The Very Freaky Reason Silicon Valley Billionaires Are Bailing for New Zealand (Nope, Not Vacay)

The Very Freaky Reason Silicon Valley Billionaires Are Bailing for New Zealand (Nope, Not Vacay)

Do they know something we don't? 

Guys, if you look to tech billionaires as your inspirations and gurus, you might be getting a bit scared right around now: Members of that elite group are building up huge mansions in New Zealand.... which sounds OK so far. But (wait for it) these palaces include underground bunkers. Yes, folks: L.A.'s richest and Silicon Valley's smartest are buying land and building hideouts in the case of the end of the world.

Turns out a full 22 percent of Americans believe the world will end during their lifetime, according to a poll cited in Reuters. And people with financial means to prepare for doomsday are doing it.

Rather than simple conspiracy theorists, this group includes statisticians and mathematicians. "The tech preppers do not necessarily think a collapse is likely," according to a report in The New Yorker. "They consider it a remote event, but one with a very severe downside — so, given how much money they have, spending a fraction of their net worth to hedge against this... is a logical thing to do.”

Um, gulp?

PayPal founder Peter Thiel, Facebook product manager Antonio García Martínez, and director James Cameron are three among the high-profile people building up complexes to escape a possible apocalypse. They are spending billions to prepare for asteroids hitting earth, the second coming, pandemics, giant earthquakes, or even nuclear war.

Why New Zealand? Well, it's a beautiful first world country with no threat of nuclear bombs aimed at them. It also happens to be an island difficult for, you know, the zombies to reach.

Houses set up for this purpose have solar panels, power generators, their own water supplies, rounds of ammunition and guns, and of course motorcycles — because you know (from movies) just how jammed traffic can get in an apocalypse.

Rumors cited by the Daily Mail suggest that 50 percent of Silicon Valley residence of a certain type have taken out a second home outside mainland U.S.A. in the case of the end of the world. Maybe that's why Mark Zuckerburg is building those controversial walls in Hawaii? (But probably not.)

If this inspires you — or terrifies you — you can escape (your fear of) danger right here stateside: Consider the Survival Condo Project in Kansas, which was an underground nuclear atlas missile silo. Now, it's a luxury apartment complex with a pool, gym, classroom, and a miniature hospital, totally prepared for the apocalypse.

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