In Southeast Asia, albino "white" elephants were considered especially prestigious and often owned by kings. The gift of a white elephant, while considered a blessing, also landed the recipient with a fairly useless beast which would cost a lot to house and feed.
A white elephant gradually became to idiomatically mean any expensive venture or building project which was very expensive, with limited use. Whether sports venues built for a big event, or a "bridge to nowhere", here are 12 projects which blew past their already elephantine budgets.
Over a kilometre long, this bridge in Vladivostok was built for the 2012 APEC conference, which was hosted at the Far Eastern Federal University campus on Russky Island. The longest cable-stayed bridge in the world, with construction costs of over USD 1 billion, the bridge can handle over 50,000 cars per day. Only problem - the population of Russky Island is a mere 5,000, so the Putin-backed megaproject is barely used.
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