Because celebrities are not "just like us."
If there's one thing that celebrity magazines have taught us, it's that "celebrities are just like us."
They use their mouths to eat food, and they occasionally use their legs to walk outdoors. Sometimes they don't even look like a team of makeup artists and fashion designers have sculpted every facet of their look! So normal.
Here's the thing, though. Celebrities are weird. It takes a strange personality (and maybe some underlying mental health issues) to want that much attention. And sometimes when a person with a strange personality (and maybe some underlying mental health issues) gets way too much money, they really start to lose touch with reality and end up manifesting their strangeness with some of the craziest homes the world has ever seen.
Homes so strange that they can almost never find buyers at full price. Homes like...
Nicolas Cage's Dragon House
Nicolas Cage is not known for his subtlety. And that applies just as much to his taste in decor as it does to his acting. Decked out with dragon statuary, samurai armor, and the biggest geode you've ever seen, his 12,000 square foot Bel Air mansion was basically a gaudy mess.
The home went into foreclosure in 2010, when the Face/Off and National Treasure star was deep in debt and no one was willing to snap it up for the $10.4 million price tag—down from an original asking price of $35 million.
Robert Downey Jr.'s Windmill House
The iconic East Hampton Home of Actor Robert Downey Jr. and his wife, producer Susan Downey, was featured in Architectural Digest in 2017, and it's no wonder. In addition to its huge 1800s windmill, the home showcases the couple's artistic taste throughout, with vibrant paintings and colorful accents complimenting a blend of classic and contemporary furniture that puts Tony Stark's taste to shame.
There's also a giant Preying Mantis sculpture out front—because why not? Sadly, this $11.5 million home does not include a Jarvis.
Drake's Yolo Estate
Taking a slightly more adult (though not necessarily more mature) approach to the water park theme, Drake reportedly found an image of his mansion in Hidden Hills, California—with its massive pool, grotto, waterfalls, and circular bed surrounding a fire pit—years before he actually bought it. The "God's Plan" singer kept an image of it as his desktop background until he was able to buy the property in 2012 for $7.7 million.
The interior of the house that he has since deemed "Yolo Estate" isn't nearly as flashy and ridiculous as his Toronto mansion, but the life-size sculptures of bathing women, multiple levels of huge waterfalls, as well as the bar, flat screen TVs and hot tub inside his enormous torch-lit grotto are plenty excessive.
Jordan McGraw's "Tim Burton" House
It may be a stretch to call "musician" (Dr. Phil's son) Jordan McGraw a celebrity, but he clearly wants it so bad, we might as well give it to him. And like any proper would-be famous person, he's already cultivated his lavishly "eccentric" taste. Which is to say, he designed a uniquely fugly house.
If there is a better way to describe this surreal, over-the-top awfulness...it's probably through the words of Jordan McGraw himself: "The whole place, the idea is kind of Tim Burton threw up on a canvas and it turned into a house." Yup.
Apparently he grew out of the phase where he wanted to live in Tim Burton's vomit, because the house—which is technically owned by Dr. Phil McGraw himself—was listed for $5.75 million earlier this year, and Jordan McGraw has reportedly moved into much classier digs.
Penn Jillette's "Slammer"
The larger, louder half of the comedy magic duo Penn & Teller spent the better part of two decades expanding his insane "Slammer" compound with a series of extensions off the original A-frame structure in the desert outside Las Vegas.
With a perimeter fence in the style of a medium-security prison, Jillette was supposedly inspired to create his technicolor, astroturfed "retreat" by a visit to an infectious disease research center that was totally sealed off from the outside world. If that sounds a little crazy, wait until you see the inside...
But perhaps the craziest part about the Slammer was what happened to it after Jillette and his family moved to a new home. Developers bought the 10-acre property the Slammer stood on for $1.9 million—intending to tear the building down. Rather than do that the normal way, a Russian military tank was brought in to do the job.
Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch
Just by default, Neverland Ranch had to be on this list. Was Michael Jackson an unparalleled performer and likely a serial sexual abuser who (allegedly) gave children alcohol and rigged his bedroom with an alarm system? Yes. In addition to all of that, he also built himself a sprawling compound north of LA with its own amusement park, train, and zoo.
The property, including the 12,600 square foot home was once listed at $100 million, but was taken off the market earlier this year after failing to sell for $31 million.
Naomi Campbell's Eye of Horus House
This domed eco-home is incredible...literally. The story goes that back in 2011, when English supermodel Naomi Campbell was dating Russian Billionaire Vladislav Doronin, he built her a custom, sustainable, ultra-modern eco-home designed by Spanish architect Luis de Garrido.
