ELON Musk has had plenty of bonkers ideas down the years – some more bonkers than others.
Among other things, the billionaire Tesla chief believes he can set up a colony on Mars and cure obesity all within the next few decades.
Traffic jams eliminated by tunnel systems
Elon Musk has claimed that he will put an end to traffic jams by digging a network of tunnels under major cities.
His argument is that traffic will be less congested if it flows using an elaborate matrix of subterranean roads.
That led him to found his tunnel-digging firm, The Boring Company, in California in 2016.
The firm has been focusing on infrastructure and tunnel construction, and primarily looks at how tunnels can help to ease traffic in Los Angeles.
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Musk claims that the 2D transportation network at present is not viable anymore.
In February 2017, the company began digging a 30-foot-wide, 50-foot-long and 15-foot-deep testing trench on the premises of SpaceX's offices as construction on the firm’s own site would not require any permits.
It completed the tunnel a few months later and has since carried out numerous tests using transportation pods on tracks.
Musk hopes that the introduction of electric skates will help pedestrians and cyclists travel through the underground tunnels, by-passing traffic and hopefully easing congestion on the roads.
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Diseases cured by brain chips
Musk has repeatedly claimed that he will cure common and debilitating diseases using computer chips hooked to people's brains.
His company Neuralink, founded in 2016, aims to create "brain-machine interfaces" that connect humans and computers.
Early trials have implanted coin-sized devices into the heads of monkeys, allowing them to play video games using only their minds.
The company says the technology will one day help people with paralysis and other neurological conditions.
Musk has said that brain implants could one day cure diseases ranging from obesity to insomnia.
In a recent tweet, the billionaire said that Neuralink will fix tinnitus – a condition that causes ringing in the ears – by 2027.
And while it may sound farfetched, the underlying science is credible.
Neurological conditions are frequently the result of damage or other deficiencies in the brain that stop neurons from working properly.
Neuralink promises to cure a number of them by using its chips to bypass the damaged parts.
A precision surgical robot hooks a thousand miniature threads from a device implanted into the skull to neurons in the brain.
That device is then connected to a computer by Bluetooth for continuous communication back and forth.
Space colony by 2050
Musk has long been vocal about his ambitions for colonizing Mars.
The billionaire founded SpaceX in 2002 and since then has constantly reiterated one of his biggest goals is to help make humankind a multi-planetary species.
In order to achieve this otherworldly feat, the world's richest man turned his attention to the Red Planet.
"If we are able to make life self-sustaining on Mars, we will have passed one of the greatest filters. That then sets us up to become interstellar,” Musk wrote on Twitter in November.
“Earth is ~4.5B years old, but life is still not multi-planetary and it is extremely uncertain how much time is left to become so,” he added.
So far, Musk's long-term vision for Mars looks something like building a self-sustaining city that features solar-powered hydroponic farms and vegan diets.
“The next really big thing is to build a self-sustaining city on Mars and bring the animals and creatures of Earth there,” Musk told Time.
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“Sort of like a futuristic Noah’s ark. We’ll bring more than two, though — it’s a little weird if there’s only two,” he continued.
He has claimed that he wants to put a million people on Mars by 2050 using SpaceX rockets.
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