck with the bill when a typo on their website allowed for $39 flights from Toronto to Cyprus (it was supposed to read $3,900), definitely one of the most expensive typos in the world. Two-thousand tickets sold before Alitalia could correct the price online. Instead of fighting customers on their mistake, they chose to honour the cheap tickets to the tune of $7 million.

Big dig

Big dig
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When an oil rig operated by Texaco drilled too far into the ground in Louisiana, it resulted in the collapse of salt pillars holding up Lake Peigneur. A sinkhole formed and the lake went from just 1.82 metres deep to a monstrous 60.96 metres. Texaco paid $44.8 million for the incredibly costly and troubling mistake.

High seas disaster

High seas disaster
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It’s hard not to think of the sinking of the Titanic when considering the most expensive mistakes in history. In 1912 the monetary loss of the ship, which was on its maiden voyage when it sank, was $7.5 million. According to Business Insider, that would be the equivalent of $168 million today. This doesn’t even account for the lives lost during the heartbreaking event.

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