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Remembering Elon Musk’s Not-So-Finest Moments On His 50th Birthday

by : Daniel Richardson on : 28 Jun 2021 17:35
PA Images

It’s Elon Musk’s 50th birthday, so it’s as good a time as any to look back at some of his more questionable decisions.

Musk has been incredibly successful in recent years, and his fame and wealth have skyrocketed. So much so, the mogul is now the second-richest person in the world, with an incredible sway in the stock market.

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While it’s easy to get swept up in his success, there’s no doubt the business magnate has had his fair share of cringe moments. With that in mind, here are some of his least flattering endeavours that were seen by people around the world.

Elon Musk giving thumbs up (PA Images)PA Images

The ‘Bullet-Proof’ Cybertruck:

One of the most memorable incidents that led to Musk looking a little silly was the unveiling of Tesla’s Cybertruck back in 2019. The Cybertruck has long been anticipated and has yet to arrive. This showcase illustrated exactly why the truck needed a bit more work.

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While some critiqued its appearance and size, the real awkwardness came when Musk showed its ‘bullet-proof’ glass. After illustrating the strength of the glass, Musk encouraged an assistant to throw a metal ball at the windows of the vehicle. Unfortunately, the glass smashed immediately, in an incident that left the owner of Tesla red-faced.

Musk And COVID-19:

In an outrageous tweet, Musk claimed that the US would have ‘close to zero’ new cases of COVID-19 by the end of April 2020. Of course, as we all know, the US has had 34,495,001 cases since the outbreak of the virus and over half a million people have died.

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Despite being woefully incorrect, the star went on to tweet ‘FREE AMERICA NOW’ in what appeared to be an attempt to help his businesses. Unfortunately, his misunderstandings of COVID-19 and its implications extended beyond the virus and also included how he conducted tests for it.

Musk went on to claim that ‘something extremely bogus’ was happening when he tested positive and negative for the virus. Many pointed out that false positives were possible and accused the billionaire of needlessly opposing testing.

Eventually, Musk’s undermining of measures to prevent the spread of the pandemic stopped as the global death toll reached millions. It seems Musk may now be recalculating his estimations of the virus.

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Musk’s Mini-Submarine:

When 12 children from a soccer team and their coach were trapped in a cave in Thailand, the world was worried about them potentially drowning. Engineers from across the world offered assistance, and Elon Musk was part of this help.

However, the business magnate’s plan consisted of children using a mini-submarine to escape the cave. On paper, it sounds ridiculous, and the idea didn’t carry too much weight with those involved. The rescue teams decided to deliver oxygen to those who were trapped before divers rescued them more traditionally.

Musk was displeased with claims that the submarine he developed was ‘not practical.’ In fact, he shared correspondence with people at the scene who encouraged him to keep developing the idea. Not only that, but his anger continued as he labelled Vernon Unsworth, who was involved in saving the lives of 13 people, a ‘pedo.’ In a private email to a Buzzfeed journalist, he also allegedly called Unsworth a ‘child rapist’ in a series of unsubstantiated claims. Unsworth denies Musk’s accusations.

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The public tantrum, that saw him call a journalist a ‘jackass’, led to a legal case for defamation. Nonetheless, the billionaire managed to get away with the statement without any consequences other than a fair amount of embarrassment.

Elon Musk (PA Images)PA Images

Supporting A Coup In Bolivia:

Elon Musk was the centre of controversy when he tweeted, ‘We will coup whoever we want! Deal with it.’ This statement was made in response to a tweet that said ‘You know what wasn’t in the best interest of people? The US government organizing a coup against Evo Morales in Bolivia so you could obtain the lithium there Bolivia to get cheaper access to the Lithium required for Tesla cars.’ Naturally, many were outraged by the fact that he would actively encourage the endangering of lives for profit.

While this alone is not a fine moment by any stretch, the billionaire then seemingly tried to offset the bombshell with a tweet that read ‘Pronouns suck.’ This led to backlash from thousands of people including his partner Grimes. Many pointed out that three pronouns were a lot simpler to remember than the name of his child X Ӕ A-12.

Safe to say, encouraging a coup is a questionable choice, and combining that with a clear double standard is a rare achievement. It also turned out that the coup was a failure, so the entire debacle just made Musk look silly.

Evidently, being rich doesn’t cover up all your blunders, even if money is a nice comfort when you do make a glaring error.

From shattered glass to a failed coup, Musk has had his fair share of eventful ventures. This looks set to continue with Musk’s plans to go to Mars, and we will undoubtedly hear more about these endeavours. At least we will, as long as he can still use Twitter.

Happy Birthday, Elon Musk!

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Daniel Richardson

After graduating from university, Dan went on to work with a variety of tech startups and media outlets. These included the likes of The Hook, WhatCulture and Game Rant. Eventually, Dan found a home for his journalism at UNILAD.

Topics: Technology, Elon Musk, Featured, Tesla, Twitter

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BBC News and 2 others