What’s the most expensive thing in the world?

Dear Cecil:

What's the most expensive thing in the world?

Cecil replies:

Some years ago what was then the Atomic Energy Commission held a special clearance sale on an element called californium-252, which they were letting go for a mere $1,000 per microgram, or about $350 billion per pound–just slightly higher than the price of sirloin.

Send questions to Cecil via cecil@straightdope.com.

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