The sports world can be a little crazy. Soccer players get paid insane amounts of money every week to kick a ball around, as do those lucky enough to make into the NBA and the NFL. It's an industry where people throw incredibly high figures around, but some niche sports can also rake it in. Case in point: one man in China has just bought a racing pigeon for a staggering $1.4 million.
The pricey pigeon, known in the pigeon racing world as Armando, hails from Belgium and was sold online. Over the course of the last two weeks, a bidding war erupted between two Chinese buyers who were going back and forth with huge figures like it was small change. The result? Armando's final price is three times as much as the last record holder that sold for $426,422, according to Vice. It's enough to ruffle some feathers, isn't it?
We don't know about you, but for that price, we would want a pigeon faster than the speed of light, with the ability to lay golden eggs. That might be out of the question, but the lucky buyer is content with the "Lewis Hamilton of pigeons" that has won three out of five races in the last five years. Nikolass Gyselbrecht, the CEO of the pigeon website PIPA, was equally astonished by the sale, as normal birds usually fly the coop for around $2,800.
Interestingly, Armando is now considered a little old to be racing. If he were a soccer player, he would probably be retired with a knee injury by now. That hasn't stopped the Chinese elite from pursuing him though, as the sport has increased in popularity in the country.
Taiwan holds the majority of racing pigeon events in the world, so at least Armando and his pals get to travel. Even if the pigeon doesn't race again, he'll be bred with another highly-prized female while he spends the rest of his days raising his young and teaching them to be just as good as ol' dad.
Then, they'll be sold on at a similarly ridiculous price. That is, if they prove themselves worthy. A strange purchase? Definitely, but you could say it's a pretty coo-l investment for the wealthy owner. Let's just hope it takes off.