The massive glass dome was designed to contain four floors, 25 bedrooms, a massive indoor garden, and all with the intent to use sunlight and airflow to regulate temperature and maintain abundant plant life. Oh, and it also happened to be designed like a giant eyeball in a pool shaped like the Egyptian Eye of Horus symbol, complete with a giant Ankh in a scheme that is basically asking for Illuminati conspiracy theorists to pull their hair out. There's only one problem... It probably doesn't exist.
Despite numerous breathless articles from that period describing the house as though it was a real building that had already been completed, the only images seem to be convincing architectural renders, and the Turkish island of Cleopatra where the house was supposed to be located looks suspiciously eyeless in satellite imagery.
So, short of google hiding the house from us (the Illuminati!), the house either doesn't exist or was built somewhere else entirely. Still, the design is pretty amazing/insane. Better luck next time, Naomi!
Dick Clark's Flintstone House
Back in the day, Dick Clark was a big deal. From American Bandstand to New Year's Rockin' Eve he was synonymous with great music, introducing America to musicians from Prince to Buddy Holly to Johnny Cash. But apparently his devotion to "rock" went a lot further than that.
He apparently loved the Flintstones aesthetic so much that he modelled his mansion in Malibu after the distinctive look. Why? Supposedly it was styled to look like a rock formation so as not to disrupt the natural beauty of the area. As for the choice to have nearly every detail of the interior look like it was carved from stone using primitive tools...he was just a weirdo. Either that or an actual dinosaur.
The property was listed during Clark's last weeks of life for $3.5 million, but sold in 2014 (two years after Clark passed at the age of 82) for around $1.8 million.
Bob Hope's Spaceship House
If Dick Clark's House is a Flintsones home, Bob Hope's Palm Springs home is straight out of The Jetsons. Designed by acclaimed architect John Lautner, the 23,000 square foot hilltop home features a blend of indoor and outdoor spaces separated by glass and sheltered by soaring curves of concrete around an enormous central oculus.
Completed in 1979, the whole thing looks ready to give the Millenium Falcon a run for its money. As beautiful as it is, the craziest thing about this home is the idea that a comedian who spent approximately 100 years telling jokes about golf would live somewhere so cool.
Initially listed in 2013 for $50 million, the home sold in 2016 for just $13 million.
John Travolta's Airport House
Okay, this is another pretty unbelievable home, except this one definitely exists. John Travolta is well known as the star of Battlefield Earth and the guy who played Nicolas Cage in Face/Off, but did you know he's also an avid pilot? Well he is. Such an avid pilot, in fact, that he apparently finds cars too boring to bother with. And the good news is, you never need to get in a car at all...if your home is the airport!
Indeed, plenty of obscenely wealthy people have helipads on their roofs, but how many are set up so they can park giant jets in their driveway? In this case Travolta may be in a class of his own. With an aesthetic that even looks like a small airport—complete with a control tower—Travolta's home in the fly-in gated community of Jumbolair, near Ocala, Florida, allowed him to park his 150-feet-long Boeing 707 right outside his front door, and take off from the nearby runway.
Travolta has since donated his 707 to an aviation museum in Australia, but the mid-century-modern home still boasts covered parking spots for two large planes, a large pool, and aviation themed decor throughout. It was basically built like the world's most exclusive sky lounge for just Travolta and his late wife, Actress Kelly Preston... And maybe their kids if they were feeling generous.
The home was just a short drive from their massive mansion in Clearwater, Florida, where Preston passed away this week after battling breast cancer in secret for the past two years.
Naomi Campbell's Spaceship/Airport House
Okay, we felt bad about spoiling the fun with Naomi Campbell's Eye of Horus house, so we decided to give her another shot, and whoo boy did she deliver. Since there was already a celebrity with a spaceship house and a celebrity with an airport house, this house had to mash them together.
For the sake of honesty it's worth pointing out that the house was much more the vision of that same Russian ex-boyfriend, real estate developer Vladislav Doronin. The house was under construction for the entire time they were together, but at least it's actually real!
The only private home designed by the late architectural genius Zaha Hadid—who was primarily known for large public structures like train stations and museums—this 28,000 square foot ultra-modern home certainly meets the criteria for large, though it's secluded location in the woodlands west of Moscow is hardly public. With curving glass and metal, the lower three floors are partially embedded in a hillside, while the top floor projects above like an airport control tower, peering over the surrounding treetops.
The home took 12 years to complete and cost an estimated $140 million. And now you can buy it for just $100 million... which is definitely too much for a home, but is a great price for the spaceship that will allow you to escape this dying planet.
Now that we've got these 12 in the books, the next generation of crazy celebrities will know to aim higher.